Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Mayor launches £2.3 million scheme to support businesses

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James Palmer launched Covid-19 Capital Grant Fund to help businesses post lockdown (Picture: CPCA)

The Mayoral Combined Authority through its Business Board – which acts as Cambridgeshire & Peterborough’s Local Enterprise Partnership – is inviting companies on the Combined Authority database to sign up and check whether they are eligible to apply for a grant. 

There will also be a social media campaign to ensure as many businesses as possible check their eligibility. 

The ‘Covid-19 Capital Grant Fund’ offers grants from £2k to £150k for new capital investment projects to help qualifying companies strengthen their capacity to survive the emergency and bounce back strongly when it passes.   

The grants could help with buying new kit, building new extensions, the updating of production lines, IT infrastructure, and upgrading logistics.  

Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Mayor James Palmer said: “Thousands of businesses are fighting for life and the Combined Authority is here to help them get through this. For many, hard cash to strengthen their ability to bounce back is what they most need, so we’ve revamped our scheme for small capital grants to make it more useful to smaller businesses struggling to adapt to an environment that’s changing so horribly fast.” 

“This measure will help some businesses win a fight in what looks like a long war for many. Much more will need to be done and the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority will be on hand to direct businesses towards the support available, and to make sure their concerns are heard at the highest level of government.” 

“This is about acting for recovery and making the region sustainable again, it’s about using this dreadful enforced downtime to build muscle for the future. What’s on offer for firms who fit the criteria is immediate capital investment to help them adapt, alter direction, or equip for the post-Covid-19 world. We have to help business resilience, prepare for regrowth, develop new activities in new areas, and seize new opportunities that will bring people’s jobs back and secure them for the future.”   

“The government can provide cash loans to help companies keep afloat in the short-term, but the Combined Authority is looking further ahead, offering practical assistance to companies as they adjust to build their future beyond Covid-19 -  cash to fix your assembly line, help you convert your restaurant into a takeaway delivery business, or help you switch your production line to support short-term demand issues. It’s about adapting not just to survive but to strengthen – so it could help you re-purpose your entire business,” said Mayor Palmer. 

For all those companies, that do not fit the criteria for these particular grants, they will be signposted to other support resources, including Cambridgeshire & Peterborough’s Growth Hub, for which they may be eligible. 

Please note, applications will be processed as fast as possible but may take several weeks from receipt of fully completed paperwork to communication of a decision. 

Successful applicants must demonstrate how the purchase of grant funded equipment will protect or create jobs. 

Whilst the grant can pay up to 80pc of the total project costs, it is a requirement that at least one job is created or safeguarded for every £25,000 (or part thereof) grant funding. 

Anyone who is interested to apply can do so on this portal.