St Helens Council rolls out £1m business growth fund

St Helens Star: Council leader Barrie Grunewald says the scheme could help free firms stuck in a financial log-jam Council leader Barrie Grunewald says the scheme could help free firms stuck in a financial log-jam

A £1 MILLION Business Grant Fund created by St Helens Council to help small and medium sized businesses grow will be launched this month.

The cash boost for economic development announced by St Helens Council Leader Barrie Grunewald in 2013.

Now St Helens Chamber has been awarded the contract for delivering the initiative. It is separate to the Jobs and Growth fund that the Chamber is already running.

With employers the public sector, including organisations such as council and the NHS, having been hard by funding cuts during the Government’s austerity programme, encouraging growth among private business is regarded as key to job creation and St Helens long term prosperity.

Grants of up to £10,000 will support small and medium sized enterprises who want to expand or need additional support but who cannot find suitable finance.

The programme can provide grants to fund business expansion, and also to new start up businesses.

It will offer specialist support to local enterprises to help them prepare the feasibility studies and business plans required to obtain loans from banks and other funding sources.

Councillor Grunewald said: “With many banks taking a tougher line on loans, small and medium sized firms are often left languishing when they want to expand.

“But the new scheme could soon free the financial log-jam. St Helens Chamber will help firms prepare their case before approaching banks and other lenders.

“The economic crash of 2008 made a serious and lasting impact on the banks and – consequently - small and medium sized businesses.

“At present there are few resources to support these sectors when companies want to expand or need additional support.

St Helens Chamber Director of Business Services, Tracy Mawson added:  “This new fund from St Helens Council is extremely welcome to assist new
entrepreneurs and existing businesses to obtain grants to help them expand.
There is now significant help for businesses with a good new idea and we
encourage local entrepreneurs to come and talk to us as soon as possible.”

For information on how we can assist people with a business idea call Steve Mather 01744 742082 or for established businesses looking for assistance
call Ian Fletcher on 01744 742108.
Or visit www.sthelenschamber.com/business_grants

 

Comments (4)

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8:01am Wed 2 Jul 14

lawman2004 says...

Are they going to announce this every week ? They'd have been better using this money to end the disgraceful contract with the private parking firm that has made St Helens a no go area for many shoppers who would rather use a retail park with free parking than fall foul of the army of revenue raisers that patrol the town centre.
Are they going to announce this every week ? They'd have been better using this money to end the disgraceful contract with the private parking firm that has made St Helens a no go area for many shoppers who would rather use a retail park with free parking than fall foul of the army of revenue raisers that patrol the town centre. lawman2004
  • Score: 8

10:24am Wed 2 Jul 14

mikeashworth says...

this info has me a little confused. are the chamber going to be dishing out money to firms by way of grants or helping them prepare documents to get the money from other sources. or is it both? as for comments re no help, support, not entirely true, their are many sources of help / finance currently available to businesses, the main problem is them actually finding / using them.
this info has me a little confused. are the chamber going to be dishing out money to firms by way of grants or helping them prepare documents to get the money from other sources. or is it both? as for comments re no help, support, not entirely true, their are many sources of help / finance currently available to businesses, the main problem is them actually finding / using them. mikeashworth
  • Score: -18

4:16pm Tue 8 Jul 14

Hughwithaview says...

Is anyone capable of speaking in plain language anymore?

I originally thought the money was directly available to independent businesses looking to expand but after reading the article a couple of times I now realise the money is to help them put plans and feasibilty studies together so that they can go the banks and apply for finance.

What a load of red tape and flim flam. If businesses can show they have good ideas and positive business plans why can't the money be available to put directly into the business? I know 10K might be a drop in the ocean for some businesses but for a small/medium concern it would surely help considerably.

How on earth can you spend a million pounds just on preparing firms to approach their banks anyway - is it me?????
Is anyone capable of speaking in plain language anymore? I originally thought the money was directly available to independent businesses looking to expand but after reading the article a couple of times I now realise the money is to help them put plans and feasibilty studies together so that they can go the banks and apply for finance. What a load of red tape and flim flam. If businesses can show they have good ideas and positive business plans why can't the money be available to put directly into the business? I know 10K might be a drop in the ocean for some businesses but for a small/medium concern it would surely help considerably. How on earth can you spend a million pounds just on preparing firms to approach their banks anyway - is it me????? Hughwithaview
  • Score: 0

5:38pm Tue 8 Jul 14

mikeashworth says...

Hughwithaview wrote:
Is anyone capable of speaking in plain language anymore?

I originally thought the money was directly available to independent businesses looking to expand but after reading the article a couple of times I now realise the money is to help them put plans and feasibilty studies together so that they can go the banks and apply for finance.

What a load of red tape and flim flam. If businesses can show they have good ideas and positive business plans why can't the money be available to put directly into the business? I know 10K might be a drop in the ocean for some businesses but for a small/medium concern it would surely help considerably.

How on earth can you spend a million pounds just on preparing firms to approach their banks anyway - is it me?????
Glad it's not just me who feels the same way. before i read the detail i though it sounded pretty good. Perhaps all that money helps keep the Chamber of Commerce in business.

You are right, if a firm has a great idea, then plenty of places to go already.
Their are growth vouchers and many other sources of help.
[quote][p][bold]Hughwithaview[/bold] wrote: Is anyone capable of speaking in plain language anymore? I originally thought the money was directly available to independent businesses looking to expand but after reading the article a couple of times I now realise the money is to help them put plans and feasibilty studies together so that they can go the banks and apply for finance. What a load of red tape and flim flam. If businesses can show they have good ideas and positive business plans why can't the money be available to put directly into the business? I know 10K might be a drop in the ocean for some businesses but for a small/medium concern it would surely help considerably. How on earth can you spend a million pounds just on preparing firms to approach their banks anyway - is it me?????[/p][/quote]Glad it's not just me who feels the same way. before i read the detail i though it sounded pretty good. Perhaps all that money helps keep the Chamber of Commerce in business. You are right, if a firm has a great idea, then plenty of places to go already. Their are growth vouchers and many other sources of help. mikeashworth
  • Score: 0
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