Cashing in on business grants

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entrepreneurs from the Borders are being given a business boost thanks to a unique fund aimed at new and existing businesses.

The Scottish Borders Business Fund (SBBF) aims to respond to barriers against access to finance and provide small businesses with financial assistance to develop projects that would not otherwise happen.

Managed by Scottish Borders Council through Business Gateway, SBBF offers discretionary grants up to £4,000.

David McLean from Business Gateway said: “We receive hundreds of enquiries every year and many of these relate to funding.

“We appreciate that sourcing finance can be difficult, but through the SBBF, small businesses may be able secure the funds to help them grow.”

One company that has benefited from the SBBF is Berwickshire based online retailer ScotlandShop (www.scotlandshop.com).

Launched eight years ago by Anna White, the business offers a range of high fashion and traditional Scottish-themed clothing and accessories.

Anna said: “When we were looking to develop the business we realised that we would need some help to upgrade our website and add a multilingual facility. Not only did Business Gateway help us with business planning support but they also pointed us towards the SBBF.

“The funding was a tremendous boost and helped us get the website and other elements of our marketing up and running.

“We are now seeing orders coming in from across Europe and beyond.”

To find out how Business Gateway can help your business visit www.bgateway.com or call 0845 609 6611. For information about the Scottish Borders Business Fund visit www.bgborders.co.uk/Funding or contact their local office on 0844 875 0171.