Almost £2.5m has been made available from the Coast to Capital partnership, a coalition of businesses and local authorities working together to boost economic growth.
Grants will cover up to 40% of capital investment costs as along as a project can be shown to be opening up fresh employment opportunities.
New firms, existing businesses, or social enterprises are all eligible as long as they employ fewer than 250 people and the money is needed for something over and above what they already do.
Cllr Mark Watson, cabinet member for economy and jobs, said: “This is a really great piece of news and it will definitely boost the local economy because successful applicants will need to show how they will create at least one new job for each £10,000 of grant they receive.
“That means if all the funding is used the programme will provide work for at least 250 people and we’d like to maximise this potential for Croydon businesses. Because this is a capital grant, the money will have to be spent on buildings, plant, or equipment that will have a long lifespan and will provide the foundation for future business growth.
“We’ve seen a steady growth in new businesses setting up in Croydon, and since 2013 we’ve already gone from 13,000 registered firms to almost 15,000. This fund will undoubtedly continue that trend.”
Applications are open until 30 September, but awards will be made before then so firms leaving it late to apply may miss out if the entire budget has been allocated before this date. All of the money needs to be fully invested before 31 March 2017.
Coast to Capital covers a natural and busy corridor stretching from Brighton up to Croydon and including the important central area known as the ‘Gatwick Diamond’.