Support & Guidance

Application guidance

Growth Fund, Social Enterprise Grant Scheme and Exceptional Fund Frequently Asked Questions

This is general programme FAQs. Applicants should also refer to specific fund criteria and guidance ahead of submitting their applications.

FAQs

What is the Telford Growth and Recovery Programme?

Utilising ARG Funding, grants will be available to targeted SME businesses across Telford & Wrekin to help them recover from the ongoing impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.

There are three funds available are:

  • The Exceptional Fund
  • Social Enterprise Development Grant
  • Business Growth Fund

In addition to the funds above, business are able to register an interest to seek specialist consultancy support under the:

  • Specialist 1 – 2 – 1 support fund.

See individual fund overviews for what the focus of each fund is and associated criteria including specific further FAQs to develop eligible and suitable propositions.

How much can I get?

You can apply for a grant of between £2,000 and £10,000. See individual fund for limit.

What can I use the grant for?

See individual fund for further guidance.

When will I be able to complete an on-line grant application?

From Tuesday 21st September at 9am.

How much can I apply for?

Business can apply for grant between £2,000 and £10,000. Grants are to cover 100% of your eligible costs up to the specific fund limit. All quotations and prices must be obtained after 13th September 2021.

For those applicants applying to The Growth Fund and The Social Enterprise Development Fund, once approved, and once an offer letter has been received and signed, the applicant will then need to order and complete the project. Once completed, the business will need to financially complete the project (pay in full) for the work or goods and then claim the money back from the Grant Fund.

A key requirement is that you cannot start your project until a Grant Offer Letter has been received. We cannot fund any incurred expenditure for projects that have already started, or start before a grant offer letter issued.

For administrative purposes all payments for purchases must be paid in full and upfront. We will need to see copies of supplier’s invoices and a copy of the statement from the dedicated bank account for the business, evidencing that payment has been made to the relevant suppliers. The bank statement must correspond with the supplier’s invoice.

 

We cannot accept payments that have been made by cash, credit cards or any other alternative payment arrangements where payment is staggered and not paid in full.

For those applicants applying to the Exceptional Fund, if successful, applicants will be paid in advance.

How do I apply?

Links to the respective application forms can be accessed via the individual fund scheme overview. From Tuesday 21st September at 9:00 am.

When opening the application link, there is an initial eligibility questionnaire that will take you to the full application should your business be eligible.

You will need to have the following information to had when completing the eligibility questionnaire-

  • Company number (if applicable)
  • Business name
  • Business address including postcode
  • Details of your dedicated bank account for your business which has the same name as the business applying for the grant
  • Principal activity of business/ SIC code
  • Date trading began
  • Name and contact details of the person applying on behalf of the business
  • Staff headcount
  • Turnover at the end of the last financial year
  • Company VAT details or Unique Tax Reference if you are not VAT registered.
  • Details of any previous De Minimis State Aid support and any funding provided in relation to Covid (where applicable)

As part of the full application you will need to provide details about your business and the project for which you are seeking funding, this includes details of;

  • Ownership and shareholders
  • The impact of COVID- 19 on your business
  • Proposed project details including value, start and end dates
  • The scope and intended benefits of the project proposal and the consequences if unsuccessful

You will, as part of the project proposition, need to submit one fully written quotes from suitable suppliers with your application (emailed price from a supplier, pdf of a direct tailored quote) for a maximum of two items.

Quotes must be dated after Monday 13th September 2021.

If you are obtaining a price from a web-site, we will accept screen shots. The screen shot should clearly show the item, its cost, the web address of the supplier and a full date that the screen shot was captured. When capturing the screen shot, please do not crop out the time and date. This is traditionally in the bottom right hand corner for windows PC, or the top left for Apple devices.

The quotes/prices should be dated after Monday 13th September 2021 and stand until 28th February 2022 or until the project is completed.

For administrative purposes all purchases and payments must be made after the offer letter has been issued and accepted by the applicant. The business will then complete purchases which must be paid in full and upfront. We will need to see copies of supplier’s invoices and a copy of the statement from the dedicated bank account for the business, evidencing that payment has been made to the relevant suppliers. The bank statement must correspond with the supplier’s invoice.

We cannot accept payments that have been made by credit cards or any other alternative payment arrangements where payment is staggered and not paid in full.

Can I apply to all grant funds?

You can only apply for one grant fund either the Exceptional Fund, the Growth Fund, or the Social Enterprise Development Grant.

If you eligible for more than one fund then applicants should determine which is most suitable and apply to that.

Can I apply for 1 grant fund and the Specialist 1-2-1 support?

Yes.

Applicant can only apply for 1 grant fund, either the Exceptional Fund OR the Growth Fund OR the Social Enterprise Development Grant AND the Specialist 1-2-2 support.

Due to expected demand we encourage applicants to apply for the grant funding first, then apply for the Specialist 1-2-1 support.

