Grant boost for businesses

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Businesses are being invited to applu for a grant to help them boost the economy and create jobs.

Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership (NEP) and the county council have launched the next round of funding under the INV-ENT initiative.

The locally-funded initiative provides a grant to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) based on their annual business rates bill, enabling investment in the business to stimulate development, innovation and growth and to create new jobs.

The leader of Northamptonshire County Council, Jim Harker, said: “There’s no doubt that the first few rounds of INV-ENT funding have made a massive difference to small and medium-sized businesses in Northamptonshire so I’m delighted that we’re extending this very important initiative.”

The launch of the fourth round comes as 15 applications for funding from the previous round were approved earlier this year; successful applicants included Pluswipes in Corby and AM Labels in Kettering.

Pluswipes director Tanya Teasdale Brown said: “INV-ENT funding has enabled us to introduce new technologies and processes into our business. Assistance towards the funding of our mix plant project will create new jobs as we will employ additional staff to increase production output.

“The funding will allow us to vertically integrate this operation on site, reduce our costs and enable us to become more competitive in the market place, as well as creating a new income stream for the business, ie manufacturing of bulk chemicals on site. INV-ENT has enabled us to safeguard 58 jobs and create new jobs immediately including the up-skilling of existing employees.”

Since it started in 2011, INV-ENT has supported 39 business projects in the county with £550,000 funding.