Where to go for practical information on grants and incentives.
There are many hundreds of incentives available to manufacturing, service and professional businesses. The key to a successful application rests on identifying the grants that are available and of practical use to you. Sources of information include:
Governmental advisory services: a number of bodies have been established to provide 'one-stop-shops' on business information, including grant services.
The Government encourages organisations to contact their local Business Link first (tel: 0345 567765). Training and Enterprise Councils (TECs) and LECs, either with a Business Link or independently, provide information on grant availability.
Grant-giving bodies: many grant-giving bodies, such as government offices of the regions and government departments and agencies, provide information on finance available. Many local authorities have economic development units from which you can get guidance, including EU grant support, in your local area.
Books, manuals and databases: they vary in price, from £30 for books to £200 for updated manuals and databases. Beware cold-call salesmen.
Professional organisations: there are many firms of professional business grant negotiators. You should always vet them about their expertise in this area. Although some accountants, high street banks and trade organisations offer grant services, the quality of service varies.
Harris Rosenberg is a consultant specialising in governmental finance 0181 449 6510.