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Business Development Fund


Do you have an exciting business idea or are you a business with ambitious expansion plans?

Do you need some help to make your plans a reality?

Then the Business Development Fund could be for you.........

Dozens of businesses across East Staffordshire are set to benefit from East Staffordshire Borough Council’s latest injection of cash delivered through its Business Development Fund (BDF). Over 200 businesses made enquiries when the fund was first launched in 2013, with the Council expecting equally high levels for this second round.

More than 60 jobs were created as a direct result of the £150,000 cash boost in 2013, with an estimated £1m of wealth created for the Borough. Council leaders have committed an additional £50,000 to the latest round, bringing the new pot to £200,000, and the Council’s total investment in our local businesses to £350,000.

The BDF is aimed at local small and medium sized businesses located in East Staffordshire that are wishing to grow and expand their business and local entrepreneurs who need some financial support to make their business idea a reality.

Previous successful businesses, from BDF round one, include the Alphabet Gift Shop, Union Street, Burton upon Trent.  Find out more about how they used the money by reading their case study.

Successful businesses from BDF round two, include Alpha Anodising from Yoxall, Tuffa UK Limited from Uttoxeter, and The Natural Healthcare Centre from Burton upon Trent.  

To be eligible for support, the business must comply with the scheme’s entry criteria. Eligible existing small and medium sized business will be able to apply for a grant of up to 50% of total eligible project costs with a maximum grant totalling £10,000 (so to access the £10,000 grant you need to be spending £20,000 and can claim £10,000 back).

Entry Criteria

a)  The business must be a profit-seeking SME

  • have between 1-249 employees
  • have an annual turnover less than £42m
  • have a balance sheet less than £36m
  • is less than 25% owned by a larger company or combination of larger companies.

b) The business must be in a eligible business sector. To find out if your business activity and costs are eligible contact the regeneration team.

c) The business must pay its business rates to ESBC. If it is a new business, then it must show that it will be paying business rates to ESBC.

d) The business must be able to provide match funding, have a current business plan if less than 2 years old and up to date set of accounts.

e) Grant applications must be for business expansion projects that create new jobs.

f) Grant funding can only be used to support eligible project activity. To find out if your business activity and costs are eligible, contact the regeneration team.

Who can apply?

Applications from the following sectors are strongly encouraged:

  • Business and Professional Services
  • Construction
  • Independent Retailers
  • Information and Communication
  • Manufacturing
  • Tourism / Leisure and Recreation

What can we fund?

Examples of eligible expenditure include:

  • Design of artwork
  • Equipment hire for exhibitions
  • Fit out of new or existing premises
  • ICT equipment
  • Marketing/branding i.e. signage, display boards, leaflets, flyers, posters, stationery.
  • New technology to support product and process development and/or innovation
  • Office equipment
  • Purchase of business data
  • Retail – shop fittings, counters, display stands, lighting, mirrors, racking, tills, flooring etc.
  • Relocation costs
  • Telemarketing
  • Web development

There is a simple two stage application process. The first stage will require your business to complete an application form to summarise your business project, set out total project costs, how much funding is required and how many jobs will be created. The second stage will involve your business presenting its proposal to an Investment Panel consisting of Council and business representatives. The Investment Panel will assess all project applications and have the final say as to whether your application for grant funding is approved.

Please open the Business Development Fund leaflet to find out more about the scheme criteria, what the scheme will fund and contact the Enterprise Team on 01283 508625 or 508664 and a Council officer will be able to discuss in detail your business proposal.

Alternatively e-mail the team at bdf@eaststaffsbc.gov.uk