Business Investment for Growth (BIG) Expression of Interest (EOI) Guidance Notes

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1 Business Investment for Growth (BIG) Expression of Interest (EOI) Guidance Notes These notes are intended to assist you in completing the Expression of Interest (EOI) for the Business Investment for Growth (BIG) programme. The purpose of the EOI is to get a clear picture of your organisation and the investment that you are proposing to make. It is not in the interest of the BIG programme to delay the processing of EOI or applications, and you can therefore be assured that your application will be processed as quickly as possible. However, missing or unclear information will certainly delay it, and we therefore ask that you complete the form in full. You will be asked to give evidence and justify any assertions made in the application. Please ensure that you can before entering the information. Procedure summary: Once submitted the completed EOI will be checked for eligibility and scored against a matrix of criteria by the BIG Facilitation Team. Proposals that score 60% or more will be invited and supported to submit a full application* which will then be assessed and a firm recommendation made of approval, refusal or deferral (pending amendment) for decision. The BIG Investment Panel (> 9,999 BIG investment) or the Accountable Body (< 10,000 BIG investment) makes the decision whether to support the project or not, taking into account the recommendation and their own assessment of the information. If approved, you will be issued with an Offer Letter and may then commence your project. *The full application will build upon but not duplicate the information provided in the EOI. Please remember that if you start your project before it has been approved and an offer letter issued, you will not be able receive any grant from this scheme. EOI Guidance v 2 Nov

2 Expression of Interest 1. Project name This is the name that you wish the project to be known by. We advise that it be different from the business name in case at some point in the future you make another application for a separate activity. It can be as inventive as you like. The purpose is to distinguish it from all other projects. 2. Applicant Organisation Organisation name Business Sector Registered business address Type of organisation Company number Charity number VAT registration number Name of contact for this investment Contact telephone/ Correspondence address (if different) Trading start date Please put down the registered business and the name under which the business trades on a day to day basis if different. Please select from the drop down list which business sector category applies to your business. If your sector is not shown you may select Other but please be aware that the following would be ineligible for ERDF BIG support (Isles of Scilly applicants falling into these categories should contact the BIG Programme Administrator): Day nurseries; retail facilities; fishery and aquaculture sectors; primary production; processing and marketing of agricultural products; coal steel and shipbuilding sectors; synthetic fibres sectors; banking and insurance companies; establishments providing generalised (school age) education. Please put down the registered address of the organisation. There is the opportunity (below) to provide an alternative contact address in addition to this. Please select from the drop down box what type of business you are. Please put down the company number if your organisation is registered with Companies House. If not applicable state N/A If you are a registered charity please put down your organisation s charity number. If not applicable state N/A If your organisation is registered to pay VAT please enter your VAT registration number. If you are not VAT registered and cannot claim VAT back elsewhere the gross costs of the project are eligible and the BIG investment will reimburse this element as well. If you can claim VAT back elsewhere you must only include net costs in the Costs and Funding section. If your organisation is not VAT registered please clearly state this. This should be the person that will day to day manage the project. This person will be the principal contact for the BIG Team and Project Assessors to liaise with. These are the day to day details in case we need to get hold of the main contact person. This is the address that you wish all correspondence to be sent to with regard to your application. It does not need to be the registered address of the organisation. If it is the same as the details that you have already provided, simply enter N/A. Please select from the drop down box how long your business has been established, if you are unsure select your best estimate. It would help our understanding of the business to know how long it has been running. It will not necessarily act against you if the business is new but the intervention rate you receive may vary depending on the stage of the business. EOI Guidance v 2 Nov

