How's Business

Getting funding for a business expansion couldn’t be easier

How's Business is the Growth Hub for York, North Yorkshire and East Riding, and talking to their support team about your expansion plans and funding needs ensures you don’t waste time searching for finance and completing applications only to be told you’re not eligible.

To find out about funding opportunities for your business, contact How’s Business by emailing support@howsbusiness.org. There are lots of providers offering support and here’s an overview of some of the programmes:

The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund

The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund provides debt and equity finance. If you have a solid business plan, and banks have provided a percentage of the money you need, you can receive £25k to £750k in debt funding and £50k to £2million in equity finance. Applications are considered on a case-by-case basis.  

Capital Grants

Product and Process Innovation provide capital grants for projects which create new products or develop new processes. You can receive up to 40% of the funding for equipment that will enable innovation up to £20,000. Their team can help with your application and eligibility is based on having fewer than 250 employees and working in: bioscience, digital and creative media, electronic-based, food and drink, health and social care sectors or manufacturing using biological and chemical materials.

Let’s Grow have finance to support you if you can’t complete your growth project without external funding. The grant could provide you with funded support to purchase new equipment, land or buildings to help you achieve business expansion. Typically, the grant will cover between 10-20% of the project’s capital costs, with values between £25,000 and £1million. To qualify, you can’t have already started work on your project and will need to prove that it wouldn’t be able to begin without funding from Let’s Grow.

Consultancy support

The Manufacturing Growth Programme provides grants for consultants to support your business expansion, in areas including: finance, marketing, and research and development to increase your efficiency and productivity. Funding covers 35% of consultancy fees with an average value of £4,000, meaning you’ll receive £1,400. You’ll be eligible if you’re a manufacturer with a clear expansion plan and fewer than 250 employees.

SparkFund offers match funded revenue grants, with an allowance for capital funding in research and development and innovation. You can receive up to 40% of your qualifying project costs up to £20,000 for innovation and £50,000 for research and development. Businesses working in: agri-tech, bio renewables, food manufacture, construction, engineering, voluntary, community and social enterprise, visitor economy and health and social care will be considered.

Business skills training programmes

There are several programmes providing skills training to help you overcome the growing skills gap. Skills Support for the Workforce provides fully funded training opportunities to bridge skills gaps, increase business competitiveness and up-skill employees. The programme will conduct a thorough training needs analysis in your business and design and deliver a bespoke training plan tailored to your needs.

Higher Skills fully fund training to give your staff the skills they need to complete advanced qualifications. It can help your staff increase their knowledge, allowing them to remain efficient as your business expands. There’s no upper limit to the funding available from Skills Support for the Workforce or Higher Skills, and you’ll be eligible if you need training to support business expansion and work in: agriculture or agri-tech, bio renewables and bio economy, food manufacture, construction, engineering, voluntary, community and social enterprise, visitor economy or health and social care.

The Yorkshire Apprenticeship Hub works on a one-to-one basis with you to offer advice on training, delivery, recruitment and funding. They fund pre-apprenticeship training, covering up to 100 hours of training (valuing £40-£894) to give your staff the skills they need to attain higher qualifications to support your business expansion. If you employ less than 250 employees, you’ll qualify.

Find out more

How’s Business brings together the varied support across York, North Yorkshire and East Riding to make it easier for you to access support and information. To find out more about any of these programmes or learn about the others that are available, get in contact with the support team at How’s Business by emailing support@howsbusiness.org.