A GRANT fund totalling £80,000 is on offer to small and medium-sized businesses in the New Forest who can show how they can create or protect jobs.
The district council is inviting applications of between £2,500 and £50,000 for a share of the cash to support firms with capital investment for growth.
Bids must also demonstrate their benefit to the New Forest’s rural economy and be match-funded by 50%, such as through investors or borrowing.
NFDC’s cabinet member for economic development, Cllr Michael Harris, said: “Our rural businesses are a vital element of our local community.
“This new grant fund will provide critical funding to rural businesses who, despite the challenging conditions of recent months, are looking to grow their business and provide a boost for our local economy.
“I would take this opportunity to thank Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) for their continuing and greatly valued support for the New Forest business community.”
The LEP is funding the scheme from its wider multi-million-pound Growth Deal fund, aimed at improving productivity and reaching new markets.
Brian Johnson, chair of Solent LEP, said: “With businesses in the Solent facing unprecedented uncertainty, we want to offer as much support as possible to ensure that they recover to be as strong, if not stronger than they were before.
“Last year’s New Forest Brilliance in Business Awards demonstrated that there are so many businesses to celebrate here in the New Forest, and it is vital that this area continues to thrive, diversify and grow.”
Deadline looms for firms in BCP area
BUSINESSES eligible for grant support from BCP Council have been warned they must apply by next Thursday.
Both the Small Business Grant Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund were launched at the start of lockdown and BCP has since issued almost £78m of help.
BCP leader Cllr Vikki Slade said: “We would hate for anyone to miss out on this support and urge all businesses who fit the criteria, but have not yet applied, to check online and apply as soon as possible.”