Issue - meetings

BELA 3

Meeting: 12/05/2009 - Cabinet (Item 46)

46 Breckland Enterprise & Learning Account (BELA 3) (Agenda item 15) pdf icon PDF 97 KB

Report of the Executive Member for the Economic and Housing Portfolio (Paul Claussen).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report sought Cabinet’s approval for £20,000 funding to be released from the match funding reserve to enhance and enable Phase 3 of the ongoing Breckland Enterprise Learning Account (BELA) project which offered small grants of up to £500 to micro businesses based within the Breckland District.  The project had recently been awarded £10,000 from the Breckland Partnership to enable Phase 2 and the Board had recently agreed a further £5,000 towards Phase 3.

 

The Economic Development Officer explained that Appendix 1 of the report highlighted how many businesses had benefited from such grants.  This was considered to be good public relations for the Council as it was actually giving businesses something rather than taking away.  In response to a question asked at a previous Executive Board meeting, Members were informed that the total required from Breckland Match Funding Reserve equated to 38.46%.

 

The Executive Member for the Transformation Portfolio was in strong support of the recommendation as he felt that small grants of up to £500 would be most valuable to small businesses particularly in the current climate. 

 

The Economic Development Team were congratulated

 

Option 1

 

Members agree to funding the initiative to the full amount of £20,000 to enable an additional 50 (minimum) start up micro businesses across the Breckland District to directly benefit from the funding available thereby ensuring their needs were met especially during these challenging times, and progress towards meeting the Council’s own strategic aims.

 

Option 2

 

Members agree to fund the initiative to a lesser amount which would result in diminished outputs and outcomes for Breckland based start up and micro businesses.

 

Option 3

 

Members decline to agree funding to enable the project to continue.  If this was the case the project would diminish but would continue to run with the £5,000 awarded by the Breckland Partnership which would enable 10 further businesses to be assisted.

 

Reasons

 

Additional funding for this initiative would help maximise the opportunity for start up and micro businesses to obtain skills development, business support, essential items of equipment, advice and guidance at a time when businesses such as these were at their most vulnerable.

 

If the funding was not approved it would result in the subsequent scaling down of this initiative.

 

There was no other grant scheme like BELA available to businesses.  If Members declined to agree the funding the one small form of grant aid the business community could access would be gone along with the opportunities that it offered.

 

RESOLVED that £20,000 from the Match Funding Reserve (MFR) be approved to deliver the project to enable the Council & Breckland Partnership to assist a minimum of 50 businesses through a total fund of £25,000.