Grants and support for your business

The NFRN has put together an extensive list of grants and funding options for small businesses across the UK.

Grants and schemes for small and medium sized businesses provide a wealth of funding and advice from Central Government and Local Authorities to help businesses invest and grow.

UK Wide

Employment Allowance

The employment allowance will reduce your employer’s (secondary) Class 1 National Insurance each time you run your payroll until £3,000 has gone or the tax year ends (whichever is sooner).

You can claim a £2,000 Employment Allowance for a previous tax year, dating back to 2014 to 2015 if you’re a business or charity.

You cannot claim if:

  • You’re the director and the only paid employee
  • You employ someone for personal, household or domestic work
  • You’re a service company working under IR35 rules and your only income is the earnings of the intermediary

To claim through your payroll software, put ‘Yes’ in the ‘Employment Allowance indicator’ field next time you send an Employment Payment Summary (EPS) to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

If you use HMRC’s Basic PAYE tools:

  1. Select the correct name in the ‘Employer’ menu on the home page
  2. Select ‘change employer details’
  3. Select ‘Yes in the ‘Employment Allowance indicator’ field
  4. Send your EPS as normal
Find out more

£20 Million Support for Small and Medium Sized Business

The government has announced an additional £20million of funding to help small and medium sized businesses as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014 to 2020.

The programme is supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and aims to boost the recovery of the economy and provide additional help to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) following Covid-19.

To ensure funding is available across all LEP areas, a minimum £250,000 has been allocated to each LEP area.

The funding will be available to all SMEs in all sectors, and all allocations will be reviewed in three months’ time to ensure it is meeting demand in all LEP areas.

All grants must be awarded before 28th February 2021 and all activity must be fully completed by 31st March 2021.

To apply and find out more, please locate and contact your local area Growth Hub.

Find out more

Scottish Loan Scheme

The Scottish government has announced that more than £100 million will be made available to SMEs across Scotland, in the form of loans, to help them invest and grow.

Retailers might be interested in the following three offers: loans up to £25,000, managed by DSL Business Finance Limited; loans from £25,000 to £100,000, managed by Business & Enterprise Scotland Ltd; and loan finance of £25,000 to £100,000, managed by Business Loans Scotland.

As part of the initiative, Scottish Enterprise has also introduced a new scheme, offering loans from £250,000 to £2 million for “growth-focused SMEs with a viable business plan and a clear ability to repay the debt.”

The announcement is part of the Scottish Growth Scheme, in collaboration with the European Union.

Find out more


15% cashback with resource efficiency loans

For a limited time only, eligible small businesses applying for the interest-free, unsecured Scottish Government SME Loan can receive 15% cashback.

That’s up to £10,000 on completion of their energy efficiency improvements like investing in LED lighting or installing more efficient heating systems. Read more

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Food-to-Go Capital Investment Programme

On 26 October 2018, the Scottish Government announced that the ‘Food to Go Fund’ will receive a funding of £300,000 in 2019. The fund supports small independent convenience stores to deliver locally-sourced produce while cutting down on waste. Read more


Business loans, grants and funding TOOL

Use this helpful Government business tool to help find loans, grants and funding in Scotland.


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England - London

Shop Improvement Scheme – Kensington and Chelsea

Kensington and Chelsea Council provides grants for shop fronts improvements where they are likely to have a significant impact in improving the overall appearance and performance of the retail area. Grants provide up to 95% of works, maximum of £10,000.

If you are interested in applying for the scheme, please email:

England - South

Business Solutions for the South West of England

A range of business growth programmes to help businesses, start, succeed and grow.

Your business must be based in a local authority in the South West of England.

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Business Support – West Berkshire

West Berkshire Council provides advice and support for issues such as business rates, planning matters and trading standards for businesses in or are looking to relocate to West Berkshire.

For any assistance please contact or call 01635 519638

Find out more


Aldershot Shop Front Improvement Scheme

Provides grants for shops in designated areas of Aldershot.

The Aldershot Shop Front Improvement Scheme is provided by Rushmoor Borough Council.

You can contact the Council’s Conservation Officer to find out if your shop is in a designated / local heritage asset or in a conservation area to obtain advice on appropriate alternations, please contact: or call 01252 398788.


Civic Improvement Fund – Elmbridge

You can get a one-off grant for up to 90% of the cost of business projects that benefit the local economy or attract the public to local services and amenities.

Grant to fund projects that help the Embridge economy, including improving empty shops.

Types of projects include; initiatives to improve the use and appearance of empty shops, improving shop fronts, promotions and marketing initiatives and promotions for community projects.

If you require any assistance please email

Find out more


Shop front improvement scheme – Thurrock

Thurrock County Council provides grants of up to £3,000 for shop improvements in priority areas in the County.

Priority Areas: Avely, Grays Town Centre, Sockletts Health and South Ockendon.

