Business Growth Fund FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions about the Birmingham Post Growth Fund – in partnership with Bournville College
1. Can organisations trading for less than one year apply?
Yes. The Birmingham Post Growth Fund is for applicants able to demonstrate a year’s worth of trading in their accounts, and having been in existence for more than 12 months or new and startup enterprises established for less than 12 months.
2. I need advice / further support on what this fund can be used for, can you help?
Yes, if you require support with a query that is not addressed in the supporting documentation, then please contact the fund at email@example.com with your question.
3. When is the fund open for applications?
The fund has a two year lifetime (2012 – 2014), an announcement will soon be made about the next application window – Round six.
4. Do I have to pay for due diligence before applying?
No, due diligence does not need to be undertaken until successful applications are agreed in principle.
5. What local authority area does my postcode fall within?
To check whether the jobs being created fall within the required local authority area check here https://www.gov.uk/find-your-local-council
6. What does a growing business commonly invest in through the fund?
Organisations which are expanding to create new jobs through this fund often invest in some or all of the following: purchase or hire of capital equipment or software; new or refurbished premises; 3rd party professional services; recruitment and retention of new employees; training new employees and those involved in growth activity; marketing and sales activity; and other investments addressing barriers to growth.
7. How much does it cost to employ new staff?
The following guidance should be used when considering the cost to the business of creating new, value added, sustainable jobs:
- Level 1 – 2 (GCSE) £20,000
- Level 3 – 4 (A Level) £30,000
- Level 5+ (Degree) £40,000
8. Are there activities that cannot be funded?
The Fund is governed by State Aid areas of ineligible expenditure and there are several business activities the Fund cannot be used for including but not limited to:
- loan schemes
- businesses in the coal or road freight sectors, fishery and aquaculture or production, processing or marketing of agricultural produces
- working capital, companies in receivership
- costs associated with depreciation or normal wear and tear
- illegal activities, and any legal costs, fines or other charges payable as a result of them
9. If I use the support packages, how does that affect the amount of match funding I need to contribute?
If you choose our Training and/or Advertising support packages, the amount of match funding you need to contribute is reduced. Worked Example
10. Where do unsuccessful applications generally fall down?
This is a competitive process and demand for funding is high, therefore a well written and clearly communicated strategy for growth is required in order to be successful. Common areas where applications fall down include:
- A lack of evidence of demand and the need for the expansion
- Lack of a comprehensive, well rounded expansion plan
- Not enough or not strong enough evidence that the plan will be successful
- Not meeting the fund requirements as set out in ‘About the Fund’ and in the guidance alongside the application questions