The last article highlighted the potential for changes in availability for business grants. It will be interesting to see if there is any increase in demand for business grants as well. This increase in demand will be driven by two factors. Firstly, the increased cost of lending facilities as interest rates rise. Secondly the reduction in availability of traditional funding for UK SME businesses due to the tightening of lending criteria. This has the potential to drive businesses to look at alternative sources of funding, including grants. Grants have always been available to UK businesses – it was just a case of finding whether one was available to suit a specific need and then applying for it. This hasn’t yet changed and we have not yet seen a decrease in the levels of funding available.
However, it would be wise to apply now if you are looking to raise funding for your business. Although applying for a business grant needn’t be an arduous process, it can take a bit of time from applying to being successful and getting the grant in to your business. There is help at hand in terms of the application process, including business planning and financial forecasting.
Also, if you aren’t successful in your initial grant application you will need to look at alternatives, whether that’s another grant or maybe other methods of funding or non-mainstream lenders.
As with availability, we will keep an eye on demand levels to see if there is any discernible difference over the coming months in the levels of interest in grants from UK SMEs. One thing is for certain though. Even if availability and demand levels for grants do change – there will be no increase in the cost of a grant – the only outlay would be the time and cost of applying!