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Funding support for small and medium businesses affected by COVID-19

Funding is now closed

Applications are currently unavailable as funding is now closed.

Growth Hub LogoThe Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Growth Hub has two funds to help support Small to Medium businesses (SMEs), that are located within Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire. They have been made available to assist businesses in their economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Do not apply if:

  • You cannot demonstrate an adverse and quantifiable effect of COVID-19 on your business finances.
  • You have not been trading 12 months prior to February 2020.
  • Your business was not viable in December 2019
  • You can’t provide a full set of trading accounts
  • You have applied or are intending to apply to another grant scheme for the same purpose.
  • You have previously applied for this funding (SME Restart & Kickstarting Tourism Funding)
  • If you have already ordered or paid for item / service, you are requesting funding for.
  • Your business is not in the Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire LEP area

Examples of eligible expenditure:

  • Website design
  • HR / Finance / Marketing / Legal advice
  • Review of Business Strategy
  • IT / general equipment for remote / home working (excluding the replacement of existing equipment)

For the visitor economy, the above plus:

  • Yield management software
  • New ways of delivering cultural events and festivals
  • Contactless room entry
  • Online payment facilities

Examples of ineligible expenditure:

  • Training
  • Physical changes to implement social distancing e.g. minor building works, perspex screens
  • PPE (including masks, visors, hand gel or dispensers)
  • Preparation of statutory documents i.e. VAT, Wages, year-end accounts or tax returns.
  • Subscriptions or memberships.

These are examples only and not an exhaustive list.


European Union Regional Development Fund logo

Businesses are required to read the FAQs and complete an online Expression of Interest form if they feel their business may be eligible for a grant from one of the below programmes. 

SME Restart Programme – for SMEs whose trade is 100% business to business (therefore 0% to consumers).

HM Government Logo

Kickstarting Tourism Programme – for SMEs located in a tourist area and dependent on visitors.

Businesses will need to show how they have been adversely and quantifiably affected by the COVID-19 crisis. 

Midland Engine logo

Further eligibility criteria are contained within the FAQ page. These programmes are funded by the European Union and any business in receipt of a grant will be agreeing to abide by EU funding rules.

How do I apply?

Funding is now closed

Applications are currently unavailable as funding is now closed.

  • Complete the online Expression of Interest form:
    • SME Restart Programme – for SMEs whose trade is 100% business to business (therefore 0% to consumers).
    • Kickstarting Tourism Programme – for SMEs located in a tourist area and dependent on visitors.
  • Expression of Interest forms will be reviewed in order of receipt. 
  • A grant application pack will be sent to businesses who pass the initial eligibility checklist. 
  • Businesses will then be required to complete and return their grant application pack which will be assessed by an appraiser.
  • If a recommendation is made to award the grant, it will be assessed by a senior appraiser who will make the final decision, based on the business satisfying all the required criteria.

Contact us

If you have any questions or queries concerning the new grants, or have any issues with the expression of interest form, please contact: businessenquiries@stokestaffslep.org.uk

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