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Published: May 27, 2020 | Updated: May 27, 2020

Crowdfunder scheme partnered by LEP to help small and micro businesses generate cash flow

By Andrew Diprose, editor

Dorset LEP has partnered with Crowdfunder and Enterprise Nation to support small businesses in generating essential cash flow during the coronavirus pandemic.

Crowdfund Dorset Business provides match funding of up to £5,000 for the self-employed and for small businesses to help them keep trading.

This could provide a much-needed cash injection to help businesses bounce-back from the effects of Covid-19.

The allocation is available to all businesses in need of cash flow such as funding businesses to move online, pre-sell goods or even introduce PPE equipment into offices, shops or cafes.

Jim Stewart, Dorset LEP Chair, pictured left, said: “Taking on debt is not an option for a lot of small businesses in the current climate.

“Dorset LEP has invested £50,000 into Crowdfund Dorset Business to help these local businesses adapt to the coronavirus control measures which keep us safe.

“Sole traders and small businesses play a vital role in supporting Dorset’s economy and local communities and Dorset LEP is pleased to be providing this much needed additional funding as a part of a wider package of support.

“I am looking forward to seeing the innovative ways which we can start to reopen small Dorset businesses which need this cash support at this time.”

Crowdfunder, which has its headquarters in Cornwall but a main office in Bridport, is covering all platform and transaction fees making it 100 per cent free to small businesses.

Enterprise Nation is providing access to free training and support for businesses to help with online sales, marketing, cash flow, and diversification.

Crowdfund Dorset Business comes as part of Crowdfunder and Enterprise Nation’s Pay It Forward scheme.

Nationally, 600 businesses have signed up to the scheme and more than 22,000 people have purchased goods and services.

More information on the national scheme can be found on the Crowdfunder website.

Rob Love, Crowdfunder’s CEO, said: “Businesses are telling us they want help to diversify their businesses and keep trading.

“Through Pay it Forward, micro and small businesses, as well as people who are self-employed, can pre-sell goods and services as well as find new ways to do business.

“This enables businesses to maintain cash flow and stay connected to their customer base which is vital if they are to bounce back quickly once this is all over.”

Businesses can check eligibility and apply for this fund by visiting Crowdfund Dorset Business and signing up to Crowdfunder.

Once set-up, businesses can start crowdfunding by pre-selling goods and services or offering concessions, discounts or rewards to loyal customers.

Advice and support are available from Crowdfunder, Enterprise Nation and Dorset Gateway – Dorset LEP’s growth hub.

Businesses can set a financial target to meet and coaching is provided by Crowdfunder.

Once the sum of money is met the money is released to the person or small business.

If you are a small business or know someone with a small business in this situation Crowdfunder can help to keep you trading.