Key announcements

Our council tax and benefits online systems and forms may be unavailable on Saturday 21 May between 8am and 2pm due to planned maintenance. Details of how to offer support to Ukraine residents fleeing war, and where to find information and advice are on our City of Sanctuary webpage

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About the Business Growth Programme 2

BGP2 Funding Round 39 is now open, so submit your TMLEP completed application form before the closing date of Wednesday 25 May 2022* to be considered.

Grant Support available:

  • For Start-Up B2B** SMEs based in The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership area only, grants of £2,500 to £10,000 are on offer.
  • For existing B2B** SMEs, based in The Greater Birmingham and Solihull or The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership areas, grants of £10,000 to £1,000,000 are available.

Grants are subject to eligibility criteria and availability of funds and are restricted to 1 per business.

A BGP2 grant is offered on the basis of a company creating new jobs.

For existing businesses, every £10,000 grant awarded must result in 1 full-time job being created.

For Start-Ups based in The Marches LEP area only, for every grant of £2,500 to £10,000 awarded, 1 full-time job must be created.

Grant funding is limited and subject to availability.

All of the documents you will need to apply for a BGP2 grant are available now.

BGP2 grant documentation

*Funding Round 40 will open on Monday 30 May 2022.

**B2B = Business to Business

State Aid - De minimis and General Block Exemption Regulations

The State Aid measures under which BGP2 operates are De Minimis and General Block Exemption Regulations (GBER). The most appropriate State Aid measure will be applied on a case-by-case basis, to maximise the level of grant funding awarded.

You can apply for either De Minimis or GBER, dependent upon how much State Aid funding you have received previously.

To apply for De Minimis, you must have received less than the Sterling equivalent of €200,000 State Aid assistance over a 3 year period (De Minimis State Aid for the current and previous 2 financial years). De Minimis State Aid intervention rates are up to 50% in more developed areas and up to 60% in transitional areas.

To apply for GBER, you will either be seeking funding in excess of the Sterling equivalent of €200,000 up to £1,000,000, or you will have maximised your De Minimis allowance and are applying for a smaller grant (minimum grant is £2,500 for a Start-Up and £10,000 for an existing SME). GBER State Aid intervention rates are between 10% and 50% as defined by the European Community (EC) Treaty.

To calculate your GBER allowance, refer to the BGP2 GBER Fact Sheet and Eligible Grant Calculator to help you work out the intervention rate applicable to you.

Changes made to BGP2

Grant funding is limited and will be awarded on a first-come-first-served basis.

Note: Funding is subject to availability and we reserve the right to close the funding round early if we receive a substantial number of grant applications.

The Business Development and Innovation Team – an award winning team

The BGP 2 is delivered by Birmingham City Council’s Business Development and Innovation Team (BDI), on behalf of the European Regional Development Fund. The BDI team is committed to providing a high level of customer service to SMEs, as outlined in our Customer Charter.

To measure our customer service performance, we ask all applicants to complete a Customer Service Satisfaction Survey at the end of the grant process. The results from the surveys received indicate that the BDI Team achieved an overall customer satisfaction rating of 87%, compared to an overall target of 90%. BDI Customer Service Survey.

The BDI team has a track record in delivering excellence.

In 2018, the council was acknowledged by The Federation of Small Business Awards, receiving “Best in Class Highly Commended Business Support” in recognition of its work to stimulate the growth of SMEs through a range of support packages aimed at generating private sector investment and employment opportunities.

In 2016, the council’s achievements were recognised at the Enterprising Britain Awards, part of the Government’s drive to increase entrepreneurial activity in the UK. The council won the “Improving the Business Environment” category and also the highly coveted “Most Enterprising Place in Britain” award.

Summative Assessment Report of the Business Growth Programme 2016 to 2018

An external evaluation of the Business Growth Programme (BGP) has been commissioned and is attached for your perusal. Whilst BGP closed in December 2018, the evaluation report provides a detailed evaluation of the programme and highlights not only the success of the programme, but the longer term impact of the programme on the economy.

Midlands Engine, HM Government.

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