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Grants Available For Your Business

By: Dr Gareth Evans - Updated: 10 Oct 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Small Business Grants Business Grants

Going green may be good for your business – not to mention the planet – but the fact remains that making the necessary changes costs money and for a small business, grants can often provide the vital assistance to make it possible.

Unfortunately, it can be difficult to find your way around the world of grants – and with no single source of eco-grants, working out what you may be able to apply for from the different institutions that make awards can often seem daunting.

Between small business grants, government schemes, development funds, EU initiatives, capital programmes and bursaries – all of which have their own set of rules for eligibility and are intended for different purposes – it’s enough to make anyone’s head spin!

Fortunately, there are a few ways to take the headache out of the whole thing and – with luck – end up with some of the sort of financial help you really need.

What’s Available

Although the general priorities are the same across the country – energy, waste management and green transport being high on the list – the amounts, conditions and even the name of the grant programmes can be different.

As you might expect in the current generally eco-friendly business climate, the sorts of projects eligible for funding are fairly wide and while, for example, insulation grants are still a mainstay of energy efficiency, the likes of carbon neutral web-hosting can now be considered too.

While some grants and sources of funding are nationally available, others are aimed at particular areas. Barclays Commercial Bank, for instance, offers Green Cashback Loans – a scheme giving back up to £50,000 to small businesses which are borrowing to finance green initiatives, which is available nationally.

In Scotland, the Leader programme provides government financial assistance to support businesses in the country’s rural communities, while small businesses in South London can get “Green Business Grants” from Merton Chamber of Commerce to improve their energy efficiency.

The Regional Development Agencies and many County or local councils can often have particular grants available and individual industry sectors also frequently have their own sources of finance for green projects. Businesses in country areas, for example, may be able to benefit from the likes of the Rural Enterprise Investment Programme, while those running building firms may qualify for help from a Construction Waste Capital Grant from the Waste Resources Action Programme (WRAP).

People trying to develop green technologies are also catered for, the Carbon Trust supporting environmental research with a grant worth a maximum of £250k – to cover 60% of the costs – to anyone lucky enough to qualify.

Getting Some Help

While knowing what’s on offer is half the battle – in the world of grants, nothing is quite that straightforward! With some types of grants being local, others regional, while still more apply to the constituent parts of the UK, the UK as a whole or may be Europe-wide, it doesn’t take long to realise that sometimes you’re going to need a bit of expert help.

The good news is that there are plenty of people to give you sound impartial advice, ranging from the likes of the DTI and DEFRA to your own Regional Development Agency or local chamber of commerce. In addition, depending on the nature of your particular business, many of the trade bodies and professional institutions can also help.

Never be afraid to take up any of their offers of free or highly subsidised consultations or reviews; it could end up saving you a fortune – and a whole lot of time and stress too.

Sometimes it’s even worth being a bit cheeky – and asking your energy supplier, water company, local council and so on if they have any grants that you might be eligible to get. They can only say no and you never know, you might just be lucky – and even if they don’t have any hard cash to give you, they might be able to help you in other ways.

Navigating the grant system can sometimes seem an endless task, especially if you’re trying to run a business at the same time, but if you’re prepared to do a little bit of research and not afraid of asking for some help when you need it, it doesn’t have to be an impossible one.

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Hi are there any business grants available for established business
G - 10-Oct-18 @ 9:49 PM
I have an Business that shreds used cardboard into equine and small animal bedding. Cardboard is environmentally friendly as there is little or no dust, and de-composes quicker than any other equine bedding, also good to animals healths. I am looking for a grant which will help us source clean dry cardboard at competitive prices. I know where to get cardboard, but need to offer competition to the bigger recycling companies who buy and then ship and sell cardboard to China which is not carbon friendly.
Cardman - 9-Oct-18 @ 11:27 PM
Hi,I’m a carpet retailer in Coventry. I am looking at selling more Recylable materials and wanted to open a shop for this purpose. Would I be able to get a grant from somewhere to start my new venture? And if so who would I need to contact? Thanks Steve
Brooksy - 18-Sep-18 @ 1:01 PM
Hi I am starting my own small business which is to provide plastic free refills for household products such as topping up your shampoo hand wash etc,and selling handy plastic free alternatives, and produce people can buy by weight in the own Tupperware. I need funds to help in pulling the business together and getting and Eco van up and running. So you think this would qualify for any type of funding. It's helping communities reduce waste, hopefully providing advice and support on becoming plastic free. Anything you can think of?
JJB - 19-Jul-18 @ 5:05 PM
I am looking to set up a car valeting business using steam . This reduces water consumption and with this No standing water or chemicles that enter the drainage system. Is there any help which i can get with a grant to start up as the machines are not cheap.
Russ - 16-Jul-18 @ 9:03 PM
Gilly - Your Question:
Hi my son in his early 20s has just purchased a small piece of scrubland (which he has now cleared) and put up some polytunnel sheds for calf rearing as a small business. It's based in the middle of nowhere.is there any grant out there for eco-friendly that would help towards his costs of putting this small enterprise together? Your help and advice would be greatly appreciated!!

