COVID-19 Kickstart Grant Scheme paused for applications
The £1.44 million European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) funded Cornwall & Isles of Scilly (CIOS) Kickstart Grant Scheme opened for applications from local businesses at 10am on Wednesday 2nd September.
The funding available came from two previously announced Government funds with the allocation and criteria being decided by the Government:
Kick-starting Tourism Package
£10 million of EU funding to boost tourism in England, to help small businesses in tourist destinations to access support of up to £5,000.
Cornwall & Isles of Scilly allocation: £981,000 Wider Economy Business Support
£20 million of new EU funding to help businesses recover from the effects of Coronavirus.
Cornwall & Isles of Scilly allocation: £459,000
The Kickstart Grant scheme, amongst the first to open across 38 English Growth Hubs, addresses the need to react quickly to help local businesses recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. There has been unprecedented demand for the Kickstart grants, for what is a limited fund. The reality of the £1.44 million budget allocated is that at an average grant size of £3k we were only able to fund approximately 480 businesses. The Growth Hub will be communicating the high demand to Government and drawing attention to the need for additional funding.
To ensure businesses were notified in good time, the Growth Hub published comprehensive guidance a week before the launch date to encourage businesses to prepare as much of the required information in advance to allow for rapid assessment of eligibility.
The approach was designed to ensure the limited funding was available to businesses as quickly as possible, with an efficient system for the number of applications we expected to process. As highlighted prior to launch, and to ensure appropriate eligibility checks could be conducted, the first phase of the application process was limited to 250 submitted applications. With over 2000 people on the website, 250 applications were completed within forty minutes. As a consequence, the application portal was temporarily closed to allow an assessment of the first tranche of applications to be completed. This involves checking all applications against ERDF eligibility of both applicants and the details of the proposed project activity they wish to fund, which should help to address the impact of COVID-19 on their business. Following this assessment any unallocated funds remaining will be open for applications via the website. This process will be repeated until available funding has been allocated to eligible projects.
Two important points:
There will be one weeks’ notice of the scheme reopening, with updates on the Growth Hub website and social media channels.
To allow sufficient time for eligibility checks on the first 250 application, it is unlikely that an announcement will be made regarding a second phase of applications before the week commencing 7th September.
The information issued clearly stated that the online application portal would close after receiving the first 250 fully completed applications and that the assessment of the applications would be in the order they were received.
We would urge businesses to contact the team to find out about what other business support might be available through a business review. 01209 708660 / www.ciosgrowthhub.com
To find out more about the CIOS Kickstart Grant Scheme visit ciosgrowthhub.com/business-grants. This page contains all the information currently available and the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are comprehensive.
The Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Kickstart Grant Scheme is supported by the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014 to 2020.
The Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Growth Hub is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and match funded by Cornwall Council, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership.