2016 is going to be a critical year for many businesses. As one of our clients explained yesterday ‘we have fought so hard to survive over the last 5 years, now that the business is somewhat more stable, it is time to be brave and grow, to invest and to finally reap some rewards.’
I think most of us feel like that, it has been a dismal few years, hard to make progress beyond just survival. So as you plan 2016 and how you are going to build that business, have a think about how grant supports can make your investments go further. We have rounded up a few. Please click on the links to bring you directly to programme information.
Food Companies – Bord Bia
The good news is that the Marketing Assistance Programme is back in 2016, companies must have a turnover of over €100,000 and Bord Bia reserves the right to limit grants under MAP to three successive years. They tell us that the average grant per company for 2016 is expected to be in the region of €4,000 but we know from experience how important this funding is to achieve marketing progress. The deadline is Friday 22 January 2016.
Enterprise Ireland Innovation Vouchers are on the way and will be open for applications from 20th January, 2016 with a closing date of 3rd February, 2016. Businesses are always surprised how straightforward the application process is and how it can make a real difference to your business- you do not need to be an Enterprise Ireland to apply.We will be writing an application for a food business who wants to work with a college on new product development and to tackle packaging challenges.
2) Enterprise Ireland clients can apply for a Job Expansion Fund which aims to assist client companies achieve enhanced growth through increased employment. The fund provides grant support up to a maximum of €150,000 towards the recruitment of new (non sales) employees over and above a company’s base employment position. So this is for new employment growth, basically you need to take on 3 more employees. Deadline is mid Jan so you need to move on this opportunity immediately.
Local Enterprise Offices
Always the first point of call for enterprise supports in each county. The LEOs really are playing a blinder in terms of supporting small businesses, albeit with scarce enough resources. So, if you have less than 10 employees (and I have heard that this threshold is going to change upwards), check them out – www.localenterprise.ie. Each county has their own site therein.
In 2016, we would really encourage businesses to get their online trading plans in place. There is 50% support from LEO with a Trading Online Voucher. We have assisted clients such as Chef Sham Sauce to sell their products online with excellent results. http://chefshamsauces.com/
We have a client who is launching an EII programme at the moment to bring investment into their growing company. The Employment and Investment Incentive Scheme replaces the Business Expansion Scheme (BES) and allows a qualifying company to raise €15m (€10m prior to 2015) with the annual amount being €5m (€2.5m prior to 2015). Through an approved scheme, an individual may invest up to €150,000 per annum in this scheme. The scheme has been extended to 31st December 2020. It is best to talk to your accountant to see if this scheme would work for your business.
We are expecting and waiting the Leader /Rural Development Programme to open – soon (the cynics in us see the pending election as a kick start for funding programmes)! Watch this space!
As always, please feel free to send us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org with any funding queries you may have.