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Solent LEP launches Island business resilience fund in response to coronavirus

01 Apr 2020

The Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has launched a new Rural Business Resilience Fund for Isle of Wight businesses in response to the coronavirus outbreak as it works tirelessly to support the region’s businesses.

The fund, managed by Natural Enterprise on behalf of the LEP looks to support the Isle of Wight economy by providing grants to rural small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) which are looking to develop alternative ways of working, delivering products and services to the marketplace, marketing expenditure and other resilience initiatives.

The fund is now open for applications with grants available for capital expenditure of up to £2,500. The grants must be matched with private funds (50 percent of total costs) and the funding will be provided in advance with full evidence of expenditure having to be provided within three months.

The projects which businesses choose to undertake must safeguard jobs to be eligible and must also demonstrate how they will benefit the Isle of Wight’s rural economy.

Solent LEP Chief Executive Anne-Marie Mountifield said: “The Solent LEP team is busier than ever, working hard to help businesses in the region and ensure they are supported as much as possible, during this challenging time. This fund has been created specifically for Island businesses to ensure the Island’s rural economy is in the best shape possible during this period and crucially as we come out the other side. The LEP is working with a number of organisations to bring as many initiatives as possible to help the businesses which make our economy thrive, feel supported and encouraged during this unprecedented time.”

Graham Biss, Managing Director from Natural Enterprise said: We are grateful to the Solent LEP for this additional support for the Island’s rural business sector at such a challenging time. The application process for this new Fund has been streamlined to ensure these monies can be easily applied for and quickly received”

In addition to the work the LEP is doing for Island businesses, a new online page has been created for businesses seeking key updates on access to government relief funding during the coronavirus outbreak through the Isle of Wight Council.

The page on the Isle of Wight Council’s website includes an online form for businesses to provide their details to help speed up the application process, once the funds are available.

Further information on the Isle of Wight Rural Business Resilience Fund and an application form can be found here