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Small and micro businesses that have engaged with Business Gateway about their digital needs will be invited to apply for a grant of up to the maximum of £2,500 to assist them to invest in their digital technology and help sustain and rebuild the Lochaber economy.
This is the result of Lochaber Highland councillors discussing mechanisms to support local business from the Highland Coastal Communities Funding.
This has now resulted in a proposal coming forward from Business Gateway to deliver a £30,000 programme providing digital support grants to businesses in the area.
Councillor Andrew Baxter, chairman of the Lochaber Area Committee, said members of the Lochaber Area Committee have targeted some of the Highland Coastal Communities Funding resources to enable Lochaber business realise their digital plans.
‘Companies that have already expressed an interest with Business Gateway will be contacted by the Highland team and the process on how to fulfil their digital needs previously identified will be explained. If there is further availability Business Gateway will promote the scheme wider to other businesses,’ added Mr Baxter.
The grant scheme is first being directed to Lochaber businesses which already have engaged with the Business Gateway Highland service and identified a need to invest in their digital capabilities as a means to sustain or grow their business, but who now need support to take next step.
The Business Gateway team will first work with these businesses, then subject to progress and budget availability will market the Lochaber Business Digital Support Grant alongside their localised Digital Boost programme to new business participants.
The Highland Council has been allocated £3,034,703 of Highland Coastal Communities Funding for the Highland regions – of which £462,032 is allocated for distribution within the Lochaber area while Skye and Rassay will get £505,492.
Funding will be distributed as the Highland Coastal Communities Fund – Lochaber with the main aim supporting community and economic regeneration and sustainable development around coastal areas.