Important Information for Unsuccessful Applications

We understand how disappointing it is for your application to be unsuccessful. Grant regulations are extremely strict, and the majority of unsuccessful applications are usually because of errors made in the application and/or where the applicant has failed to provide the documentation requested.

Due to the volume of applications received, we are unable to provide feedback on individual cases, but it’s highly likely your application was unsuccessful due to one of the reasons listed below.

Please review ALL of the below information, which includes examples, and if you feel you may have made one of the technical errors listed below, you may reapply to Tranche 2 when it opens for applications.

 

Most Common Reasons for Rejection

 

Eligibility

In order to be successful, businesses were required to have a registered postcode within the Black Country LEP area. This is checked manually for each application, and if your business is not registered and trading in the Black Country LEP area, your application will be rejected as you are not eligible for the grant.

You should contact the Growth Hub in your local LEP area to see if they are running any support programmes which may assist you.

 

Business Case

The ERDF Kickstart Grants are only available for businesses that can demonstrate the purchase of equipment/specialist support would aid in recovery and/or diversification.

In order to be eligible for a grant, an application was required to evidence how the business has been impacted by Covid-19 and how the grant would enable said business to mitigate some of the impact and/or diversify into new markets.

Put simply, if you are not clear in explaining how Covid-19 has affected your business, and/or how the purchase of equipment/specialist support will help your business either diversify or recover, then your application will be rejected.

Furthermore, this grant programme offers grants between £1,000 and £3,000. Grant requests can be made up to £5,000 where the applicant is able to demonstrate exceptional circumstances. As such, applicants requesting more than £3,000, or the maximum of £5,000, would draw further scrutiny. If the business case was unable to demonstrate exceptional circumstances, the application would be rejected.

 

Technical Errors

Applicants who passed the eligibility criteria and also provided a viable business case, often made technical errors with resulted in their application being unsuccessful. This is not an exhaustive list, but does provide the most common issues with rejected applications:

 

  • Supplier Quotes

    All applications are required to submit 3 quotes to demonstrate value for money. You can choose any supplier you want, but you must submit 3 quotes so that value for money can be demonstrated.
     
    • The 3 quotes you submit must be actual quotes from a supplier. We cannot accept Invoices for purchases you have already made.
       
    • For equipment purchases, you can submit screenshots of online stores, however, these must be legible and include the name of the store, the item(s) and the total purchase price of all items.

      An example is show below:
      Graphical user interface, application

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    • The 3 quotes you submit must be like-for-like to demonstrate value for money. For example, if you are purchasing a laptop, the 3 quotes must be from 3 different suppliers, but for the same laptop model/specification. If you submit 3 quotes for 3 different items, your application will be rejected.
       
    • The grant amount you have requested for your specialist/equipment purchase must match the amount of your preferred supplier. For example, if you have requested £2,000 as your grant amount, but your preferred supplier quote is only £1,600, your application will be rejected. Your requested grant amount cannot be more than your preferred supplier quote.
       
    • In Tranche 1, an option was available for applicants to provide 1 quote if they could demonstrate exceptional circumstances (For example, a highly unique piece of equipment that is only available from a single supplier). However, this option was over-used and the majority of applicants who checked this option were unable to demonstrate exceptional circumstances. This option will be removed in tranche 2 and will require all applicants to submit 3 like-for-like quotes.

 

  • Misunderstanding the Grant
     
    • The ERDF Kickstart Grants are only available for businesses that want to purchase minor equipment or specialist support that would help them adapt and/or diversify into new markets.
       
    • Many applications were rejected because applicants applied for the maximum amount assuming that they would be given a lump sum if successful.

      This is not a discretionary or business rates grant where a lump sum is paid to businesses.

 

 

  • Ineligible Grant Spend
  • This Grant can only be used for future activity.

 

  • This grant cannot be used to purchase what would be defined as a “Capital Purchase”. Eg. Machinery or equipment that exceeds £5,000 in cost.
     
  • It cannot be used to pay existing invoices, or existing business overheads. (Ie. Rent, Utility Bills, Company Accounts etc)
     
  • Other ineligible spends included extended warranties subscriptions (monthly or otherwise), service plans and/or stock.

Please note the above is not an exhaustive list. The grant should be used to pay for equipment or specialist advice which can help your business adapt or diversify. If your proposed spend does not support this, it will be unsuccessful.


 

  • Missing Documentation
     
    • Applications which did not provide the requested documents (Bank Statements and/or quotes) were rejected.
       
    • Applications received with incomplete and/or missing vital information and/or providing non-specific placeholder information, were also rejected. This includes where documentation was illegible, outdated and/or did not correlate with the requested grant amount or other sections of the application form
       

 

As a Growth Hub, our purpose is to help businesses and aid their long-term survival, especially in the current difficult situation that the majority of business owners find themselves in.

If you have been unsuccessful in your grant application, please do take advantage of our easy online business support finder tool, this simple directory will guide you through a quick process to select local and national programmes which could benefit your business. After completing the short process, one of our dedicated team will reach out to you to discuss your requirements and how to proceed.

You can also stay up to date with the latest opportunities, events and resources by following our various social media acocunts where we post daily updates. Linked below.