Argyll businesses benefit from growth programme 

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Businesses across the area are benefiting from Argyll and Bute Council’s European-funded business support programme which was launched last year.

More than 60 local businesses have registered for the Business Gateway Local Growth Accelerator Programme and 35 grants, totalling more than £156,000 have been approved.

Businesses with growth ambitions are being encouraged to get in touch and find out more about the support available.

‘We want to encourage enterprises to grow and expand even further. This additional funding provides extra support to those with growth potential,’ said Councillor Aileen Morton, leader of Argyll and Bute Council.

‘This is a real opportunity for small- and medium-sized enterprises, which make up the vast majority of Argyll and Bute’s business base. Their growth will in turn help to strengthen our local economy.’

The programme gives growing local businesses the chance to access funding and specialist advice to help them expand. The programme, totalling almost £550,000, is funded by Argyll and Bute Council and the European Regional Development Fund and will run until the end of December 2018 or until funds are fully allocated, if sooner.

Funding available includes growth grants of up to £5,000, a new employee or graduate placement grant of up to £12,000, and training, trade fair and accreditation grants of up to £1,500 for businesses in key growth sectors.

One business which has already benefited from the support is Dunoon-based architect firm Architeco, which invested in software to provide detailed energy modelling that can accurately predict a building’s performance.

‘This was a huge investment for a small business and Business Gateway were essential in helping us access the funding to purchase additional licenses and hardware,’ said founder Colin Potter.

To access support, businesses must first register for the programme. The programme is open to micro-, small- or medium-sized businesses based in Argyll and Bute aiming to increase their turnover by £50,000 or more within the next three years.

The specialist advice on offer from subject experts includes up to two days of free advice on human resources, e-commerce, digital, marketing, growth strategy, funding and tendering.

Anyone wanting to register or discuss their eligibility should visit www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/bglgap or talk to a Business Gateway adviser on 01546 604 555. A Business Gateway adviser will work with businesses registered for the programme to develop a growth plan and access relevant support.

The programme is an additional service and complementary to the support already offered by Business Gateway. Anyone not eligible for the programme is also being encouraged to talk to Business Gateway as other external sources of funding may be available to help a business start-up, survive, or grow.