Running a business is tough, especially at the moment, so it’s great when the local authority is fighting your corner. Unfortunately, lots of businesses are missing out on funded support because they either aren’t aware of it, or feel it’s difficult to access.
Since we set up our marketing agency back in 2014, we’ve worked with well in excess of 200 businesses, mostly SMEs, on a 1-2-1 and group level. This number would be roughly half that if there hadn’t been the multitude of funding streams available to SMEs in North Lincolnshire, North East Lincolnshire and Lincolnshire. In this short piece, we’ve given some examples of what sort of funding is available and how it can benefit your business.
It’s worth noting here that we as a business have not been particularly good at accessing funding, a classic case of do what we say, not what we do, perhaps!
What is funding?
It’s worth making clear from the outset that funding doesn’t mean “free money”! On some rare occasions, such as the forthcoming digital grant from the UK government (see below for outline info), there are opportunities to claim 100% grant funding for a project or piece of work, but please bear in mind that most grants need to be paid for in advance then claimed back from the funding body.
Over the past five years, since we moved the agency from Lincoln to Brigg, we’ve seen plenty of local SMEs receive really effective support from a handful of organisations, listed below, with contact details where available, whose role in the most general terms is to ensure businesses in their respective areas are given the best chance to thrive – when businesses thrive, more often than not, the towns and supporting supply chain(s) thrive, too, which is beneficial for the local and wider regional economies, of course.
The most common type of funding we’ve seen clients benefit from has helped businesses develop new websites, use creative marketing campaigns to launch new products, promote a fundraising campaign and receive expert marketing advice to enable them to sell more products and services and raise brand awareness. Until the forthcoming funding stream, the overwhelming majority has been 40% funded, which means that the business pays for 100% of the work then claims back 40% through the funding body, who are usually quick to get the money back into the business’s account.
Everyone wins, here: the businesses are able to commit more than they’d budgeted for marketing; the businesses grow more quickly and put more money back into the local economy and, of course, we’re doing more work (hence the non-stop recruitment drive!).
Forthcoming grant funding opportunity for businesses in North Lincolnshire
As referenced earlier in this piece, we were recently made aware of some new government funding for digital marketing and tech support – not for buying laptops and other technology, rather for more strategic support to help a business grow. Presumably, this is to give the economy a kick-start following the last couple of years of Covid-related disruption.
Contact us or Les at NLC (see below for details) for more information.
The precise requirements are yet to be confirmed, but we expect it will be able to be used to fund, amongst other things:
- Digital marketing
- Website design and build
- Search Engine Optimisation projects
- Marketing campaigns – video, product launches
- Ecommerce (selling products and services online)
- Software to support marketing (e.g. Customer Relationship Management tools)
- Tech projects
- Online process improvements (e.g. CRM)
Funding organisations for Northern Lincolnshire in particular
There are a number of people and organisations you can turn to for support, the list below isn’t exhaustive and is in no particular order. We have no affiliation to any of them.
- E-Factor Business – based in NE Lincs, supporting a wider area
- N Lincs Council Business Support – Les Selby and Abdi Farah are useful contacts here
- N E Lincs Business Support
- Hull & East Yorkshire Growth Hub – check whether they still support N. and N.E. Lincs as the boundaries have recently changed
- Business Lincolnshire Growth Hub
We’ve really enjoyed working with lots of local SMEs with great results particularly in e-commerce, charity fundraising and brand development. We’ve also benefited from collaborating with other local experts such as Know and Big Fat Pigeon to deliver campaigns with significant impacts to businesses’ bottom lines – and having fun whilst doing it!
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Our aim is to be a driving force in raising the standard of marketing for businesses across the region, as this is an important way of ensuring increased prosperity and enjoyment for everyone who lives, works, and visits here.