HIE and Shetland Council pledge £50,000 to extend business start-up scheme

HIE and Shetland Council pledge £50,000 to extend business start-up scheme

Pictured: Lerwick town hall

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), in partnership with Shetland Islands Council (SIC), has the extension of the Shetland business start-up grant scheme until 31 March 2025.

Grants of up to £4,000 for up to 100% of eligible costs are available for successful applicants including individuals, sole traders or social enterprises based in Shetland.   

The aim of the scheme is to deliver targeted support to stimulate and encourage new business activity and improve resilience and diversity in the local economy.

Applicants will be able to apply for grant if their business was established up to 12 months before their application date. 

The scheme began in 2022, when a pilot grant scheme for new start businesses was established for an initial 18-month period, to encourage new enterprises and engagement with the Business Gateway in Shetland. 

The scheme will be funded until 31 March 2025 with a total budget of £50,000 including £25,000 from SIC, matched by £25,000 from HIE.

During the pilot period, the grant scheme supported eleven new business starts with a total grant commitment of £40,964.95 across a range of sectors including food and drink processing, business and personal services, retail, construction and tourism.

The grant is administered by the Business Gateway Shetland team, which offers support to new businesses, including help with the production of business plans and cash flow forecasts, to increase sustainability and growth. The scheme also aims to provide new business start-ups with funds to support capital investment, training costs and marketing and promotion.

Fiona Stirling, head of enterprise support at HIE in Shetland, said: “The first phase of the Business Start-up Scheme has delivered excellent outcomes to date.

“We’re delighted to work in partnership with Shetland Islands Council and Business Gateway to support the next phase of the scheme and look forward to new entrepreneurs coming forward.”

Dennis Leask, chair of the council’s development committee, said: “The pilot for this funding scheme has successfully supported a number of new local businesses and I’m pleased to see councillors agree today to continue to fund this until 2025.

“I’d encourage anyone thinking of setting up a new business in Shetland to apply to this scheme, to help them get their enterprise off the ground.”

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