Published on 23 April 2021
Warwickshire County Council is inviting local small businesses in the retail, hospitality, tourism and leisure sectors and their supply chains to apply for a range of grants in the second round of its Adapt and Diversify grant scheme.
The scheme was launched to support those businesses most affected by the Covid-19 crisis and it complements the Government grants available through the District and Borough Councils by providing additional support for investment in external expertise, new equipment or the refurbishment of property.
Applicants must be able to demonstrate that they have been negatively affected by Covid-19 and have clear plans to adapt and diversify their business. Earlier in the year, the county made an initial £1m available for distribution among businesses drawing on funding made available through the Local Restrictions Tier status.
Applications came in at such a rate that the scheme had to be paused after only a day. However, analysis of the applications showed that unfortunately many did not meet the criteria. However, 53 businesses did make successful applications and over £625,000 was allocated.
A further £850,000 is now available for small businesses to apply for in Round 2. Grants of between £2,500 up to £5,000 are available towards the costs of specialist advice - for example: accountants, legal advice, digital specialists - and between £2,500 and £20,000 for accessing speciality expertise and /or the purchase of new equipment, or the refurbishment of property that will help the business to diversify their offer and safeguard their immediate future and the jobs of their workforce.
Further information on how to make applications is available at the dedicated web page which details other funding streams available to local businesses to support them through the adverse effects of the pandemic and to prepare them to bounce back.
A webinar has also been organised for Wednesday 28th April, at 10am, in which Warwickshire County Council officers will explain the application process. The link to join this webinar will be on the Adapt and Diversify webpage, where it will also be made available for viewing after the event.
David Ayton-Hill, Warwickshire County Council's Assistant Director for Communities, said: "We have relaunched the Adapt and Diversify grant scheme to continue our support to businesses who have been badly affected by the pandemic. The first round of grants saw over 50 businesses benefitting and they are already adapting their offer so that they can be sustainable, grow and continue to offer employment. That is terrific news and we are now in position to invite more businesses to do the same.
"The first round of this grant was very well received and had to be paused after just one day. Our County Council Officers worked tremendously hard to filter through the large number of applications and are poised ready for Round 2 of this grant programme to go live. I would ask that applicants familiarise themselves with what information is required for their application, so that they are best prepared when the online application process goes live. We are expecting this round to also to be very popular, so ask for businesses understanding, in that we will try to feedback to them as soon as we can."
Lee Osborne, Development Manager - Warwickshire & Coventry Federation of Small Businesses "I'm delighted to see Warwickshire County Council relaunch Adapt and Diversify. Although there is light at the end of the tunnel, it has been an incredibly tough year for small businesses. This programme offers real opportunities particularly for those in the supply chains of the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors who have been hit hard by the pandemic to access some finance to allow them to not only survive the immediate future but look ahead positively with a stronger business offer.
"I would urge any small businesses to attend the webinar or view it after the event in order to have the best possible guidance available before making their applications."
The Adapt and Diversify grant application window opens at 9.30am on Monday 17 May at on a first come, first served basis with businesses urged to use the interim period to prepare their applications.
For information about the wide range of other support for your business, contact Coventry and Warwickshire LEP Growth Hub on 0300 060 3747.
Warwickshire County Council has played a major role in supporting local businesses through loans and grants since the start of the pandemic. It is currently delivering three major grant schemes through its Capital Investment Fund to complement Government support.
The County Council also provided loans of £2.5m to Coventry and Warwickshire Reinvestment Trust to support the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.
In February, its Cabinet approved the business case for a £140m Warwickshire Recovery Investment Fund which will be considered for ratification at Cabinet's June meeting. Among its wide-ranging remit to stimulate and support the economy in Warwickshire will be a range of support to local businesses.
Stratford-on-Avon District Council
Elizabeth House, Church Street,
Tel: 01789 267575