3 In what month does your business financial year start and end? Financial trends Current full time equivalent employee headcount Describe your main business activities and outline of your products and services What percentage of your turnover is based in the following areas? Does your organisation hold the following current policies? Please select from the drop down boxes the months in which your business financial year starts and ends, if you don t know please select this option. These will provide the principal tool for measuring the financial impact that the project will have on your business. Please state the organisation s turnover, gross and net profit and net equity figures for 2011, 2012 and forecasted amounts for For the current year please use the most recent set of audited or year end accounts, last year should be the previous set. This will allow the BIG Investment Panel to see what difference the project will make on your net profit. It is linked to the annual business turnover since both are financial indicators of where you want the business to be as a direct result of the BIG investment. A key objective of BIG is to create jobs so we need to know your baseline position. Please state how many full time equivalent (FTE) employee s you currently employ. A FTE can be defined as 30 hours/week. Convert part time jobs to FTE on a pro rata basis based on hours worked e.g. someone working 20 hours a week would be a 0.6 FTE. Please provide a description of your business and the main aspects of its products/services. 200 words have been allocated to this section, however if you are successful in passing this EOI stage there will be the opportunity to provide more detailed information within the full application. Please enter the approximate percentage of where your turnover currently comes from, totalling 100% - Cornwall, Regional, National or International. Where none apply please enter 0. Please tick to indicate whether your organisation has a current Environmental/sustainability policy and an Equal Opportunities/Equality & Diversity policy. These are key cross cutting themes that will be explored further at full application stage. If these are not currently held it will not necessarily affect your eligibility to proceed to full application but you will be required and supported to create one. 3. Investment Proposal What are you seeking investment towards? Please summarise what the investment will be used to pay for. Please select from the drop down box what you are seeking investment towards. Whilst your proposed activity may straddle more than one of these please select the primary activity. This is the opportunity to summarise what the project is and how it came about. In 200 words please explain what you would intend to use the BIG investment to pay for. If you are successful in passing this EOI stage there will be the opportunity to provide more detailed information within the full application. The following are non-exclusive examples of activities within each targeted activity: Access to new markets Market research Implementation of e-commerce solutions to support trading beyond established markets Marketing (including digital and e-marketing techniques) EOI Guidance v 2 Nov

4 What market opportunity will this investment help your business take and how does it help your business set itself apart from the competition? What environmental impact will your investment have? Consultancy re growth ambitions Technology and product design Environmental measures Business plan development Systems software solutions Finance escalator/advice Capital needs assessment Patent/IP protection/management Prototype development Manufacturing process improvement (post SWMAS advice) Knowledge transfer/exploitation Accreditation Implementation of environmental processes Environmental audits Feasibility Proof of concept New product development Diversification Inward investors Settlement support for new investing businesses Employment Recruitment of skilled/specialist personnel Interim management Graduate employment beyond UCP scope Capital expenditure Machinery and other capital equipment The BIG programme is intended to support businesses to implement and realise their sustainable growth ambitions including high value job creation. Please explain in 200 words how BIG will help your business grow or enter new market areas and how it will help make your business different from others offering similar products/services. Please tick whether your proposal is likely to have either a beneficial, neutral or detrimental environmental impact. You will be requested to provide more detail on this aspect in the full application. However, please note that a detrimental impact is likely to lead to the rejection of the proposal. 4. Costs and Funding Total value of the investment This section shows the costs of the project. Note the requirement for both the funding and costs totals to match the total. You should enter figures rounded down to the nearest pound. You should have justification for the figures that you are inserting here. When you make a claim, if the project costs are less than the estimate, the amount of BIG investment you receive will be reduced proportionately. If it costs more than estimated, the invesment is unlikely to be increased without the further permission of the BIG Panel. However, inserting too high a figure may cause the application to be rejected on value for money grounds. You should therefore have fairly definite figures before applying. Either capital or revenue expenditure can be applied for but the following would be ineligible: Working capital Business as usual Retrospective investment (work already done or started) EOI Guidance v 2 Nov

