Financial help for small businesses by hjh63417


PR 2010
                  Issued: 10 December 2008

                                                                                         PR 2010
For Immediate Release

                        Financial help for small businesses

As the credit crunch continues to bite, Lancaster City Council has teamed up with Lancashire
County Council to offer financial help to new and existing small businesses within the District.

Lancaster City Council's Rent Grant Scheme and Lancashire County Council's Kickstart Micro
Credit scheme both offer valuable help to businesses and can be provided as a package of
assistance to qualifying businesses.

The Rent Grant Scheme was introduced earlier this year to provide a boost for new and early
stage businesses by offering grants of up to £2,500 based on 50% of the first year’s basic rent
on commercial premises within the District.

In spite of the changing economic climate, there has been significant interest in the scheme with
several offers made.

Grants have been awarded to numerous companies including environmental consultancy
Crowberry Consulting Ltd. Becky Toal, managing director of Crowberry Consulting, said: “The
grant I received from the city council has helped me at a crucial time for my business. As
Crowberry Consulting expands, I needed to take on more staff which meant moving into a
bigger office. I would not have been able to do this at the current time without the Rent Grant.”

To qualify for the Rent Grant Scheme, businesses must have been trading for less than three
years, employ no more than 10 full time staff and should operate in sectors such as
manufacturing, ICT/new media, environmental technologies, creative industries, services to
industry or community enterprises. They must also be able to show that there is potential for
employment growth

Kickstart Micro Finance offers loans up to £5,000 and is funded by Lancashire County Council’s
economic development company Lancashire County Developments Limited (LCDL) and is
operated by Business Venture Group Limited (BVG).

Kickstart operates in the same way as LCDL’s Rosebud fund. The loan can be for a period of up
to five years and the repayment rate is generally two per cent above base.

Repayment holidays can be arranged and there is a small arrangement fee charged. As well as
providing funding, supported businesses can also receive help in preparing business and
marketing plans. All profits from the fund are reinvested to enable other businesses to benefit.

In addition to the funding available, businesses have access to a wide range of business
assistance and advice, including details of sites and premises.

For more information telephone 01524 582279 or email

For further information please contact: Michael Hill on 01524 582041


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