17/09/2020 SMEs in Swindon and Wiltshire are set to benefit from a £20 million government fund to help them recover from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic (see more)

Small and medium-sized businesses will have access to grants of between £1,000 and £5,000 to help them access new technology and other equipment as well as professional, legal, financial or other advice to help them get back on track.

There will be no obligation for businesses to contribute financially to the grant scheme, which is funded by the European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.

The new fund was announced by Simon Clarke, minister for regional growth, and a visit to Cornwall last week. It was later confirmed that Swindon and Wiltshire had been allocated £250,000.

“We have always said that we would stand behind our businesses and communities as we rebuild following the coronavirus pandemic. This new funding does exactly that,” said the minister.

“Businesses will be able to use these new grants to pay for the expertise, equipment and technology they need to adapt, recover and rebuild.”

Locally, grants will be distributed by Swindon and Wiltshire Growth Hub.

Growth Hub manager Chris Stevens said: “We thoroughly welcome this new initiative allowing us to reach out to some of the hardest-hit businesses in the region. Helping a small proportion of our local businesses pivot, restore and in some cases remodel will only benefit the economy.

“I highly recommend that any business struggling register their interest with the Swindon and Wiltshire Growth Hub so we can keep them informed as we finalise the claims process.”

Swindon and Wiltshire business owners are invited to contact the Growth Hub to register their interest by either calling 01793 698005 or emailing hello@swgrowthhub.co.uk