A raft of new support programmes for small businesses and apprentices is set be launched through a Staffordshire councils’ partnership.

This will add to the package of support already being delivered by the county council and programmes by a range of other organisations, including central Government.

By pooling a targeted county council investment with district and borough council support funding, the programmes could get off the ground and benefit small businesses imminently. The three programmes would also be topped up by Government funding and other sources. With all combined funding, the total value of the schemes would be £5million.

What does it mean?

1) More funding on top of the Additional Restrictions Grant - Each borough and district council has an allocation of funding from the Government to support small businesses impacted by the pandemic called the Additional Restrictions Grant. The county council will invest £860,000 towards the scheme and run all three on behalf of the partnership if approved.

2) Contributing to the cost of apprentices through  'The Staffordshire 500'   Apprentices Wage Support programme  - Supporting smaller businesses not paying into the national apprenticeship levy by contributing to the cost of the wages of 16 to 24 year olds.  This  could create up to 500 apprentices. 

3) Up to £5,000 for re-training through the  'Nil Cost Training for Employers Top-up Project' - Offering businesses the opportunity to up-skill employees or train new staff if looking to change  business operations or enter  new markets. Up to £5,000 would be provided and matched through other funding sources. Up to 400 Staffordshire businesses could be supported over the next 15 months through the programme.

4) The Small Business ‘To Thrive’ Financial Support programme  - would offer grants to small businesses between £2,000 and £5,000 to cover expenditure costs. Applicants would need to demonstrate all the measures they have put in place to remain open during the restriction period.

Watch this space for more information when the new initiatives go live.

Staffordshire County Council business support already in place includes:

1) Over £615,000 in start-business support, including:

'Ignite' - the start-up programme supporting students to start up their own business

More information  on Coronavirus Support