Funding & Grants
The Oxfordshire Kickstart Grant Scheme will open for applications from local businesses for one day only at 10am on 1 October 2020.
What is the purpose of this funding?
The purpose of the Kickstart grant scheme is to help businesses who have been affected by COVID-19 to deal with the impacts of the pandemic and access specialist professional advice, equipment or technology to rebuild and support a quick recovery.
Who is the funding for?
The Kickstart grant scheme is open to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) based in Oxfordshire. Your business must meet the eligibility criteria for the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
The grant funding is split into two streams:
- funding specifically aimed at tourism and hospitality-related businesses that depend on income from the visitor economy; and
- funding available to any small or medium-sized business impacted by the pandemic.
As part of the application process you will be asked if your business supports the visitor economy to determine which funding stream is applicable. Both grant streams will use the same online application form and process.
How can I spend this funding?
• Accessing specialist consultancy or professional advice
• The purchase of small items of equipment or technology (cannot be used to cover PPE)
• Adapting existing technology in order to continue to deliver business activity
• Diversification of the business
For example, services such as HR support, HSE, legal, or financial advice, digital tools and software products, and small items of technology which offer improved productivity and / or delivery mechanisms to enable businesses to better deal with the impacts of COVID-19.
How much funding could I request?
Most grants awarded will be in the range of £1,000 - £3,000 although grants of up to £5,000 will be considered in exceptional circumstances at the discretion of OxLEP Business. This is a 100% grant scheme funded by Government through the European Regional Development Fund and there is no requirement for businesses to contribute financially.
Given the value of the grant programme allocated to Oxfordshire by the Government, it is expected to support around 68 - 120 local businesses, depending on the grant sizes requested by businesses who meet the eligibility criteria.
The applications will be processed in the order they have been received. To manage the expected demand, the Growth Hub will close the application process when the first 250 applications have been submitted through the online form. The Growth Hub will appraise these applications in line with the process set out in the Kickstart Guidance Notes and we aim to complete this by the end of October 2020.
Therefore, please ensure that you read the Guidance Notes in full and have all relevant documents, figures and quotes in place prior to that date. The application portal will open at 10am on 1 October and will close at 5pm on that day, or once the 250-application limit has been reached, whichever comes first. If we close at 5pm on 1 October and have not received 250 applications, we may opt to re-open the scheme at a later date but will give 10 working days notice ahead of re-opening.
We do not require copies of the quote(s) you have received for the service(s) or product(s) for which you are applying for funding, but we strongly recommend that you have done some research into what you need and the associated costs. No retrospective increases will be made to the funding awarded.
Please also note that if you are successful and a grant offer letter is issued to you, you will need to fund the purchase of the item(s) or service(s) approved in the grant offer, prior to submitting a claim and providing evidence of the purchase. Grant payments will only be issued on production of evidence of the approved spend.
The timetable for the Kickstart grant process is as follows:
18 – 25 September: Clarification questions should be submitted by email only at email@example.com
1 October: Kickstart Grant Application portal opens on www.oxfordshirelep.com/business/funding-grants at 10am. Closes at 5pm, or when the 250 application limit is reached, whichever comes first.
30 October: OxLEP Business target date for notifying successful applicants and issue of grant offer letters. This date may change depending on the number of grant applications received.
29 January 2021: Deadline for spend and submission of claims and evidence.
OxLEP Business offers funding and grant opportunities for social enterprise SMEs and SMEs looking to grow and innovate.
Our Grant rounds are now always ‘open’, and eligible businesses can apply at any time. We aim to review applications twice monthly, based on a cut-off date at midday on the first and third Fridays of the month. Applications received after that will be held and considered after the next cut-off date. We aim to let applicants know within 21 days of the cut-off date on whether or not their application has been successful. You will be advised as early as possible if there is likely to be a delay.
We offer grant workshops to help SMEs with the application process
- for the foreseeable future, we have moved all OxLEP-led events to digital platforms.
ISfB Go-Create Grant
Go-Create Grants are offered as part of the Innovation Support for Business (ISfB) Phase 2 programme. Go-Create Grants are available on a competitive basis from £1,000 to £50,000 for innovation projects within tech and non-tech businesses.
We have grant funding available for Oxfordshire SMEs via our eScalate programme - specifically targeting start-up, growth, scale-ups and enterprises for social good.