Grant proposal

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NEW BUSINESS owners throughout Angus could soon receive a boost should proposals to establish an ‘Angus Employment Grant’ scheme be authorised.

Should the scheme go ahead, an allocation of £42,500 is expected to come from an underspend by infrastructure services in the 2011/12 budget.

Eric Lowson, director of infrastructure services, said: “It is generally accepted that small and medium sized businesses will have to create the bulk of the new jobs in the economy as the UK struggles to recover from the recent recession, and that general confidence levels in potential entrepreneurs remain fragile.”

At present, Angus business start-up grant support is limited to four sub-sets including the Prices Scottish Youth Business Trust, ‘Be the Boss’ which is for former members of the armed forces and accessed through the British Legion, Firstport start-up funding through the Angus Association of Voluntary Organisations and the New Enterprise Allowance for those who have been unemployed for six months.

Therefore it is hoped that a new Angus Employment Grant scheme could be a response to the three key issues of falling business creation rates, falling business employment rates and falling youth employment rates.

It has been proposed that grants of £500 be awarded for business start-ups and first-time employee’s to help fledgling companies. It has also been proposed that an additional £250 will be made available for those who recruit employees aged between 18 and 24.

Mr Lowson concluded: “Most respected economic forecasters are predicting that the period 2012/2013 is likely to see stagnant economic growth, at best.

“The proposed Angus Employment Grant provides a carefully weighted and targeted local response to three of the key barriers to enhanced economic activity here in Angus.”