Thursday, January 27, 2011

Getting grants in the UK

The UK government has set aside more than two billion pounds in funding programmes (grants and loans) for financing small businesses. Free government grants are available to help you start-up, expand or improve your business, if you are eligible. Unfortunately finding the right grant can be extremely tedious as there is no official repository of all available grants and reliefs available. They are many kinds of financial aids available:
Grants and Subsidies
When you receive this money, you don't have to pay it back. It's yours to use under the terms of the grant. The national and regional governments know that it's tough for small businesses to bring new products to market, make your company more efficient, or hire employees. So they provide billions of pounds a year to aid UK product innovation and grow small businesses.
The national and regional governments also recognise that some regions and business sectors need more economic development support than others. Businesses across the country are eligible for some of the billions of pounds in funding allotted for this development. Small businesses accessing grant programmes enjoy a bonus benefit: once you've successfully received funding, you're more likely to get additional grants from the same agency because you meet their program requirements.
Government Guaranteed Loans
One of the reasons banks shy away from financing small businesses is the high risk factor. Many small businesses fail, and when that happens, the bank is stuck with a bad loan. But if someone is willing to guarantee the loan, or a substantial part of it, financial institutions are a lot more willing to lend.

Government insurance (available for low premiums or even no premiums) provides this option to small businesses. For example, the Enterprise Finance Guarantee Scheme can help you get a loan from private lending sources, backed with a guarantee from the UK Government. The programme offers flexible loan terms for small businesses who want to expand their business by pushing into export markets. The big advantage for small businesses is that no additional security is required to be put up.

Tax relief or tax credits
Getting money is obviously beneficial. But not having to pay it amounts to the same thing, and can even be better. The government offers a variety of programmes that decrease your tax burden, including programmes that provide a lower tax rate for small businesses, award tax credits for hiring eligible apprentices, and provide investment tax credits for qualified expenditures in R&D.
For example, the Research and Development Tax Credit for SME's programme is a national tax incentive programme to encourage UK businesses of all sizes and in all sectors to conduct research and development in the UK that will lead to new, improved, or technologically advanced products or processes. UK-controlled private corporations can earn a tax credit of up to 175% of qualified expenditures for R&D carried out in the UK. You receive a full tax deduction in the year you incur the expenses. 
Whatever amount you need, don't miss the opportunity to take advantage of the available government grants and small business loans. We can even work on a success fee basis, so you only pay us if you get the money! Knowing where and how to apply gives you a real advantage.

We are here to help so give us a call today at 020 3397 1520. We are also able to provide a similar service in France and Germany through our partners Astalia and CMP Financial Engineers.

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