Published: September 11, 2020 | Updated: September 11, 2020

More than 1,100 businesses register interest as applications open for £550k of recovery grants

By Andrew Diprose, editor

Get applyingl!

Dorset Growth Hub has opened up applications for the Dorset SME Recovery Grant.

More than 1,100 businesses have registered their interest in the grants, first reported on Dorset Biz News.

Three new members of staff – two consultants and a full-time administrator – have been recruited to deal with the expected influx of applications and enquiries.

Just under £550,000 is available to distribute to eligible, Dorset-based SME businesses trading in the tourism sector as well as the wider economy.

The grant follows the government announcement that a share of £30m is to be distributed to each Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

The sum includes a £10m Kick-starting Tourism Package for small businesses in the tourism sector and a further £20m funding to help smaller businesses recover from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Eligible businesses can now apply for £1,000 to £3,000 – or £5,000 in exceptional circumstances – via the Dorset Growth Hub website (

The non-repayable grants are funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

Grants will be spent on projects to aid job safeguarding and business survival, such as improving websites, implementing new technology, improving use of outdoor space, with awnings and heating, and also consulting and accessing expert advice on management, legal and HR.

The guidelines on the Dorset Growth Hub web page also point out what the grant can’t be spent on such as PPE and ‘business as usual’ items.

Nick Gregory, Operations Director, Dorset Growth Hub, pictured left, said: “With over 1,100 businesses registering their interest in these grants, we are expecting a huge number of applications to flood in over the next few weeks.

“We have employed three new members of staff – two part-time consultants and a full time administrator – to deal with the influx of applications and enquiries.

“They will be doing their best to reply to businesses as soon as they can, process applications efficiently and give a decision on whether they have been successful.

“We are hoping to do this in a two week turnaround, but this is dependent on the number of applications we receive in the first instance.

“Please bear with us, we really want to get this money to the businesses in need.”

Businesses considering applying should read the full guidance to determine eligibility along with the project in mind.

The business must have been impacted by Covid-19 and applicants will be asked to outline how the grant will help the business recover.

Questions on the grant should be directed to