New businesses across Wiltshire and Swindon will have the chance to bid for funding through a rural grants scheme.
The rural economy grants scheme, run by Wiltshire Council, is open for applications and runs until December 2014.
The scheme aims to support people starting-up a business, and will also help existing micro-businesses (businesses with fewer than 10 employees) and social enterprises to expand.
The businesses looking for funding could be from a wide range of sectors including technical services, ICT, security, logistics, defence and construction. It will also provide an opportunity to support women-led businesses.
The rural economy grants scheme is part of The Enterprise Network, and will be known as “TEN investments”. They are only made available in areas which have a Defra Rural Growth Network pilot scheme.
Fleur de Rhé-Philipe cabinet member for economic development, said: “This will provide a very timely source of funding into small businesses which have increasingly found it difficult to get investment from traditional sources in the past few years.
“I encourage all types of different businesses to find out more and see what this funding could offer them.”
Grants from £10,000, up to £168,000 are available, and businesses based in large towns must provide goods or services in rural areas.
Applications and information is available from www.theenterprisenetwork.co.uk, and support for people thinking of starting in business, or existing businesses seeking advice is available free of charge from the Wiltshire business support service www.wessexchambers.org.uk/business-support/introduction.php.
To discuss making an application, people should contact either Julian.Head@wiltshire.gov.uk or on 01225 713421, or to Kate.Forrest@wiltshire.gov.uk or on 01249 01249 706549