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Business Growth Voucher Scheme launched to support local businesses

Published Monday, 15 November 2021

Our Business Growth Voucher Scheme worth £500,000 has now launched, which will provide additional support to York’s businesses.

The voucher scheme is funded by the final £1.4 million instalment of the Additional Restrictions Grant from the government, which is expected to help support at least 450 York businesses.

The Business Growth Voucher Scheme will enable small and micro businesses to navigate the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, stabilise their business models and relaunch and refresh with help from York’s business community.

The York-based business support voucher scheme builds upon the success of the council’s Micro Business Grants Scheme which saw grants of up to £1,000 provided to 1,114 small and micro businesses during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.

How the Business Growth Voucher Scheme works

The scheme will issue vouchers of up to £1000 to eligible businesses in York which can be used to procure services from a list of approved York-based providers.

It encourages York’s local businesses to identify their key requirements, difficulties and the services they need to overcome them. These services can range from business management, legal aid and publicity to marketing, sales and e-commerce. Based on their requirements, the scheme will connect local businesses with relevant York-based service providers.

The voucher scheme will ensure that local businesses can get the expertise and support they require from other businesses across the city - not only helping those in receipt of the vouchers, but also generating income for local businesses providing the services.

Key Dates for the Business Growth Voucher Scheme

Registrations for businesses interested in providing services under the voucher scheme are now open.

Businesses seeking support can apply for the scheme from 17 November 2021 and can redeem their support vouchers until 18 March 2022.

See further information Business Growth Voucher Scheme's eligibility criteria and application process.

Councillor Andrew Waller, Executive Member for Economy and Strategic Planning, said:

It’s still a challenging time for many of our local businesses, as they adjust to new economic conditions and different ways of working, looking to a more sustainable future.

"Our voucher scheme seeks to build on the previous ‘York way’ of support for businesses of all sizes, and provide local additional advice where it’s needed most, allowing businesses to select the specialist one-to-one guidance and mentoring they need to flourish.

"This will strengthen business networks across the city and generate additional work for local companies. The aim is to support local businesses through the transitions that they are working through to help with their recovery and growth.”

The scheme aims to encourage businesses to use local expertise to support their resilience and growth. The delivery of a York-based Business Growth Voucher Scheme will continue the council’s innovative approach to business support, building on the success of the council’s Micro Business Grants Scheme which saw Councillors commit £1.4 million of council funds to provide grants of up to £1,000 provided to 1,114 small and micro businesses which were beyond the scope of Government grant support during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to this, free Federation of Small Businesses membership was provided to over 600 businesses, giving access to a wide range of free helplines and practical support.