There is a wealth of support that we can refer businesses to, to help you thrive and grow.
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
Eligible businesses can receive a 35% to the cost of commercial advice. For SMEs with less than 250 employees and turnover less than £50m.
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.
Covid Additional Relief Fund (CARF)
The Fund will be open for applications from 1st – 30th June 2022. Relief will be determined once the application window has closed.
This fund is open to Business Rate payers who have been ineligible for previous related Covid 19 reliefs in 2021/22 and have been in continuous occupation of their premises from 1st April 2021 – 31st March 2022 (unless closed due to Covid restrictions); can demonstrate a minimum loss of T/O of 30%; and who have a business rates charge to pay for the whole of the financial year in 2021/22 (after other relief has been applied).
Full Details of the Eligibility Criteria and how to apply are on the Sefton Council Website
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.
Santander Scholarships Skills | Your Digital Pathway 2022
our Digital Pathway is a new, free introductory level digital skills course from Santander, developed in collaboration with the Institute of Coding and the award-winning TechUP initiative based at Durham University.
The course has been created to support people who want to take the first step on the pathway to building their digital skills, and can help you:
- Return to, or start work, or to pivot your career
- Return to, or start education
- Set up a business online
Registration is open until 29 June 2022, so don’t miss out on this great opportunity! If you complete the course, you will receive a Certificate of Achievement.
People who post their certificate to social media will also be entered into a draw to win one of 88 Santander grants worth up to £2,500!
Click ‘Enroll now‘ to register. Once you have applied you will receive the link to your chosen course within 2 working days.
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 Holistic and LCR 4.0 Start
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.
Leadership Growth Skills (LGS) Programme – Summer Programme 2022
Liverpool Business School with the European Social Fund have created a fully funded programme that offers participants a series of workshops, coaching sessions and topics that develop skills to support the leadership growth agenda in the region. Participants can join from a variety of SMEs and micro businesses from across the LCR. All registered learners will have access to LJMU’s facilities, learning materials and peer networking for the duration of the programme.
We are keen to support all businesses to do well and as an employee or someone keen to work in a growing business we have developed a programme that covers five key areas – Leadership, Coaching, Communication, Negotiation & Influencing and Digital.
This is a week-long programme, starting on 6th June and repeated for 3 weeks; however, you may choose to join for as few or as many sessions as you wish and pick across the three weeks to suit your availability. (Numbers are capped at 15 per session)
Sessions start at 9.45am with 30 mins for lunch which is included and finish at 2.15pm. All classes are held at 4 -6 Rodney Street.
This is required by 6th June (or week before the 1st workshop that you plan to attend. As each group is capped at 15, please let us know if you will not be attending. Once registered further details will be sent to your email address.
Level 2 and Level 3 ILM accreditation is also available with further support offered during week 4 (4th July)
Help to Grow: Management Programme
A 12 week practical programme, which covers all aspects of management, including finance and strategies for growth and innovation. This programme is for Liverpool City Region SME leaders. The course is part time and can fit around the day job. Places are limited to 25 people per cohort. The next cohorts start May 11th 2022.
Read more about the programme and how to sign up here
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
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
A series of workshops for regional businesses providing them with the knowledge, insight and tools they need to stabilise and grow.
The programme is for business based in the Liverpool City Region, who employ between 5 and 250 people and have a turnover of c£500,000 – £30million a year.
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:
For businesses with 5+ employees. Shift is a 4-6 week fully-funded cohort programme. Designed to help leaders generate a realistic and in-depth overview of their business enabling them to solve scaling challenges in a shared environment.
Beyond is a 6-month premium programme for ambitious leaders. Aimed at the highest potential companies who want to build authentic community across the sector and unlock growth in their business. For businesses with 10+ employees.
Gather will be delivered by Form, a growth consultancy for creative and tech companies.
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.
Mentoring for Growth programme
Mentoring programme aimed at bridging the productivity gap which has been identified between the SME and the corporate market
Who’s it for
- -senior decision makers with influence over the direction of your business
- businesses with more than 10 full time and over £2million turnover
- businesses facing one or more tough growth challenges