BUSINESSES in East Sussex are being encouraged to apply for up to £250,000 in grants and loans to help them grow.
A total of £1 million has already been agreed for the first 12 companies to benefit from this scheme which encourages growth and the creation of jobs.
East Sussex County Council, working in partnership with Locate East Sussex, successfully applied for a share of the Government’s Regional Growth Fund, and was awarded £4 million.
The authority is offering businesses grants and loans if they can show they will create new jobs.
Cllr Rupert Simmons, the county council’s lead member for economy, said: “I’m delighted to see that businesses are taking advantage of East Sussex grants and loans.
“We want businesses to be able to expand, create and safeguard local jobs - something that has been very difficult for them to do over the last few years.
“By offering grants and loans, we hope to encourage companies to grow, which can only be a positive for East Sussex.”
Both grants and loans are available. These include a small business grants programme offering grants of between £3,000 and £5,000 to existing medium, small, micro and start-up businesses and social enterprises that can show evidence of growth and potential job creation.
Grants of more than £5,000, up to £160,000 will be considered if there is evidence of significant additional growth or as an incentive for inward investment.
Small and medium businesses and start up businesses can apply for loans of between £5,000 and £250,000 to help create new jobs.
Cllr Simmons added: “We are particularly keen to encourage manufacturing, engineering, scientific, bio-chemical, finance, ICT and healthcare technologies sector, but we will consider all applications from businesses based in or planning to set up in East Sussex.”
Companies applying must employ less than 250 people and be able to secure match funding - 50 per cent on small grants and up to 75 per cent for large loans and grants.
Funds however cannot be used to support retrospective costs.
Businesses wanting to find out more about East Sussex Invest 3 can email Geoffrey.firstname.lastname@example.org, call 0844 415 9255 or visit www.locateeastsussex.org.uk
Applications have to be approved by February 2015 when the fund will close.