A new grant scheme has been launched by Aberdeenshire Council to support the region’s most innovative and capable businesses and social enterprises.
The Business Resilience and Sustainability Scheme (BRASS) offers discretionary grant funding with an aim of enabling viable businesses to invest in diversification proposals for new products or markets.
The grant funding, of which successful applicants will be expected to match fund a minimum of 50%, is designed to support businesses with climate change and net-zero expectations, build digital resilience and secure accreditations to improve their market competitiveness.
The scheme offers Aberdeenshire businesses a potential new avenue of financial support following the closure of a number of the national Coronavirus Business Support Grants.
The criteria is relatively flexible and encourages businesses to think creatively about building their resilience and in turn supporting the local economy.
Projects implemented prior to applications being made will not be eligible. Businesses are encouraged to contact their local Aberdeenshire Council Business Development Executive to discuss potential applications.
Belinda Miller, head of Economic Development and Protective Services, said
Our businesses have been challenged like never before as a result of COVID-19 with a significant knock to the economy, together with increasing environmental expectations from the public and a demand for digital business solutions.
We have seen a huge amount of resilience and creative solutions around these challenges and hope this fund encourages and supports new initiatives as we adapt to the new-normal.
Infrastructure Service Committee chair, Councillor Peter Argyle, commented
Aberdeenshire Council is absolutely committed to creating the conditions for a thriving local economy. Be it through infrastructure and connectivity investment, the Developing our Northern Towns programme or our recently established Town Centres Phoenix Fund, we aim to come up with innovative initiatives to support our businesses. The BRASS Scheme is no exception to this and we are eager to see what this fund can deliver.
Vice-chair Councillor John Cox added
We know that we continue to face challenging times and we are here to support our local business community.
Our town centres businesses have been hit hard by the emergency lockdown measures, but we believe there are also new opportunities to be embraced and this could be a good time for businesses in our town centres to work more collaboratively and creatively to respond to the challenges we are all facing.
To find out more about the Business Resilience & Sustainability Scheme (BRASS) and how to apply here on the Aberdeenshire Council website.