In a previous article we talked about how businesses could save up to £10,000 on their office refurbishments (under the category of business related extension and improvement) in Kent, East Sussex and Essex. This is thanks to The South East Business Boost (SEBB) part funded by the European Regional Development Fund 2014-2020 (ERDF), a partnership between Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, Kent County Council and Medway, East Sussex County Council, Essex County Council, Thurrock Council to support businesses in Essex, Kent, and East Sussex, who are seeking to develop capacity and increase growth. Projects must demonstrate that they will lead to business growth. The programme can fund up to 30% of the costs of qualifying projects, with the remaining 70% being met by the business. To date 500 grants have been approved with a total grants contribution of £2,856,954.46 of which £1,086,919.25 has gone to Essex, £607,802.14 to Kent and £928,187.63 to East Sussex.
Note: Businesses who were supported with either a grant or a business support intervention on the South East Business Boost I (SEBB I) programme are not eligible to apply for SEBB II.
In this article we look at how to assess your eligibility and how to apply for a South Easy Business Boost growth grant.
Are Your Eligible For The SEBB?
In order to be eligible for a SEBB grant, a business must:
- be a small to medium sized business (with under 250 staff and turnover not exceeding €50 million or a balance sheet not exceeding €43 million)
- spend on a project/purchase that has a long term growth impact on the business (not day-to-day running costs)
- spend the full value of the SEBB grant on a project taking place within the SELEP region (East Sussex, Essex, Thurrock, Southend-on-Sea, Kent or Medway)
- not have exceeded the de minimis state aid limit (€200,000 over three years) or to be in a position where the de minimis state aid limit would be exceeded were the application to be approved
- have their Grant Application approved, and the approval date confirmed, before starting the project.
Furthermore you must also meet the following criteria:
- within Kent your business must be located in one of the following areas: Ashford, Canterbury, Dartford, Dover, Folkestone and Hythe, Gravesham, Maidstone, Medway, Sevenoaks, Swale, Thanet, Tonbridge and Malling, and Tunbridge Wells.
- be a sole trader, partnership, limited company or a not for profit business
- be seeking a grant between £1,000 and £10,000 with total project value of between £3,334 and £35,000 (offering a 30% intervention rate).
How To Apply For The SEBB Grant For Your Office Refurbishment Project
Before applying for your SEBB grant you should complete the Expression of Interest form. Once you have submitted the form Kent.gov.uk will contact you directly to provide you with guidance notes. The guidance notes will help you during a business assessment telephone appointment.
There is a 5 step application process (PDF) which you must go through when applying for a SEBB grant.
Step 1. Business assessment
An experienced member of the programme staff will contact you to collect some business details and complete the form on your behalf. Based on the information given they will assess your business eligibility for the programme. You will be sent the completed form to allow you to confirm the details that have been entered into the form are correct and to request any other documents that are required to progress your application. The form you have submitted and requested documents will be sent to the programme management team for final confirmation. If you are unsuccessful at this stage the Programme Management Team will contact you and request that you resubmit your form. If you are deemed as ineligible for the South East Business Boost / ERDF support, you will not be able to resubmit your form.
Step 2: Project proposal
Once you have gone through the business assessment stage and are deemed eligible for the grant they will ask for further details with regards to your project and will evaluate your project based on your submitted proposal. The Programme Management Team will ask for additional further details and information about your project if this information was not sent through in step 1. They will also ask how you plan to grow your business to assess if the work you intend to carry out is work that is covered by the grant.
Step 3: Application and approval
Applications are assessed within four weeks of being submitted. Once the Programme Management Team have verified and checked your application and documents you will be sent a grant funding approval date and a grant funding agreement. They will also ask for your signature. Any funding will be provided retrospectively against evidence of payments for approved items.
Step 4/5: Make Purchases and start your project
When your application is approved and you’ve received your signed grant funding agreement from step 3 you can continue to contact your office refurbishment team to begin your project in earnest.
To find out whether your business and your project is eligible for SEBB funding and to get your application underway, go to the South East South East Business Boost – SEBB – Grants & Support Essex, Kent, East Sussex website or email the programme direct on SEBB@southend.gov.uk.
As the SEBB site says “Don’t let a lack of funds or knowledge hold your business back.”
JBH Refurbishments Office Refurbishments Company
If you’re thinking about applying for the South East Business Boost, contact JBH Refurbishments and we can give you an idea of the total spend of your project. We can advise on:
- office design and layout
- office partitioning and acoustic panelling
- suspended ceilings
- breakout space and meeting room fit out
- workplace kitchen fit out and tea points
- washroom, toilet and shower refurbishment
- storage walls
- workplace furniture
- electrical works
- air conditioning and ventilation
- safety screens
JBH Refurbishments have over 30 years expertise in office refurbishments and office design and build. We can advise you with regards to your office refurbishment project thereby helping you to put in place the starting blocks for an SEBB proposal for grant funding. You can get in touch via our contact form or calling us on 0333 207 0339.