Transport technology firms and advanced manufacturing companies in the West Midlands have a second opportunity to get funding for future expansion projects.
The Black Country Gold scheme, supported by the European Regional Development Fund, sees grants up to £16,000 up for grabs by small and medium enterprises in Dudley, Walsall, Sandwell and Wolverhampton.
The opening round of funding saw 69 businesses apply, with only seven applications approved for funding in excess of £65,000.
The initiative will match-fund the SME’s expenditure on capital purchases, consultancy and development of staff, diversification or refurbishment plans.
To gain the funding, each business needs to submit their application showcasing their expansion plans and how they envisage it will help their business develop and grow by 20%.
Councillor Ian Jones, Cabinet Member for Jobs and Economy at Sandwell Council, said, “ Black Country Gold could help businesses to obtain financial assistance to progress capital and revenue projects that will support growth.”
Skills and Enterprise Minister Matthew Hancock, added, “Small businesses are the foundation of long-term economic growth, and government is committed to providing national and local support that is simple, easy to find and designed around their needs to help them start up and scale up.
“The launch of the Black Country Growth Hub is a great example of joining up national and local support, giving Black Country businesses one place to go for help in their area and provide support.”
Businesses looking to take advantage of this additional funding have until 18 September to submit their application, which will be assessed by the Black Country Gold’s panel in October. The deadline for final applications is expected to be in March 2015.
The process for successfully securing funding will take place in three parts, with the first part of the process to register interest in receiving funding.
The second phase involves a face-to-face meeting where a business growth plan analysis will be undertaken to identify new opportunities and overcome any potential barriers. The final stage is to outline a plan that gives the full project’s details and costings.