Our Response:
I can only direct you to the gov.uk link here which may help further.
EcoFinancing - 26-Jun-18 @ 2:20 PM
Hi my son in his early 20s has just purchased a small piece of scrubland (which he has now cleared) and put up some polytunnel sheds for calf rearing as a small business. It's based in the middle of nowhere..is there any grant out there for eco-friendly thatwould help towards his costs of putting this small enterprise together? Your help and advice would be greatly appreciated!!
Gilly - 25-Jun-18 @ 9:20 PM
I am a managing partner for Corkwall solutions. This product is a a new innovative application which is an alternative to old fashioned render. It is a fully sustainable eco friendly product and has a negative carbon footprint! It has thermal and soundproofing properties and also frovides cat b fire retardancy. We are fairly new to the market place as is the product but we believe in our product and it’s lack of impact on our environment. We are looking to see if businesses and local authorities provide grants for our product due to power saving properties?
Tints - 25-Jun-18 @ 7:18 PM
I have a mobile hairdressing business on The Isle of Wight. I offer all aspects of hairdressing in your own home so your do t need to travel and all family and friends can be done all at the same time. This is obviously help the Eco island by taking cars off the road with no need to travel. I would like to push this further by advertising it as a ‘Eco business’ on the Eco Island and using a basket bike to cover a 3 Milesradius and a ‘Eco’ car for further distance appointments. I have purchased the bike already but would like to qualify for. He’s t to help towards the advertising and Eco car. Can you guidance or grants be recommended? Many thanks in advance from The Hair Doctor.
The Hair Ambulance - 14-Jun-18 @ 4:09 PM
@SRW - you'll be lucky getting funding for this unless you get a loan.
Val - 1-Jun-18 @ 11:35 AM
Hi... as a linen hire company with our own laundry, we are looking at a new technology that the developers insist can return huge savings on gas, electricity, water and wash products used.Having spoken to other laundries who have installed the aystem, the savings claims appear correct.The technology is expensive to install (£30k), so who would be the best port of call in searching for assistance with funding? Thanks
SRW - 31-May-18 @ 7:36 AM
Russ - Your Question:
I am taking over a 16th century pub which currently has single glazed windows. The property isn't listed. I would like to change the windows for double glazed and was wondering if there are any grants available.