If you have a business based in one of the above high streets and would like to apply for a grant to improve your shop frontage, please contact the Regeneration Team at

England - Midlands

Government-funded Loans for Deprived Areas in East Midlands

Organised by Enterprise Loans East Midlands Limited, businesses in the East Midlands could be entitled to a loan of between £3,000 and £50,000.

Loans available to new and existing businesses across the East Midlands. Government funded loans for businesses looking to grow in the most deprived areas of the East Midlands.

Find out more


Business Growth Scheme – Mansfield

Local proximity businesses may be eligible for a grants of between £1,000 and £5,000.

To qualify for a grant, your business will need to spend a minimum of £10,000 and be based in the Mansfield district area.

What you can get: Grant can be used to pay for land and building refurbishment, buying machinery or equipment, or training staff

Find out more


The Traditional Shop Front Grant Scheme – North Lincolnshire

The Traditional Shop Front Grant Scheme is provided by North Lincolnshire Council and offers 50% towards the cost of installing traditional-style shop fronts up to a maximum of £7,500, if the work is completed within a year of the grant offer.

For more details about the scheme, businesses can contact Eddie Rychlak, Conservation Officer at Lincolnshire Council on 01724 297634 or by emailing


Shepshed Shop Front Improvement Scheme

Businesses in Shepshed may apply for a grant towards the external renovation of ground floor or upper floor shops. The Grant will cover 50% of the eligible costs up to a maximum of £3,000.

Applications will be considered by a Grants Panel. For more information, advice or assistance please contact:

England - North

Business Growth Programme – Leeds City region

Local proximity businesses may be eligible for capital grants of between £10,000 and £250,000. Areas include: Barnsley, Bradford, Calderdale, Craven, Harrogate, Kirkless, Leeds, Selby, Wakefield and York.

Businesses based in or moving to the Leeds City Region are eligible for capital grants of between £10,000 and £250,000.

For further questions, contact


  • Have a capital investment and/or research and development project that will create jobs
  • Have been established for at least 12 months
  • Operate from a commercial premises

For further questions, contact

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Macclesfield Town Centre Shop Front Grant Scheme

Grants up to £50,000 for shop front regeneration.

Grant provided by Cheshire East Council for Macclesfield Town Centre shops looking to have regeneration of improvements to the front of their shop.

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Business Growth Hub and Rural Growth Network – Cumbria

You can get free advice, training and networking tailored to your needs, including review issues and opportunities and developing your action plan, increasing productivity, sales and profitability with additional funding to help you implement your action plan.


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Business innovation vouchers – Wales

The Welsh government can grant Innovation Vouchers under conditions.

Contact 03000 603 000 to find out if your business is eligible.


Subsidised work placements – Wales

Subsidised student and graduate placements for businesses in Wales of up to £950.

You can recruit a student or graduate for a 10 week work placement, which can help your business to expand, develop and improve efficiency, whilst saving money.

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Jobs growth for young people in Wales

Grant offers 50% wage contribution when you create a 6-month job opportunity for a young person in Wales.

The programme, funded by the Welsh Government, is aimed at businesses who have had difficulty finding employment. You must be able to hire young people at least 25 hours per week and a maximum of 40 hours her week and the position must last for 6 months or more.

Find out more


Pembrokeshire Lottery Loans

Loans of between £2,000 and £10,000 could be available to businesses in Pembrokeshire to help with job creation.

Your business must be participating in the Pembrokeshire Lottery Scheme and be able to prove its tried ‘conventional funding’. Successful applicants will be able to get loans between £2,000 and £10,000.

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Business Loan Fund – Gwynedd

Businesses in Gwynedd could be entitled to a loan of between £1,000 and £75,000.

Fund designed for businesses with some of their operations based in Gwynedd Council area who have not been successful in getting a bank loan. Your business must have less than 249 employees. The loan can be used for the financing of working capital or capital expenditure.

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Barry Town Commercial Area Improvement Grant

Financial assistance could be available for the improvement of commercial buildings.

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Conwy Business Support Grant

A grant of up to £1,000 to support the sustainability and growth of a Conwy business.

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Denbighshire County Council Business Development Grant

A grant up to £10,000 to enable businesses to purchase items that will assist with their start up or their growth in Denbighshire.

Find out more

Northern Ireland

Small business support – Northern Ireland

Provides financial support for new businesses in Northern Ireland.

You’ll need to prove that, now or over the next 3 years you’re expecting total sales of over £100,000 per year. You can get support costs such as marketing, consultancy, employment or working capital.

Find out more


Armagh Business Centre

Tailored advice and support for businesses in the Armagh Council area who have less than 250 employees.

Find out more

For more information on available grants and areas, please contact Adrian Roper on 020 7017 8856 or email

Alert on Fake Government Grants

Members warned over new scam that pretends to offer government grants. Read more