Contrary to a widely held misconception, significant EU funding is available for smaller private sector start-up businesses, as well as those needing capital to diversify. The current European Regional Development Fund programme (2007 - 2013 ERDF) provides financial backing for projects which are expected to cost anywhere between £10,000 and about £500,000 to establish.
The Fund is not only for large projects. In fact, to help access for smaller investments there is a fast-track process handling applications for funding of projects costing less than £65,000. The application procedure is not lengthy, and fast-track applicants can expect a reply within two to four weeks from the date of submission. For larger projects, it is best to allow four to six weeks.
The Fund is available to provide financial support to start-up businesses as well as established businesses wanting to expand or diversify. It will also help to finance businesses wanting to update in areas such as ICT (including costs of setting up websites) or planning to make certain environmentally-friendly improvements.
Although such sectors as wholesaling and financial services are not eligible for funding, the vast majority of other activities in Gibraltar are. It is an area in which Charles Gomez & Co. has extensive experience and can provide expert advice.
Though there are certain requirements which applicants’ plans must meet (such as creating jobs), financial support (up to 30 per cent of the project’s cost) is in the form of a grant which does not have to be repaid. It is intended to go towards costs such as marketing and rent as well as capital expenditure, and many companies have already benefited from such grants in the three years since the programme began.
Retrospective expenditure is not allowed, so it is vital that would-be applicants obtain expert advice on their chances of support from the Fund before incurring costs or committing themselves to contracts.
Our Business Support department will advise you on the possibilities to access EU funds, and prepare your application.
Preliminary advice on your chances of obtaining a grant is free and our experts will discuss your available options. Subsequent assistance in preparing your application will incur a cost - depending on the extent of the project.
Our firm can also assist you in relation to taxation, licensing, leases, employment contracts, commercial contracts and business set up generally.