I have more than one business, can each business apply for the grant?

In principle, yes, provided that the businesses are separate legal entities and delivering different activities. They will be judged on their own merit.

How do I know if I will be eligible to apply?

As part of the application process, applicants will need to confirm the following before accessing the Full Application: 

  • The business base is located within Telford & Wrekin
  • The business must have been trading ON or BEFORE 28th February 2021
  • You will need to provide your Company Registration Number and VAT Number or Unique Tax Reference if you are not VAT registered
  • The project has not already started and will be completed and all costs paid by 1st March 2022 at the latest.
  • You have dedicated bank account for your business. For the purposes of these Grants, a dedicated bank account is one that holds only business-based transactions and is kept separate from any personal payments or receipts.
  • Comply with State aid guidance.

We cannot accept applications from businesses who operate in the following sectors:

  • Fisheries and agriculture
  • Processing and marketing of agricultural products
  • Shipbuilding
  • School/school age educational establishments
  • Insurance companies
  • Primary production, coal or steel or synthetic fibres
What are the terms and conditions of the Grant?
  • Only one business can apply per application. Multiple attempts to apply may invalidate your application
  • As part of the application, work must not have started on the project or goods must not have been purchased, before a grant offer letter is awarded.
  • Applications must be fully and correctly completed with the supporting evidence provided
  • Your project should start from 1st October 2021 and be completed, including Grant claimed, by 1 March 2022. The sooner you complete your project and provide your claim, the sooner we will be able to process your claim and pay your grant
  • The grant must cover 100% of the service your business is procuring (up to the individual fund threshold).
  • This grant cannot be used to part-fund expenditure above the thresholds set
  • The grant is recoverable from the applicant if it is proved that their application and/or claim contained false or fraudulent information
  • The project must clearly address individual fund objectives
What information will I need to hand when I complete the application?

Ensure you have the following information available:

  • General business information e.g. registered address and trading start date
  • Company Registration Number or Unique Tax Reference (UTR)
  • VAT Number (if registered)
  • Details of the dedicated bank account for your business (which has the same name as the business applying for the grant). Depending on your business trading history you will be asked to upload a bank statement from the period April 2019 to 23 March 2020 and a bank statement from the period April 2020 to September 2020. The bank statements must demonstrate the financial impact you have suffered. The bank statement must show the business name, sort code and bank account number (this must be for the same name as the business applying for the grant)
  • Information on your business turnover in the last financial year and estimated turnover for this financial year
  • of employees & full-time equivalents
  • of jobs that will be safeguarded as a result of the grant
  • A quotes/prices (dated after or from the 13th September 2021) for the service and/or purchases of equipment/technology to be funded. Full written quotes must be from VAT registered contractors and/or from non VAT registered contractors where contact details, address and web address have been provided.
  • State aid information relating to how much public funding your business has received in the last three years i.e. De-Minimis or GBER (where applicable)
  • Details of other COVID-19 business support you have received.

The above outlines the general requirements across all three fund. Please read the fund specific requirements for the full details on what information will need to be provided for each individual fund.

What can the funding be spent on?

See individual funds.

What can’t the funding be spent on?

The Growth Fund cannot be used to:

  • Support businesses with working capital i.e. stock
  • Support businesses to fund the payment of wages
  • Purchase of equipment and consumables associated with PPE and social distancing measures
  • Fund activities which would contradict, duplicate or undermine HM Government domestic initiatives
  • Fund building work and construction projects
  • Purchase professional fees or capital items over fund thresholds
  • Fund retrospective activity or purchases.
Do I have to use local suppliers?

No. You can use any supplier you want to, so long as they are a business and the service or product is eligible for grant funding and is relevant to the recovery needs of your business. However, you will need to confirm the supplier is independent of you and your business and that there is no conflict of interest.

When do I pay the supplier?

All expenditure will need to be paid before you can claim your grant.

For administrative purposes all payments for purchases must be paid in full and upfront. We will need to see copies of supplier’s invoices and a copy of the statement from the dedicated bank account for the business, evidencing that payment has been made to the relevant suppliers. The bank statement must correspond with the supplier’s invoice.

We cannot accept payments that have been made by credit cards or any other alternative payment arrangements where payment is staggered and not paid in full.

What if I am having problems with my supplier?

You will be wholly responsible for ensuring the work you commission is carried out to specification and is of a satisfactory standard. The agreement will be between you and your supplier. We cannot be held responsible for any issues or the quality of the work.

Can I claim the VAT?

VAT Registered Businesses

You will not be able to claim the VAT element though the Telford Growth and Recovery Fund.

The maximum amount of grant that can be claimed is £10,000. The grant covers the net cost of items for businesses that are VAT registered.

Businesses that are Not VAT Registered

You will be able to claim the VAT if your business is not VAT registered. Therefore, the maximum you will be able to claim is £12,000 consisting of £10,000 plus 20% VAT of £2,000.

