We have a standalone page focussing on digital support for business please click on the link below. There is a wealth of support that we can refer businesses to, to help you thrive and grow. Digital Support for Businesses
If you would like to know more about any of the programmes listed below, please contact us and we will provide more information.
LCR Finance Hub
The LCR Finance Hub is a free gateway for SMEs wishing to access external funding, with the aim of making the whole process less confusing.
What does the LCR Finance Hub do?
- As assessment of the SMEs financial position and funding requirements
- Appraisal of the business plan, including help with financial forecasts and other supporting information
- Identification and explanation of the finance products that could help your business
- Coaching and mentoring, helping you to develop your investment proposition and ensuring you are pitch ready
- Introductions to suitable finance providers
- Introductions to other business support and financial service providers
- Support at meeting with lenders and investors
New Markets 2
Growth Platform launches additional New Markets 2 ERDF Funding
Growth Platform – Liverpool City Region Growth Company has re-launched the New Markets 2 ERDF programme to help SMEs access high value commercial business advice and support.
Eligible businesses can receive a 35% contribution to the cost of consultancy or agency fees which can include financial advice, HR support, legal advice, export, as well as strategic development including marketing and sales.
Janice Mears, Head of Business Growth at Growth Platform – Liverpool City Region Growth Company said: “It is fantastic that we can help more businesses though a new round of New Markets 2 funding. The programme has already been a great success, helping 281 SMEs across the City Region grow, with grants totalling over £980k towards a total of just under £3million of commercial services procured.
“There really is a plethora of services you can get a grant towards such as HR support, coaching, legal advice as well as costs towards ISO accreditation, to name but a few, so I would encourage any business to contact our commercial brokers and see how they can help.”
Janice added: “Helping businesses to grow and thrive is at the heart of what we do at Growth Platform. SMEs make up a large part of our business community and their growth is essential for the future prosperity of our City Region.”
Part funded by the European Union; the programme was developed by Growth Platform working with local partners across the City Region.
The New Markets 2 Fund is available to businesses until June 2023.
More information can be found at Growth Platform’s website here
New Markets 2: Express
Growth Platform – Liverpool City Region Growth Company have launched a new fast track service to access 35% grant funding for projects between £3,000 – £5,000.
The ERDF funded New Markets 2: Express programme has been developed to simplify the process of accessing grant funding for consultancy services for projects including financial advice, HR support, legal advice, strategic development including marketing and sales, and ISO accreditation, among others.
To apply for the funding businesses will need to:
- Get 3 comparable written quotes
- Complete the application form
- Submit your claim
The programme is open to eligible SMEs based in Liverpool City Region and will close in May 2023.
MSIF provides a wide range of funding to businesses across the North West, predominantly in the Liverpool City Region and surrounding areas. Funding is available from as little as £3k right up to £2 million+ for a variety of business needs including start-ups, expansions, acquisitions and management buy outs/buy ins.
Established in 1994, MSIF are a local, independent organisation which is not bound by national policy – all lending decisions are made here in Liverpool. Their experience and knowledge of the unique characteristics of the region means they understand the business community here and don’t conform to a ‘one size fits all’ approach.
MSIF are a not-for-profit organisation; all returns on investment go back into the fund to be re-invested in local businesses.
They work closely with banks and other lenders. Sometimes this is because their customers don’t fit their criteria and they are referred to them to see if they can help, or to put together joint funding packages where one or both parties can’t commit the full amount. They also work with corporate finance advisors, accountants and other professionals to put together investments for their clients.
Fair Employment Charter
By joining the Fair Employment Charter you’ll send a strong message to staff, customers, partners and the public that your organisation is committed to the principle of fair employment, and you can also demonstrate key social value actions and commitments which are often necessary when applying for funding and other opportunities to help your organisation grow and develop.
Further information can be found here, or you can contact the team direct on: firstname.lastname@example.org
A5 Leaflet Fair Employment Charter
Chance to work on staff wellbeing
Living Well Sefton, in partnership with Sefton Public Health, is offering to boost the wellbeing of workers by awarding Sefton businesses a Workplace Wellbeing Grant of £500.
Karen Nolan, Living Well Sefton co-ordinator, explains: “Looking after the wellbeing of employees will make for a stronger organisation with a happier, healthier workforce. Improving workplace wellbeing can also contribute to reduced absenteeism, increased productivity and support staff to improve their lifestyles.”
