Growth Vouchers were introduced by the government to give small business owners access to professional advice and guidance. The scheme was announced by the Chancellor as part of the 2013 Budget, and has funds of around £30 million.
Online applications can be made for the vouchers, with qualifying businesses being chosen at random. If you need help or advice about the programme or your eligibility, Southside Accountants in Southfields SW19 provide friendly but professional guidance.
What type of advice can I get?
There are five categories of advice under the scheme:
- Finance and cash flow
- Recruitment and staff development
- Leadership and management skills
- Marketing, attracting and retaining customers
- Taking advantage of digital technology
Will I be eligible?
These are the eligibility criteria set by the government – you have to:
- Be registered in England
- Have been trading/providing services for a minimum of one year
- Employ 49 members of staff or fewer (this includes employees of any company with a stake in your business)
- Have not paid for strategic business advice within the last three years
- Be independent (no more than 25% of your business to be owned by any other organisation
Southside Accountants in Southfields SW19 can provide advice on eligibility.
How much are Growth Vouchers worth?
Growth Vouchers of up to £2,000 are available. The voucher pays up to half of the cost of professional advice, and you pay the balance. This allows you to pay what you can afford, for example if the spend is £1,800 in total, you pay £900, and the other half is paid for under the scheme.
How do I find a supplier?
The only place to find suppliers for the scheme is through the Enterprise Nation marketplace. There are two categories of supplier in the list – those who are members of their professional body or trade association, and those who aren’t.
Growth Vouchers are only valid if used with accredited advisors, but if you do not qualify for the scheme, you can still choose a non-accredited advisor if you wish. A feedback system exists, showing previous client opinion for each advisor, making it easier to choose a reliable supplier if you take this route.
How do I apply for Growth Vouchers?
You can apply online at https://www.gov.uk/apply-growth-vouchers – you’ll need various business details including turnover and registration number or Unique Taxpayer Reference. If you qualify, your business needs will be assessed via a diagnostic online filter, followed by notification on whether you will receive the vouchers.