3 Routes to funded business consultancy
Today, the amount of business support available to small companies that want to grow is a shadow of its former self. The coalition has administered the coup de grace to a Business Link that had been systematically run down by the Blair / Brown junta who didn’t believe in it.
And yet nature doesn’t like vacuums. I have recently joined a group of consultants, Branduin, who aim to deliver the original Business Link model as it should have been done. Support from seasoned Business Advisers with extensive business experience of their own backed up by specialists. We offer business support services mainly through local Chambers of Commerce – we’re actively working with Sussex Enterprise plus several London based chambers.
While most of the funding for business support has also been swept away there are a few programmes available for companies that can be considered high growth, that operate in the manufacturing area or are engaged in producing intellectual property. These are respectively
• The Growth Accelerator Programme
• The Manufacturing Advisory Service
• R&D tax credits.
The growth accelerator is aimed at companies that can double their turnover in a few years. Eligible companies employ less than 250. The programme unlocks a £10,000 support package over a 12 month period that includes 7 days of Business coaching, 6 external masterclasses and 50% matched funding for leadership and management training of up to £2k per manager. If you employ 4 or less people the cost to you is £600 – for 5-49 employees its £1500 and its £3000 for companies employing more than 50. Coaching can cover Leadership, change, innovation, sales and marketing, operations, finance etc.
The Manufacturing Advisory Service is aimed at companies involved in manufacture although this is defined quite widely. This is aimed a helping to fund particular projects to drive business growth, develop advanced manufacturing capabilities, create high value jobs or to improve carbon footprint or resource efficiency. The scheme will fund up to 3 projects in a fiscal year until March 2015 and will fund 50% of eligible costs up to £3k for the first project, 40% for the second and 30% for the third. A maximum of £7200 per year can be secured in this way.
R&D tax credits allow companies to offset a multiplier of R&D spend against corporation tax. It must resolve some genuine technological or scientific uncertainty and be related to your company’s trade.
Many of our group are registered so that our business support and consultancy can be part funded via these schemes. I for instance am registered as both a Growth Accelerator Coach and an MAS advisor.
If you feel that any of these may be relevant to your needs, please do contact me (07958 200112) or via the “Ask Us” tab at www.communicationinbusiness.co.uk.