Our Response:
It is unlikely that you would get a double glazing grant. You can see what grants you may be eligible for via the link here .
EcoFinancing - 30-Apr-18 @ 3:05 PM
I am taking over a 16th century pub which currently has single glazed windows. The property isn't listed. I would like to change the windows for double glazed and was wondering if there are any grants available.
Russ - 29-Apr-18 @ 9:50 PM
We are an established business centre based in an 150 year old building, we are a not for profit organisation. We have an asbestos roof and are looking for funding or loan for over-cladding the entire roof rather than expensive and disruptive removal and replacement
springsue - 18-Apr-18 @ 9:49 AM
We are a group of women based in South Africa that are starting up an Eco Friendly Products company that is committed to protecting the environment by converting waste plastic materials into Eco-friendly materials that are used as a long-life, environmentally friendly. Our products will slow down cutting of trees and plastic waste ending up on the Landfills. We will also create employment in our country which has a high rate of unemployment. We are seeking funding for (i) working capital (ii) annual supply (iii) other expenses. Thanking you in advance for your help.
Themza - 29-Mar-18 @ 12:09 PM
We are from South Africa and are seeking for funding for our new company which will be committed in protecting the environment by converting waste plastic materials into Eco-friendly materials that are used as a long-life, environmentally friendly. Our products will slow down cutting of trees and plastic waste ending up on the Landfills. We will also create employment in our country which has a high unemployment rate. Please could you kindly help in how we can get funding for (i)working capital (ii)annual supply (iii) other expenses. Thanking you for your help in advance.
Themza - 29-Mar-18 @ 12:03 PM
Hi there, I run a campsite in snowdonia and I’m looking to make my business greener. We already provide recycling. I was just wondering whether there was any help towards green cleaning products, or anything else which could make us greener as a business. Any info would be great.
Campsiteowner1 - 9-Feb-18 @ 8:45 AM
Looking for grants to make a small rural Scottish hotel greener. Need double glazing and to replace oil boiler with wood pellet. Maybe solar as well? Any ideas? Thanks Steve
Cat - 3-Feb-18 @ 7:51 AM
Are there any grants available for loft insulation to village halls in Scotland?
ricky - 2-Feb-18 @ 1:38 PM
I am helping with a remote community centre in scotland with no loft insulation are there any grants out there to cover the cost of this?
ricky - 2-Feb-18 @ 1:35 PM
@sgreen - I'd ask your landlord. There are few places that don't have central heating these days, especially shops!
Edie - 22-Jan-18 @ 2:12 PM
Hi we rent a shop in croydon, it currently has no central heating and seems to be colder inside than it is out! We are open to anything to help get our property heated as it affecting business and the moral of staff, not to mention now starting to affect my health. Are there any grants we may be eligble for? many thanks
sgreen - 20-Jan-18 @ 5:17 PM
I want to open a zero waste shop in my local town in Wales and was wondering whether there are any start up grants for environmentally friendly businesses?
Pannapella - 20-Jan-18 @ 12:21 PM
Hi there, Thank you for very informative article. I am working for a company which is introducing new product to Brittish market. It's is based on 200 years old Japanese technology of decorating indoors and it's an amazing alternative to paint and wallpaper. All components are recyclable, reusable (up to 4 times) without any toxic or chemicals. Give us addition insulation, noise control, humidity control. Amazing for people with allergies and asthma.Enviormently aware and friendly. Product took off amazingly in Germany, Sweden, Holland where eco-awareness is probably as high as here in Brittan. Unfortunately, hardly anyone ever heard about that technology and we find it very difficult to sustain the business while we spread awareness across communities. I will really appreciate any help and advise given. Many thanks, Eva
Eva - 15-Nov-17 @ 10:43 AM
@Joss - I doubt you would get funding for this. There aren't such renovation grants available these days! The most you'd get is cavity wall insulation. Or you may be eligible for a boiler - but not wood burners or electric showers.
Misty - 15-Jun-17 @ 4:04 PM
Hello, I'm looking for funding to help heat an old Victorian building. I'd like to open up the fire places and put wood burners in please. And electric showers. Is there any funding available please? Many thanks, Jocelyn
Joss - 9-Jun-17 @ 5:03 PM
@Polsy - you'll be lucky. The most you can get is utility funded grants for loft Insulation or cavity wall insulation grants. Some people can get help with replacing their boilers, but it's probably aimed at more residential homes than businesses.
SaM - 8-Feb-17 @ 10:26 AM
Hi there I am coming up to a year of taken on a old hotel dated around 1786. I am trying to bring areas of the hotel back to life but have a vast flat roof which has no insulation and continually is causing problems. Are there grants to assist in the fixing of roofs or to help in any way. Any advice would be appreciated as the boilers are old and inefficient and insulation is poor do not great mix, we are a small village hotel Paula
Polsy - 7-Feb-17 @ 8:48 AM
I am establishing a business offering energy saving LED bulbs in to the retail market, making the technology more accessible to all consumers. Are there grants available to move into warehouse facilities?
LEDME - 2-Jan-17 @ 10:21 PM
i have just purchased a new office and it has been rated very poor on the energy assessment. recommend new led lighting, re wire and loft isullation , plus heat pump air conditioning. can i get a grant to help with the costs for doing the work, we are an air conditioning company so can purchase items at trade price, but electrical and loft insullation is costly.
rossco - 16-Mar-16 @ 7:30 PM
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