Eight small businesses share £40,000 in grant funding

Eight Oxfordshire companies have benefitted from Oxfordshire’s Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP) grant funding scheme ‘Elevate’. The grants have been awarded for a range of projects to secure jobs and business growth as part of the OxLEP run programme.  
In this latest round which is the fourth of six funding cycles, the eight companies awarded grants are: Active Needle Technology, based in Culham; Happy Lock Ltd of Bicester; Adelie Health, Oxford; Little Elephants, Witney; Hall Training Systems Ltd, Banbury; FMB Oxford, Osney Mead; You HR Consultancy, Wallingford and SMT Recruitment of Oxford.  

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The grants are to fund activities and projects which will ultimately lead to business growth and job creation in Oxfordshire. In each round there’s two grants, for start-ups – defined as those businesses trading 12 months or less, and one for growing businesses.

Helen Brind, who manages the Growth Hub at Oxfordshire LEP said: “We have received strong applications for grant support for projects which will create jobs or secure them amongst our county’s small businesses. With a vibrant SME economy in the county, we have been able to make awards to enterprises in training, health, recruitment, services, manufacturing and support. 
“Our grants will be enabling projects to be delivered which might otherwise not happen at all or take longer to deliver, so they are making a real difference to these SMEs.” 
One of the the eight successful business in this round is Active Needle Technology, based at Culham, is also a growing health technology company. They are pressing ahead with their innovation in the specialist needle market which will increase accuracy during biopsies and in targeting during some ultrasound procedures using their image guided needles. 
“Our Elevate grant is helping with our market access programme” said Ian Quirk, its founder and CEO.  This is a regulated industry, so this grant is enabling us to do the work needed be compliant with medical device rules. The faster we can get through this phase, the sooner doctors will get the benefits of our innovation.”   Round five opens on the 1 August and closes on the 17 September. Any SME business can apply regardless of whether they are new business or more established business. Grants up to £8,000 can be awarded in part-funding project costs.  Each round is a competitive, with the best applications securing their awards. Funding for the programme comes from the European Regional Development Fund and Department for Business Energy, & Industry Strategy.

To help companies to be successful when making  their Elevate grant application, OxLEP Business is holding two workshops to guide people through the process, held on August 7th and September 5th.

Who can apply?

Businesses with less than 250 employees or start-ups based in Oxfordshire that have sufficient funds for the match requirement. There are some sectors that are ineligible (due to funding being available from other sources – contact OBS for more details).

With 33 per cent of the total eligible project costs awarded, leaving the business to come up with 67 per cent, both schemes have a minimum grant value of £1,000, with the maximum for start ups £3,000 rising to £8,000 for growing businesses that have been operating over 12 months.

Be aware that grants cannot be used for retrospective purchases and a business can only receive one Elevate grant.

Some ideas as to what it can be used for

  • Coaching
  • Business consultancy
  • Website
  • Marketing collateral, branding and print
  • Marketing support, SEO and social media
  • Advertising
  • Recruitment costs
  • Business strategy
  • Market research
  • Patent search activities
  • Consultancy to support licencing and franchising
  • Exhibition costs (excludes travel and accommodation costs)
  • Succession planning

How to apply:

If you are already in touch with a Network Navigator from the OBS team or your District Navigator here at SO Business, then let them know you are interested in applying for the grant and they will talk you through the process.

If you haven’t previously been in contact and are interested in the grant programme then please visit the OBS website and download the guidance (under Resources at the bottom). If you would then like to apply – call 01865 897181 or email.

Please note applications will only be considered if you have accessed the process through one of the routes noted above. Perhaps your business could be one of the next eight?

Join SO Business on LinkedIn or Twitter to stay in touch, or connect with OBS on Facebook.

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