Additional support available for South Yorkshire businesses through impact of pandemic

Here in the Sheffield City Region, businesses have been particularly hard hit by the global pandemic and the Mayoral Combined Authority has responded to this and secured a further £9m into the Additional Restrictions Grants (ARG), to ease the challenges that businesses are facing.

The boost to the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) includes over £9m grant funding available across all sectors, with specific funding to help businesses ease out of the global pandemic. Over the last 12 months, Sheffield City Region Mayoral Combined Authority has listened to business, business groups and stakeholder needs and continues to work on helping businesses to deliver funding to enable businesses to achieve the best possible outcomes.  The additional funding packages of support for South Yorkshire businesses includes:

  • £4m to help growing businesses thrive
  • £1m to boost existing business productivity
  • £1.5m to support outdoor hospitality equipment – for venues such as pubs, restaurants, and hotels
  • £0.8m towards digital innovation
  • £2m Restart funding for the Culture and Visitor sector.

James Muir, Chair of the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, explains: “There is a wide range of support available to South Yorkshire businesses from funding for venues to be able to serve customers outdoors through to major grants for capital equipment and to enable businesses to invest in digital innovation. It remains a hugely challenging time for South Yorkshire businesses and the grant funding plus the support that businesses can get through business support advisors based at each local authority, is very much needed.”

The Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) complements the Renewal Action Plan (RAP), developed by the Mayoral Combined Authority, which is led by Mayor Dan Jarvis and the Local Enterprise Partnership. The RAP has been developed in response to the impacts of COVID-19 and sets out a roadmap for how South Yorkshire can put itself on the path to recovering from the massive economic disruption the pandemic has caused.

 In response to demand from businesses, Sheffield City Region Mayoral Combined Authority has worked hard to secure a further financial boost to the schemes where there was most demand.  As a result, South Yorkshire businesses who we have continually been engaging with can now take advantage of a top up to the Capital Investment Scheme, which provides up to £100,000 with a maximum 50% intervention rate for new plant or equipment. We are keen to work with the businesses who have projects which can start immediately and be completed within six months.  Large software implementation projects will also be considered.

To be eligible to make an application, businesses must:

  • Be located in the Sheffield City Region and paying business rates to Sheffield, Doncaster, Rotherham or Barnsley
  • Be viable, demonstrating growth or potential to grow
  • Have been trading for at least 12 months
  • Operate from commercial premises.
  • Have a project that is able to deliver a return on investment through jobs / turnover / productivity.
  • Be planning expenditure or have a project in the pipeline for which approval of a grant would be a creative incentive to bring forward the timing of the project or to increase the scale of the investment in the project.
  • Be in a position to make a legal commitment to the equipment once the grant is approved.

The Outdoor Hospitality Equipment Scheme is another new grant, which is available for this region’s business to invest in capital works and equipment to allow them to adapt to increase capacity for outdoor hospitality. This is part of meeting the Government’s roadmap to reopening and to increase outdoor hospitality options going forward. Businesses can claim up to £3K support for adaptations (for example, outdoor seating, decking, structures). Support is limited to one grant per premises.

A new Digital Innovation Grant is also available to provide support for businesses on introducing or enhancing digitisation. 100% grant funding is available up to a value of £10k.

Projects need to show clear added value, be part of a clear growth strategy and be targeted at growing the business through the adoption of digitisation.

The Business Productivity Scheme has also been reintroduced with funding from the Additional Resources Grant to meet demand from across South Yorkshire. Grants are for a maximum of £25,000 (includes 50% match funding).

The aim of this scheme is to support businesses in South Yorkshire to improve their productivity through the provision of a capital or revenue grant and to improve how they measure and report productivity gains. Whilst the project is initially looking to safeguard businesses and jobs, priority will be given to applicants that can best demonstrate how the investments will have a positive impact on productivity and the creation of potential new employment opportunities in South Yorkshire.

Grant awards will be 50% of eligible costs therefore the minimum size of the total project cost will be £5k, the maximum will be £24,999.

To further enhance the support available to businesses, Sheffield City Region has recently expanded its team of expert advisors by appointing a number of new Business Support Advisors who are based in each council. All these advisors have many years of industry experience; from manufacturing and service sector through to finance and international operations, and offer an independent, impartial perspective, which can make all the difference.

Sheffield City Region’s Business Support Advisors are aware of the large number of enquiries from local businesses and are working hard to find the best solution in these demanding times. The aim is to support as many South Yorkshire businesses as possible to navigate through the most suitable strands of support and guidance available.

Businesses are advised to get in touch with the Gateway team in the Growth Hub to be guided through the range of support available to them.




Press enquiries: Marina Wood or Rebecca Hart Tel 0114 3495341 or email or

About SCR Growth Hub

The Sheffield City Region (SCR) Growth Hub exists to help businesses find the best possible business support. And in these unprecedented times, we are working hard to respond to and support South Yorkshire’s businesses during the Coronavirus pandemic.  It is part of Sheffield City Region LEP which was introduced to provide vital support for businesses across South Yorkshire.

The Growth Hub is open and here to help.

The Growth Hub acts as a ‘gateway’ so that your business can access support when you need it the most and within the shortest timeframe.  Our team of specialists offer guidance in the fields of business development and industry support, including innovation, trade and exporting, accessing finance or training.

The Government has announced a number of schemes to help businesses during this challenging time. The Gateway team can provide more detail on each of the schemes and what they mean for you.

We are providing a series of business support updates as they arise and are working with our SCR Response Group and the Local Resilience Forum.

We are doing everything we can to protect our economy, and support jobs and businesses across South Yorkshire during this difficult time.

The Renewal Action Plan (RAP) sets out our road map to help South Yorkshire recover from the pandemic and put us on the path towards social and economic renewal. It will help people, employers and places recover, and put us on course to transform our region – making our economy and society stronger, greener and fairer.

The plan also contributes to our longer-term goals and the transformation of our City Region – so we can build back better. The plan shows how we will help:

People – supporting people adapt to the new economy and be better able to fill higher-skilled jobs

Employers – supporting businesses to adapt, survive and thrive in the new environment

Places – transforming our local economies to create jobs, and make our towns and cities stronger

Building a stronger, greener and fairer economy for South Yorkshire

“Our relief effort will be radical, wide-ranging and will stop at nothing to put South Yorkshire back on its feet. It’s a plan for small businesses, big businesses and the people and communities we serve.”

Dan Jarvis MBE MP, Mayor of the Sheffield City Region.

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