A recent study into workplace wellbeing by the charity Mind highlighted poor mental health at work as being widespread, with half (48 per cent) of all people surveyed saying they had experienced a mental health problem, such as anxiety or stress, in their current job.
The grant money can go towards: staff costs, covering sessional work such as yoga; volunteer costs; equipment such as bike racks to encourage active travel to work; training courses with a wellbeing focus and events to support the wellbeing of staff.
It can also be used to refurbish facilities which contribute to the health and wellbeing of staff, for example decorating a break room or buying a table and chairs to encourage people to eat lunch away from their desks.
Already the grants have helped to transform how people work. The money has gone towards buying a bike shelter to complement the organisation’s cycling to work scheme.
While another organisation has used the grant to buy resources such as adult bean bags, new paint and curtains, to create a relaxing staff room. This will provide a place where staff can re-energise, connect with one another and provide support and motivation.
The £500 grants are open to small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Sefton that have fewer than 250 employees (60% of which have to be Sefton residents) and priority will be given to those businesses which employ routine and manual workers.
Starting a business
The Enterprise Hub support Liverpool City Region businesses from pre-start to year three.
- Understanding the process of starting a business
- Researching a business idea
- Building a comprehensive business plan
- Developing a marketing plan
- Creating financial forecasts to understand the costs of running your business and potential income
- Identifying sources of finance to get started
Skills & Training
Skills Brokerage Service
Providing advice and guidance to employers that can help them develop their workforce and funding of up to 70% towards the cost of training
The employer liaison team at Sefton@Work can support your business with recruiting staff, this is a free, bespoke service saving you money on agency fees.
Eco I North West
The Eco-I North West programme supports businesses in the North West develop low carbon innovation and skills, and to support ‘green’ economic growth.
ECO-I North West: Innovation Catalyst
The next cohort of the new flagship initiative Eco-I North West: The Innovation Catalyst commences on 25th May 2022. The Catalyst is a unique opportunity for influential food and drink businesses to be at the forefront of positive change in the sector in Liverpool.
The cohort is fully funded and designed to connect businesses to create an innovation ecosystem; a proven and powerful way of stimulating solutions for the challenges and opportunities you face in the journey we must all make to net zero carbon.
The impact of climate change on the global food and drink sector could be catastrophic, affecting every point of the supply chain, and whilst Governments will set the wider agenda, it’s up to businesses to step up to the plate and find innovative solutions together.
LCR Graduate Scheme
Connecting local graduate talent with SMEs across the Liverpool City Region
Who’s it for
- Businesses based in one of the 6 boroughs of the Liverpool City Region with less than 250 registered employees
- Businesses willing to extend a permanent offer of employment
- Businesses willing to offer a graduate level role with potential for career progression
LCR 4.0 Start
LCR4 START is a new initiative supporting Liverpool City Region SME business leaders and companies to gain a competitive edge through the development of practical strategies for effective digital adoption.
Wondering if you’re eligible? Provided you’re…
- Operating a small-to-medium sized enterprise of less than 250 employees
- Within the Liverpool City Region (Liverpool, Halton, Knowsley, St. Helens, Sefton and the Wirral)
- With a turnover of less than €50m or a balance sheet of less than €43m in a financial year
LCR 4.0 Holistic
LCR4.0 HOLISTIC is a new European Regional Development Fund initiative, delivering the first city region-wide digital supply chain ecosystem; cross-linking traditional supply chains and clusters to create a city region supply chain network, offering greater business resilience, growth opportunities and diversification that will facilitate greater innovation in products and services and a unique proposition for inward investment and export, post-COVID & Brexit.
Leadership Growth Skills (LGS) Programme
Liverpool Business School at Liverpool John Moores University is managing and delivering the Leadership Growth Skills programme across the Liverpool City Region until the end of December 2023.
If you are over 18, live in the Liverpool City Region, have a right to work in the UK, and are working for a small and medium (SME) either employed or on a self-employed business,
The aim is to upskill people currently fulfilling, or with the future potential to undertake higher level management and leadership roles to improve productivity and growth across Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St. Helens, and Wirral.
Under-represented groups such as women in management, or, leadership roles, people of colour, disabled people and those with learning difficulties, and/or, those with autism or both, are actively encouraged to participate.
