Discretionary Covid 19 Small Business Capital Grant Guidance
The aim of the discretionary business grant is to support newly formed businesses and existing small businesses with their growth and/or recovery plans during the Covid 19 pandemic by providing financial contributions towards capital expenditure.
The grant scheme is funded by Welsh Government and delivered by Powys County Council. It will provide financial support towards capital expenditure only.Businesses must clearly demonstrate how their proposed capital expenditure will improve their business performance and will help safeguard or increase employment.
This page provides more information about the grant scheme and explains how to apply.
2. Who can apply?
The Grant is open to:
- Micro Business with 1-9 employees with a growth plan for capital expenditure
- Start-up businesses who have commenced trading prior to 1st March 2020.
The grant is only available for businesses with a registered address in Powys and the capital investment must be used to support their business operation within the county.
Applicants must also be able to demonstrate growth potential. This is defined as a business seeking to increase turnover or safeguarding staff who may be at risk. Priority will be given to early-stage businesses and businesses with the ambition and characteristic to scale-up.
Support is aimed primarily at new businesses to be operating in or servicing the following growth and foundation sectors.
- Advanced Materials and Manufacturing,
- Creative Industries
- Energy and Environment
- Financial and Professional Services
- Information Technology and Communication
- Life Sciences
- Food & Drink
- Leisure, Tourism and Hospitality
- Health and Social Care
The following sectors are ineligible for support: primary agriculture production, forestry, aquaculture, fishing and statutory services, e.g., primary health, and education.
All projects will be assessed on the number, type, and quality of outputs they will deliver. Should your project be approved, then the outputs included in your application will form part of the grant agreement.
Each business can only apply once for the grant scheme.
3. How much funding is available?
The scheme will provide grant support of between £1,000 and up to £10,000.
Grant support will be available up to a maximum of 50% of the total eligible costs. Match funding must be from a private sector source i.e own cash reserves, debt (overdraft, loan) rather than 'in kind'.
The grant will be allocated on a first come first served basis.
Applying is a competitive process, and value for money/impact will be a key factor when projects are appraised and selected.
4. What activities are eligible?
The scheme can only support capital costs (Ex VAT for VAT registered businesses).
It is designed to help micro businesses put in place the full funding package needed for capital investments that will help sustain and grow their operations. Grants are only available towards the costs of tangible capital assets:
- Purchase of essential equipment or machinery - this can include adaptations, alterations or upgrading to existing equipment.
- Purchase of new or second-hand equipment which will further develop the business.
- Improvements to commercial premises to further development the business (including fixtures and fittings, furniture, and general office equipment etc. as part of a new office or outdoor facilities).
- Items purchased with credit cards are eligible, but applicants will need to demonstrate that the amount of defrayed expenditure associated to the grant is evidenced on the credit card bill at the grant claim stage.
- General revenue expenditure such as, staff costs or any other taxes, hire purchase/lease purchases
- Revenue costs such as staff training, software, or marketing materials
- Vehicles such as cars and commercial vehicles
- General repair and maintenance costs of commercial premises
- Replacement of like for like fixtures and fittings, furniture and general office equipment etc.
- Contingency fees and costs which were committed or spent before the offer and acceptance of the grant.
- Working capital costs such as stock, rent, rates, administration.
- Certificates and licences.
- Costs of work being carried out as a legal statutory requirement, inc. planning permission.
- Feasibility studies
5. The Application process
The application process is competitive and those projects offering the greatest return on investment are more likely to be supported. There is a short application form to complete.
As part of your application, you will need to explain how the investment will support your business.
A range of supporting documentation is required along with other information depending on your project. Each applicant must complete and return the following:
- Application Form,
- Summary of how Covid-19 has affected the business since April 2020.
- Welsh Language Policy- Applicants will need to outline the ways in which the scheme encourages the development of the Welsh Language and retain local workforce.
- All marketing materials produced, and signage erected as part of the project must be bilingual
The application process opens on 1st February 2021 and closes at 12pm on Monday 22nd February. Grants are awarded at the discretion of the County Council and a decision will be provided within 10 working days from the receipt of application. The decision of the County Council is final.
All grant expenditure must take place and be claimed by 26th March 2021.
Please note that expenditure must NOT commence before approval is given as the grant cannot be awarded retrospectively.
In order to ensure best value for money, all goods and services claimed for as part of the project need to be openly and fairly procured. Applicants need to provide written quotes, references to catalogue listings or formal tenders as part of their application.
The following guidelines should be followed depending on the value of an individual item:
- Up to £5,000 -A minimum of 2 written Quotation must be obtained and retained.
- £5,000 - £20,000+ -A minimum of 3 written Quotations must be sought from competitive sources. The quotes must bebased on the same specification and evaluated on a like for like basis.
Evidence of expenditure must be provided by submitting paid invoices/receipts and bank statements showing payments.
7. Permissions and Consents
It is a requirement of the applicant to ensure all necessary permissions and consents (e.g. planning permission, licenses, or landlord consent) are in place where required. The applicant is wholly responsible for ensuring that all aspects of the scheme are in compliance. Failure to do so may result in no grant being paid.
If your project requires permissions or consents, you can still apply but you will need to explain your timetable for obtaining them in your application.
8. State Aid
Your project must comply with European state aid rules. Funding will normally be awarded under the de minimis regulation which restricts the amount of aid that any business can receive over a three-year period to €214,000 (about £189,330).
Therefore, applicants must declare how much public sector funding they have received under the de minimis regulation within the last three years. This may reduce the amount of money that you can apply for.
9. Grant Offer and Acceptance
Successful projects will be invited to enter into a grant agreement with Powys County Council. This will explain when a project can start and all terms and conditions including any project specific conditions.
When a grant is approved, an offer letter will be sent to the applicant. If a grant is offered, it must be formally accepted by the applicant. This must occur within 10 working days of the date of the grant offer letter and before any work commences.
The works shall be undertaken in strict accordance with the approved application and any other relevant requirements or conditions that are deemed necessary.
The County Council must always be notified immediately of any changes to a project. This might involve changes to the timing or the financing of a project. All changes must be agreed in writing by the County Council.
Once the project is complete the applicant must submit a claim/assessment form with copy invoices of the total cost of the project. Once approved, payment will be made to the applicants account via a BACS transfer. All invoices must have been paid from the named bank account of the applicant.
For further information or to discuss an application, please contact Andrea Mansfield in the Economic Development Team at Powys County Council: email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel. 01597 826739.