SMEs in the Merseyside region can now apply to share a £1m funding pot spearheaded by the Liverpool Echo. Image courtesy of: sxc.hu
A new £1m fund has been launched by the Liverpool Echo
in order to bolster the efforts of small businesses and encourage job creation across the Merseyside region.
The money forms part of the Government’s £2.4bn Regional Growth Fund
(RGF), which aims to kick-start job creation despite the tough economic climate.
Small and medium-sized enterprises across the Liverpool city region are able to apply for contributions from the fund, which the Echo has developed in partnership with regeneration agency Liverpool Vision.
Monies awarded will need to be matched by the business itself. A business looking for a £10,000 investment could, for example, apply for £5000 and contribute £5000 from its own cash reserves.
Initial applications are now being accepted; those with the best ideas will then be invited by the Echo to submit detailed business plans.
Liverpool Echo editor Alastair Machray developed the idea for the fund during a meeting with Lord Heseltine, Minister for Merseyside.
“Lord Heseltine was keen that money from the RGF was used to help small businesses at a grassroots level,” said Mr Machray.
“To quote him, he said he wanted to reach out to ‘the window cleaner from Kirkby’. He said he felt the best way of doing that was through the Echo so the maximum number of businesses got the message loud and clear.
“There is no doubt we are in tough economic times but Merseyside has always had a great entrepreneurial tradition.
“We know there are countless small businesses out there that are itching to grow and to create new jobs – and we are keen to give them a helping hand to do just that.”
chief executive Max Steinberg said: “I am very pleased that the Liverpool Echo has launched its £1m fund.
“One point on which countless economic studies and theories all agree is that the key to recovery for our economy will rest on the number of small and medium-sized enterprises that are able to grow and create new jobs.
Applications are particularly welcome from businesses focusing on the four Meryside target areas for growth – visitor economy, superport, knowledge economy and low carbon economy.
Businesses can apply for the fund online
from today, February 2 2012.