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Businesses in Norfolk and Suffolk struggling to cope with soaring energy bills have been urged to take up the free support available from New Anglia Growth Hub.
Its experienced team of advisers can help business owners plan their budgeting and identify savings, as well as providing access to grant schemes that will support activities ranging from small innovation projects to large-scale decarbonisation plans.
New Anglia Growth Hub provided 5,503 hours of free support to firms in the region and helped them access more than £4m through grant schemes in 2021/22.
Advisers work in detail with local business owners on their strategic planning. This starts with a review of the company, exploring issues and opportunities, and an analysis of its trajectory and potential for growth based on best practice and benchmarking.
Immediate actions are then identified, such as referral to economic development officers (EDOs), skills support, grant interventions or signposting to free marketing and other workshops.
The adviser will then provide the business with a route map for the next three years using all the information they have gathered. This is done using the free 12 hours of support which is available to each business.
Mohammed Alkordi, the Growth Hub’s Adviser Team Manager, said: “The approach we take with a business now goes beyond eligibility to grants and financial support and is a deeper look into the business functions and its possible repositioning to achieve the desired results.
“I would urge any businesses facing difficulties with rising energy and other costs to get in touch with us because we can support them with planning in the short-term and goals for longer-term growth.”
One food producer recently supported by an adviser was put in touch with an EDO in relation to possible new premises, signposted to a grant scheme to help with equipment and fittings, and referred to the Growth Hub’s Skills Adviser Team for assistance with recruitment. The adviser also flagged up a free workshop about online selling, provided support with their presentation skills and developed a three-year plan.
The business said in its feedback: “Thank you so much for all of this. I still cannot believe I did not know all of this support was available, now it is just time to put it to good use and execute!”
Chris Starkie, Chief Executive of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, which delivers business support through the Growth Hub, said: “We know what a challenging time this is for so many businesses as energy and other costs continuing to rise, and our advisers are experienced at helping steer companies through difficult times.
“They can see if you are eligible for funding through our Small Grant Scheme, Growth Through Innovation Fund or Business Transition to Net Zero, which between them offer grants of between £1,000 and £100,000.”
Grants of between £1,000 and £25,000 are available via the Small Grant Scheme and usually cover up to 20% of your project costs, while the Growth Through Innovation Fund offers grants of the same amount which can cover up to 50% of your total eligible costs.
Earlier this year, the LEP introduced the Business Transition to Net Zero Grant aimed at businesses in the area looking to reduce their carbon footprint and increase productivity. Grants between £25,000 and £100,000 are available, with a maximum intervention rate of 20% of the cost of the develomailto:email@example.com.
To find out how the Growth Hub can support your business, call 0300 333 6536 or email firstname.lastname@example.org