200 apply for business finance support in just over an hour
It was widely trailed across Gloucestershire and when the website opened this morning to take applications for Government support grants for the demand came thick and fast.
So much so that with 200 applicants within 65 minutes the Gloucestershire Growth Hub, which is administering the distribution of the SME grants had to close the online system.
It had estimated the approval of up to 150 grants.
Alex Cottrell, Growth hub manager, said: “We opened the online application at 10am this morning and hit our first 200 application milestone within 65 minutes. As such the online application page has been paused.
“We have done this for two reasons. Firstly, to make sure that businesses do not waste valuable time completing an application when funds may already be allocated, and secondly, to allow our teams to go through the first 200 submissions and assess them in terms of the grant type, amount requested and project eligibility.
“Once we have done this, we’ll know what funds may still be available for the second round of applications, and if so, which grant they remain available for.”
It was the Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government, Simon Clarke MP, who announced on July 3 that communities will have access to financial support as part of the extensive economic recovery plans across the country.
And then earlier this month, the Gloucestershire Growth Hub team, based at Oxstalls, Longlevens, announced its allocation of £464,655 with plans to distribute the allocated funds to as many applicants as possible, with an estimated grant size of £3,000 per business.
“We know that businesses are going to be disappointed if they aren’t successful in getting one of a limited number of grants, but we do want to remind everyone of the other types of support that they are entitled to from our Gloucestershire Growth Hub network,” said Ms Cottrell.
The Growth hub team recommends keeping an eye on the grants page on its website for updates.
Since 2017, the Growth Hub project has received £3.4m of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.