5 Satisfaction of a legal requirement Activity that should be supported by another programme It is also important that you enter either gross or net costs where appropriate. Earlier in the EOI you were asked if your organisation was VAT registered, if it is you should only include net costs here. If you cannot claim back the VAT elsewhere you should include gross costs. All equipment purchased must be fit for purpose. Explain how these costs have been calculated Amount of BIG investment being requested What other sources if funding are going to pay for the balance of costs? Please explain what the value for the costs is based on e.g. quotes, past experience, estimates etc. Please note that as part of the full application you will be required to show that you have followed certain guidelines when seeking quotes for the works to be undertaken which are in line with ERDF procurement rules. The procurement process is set out in the Procurement Rules document and a sample table to record the process is also available. Please enter the amount of investment you are seeking from the BIG programme. It cannot exceed 50,000 or be less than 1,000 and should be no more than 50% of the total costs; this percentage is known as the intervention rate. Please note that the BIG Investment Panel/Accountable Body may offer a lower intervention rate and therefore monetary value of the BIG investment at its discretion. Please provide a breakdown of where the funding for the project will be coming from. BIG can only pay for a certain proportion of the costs of the project and therefore it is important that you have a firm idea of what other elements you will be utilising. For example, bank, lease, finance, South West Loans Fund, equity, director s loans, retained profits etc. All funding must be committed and in place prior to project commencement. Note the requirement for both the funding and costs totals to equate to one another (e.g. if your costs are 10,000 then the funding has to total 10,000 including the BIG investment. If it does not or if the figures are incorrectly totalled you will be asked to revise this part of the application. You should enter figures rounded down to the nearest pound. 5. Timescales When do you plan to start and finish your project? What might delay your investment and what action have you taken to limit the risks of delay? Enter the dd/mm/yyyy for both the proposed start and finish dates. Please note that BIG cannot be used towards activity that has already commenced. You will be required to provide more detailed timescales within the full application. There may be a few things which have the potential to delay your project e.g. recruitment, funding delays etc but planning permission can present major delays. The BIG Investment Panel will not make a decision on any project where detailed planning permission and building regulations are needed but not secured. With limited resources, the BIG Investment Panel have to ensure that money is allocated to projects that are ready to proceed. If you don t have detailed planning permission and/or building regulations and need it please indicate the timetable that is in place to secure this element. Permissions can be applied for at the same time that you submit the EOI and full application but decisions should be secured before any grant funding is awarded. Detailed planning guidance can be sought from Cornwall Council. 6. Outputs and Outcomes EOI Guidance v 2 Nov

6 The specific aim of this investment is to create high value jobs. Tell us how your proposal will do this and approximately how many jobs will be created. Please state whether you are linked with or have received support from other Convergence delivery providers or business groups. It is important to know what impact your project will have on the number of people you employ for the business. Any increase should be directly attributable to the increased quality of your business as a result of the project. In other words, you should be confident that the project has directly led to an increase in jobs created. Whilst not an exhaustive list, examples of existing business groups and other deliverers of support and services are: Cornwall Agrifood Council Cornwall Chamber of Commerce and Industry Cornwall Manufacturers Forum Cornwall Marine Network Cornwall School for Social Entrepreneurs Creative Skills CUC Partners, including Exeter and Plymouth Universities, University College Falmouth, the Innovation Centres, Unlocking Cornish Potential, Cornwall College, Truro & Penwith College Digital Peninsula Network Environment Skills Network InvestinCornwall Outset Cornwall/PartnertoSucceed Oxford Innovation South West Investment Group Services. 7. Sign off - Please ensure that you read and understand the information in this section before completing. De minimis SME Signposting: As part of the BIG investment process it is important to learn whether you have received any grants within the last 3 years. This will help us to understand whether you have prior experience in working with grants and whether you have received more than 200,000 of grant in the period. Under EU rules it is not possible to receive any level of grant over this amount within a 3 year period. At this EOI stage you don t need to provide details but be aware that the investment constitutes State Aid. BIG investment can only be offered to Small or Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) i.e. having a headcount of less than 250 employees; a turnover in the last full financial year of 50m of less and a balance sheet in the last full financial year of 43m or less; and holds less than a 25% interest (capital or voting rights) in another organisation and/or another organisation holds less than a 25% interest in the applicant organisation. If you are unsure whether these criteria apply to your business please contact the BIG Team for advice. As explained on the EOI Applicant declaration: As explained on the EOI EOI Guidance v 2 Nov

7 Signed: Position: Date: This should be the signature of the main contact person cited at the start of the EOI. As the contact name (project manager) does not need to be the owner of the business, it is relevant to know what position they hold in order to confirm that they act with the owner s authority. If the project manager is the owner, simply put owner of business or proprietor. The date of submission to the BIG Programme Team. If you require this information in any other format please contact the BIG Programme Administrator on Once complete submit the EOI to: BIG Programme Team Bickford House South Wheal Crofty Station Road Pool Redruth Cornwall TR15 3QG Tel: EOI Guidance v 2 Nov

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