Businesses across Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire are being urged to check if they can apply for grants of up to £3,000 to boost economic recovery from COVID-19.

The Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Growth Hub has launched two funds, from a total pot of £872,000, to help support Small to Medium businesses (SMEs).

SMEs whose trade is 100% business to business can apply to the SME Restart Programme and SMEs located in a tourist area and dependent on visitors can apply to the Kickstarting Tourism Programme - both are subject to eligibility.

Nicola Kent, Growth Hub Manager, said: "The Growth Hub is pleased to have been able to support Staffordshire businesses throughout the pandemic and we are thrilled to have this European Regional Development Fund money at a time when it couldn’t be more vital for many businesses, especially those in the tourism sector.

"We hope these small grants will help our economy to recover and enable businesses to bounce back stronger than ever.

"The funding will be distributed on a first come, first served basis, so I would urge businesses to complete the expression of interest form.

"We have set up a dedicated web page on the Staffordshire County Council website, where people can read FAQs and fill in the form to check if they meet the criteria.

"Those who are eligible will be sent an application pack so they can make a formal request."

Businesses can use the funding to seek professional advice or purchase small pieces of equipment or technology that will assist them in their economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.

For example, to purchase contactless payment solutions or software enhancements that will develop innovative ways of working.

Businesses can use the funds to purchase equipment to help diversify their business to enhance productivity, as they adapt to the changes brought about by COVID-19.

Andrea Sammons, Senior Marketing Officer for Enjoy Staffordshire, said: "Tourism contributes £1.85bn per year to Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent's economy, as well as providing over 32,000 jobs.

"These grants can make all the difference for many small and micro tourism, hospitality and leisure businesses such as B&Bs, tea rooms and small visitor attractions. 

"The funds can be used for HR, accountants, legal, financial, digital or sector specialists, as well as to develop innovative delivery in a socially distanced economy.

"For example, new ways of delivering cultural events and festivals that are so critical to the visitor experience."

To express an interest, visit for further instructions.

Businesses can benefit from free help and advice from a dedicated Covid-19 section on the Growth Hub website.

The Growth Hub offers guidance in all areas of business, including business advice, growth and recovery, funding and finance, HR and marketing.

The programmes are funded by the European Union and any business in receipt of a grant will be agreeing to abide by EU funding rules.


Notes to editors:

About Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Growth Hub

The Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Growth Hub was established in 2014 with the purpose of helping to unlock private sector growth in terms of job creation, sustainable new businesses and new product/market development.

The Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Growth Hub is the core of support for Staffordshire SMEs who are trading predominantly business-to-business and have growth aspirations.

It covers all sizes of business from start-ups through growth, diversification and to sale or closing of the business.

The programme does this by extending the reach and impact of national and local business support initiatives and funds, and by a referral system which enhances the effectiveness of the business support infrastructure across the LEP area.

Ultimately, the Growth Hub develops co-operation among national and local providers and encourages the cross-referral of clients.

About the European Regional Development Fund

The project is receiving up to £872,000 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund.

Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations.

For more information visit

About the Midlands Engine

Midlands Engine The government is committed to making the Midlands an Engine for Growth in the UK, increasing economic growth and improving the quality of life for everyone.

The Midlands is home to over 10 million people and over 780,000 businesses. Its economy is worth £217.7 billion.

Alongside over €750 million of European Regional Development Fund support for businesses and communities across the Midlands, the government has awarded £1.9 billion in three rounds of Growth Deals.

To gain wider promotion, enlisting the help of Local Enterprise Partnerships and other local partners who support the development and promotion of ERDF projects would be encouraged.

Collaborate with these partners to maximise the reach and impact of ERDF funded projects.

Please contact your contract manager, or the MHCLG Growth Delivery Team for more information.