12 May 2009, 15:51 PM
  • A £5.4 million programme aims to support over 3,000 small businesses within the next three years.

The initiative is designed to help companies with their future plans, offering guidance and financial advice to those that employ between 4 and 50 people. The grants available range from £3,000 to £10,000 and are determined by the complexity of the proposed projects.

“I’m working with around 30 to 40 small food retailers at the moment, looking to improve their packaging, marketing, product development and strategic sales focus. There are some really exciting ideas in the industry at the moment so its excellent to be able to offer the support needed to make them possible,” says Melissa Addey, business mentor and project mediator for Knowledge Connect, the company championing the initiative.

Retailers in Greater London are all eligible to apply for support via an ‘Expression of Interest’ application, and those further afield advised to contact Business Link for the equivalent ‘Innovation Vouchers’, available to their region.

“We started the service a year ago and are always looking to support businesses that struggle to secure the help they need straight off the shelf,” says Ms Addey. “For example, we can’t build someone a website from scratch, but we can help them develop it into something more bespoke,” she adds.

Knowledge Connect is funded by the London Development Agency and European Regional Development Fund.

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