Access to Finance (A2F) Professional Services grant – Cornwall and Isles of Scilly

1st February, 2018

My colleague and I recently met Heather Coupland from A2F to discuss some of the finer details of our Finance in Cornwall and Start Up Cornwall events.

One aspect of the ‘Access to Finance’ offering we thought we would share details with you is the ‘Access to Finance Professional Services’ grant. This grant exists to help eligible businesses in Cornwall & Isles of Scilly who have ‘hit a roadblock’ whilst raising finance that can only be overcome with the use of qualified professional services. It assists with getting through this road block with potential grant support against eligible costs.

Grant limits and application process

The grant limits are for eligible costs totalling between £2,000 and £15,000.

Once an A2F grant application has been submitted, it will go through a panel review and then, if approved, the applicant will be able to carry out the eligible purchase.

Upon providing all required evidence of the purchase outlaid by the client, A2F will then reimburse the applicant up to a maximum of 50% of the total spend (£1,000 to £7,500).

Any Access to Finance client receiving 12 hours of support toward resolving their business financial needs and submitting a finance application is eligible to apply for the grant.

The process can take as little as two weeks, once all the relevant information is obtained.

Eligible costs

The grant can only be used to fund accountancy and legal firm services which are not ‘business as usual’ or statutory requirements. It must focus on ensuring the small and medium-sized enterprise (SMEs) financial systems and legal structures are robust and investment ready, de-risking an intended finance application.

It could be for example:

  • Using a solicitor to draw up a shareholder agreement in order to close that investment deal
  • Using an accountant to compile signed off management accounts for an application to a grant body
  • Pulling together financial forecasts to back up the pitch as part of a crowdfunding campaign

SMEs throughout Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly will receive support to define the advice that they require, procure it, and then manage delivery to ensure that investment in external advice delivers the most effective outcome for them.

In providing this support, Access to Finance will support SMEs to develop internal capability and systems for managing external advice. The aspiration being that they will continue to self-fund professional advice beyond the life of the programme.

More information

For more information about the Access to Finance Professional Services Grant and the services they offer, please get in touch with either myself, or the A2F team – email: info@a2fcornwall.co.uk, tel: 01872 300386.

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