What grants and support are available for SME’s?

Unfortunately, plentiful grants from the government, in the main, are all over but some help is available if you look in the right places.
This is, however, quite a time-consuming process and the aim of this article is to direct you to as many ideas as possible. Whilst a lot has been covered there will no doubt be grants and funding available that we haven’t been able to cover.

Best place to start

As these are Government based initiatives website has a dedicated area for business finance and support. This is arranged by geographical area and type of business so it is always best to start here.

These grants change, get withdrawn or shapeshift quite frequently, so it is worth checking the gov.uk website every now and then to see what is available and if it might be relevant to you.

Time-sensitive grant

Until July this year, UK businesses can apply for a share of £1m from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund for early-stage, human-centred design projects that will determine future R&D activity in immersive experiences (quite specific I know)!

What are your options?

Traditional banking doesn’t always cater for new start up’s or smaller SME’s that may need funding for a variety of business activities. Hence we see many clients seeking funding, if only for a few thousand pounds, resorting to alternative finance sources.

Crowdfunding is increasing in popularity, and some notable sites in this sector are www.fundingcircle.com and www.seedrs.com

Some business owners choose to reach out to investors, but gaining investment comes at a price and this will result in some of the equity of the business being handed over in exchange for any funding.

When starting out and building any business it is important to ‘bootstrap’, keep things as tight as you can, plan your spending wisely and keep on top of your overheads. 

She advises speaking to local enterprise partnerships for business support, and councils often have a dedicated business adviser who can give one-to-one help, as well as agencies that specialise in specific sectors – such as Innovate UK which is still open for business and offers access to some funding opportunities.


The FSB offers an alternative finance platform for members to seek different finance sources. The benefit of using this is one application that leads to direct access to hundreds of different funding options, saving time and lowering the overall cost of finance by helping to find the right match for members’ needs. 

Entrepreneurs handbook

I love this website and it offers an overview on loads of grants and funding opportunities https://entrepreneurhandbook.co.uk/grants-loans/

Creative Grants

When working in the Creative sector, you are likely to be faced with considerable expenses that could qualify for grants or tax relief.
Some useful links are below to gain some insight- the HMRC one provides useful summaries on all the reliefs.

  • https://www.gov.uk/guidance/corporation-tax-creative-industry-tax-reliefs#how-and-when-to-claim
  • http://www.thecreativeindustries.co.uk/resources/strategy

There are 8 corporation tax reliefs (considered to be state aid) available which are similar in form to R&D tax relief;

  1. Film Tax Relief
  2. Animation Tax Relief
  3. High-end Television Tax Relief
  4. Video Games Tax Relief
  5. Children’s Television Tax Relief
  6. Theatre Tax Relief
  7. Orchestra Tax Relief
  8. Museums and Galleries Exhibition Tax Relief

Qualifying companies can claim either:

  • an additional tax deduction (the enhancement) of up to 100% of enhanceable expenditure or,
  • if a loss is surrendered: 25% of the loss up to the amount of enhanceable expenditure

These reliefs are available for:

  • Film production companies producing films
  • Television production companies producing relevant animation or high-end television programmes
  • Video games development companies
  • Theatre production companies
  • Orchestra production companies
  • Charitable companies maintaining a museum or gallery/local authority maintaining a museum or gallery
  • Where small or medium-sized enterprise R&D tax relief is claimed on a project, that project can’t claim for any other state aid reliefs.

For large companies who carry out research and development and claim under the large scheme, the rules are different. This is because R&D tax relief claimed under the large scheme isn’t state aid, and therefore the areas of research and development within a project may be eligible for R&D tax relief.

At www.accountants4smallbusiness.com we specialise in working with SME’s, owner managed businesses and companies that have a desire to build a relationship with an Accountant as a strategic part of their team.
Our aim is to provide the best technology available to reduce the amount of time you spend on business compliance, remove all the statutory compliance from you and add as much value as we can with advice and guidance every step of the way.

Should you have any questions or require any help at all please do feel free to contact us on 0207 6143100 or directly d.hughes@rodliffeaccounting.com or s.blissett@rodliffeaccounting.com

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