The Growth Voucher scheme explained

22nd March 2013 | News

As part of the Chancellor’s Budget 2013 statement, Mr Osborne announced the government would be funding the proposal by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) to make growth vouchers available to small businesses seeking advice on how to expand.
 
The BCC proposed the scheme way back last September, with a £100m scheme open to 20,000 small and medium-sized businesses across the UK. The Chancellor endorsed the proposals in this week’s Budget, pledging £30m towards kick-starting the system.

So what’s in it for the typical SME owner?
 
Growth vouchers each worth £5,000 will be issued to businesses, providing them with access to advice on helping them grow and drive their business forward.

The scheme is designed to generate activity in the domestic business services market, boosting business investment and the productivity of the UK’s SME sector.
 
John Longworth, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, commented on the Chancellor’s Budget:
 
“The British Chambers of Commerce proposed a voucher scheme to help businesses access growth advice in September 2012. We are pleased that the Chancellor has accepted our proposal and committed £30m to help companies around the country get the advice they need to grow, on their own terms.
 
“Chambers of Commerce around the country look forward to working with the government to bring the scheme to life – and enable businesses to get the specialist assistance they need, whether on finance, employment law or other areas.”
 

Where will business growth advice be focused?

 

 
Businesses wishing to apply for the Growth Voucher scheme are likely to need to be able to demonstrate a sustainable business growth plan. Each voucher will only be available to use on gaining advice, as opposed to boosting working capital, and will also have a time limit on its usage.
 
More information is expected to be filtered through in the coming weeks and months to enable businesses to receive the specialist guidance they need.