Please note you will not be eligible to claim the VAT back from HMRC in the future if it has been paid by the Telford Growth and Recovery Fund.

Checks will be made to ensure the VAT status of applicant businesses; incorrect information may lead to your application being declined.

I am a sole trader, can I apply?

Yes.  As long as you are based in Telford and Wrekin, pay council tax to Telford and Wrekin, and have a unique tax reference you are eligible to apply.

What does ‘dedicated business account’ mean?

All businesses must have a dedicated business account.

Businesses that have a separate business bank account:

  • The account will need to have the same name as the business applying for the grant
  • The account holds only business-based transactions and is kept separate from any personal payments or receipts.

Businesses that use their personal bank account for business transactions:

  • The account must be used for both personal and business use
  • You will be asked to upload a bank statements to cover fund objectives. The bank statements must demonstrate the financial impact your business has suffered. All business transactions will need to be highlighted on the bank statements to enable an assessment to be made.
  • You will be required to describe the impact COVID-19 has had on your business and it is important, as part of this response, you explain the business figures in the bank statements provided
  • The bank account provided must be used to pay your relevant suppliers
  • Grant payment will be paid into the bank account provided
  • For all businesses using a personal bank account, assessment will be made on a case by case basis
Can I change supplier or the project once I’ve received my grant approval?

If you wish to change suppliers you will need to reapply as your application was accepted based on the information you submitted at the time of application. Please note we cannot guarantee that you will be able to submit a new application due to the limited number of applications we can accept.

Should anything change then we will need to re-assess our decision based on the new information.

Can I change what I want to spend my grant on after I have received my Offer Letter?

If you want to change the work for which you have been awarded funding for, you will need to reapply as your application was accepted based on the information you submitted at the time of application. Please note we cannot guarantee that you will be able to submit a new application due to the limited number of applications we can accept.

Should anything change then we will need to re-assess our decision based on the new information.

How long does it take to know the outcome of my grant application?

We anticipate processing the applications and issuing a decision within 20 working days. However, this depends on level of demand and the quality of applications. Therefore processing may take longer. It is critical that businesses supply all the information that is requested.

If I am successful, when will I receive the grant?

Successful applications will receive notification in line with specific scheme criteria.

If I am turned down for a grant, can I appeal?

Due to the level of funding for grants available, and the high volume of applications anticipated, there will be no appeal process.

We anticipate that demand for grants will be high, so applications will be processed in order of receipt. An early application does not guarantee a grant approval. If your application is eligible, complete and in order then the application will be progressed, however this does not guarantee that funding will be awarded. If your application is not complete it will not be assessed. If further funding becomes available you will be able to re-submit your application at this stage.

The onus is on the applicant to complete the application correctly, provide the necessary information and demonstrate that it meets the requirements of the Grant scheme. If you have any question you are encouraged to contact us through the support feature on the website: Contact Us

Do I have to pay the grant back?

The grant is recoverable from the applicant if it is proved that their application and/or claim contained false or fraudulent information.

The General Data Protection Regulation

The data we collect is for the purposes of the Telford Growth and Recovery Fund which is a business support programme to help SME’s overcome the impacts of COVID-19. The programme requires your data to be added to the Telford and Wrekin Council CRM Database called Evolutive.

We will use the information you supply:

  • Telford and Wrekin Council use in its role of Accountable Body for the scheme;
  • To provide business support to you and make referrals to partners and other providers of relevant services as appropriate;
  • To share National Government / the Marches Growth Hub / MHCLG (or their sub-contractors) and/or BEIS.
Is the Grant taxable?

Yes. It should be treated as income. Any tax would be built into the accounting process.

Grant Aid

Grant Subsidy Allowance: The EU State aid rules no longer apply to subsidies granted in the UK following the end of the transition period, which ended on 31 December 2020. This does not impact the limited circumstances in which State aid rules still apply under the Withdrawal Agreement, specifically Article 10 of the Northern Ireland Protocol. The United Kingdom remains bound by its international commitments, including subsidy obligations set out in the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) with the EU. BEIS Guidance for public authorities explaining the subsidies chapter of the TCA, World Trade Organisation rules on subsidies, and other international commitments can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/complying-with-the-uks-international-obligations-on-subsidy-control-guidance-for-public-authorities

The scheme will be offered Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance – this allowance is the equivalent of 325,000 Special Drawing Rights[1], to a single economic actor over any period of three fiscal years and includes any subsidy previously received as de minimis aid or as Small Amounts of Financial Assistance under Article 3.2(4) of the TCA from any subsidy awarding body. As at 2 March 2021 this was the equivalent of £335,000.  The Special Drawing Right calculator here can be used to calculate the exchange rate on the day the subsidy is awarded: https://coinmill.com/SDR_calculator.html.