Funding boost for South East businesses

Funding boost for South East businesses

A new fund has been launched to help SMEs in Essex, Kent and East Sussex increase capacity and continue growing.

The South East Business Boost fund is exclusively for small to medium sized businesses (SME’s) or start-ups based in the South East (SELEP) area.

The funding, which provides grants of between £1,000 and £10,000, can be used to purchase goods or services related to increasing sales, improving productivity and boosting profitability.

In order to be eligible for an ERDF grant a business must:

  • Be a small to medium sized business (with under 250 staff and a turn over under €50m)
  • Be spending on a project/purchase that has a growth impact on the business (not day-to-day running costs)
  • Have received a grant offer letter from SEBB before starting the project

Also, the following sectors are ineligible for ERDF funding:

  • Fishery and aquaculture sectors which are supported through EFF
  • Primary production, processing and marketing of agricultural products, which is supported through EAFRD
  • The coal, steel and shipbuilding sectors
  • The synthetic fibres sector
  • Establishments providing generalised (school age) education should not be supported as this is a statutory duty on local authorities; Banking and insurance companies
  • Charities and voluntary sector organisations, that are not using a trading arm, are ineligible
  • Membership organisations that are politically affiliated cannot be supported by ERDF funding, i.e. Conservative Clubs, etc.

The South East Business Boost Programme has been part funded by the European Regional Development Fund 2014-20.

It is a partnership between Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, Essex County Council, Kent County Council, East Sussex County Council and Thurrock Council.

To find out whether your business and your project is eligible for the funding and to get your application underway, please contact your regional Growth Hub or email the programme direct on