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Home » Business News

Applications to Financial Assistance scheme closed after scores of businesses receive support…

Submitted by on December 15, 2014 – 7:30 am |

Councillor Tahir Ali, Cabinet Member for Development Jobs and SkillsAn award-winning financial assistance scheme helping SMEs across the Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) area, has drawn to a close – after supporting 170 businesses.

All monies from the Financial Assistance scheme have now been committed; such was the demand in applications – meaning the scheme has closed earlier than planned.

The financial assistance scheme provided match grant funding of up to £15,000 for SMEs that have been trading for more than six months and had expansion plans that safeguarded existing jobs or created new ones, closed six months ahead of schedule because of the demand in applications.

The scheme – managed by Birmingham City Council and funded through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) was part of the Business Development Programme that has supported businesses in Birmingham, Cannock, East Staffordshire, Lichfield, North Worcestershire (Bromsgrove, Redditch, Wyre Forest), Solihull and Tamworth.

The scheme has approved grants of over £2 million since it began two years ago, and has stimulated over £6 million of investment into the West Midlands economy.

Councillor Tahir Ali, Cabinet Member for Development, Transport and Economy, at Birmingham City Council, said:

“The response to the scheme has been truly astounding. We were inundated with applications for the financial assistance aspect of the Business Development Programme, and were able to bring tangible help to small businesses across the GBSLEP area. I understand that having to close the scheme slightly earlier than planned, due to demand, will come as a disappointment to some SMEs, which is why we consistently encouraged firms to apply as soon as possible.

“However, Birmingham City Council will be applying for further financial assistance funding from the European Union, so we are urging businesses, still interested, to complete the Expression of Interest form on our website, and we will contact them should further funds become available.”

The Express of Interest Form can be found at”.

Whilst the Financial Assistance scheme has now closed, the coaching and mentoring scheme of the Business Development Programme (great200leaders) remains open The Great200leaders, scheme includes 100 hours of leadership development, by way of peer group workshops led by leadership specialists with talks by inspirational speakers, one-to-one mentoring and access to board level experts and is still available.  To find out more details about the great200leaders, visit

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