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Growth Support Kickstart Grant Scheme Frequently Asked Questions

Heart of the South West Growth Support Programme and HM Government Logo

Is my business eligible to apply?

The Information & Guidance Document published details the eligibility criteria. Please refer to this document in the first instance, if you are still unclear on whether you are eligible. Please email

When can I submit my application for Grant Funding?

The scheme is open for applications until 6.00pm on 22 September 2020.

Do I have to obtain quotes?

Yes. It is essential to your application to obtain the supporting information requested we require one quotation per item.

How long does it take to approve my request for Grant Funding?

We anticipate processing applications and issuing Grant Offers within 14 working days of receiving the application, this is based on the application being completed correctly and the support evidence (quotes) included. However, we also expect a high demand and grant processing may take longer depending on the demand.

I want to use the Funding to purchase a capital item such as a self – serve Coffee Machine – is this okay?

Grant monies can only be spent on Revenue items. We will publish more detail on Eligible Expenditure very soon, in the meantime please email

My business is in Cornwall. Can I apply?

The Growth Support Kickstart Scheme is only available to businesses located in Devon, Plymouth, Torbay and Somerset. For anyone outside this area we suggest you contact your local Growth Hub who can advise what support is available in your region. You can find your Local Growth Hub here UK LEP Network and Growth Hub Contacts

Do I have to provide match funding?

No match funding is needed. The grant will cover 100% of eligible costs up to a maximum of £3000.

I have three separate businesses all registered as individual businesses that perform different functions. How do I apply, and can I apply for a grant for all three businesses?

We would need more information to advise you correctly. Please contact

Once my Grant Application is approved when will I receive monies?

The scheme makes payment to applicants in arrears after they have purchased and received the support or items that the Grant has been approved for. In all instances we need to see copies of supplier’s invoices and a copy of your bank statement evidencing that payment has been made to the relevant suppliers. You have 90 days from the date you sign your funding agreement (or a date agreed at time of application) to purchase all item. Once a claim has been submitted and approved payment should be made within 7 working days.

Do I have to use a local Specialist Support Provider?

You can use any Specialist Support Provider you want to, so long as the support you are obtaining is relevant to the recovery needs of your business.

How long is the scheme open for applications?

We expect demand for Grants to be very high. The application deadline is 6.00pm on 22 September 2020. The scheme will officially close 28 Feb 2021 which is the date that everyone who has been awarded a Grant must claim by.

How do I contact you if I need to speak to someone about my application or ask questions?

You can contact to ask questions regarding the scheme, however, we cannot provide a status update on your application and we cannot guarantee the timescale in which we will respond to queries if there is very high demand. You will receive an update within 14 working days.

I am a Sole Trader- can I apply?

Sole Traders are eligible to apply as long as they meet all other eligibility requirements. Please refer to the Information and Guidance document. Kickstart grant webpage

I understand that payment will be made in arrears. Do I have to wait until I have all my evidence to submit my claim for payment?

You can make separate claims.
Example Grant Offer was for £3,000 and covers
Specialist Support @£2,000
Other @£1,000
You can make two separate claims as long as each claim has all the supporting evidence. For details of acceptable supporting evidence please refer to the Kickstart grant webpage

I need to obtain Specialist Consultancy Support, but I cannot afford to pay for advice and then claim it back. What do I do?

Make an application in the normal way and then contact advising that you do not have the available cash flow to pay for the support up front and then claim it back in arrears. The team will call you to identify a workable solution, but we will require proof that you do not have available funds in your business account.
The Guidance document says that we must spend the funding within 90 days. What do I do if something is delayed and I know it will take longer than 90 days?
Contact immediately if you encounter delays. We can work with you to agree an alternative timescale as long as this does not exceed the end date of 28 February 2021

What happens to my application if I do not provide supporting evidence e.g. Quotations

You will receive an email explaining that we are unable to process your application due to missing information. You will be advised that if you still wish to apply for Growth Support Kickstart Grant you can do so but a new application will need to be submitted which includes all required information.
You will effectively join the back of the queue. Grants are offered on a first come first served basis and only to applicants who submit a complete and compliant application.

The Grant is advertised as between £1000 and £3000. The recent media states that grants of between £1000 to £5000 are available why is this different?

In order to maximise the support on offer it has been decided that to spread the support across as many business as possible, and therefore support will be capped at £3,000 Guidance from Ministry for Housing Communities and Local Government states that £5000 can only be offered under exceptional circumstances. In HotSW, the view has been taken that the current circumstances are exceptional for all businesses and the fair approach is to cap the grant at £3,000 for everyone.

I would like to apply for a grant under both the tourism and small business fund. Can I do this?

You can only submit a single grant application. The grant team will determine the appropriate grant pot.

Is there a list of suppliers for specialist consultancy services?

Funding can be used for specialist business support to best suit your business recovery plan. There is not a list of “approved” suppliers for this scheme.
For information about business support services in Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay, the Growth Hub has a list of suppliers on their website

Are the suppliers on the Heart of the SW Growth Hub Supplier database recommended?

The Heart of the South West Growth Hub would always advise you to independently verify that suppliers listed in the directory meet with your needs and that you seek suitable references if required.

Can I make an application for funding and use funding for items that I have already purchased?

A Growth Support Kickstart Grant cannot be used to fund any items purchased prior to the scheme opening.

How does the scheme differentiate between Capital and Revenue?

In order to differentiate between capital and revenue any items you wish to purchase must have a value as at the date of purchase (in whole or in part) of £5,000 (five thousand pounds) or less. The maximum grant you can apply for is £3,000 so any cost above the maximum grant amount will be payable by the applicant if they are awarded a Growth Support Kickstart Grant but total purchase costs must not exceed £5,000.

Can I include VAT?

VAT can only be included if you are unable to recover VAT in the normal way e.g. you are not registered for VAT.
If you are registered for VAT the amount you apply for should be net of VAT if you are not registered the amount you apply for can include VAT so long as the total purchase cost does not exceed £5,000 and you are not applying for more than the maximum grant award of £ 3,000.

Will business who have contacted be emailed automatically once the scheme opens for applications? will not be emailing individual businesses. As soon as the scheme is open Devon County Council will issue a Press Release confirming the date the scheme will open for applications. We recommend that businesses sign up to Growth Hub newsletter

Can the scheme support start-ups?

The scheme is aimed as established businesses, to recover from the impacts of COVID19. We will consider applications from business who have at least 12 months of trading history.
Can you ensure my application is approved on time in order for my business to meet supplier deadlines e.g. providing artwork for advertising?
Applications will be reviewed in order of the date they are received by the Kick Start Grants Team we will not approve applications based on supplier deadlines. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that any timescales can be met for any support they wish to procure using grant monies that are still subject to approval.

Last updated: 21 September 2020