Applicants urged to get in early for business fund aid

Guest speaker Phil Anderton, right, with Business Gateway Scottish Borders Manager Phil McCreadie at the Masterclass event at Ochiltree's, Abbotsford - The Home of Sir Walter Scott.
Guest speaker Phil Anderton, right, with Business Gateway Scottish Borders Manager Phil McCreadie at the Masterclass event at Ochiltree's, Abbotsford - The Home of Sir Walter Scott.

Businesses are being encouraged to apply early for the Scottish Borders Business Fund following the success of the scheme last year.

The Scottish Borders Business Fund is offering the chance to apply for a discretionary grant towards projects designed to boost sales and increase profit.

Up to 50 per cent of a project’s eligible costs can be applied for, up to a maximum of £4,000.

Councillor Stuart Bell, executive member for economic development, said: “This scheme is one of several we run which support local businesses, but it proved hugely popular in the last financial year so it is important that businesses get their applications in early this year.

“The fund can help new or small businesses invest and grow and develop projects which otherwise would not be possible.

“In addition to any potential financial benefit, all applicants will work with a dedicated business adviser from our Business Gateway service who will provide business development assistance.”

To be eligible for the Scottish Borders Business Fund businesses should be based in the Scottish Borders, should have fewer than 50 employees and be looking to invest and grow their business.

Phil McCreadie, Business Gateway Manager, said: “In addition to the support Business Gateway provides as part of the Scottish Borders Business Fund, we can offer free help and advice to all sizes of businesses in the area, including helping them to access funding at local, national and European levels.”

Guidance notes and an expression of interest form for the Scottish Borders Business Fund are available from the fund’s website, and information can also be obtained from Business Gateway by calling 01835 818215.

Business Gateway was set up in 2001 to help businesses and individuals have access to advice.

It has helped one-man businesses, entrepreneurs at a national level and self-starters in its 14 years.

Once an “expression of interest” has been reviewed and is felt to be eligible for support under the Scottish Borders Business Fund, a dedicated business adviser from Business Gateway will provide development assistance.

They will also review and submit the completed application to the council’s funding panel for consideration.

Applicants are being warned that no project should start or commit expenditure before receiving approval of funding.

If you have a business growth project in mind, and would like more information on eligibility and guidance on how to apply, you can contact the economic development team online or by calling 01835 826505.

Business Gateway also hosts regular events focusing on innovation and motivation in business this summer.