With time now moving swiftly towards the end of so many of EU-backed grant support programmes (including this one), we wanted to give you some tips and guidance to secure a grant from the North East Business Support Fund in the minimum amount of time and with the least fuss possible. To do this, we suggest adopting the ‘Right First Time’ concept to make sure you get your ideas and information ready to go.
- Work out what it is about your business you need to improve – maybe you need more customers, better data, simplified processes or advice on how to grow. Find out more about why you should invest in your business and the areas to consider.
- Identify a project where you can bring in external expertise to make the improvement – it could be building you an online business management system; developing your social media channels; designing and developing a new website; improving your production processes or almost anything else you can think of that involves brignging in external expertise.
- Check your project and business are eligible – visit the funding page for your region (Northumberland, Tyne & Wear or County Durham) and make sure your business and the project you have in mind meet the criteria listed. If you’re still not sure, take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions for more guidance.
- Find a good provider to deliver the project for you – speak to friends and business contacts for recommendations, use Google to search for alternatives too. Ideally, make sure you speak to and get proposals/pricing from at least three so you’ve got comparisons for good value and good ideas.
- Know what to expect on your grant journey – we’ve put together an overview of the funding process that takes you through from application to receiving your grant. Make sure you understand each step and anything we’ll need from you.
- Manage your paperwork – it might sound obvious, but the delays caused by clients not having copies of invoices or proposals or bank statements are easily avoided, make sure you keep everything in a safe place as your application, project and claim stages progress.
- Keep in touch and respond quickly – whether it’s our eligibility team assessing your application, a funding adviser putting your paperwork together or our claims team processing your grant payment, they’ll all have questions and need information from you. Make sure you keep in touch, let them know what’s going on and try to respond to queries as quickly as you can.
Applying for an NEBSF grant is really simple and we’ve had over a decade or experience helping thousands of businesses through the process, but getting things ‘Right First Time’ will help to avoid mistakes and delays. Take a look at the advice above and read all of the information pages linked, but remember, if you have any questions that you can’t find the answer to, you can always get in touch and we’ll do everything we can to help.