Low Carbon Eco-Innovatory
Free assistance to help Liverpool City Region SMEs to develop new and improved goods, processes and services through collaborative partnerships
- SMEs creating green goods, processes and services
- SMEs identifying opportunities for low carbon development
Technology Developer Accelerator Programme (TDAP)
The Advanced Propulsion Centre’s next wave of its Technology Developer Accelerator Programme (TDAP) is now open for Expressions of Interest (EOI).
- The Technology Developer Accelerator Programme (TDAP) offers up to £170,000 of grant support to ambitious micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.
- The programme is now open for initial Expressions of Interest. Those who fit the criteria will be invited to submit a full application. The closing date for applications is 1 February 2023 at 12 noon GMT. Successful applicants will start the programme in May 2023.
- What is TDAP?
- TDAP supports SMEs developing innovative net-zero enabling on or off-vehicle technology, products or services.
- TDAP helps to accelerate early-stage transport technology concepts to market through a combination of grant funding, technical support and business mentoring to help start-ups, spinouts and SMEs bring their innovations to life.
- Since 2017 – TDAP has supported 61 SMEs with £9.8 million of funding support.
- Over the 17-month programme participants will receive expert technical and industry support to help develop their concept through to a viable market proposition.
Be the Business Advisory Board Programme
This is a 12 month course, during which you can access invaluable non-executive director style support from a group of experienced business people made up of family business leaders and senior managers from larger businesses with specialisms such as finance, marketing, operations or HR.
Who is the programme for?
Leaders of businesses in the North West with between 10 and 250 employees who are majority owned by family members.
Build a Better business for Manufacturers
Businesses will receive support over a 12 month period, beginning with a diagnostic selection, followed by workshops that cover each course module.
Who’s it for?
- Minimum of 10 employees
- A turnover of £1million – £20m million
- An objective to grow turnover by 20% year on year
- Commitment to invest time and resources to the whole programme
Business Resilience Programme
Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership via Growth Platform is looking to enhance the current business support available to business to include Business Resilience relating to COVID-19.
Eligibility: SMEs in all sectors. Estimated Size of Business:£1m – 45m Turnover Estimated Employee Numbers: 10+ Staff.
Read more about the support and how to get in touch: https://growthplatform.org/business-covid-19-advice/business-resilience-support-for-smes/
Digital Skills for the Workplace
Flexible hands-on courses of up to 16 weeks in duration which are part of the Government’s Lifetime Skills Guarantee and Plan for Jobs.
It is for adults ages 19 and over either in work, looking for work or returning to the workforce.
Export Support Service
The Export Support Service is a helpline and online service where all UK businesses can get answers to practical questions about exporting to Europe.
The service is a ‘one-stop shop’ and brings together UK government information, making it easier for exporters to access advice and support.
Formulated Materials for Infection Disease Prevention
Technical expertise to eligible companies with technology or products that may have an application in relation to and/or hygiene.
Who’s it for
Companies with technology or products that may have an application in relation to infection and/or hygiene
Gather is the business scale-up programme for digital, creative, tech and tech-enabled businesses in the Liverpool City Region. Gather will create a thriving and highly connected ecosystem that benefits everyone who works and plays in this sector through a suite of events, activities, and two business support programmes:
A 7 month leadership development programme for owners and senior managers of Liverpool City Region’s SMEs.
Health Matters – Liverpool City Region
A £1.9million ERDF programme, connecting Liverpool City Region businesses with world-class health, care, technology and commercial resources.
Who’s it for
Liverpool City Region businesses capable of moving into the health and care sectors
Innovate UK Edge
Innovate UK EDGE is a key part of the UK innovation agency’s investment in businesses that drive economic growth.
It is a publicly-funded service available to all high potential small to medium sized innovation-led companies, Including Innovate UK grant winners. It provides specialist-led support for high-potential ambitious businesses who would benefit from the objective perspective of a dedicated innovation and growth specialist local to them. Each specialist provides bespoke support to the business, working closely with its leadership, in helping to identify the most productive ways to accelerate growth.
Key priority areas include:
Liverpool City Region Capital Grant Fund
Capital grants fund for SMEs that are based in or relocating to Liverpool City Region
- For businesses in the Liverpool City Region
- Businesses with high growth plans to develop your business through the purchase of plant and machinery or other fixed assets
- Established businesses with projects of £50,000 or above
Supporting and enabling manufacturers to drive growth and productivity through the adoption of industrial digitalisation technologies.
This programme is for manufacturers across the North West who are open to embracing new tech for growth.