South East Business Boost (SEBB)

This funding programme is currently closed.

View the open funding programmes for businesses.

The South East Business Boost (SEBB) programme offered growth grants to small and medium sized businesses in Kent. The programme delivered:

  • 30% funded grants of between £1,000 to £10,000
  • 100% funded grants of £1,000 to £2,000 to new businesses trading less than 12 months
  • up to 12 hours of free one to one or workshop business support.

The scheme aimed to deliver investment to businesses across the South East Local Enterprise Partnership region:

  • Kent
  • Essex (including Southend and Thurrock)
  • East Sussex.

Our SEBB grant is for Kent businesses only.

The South East Business Boost II (SEBB II) 30% grant opened on 15 June 2020 and closed to all applicants in December 2022.

Business support opened to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in June 2021 and closed to all applicants in December 2022.

Whilst the New Enterprise Grant (NEG) was offered to new enterprises under the age of 12 months from October 2021, who showed strong growth potential and closed to all applicants in December 2022.

Businesses who were supported with either a grant or a business support intervention on the South East Business Boost I (SEBB I) programme were not eligible to apply for SEBB II.

You could apply for a SEBB Grant if you meet the following criteria:

  • Within Kent your business must be located in one of the following areas: Ashford, Canterbury, Dartford, Dover, Folkestone and Hythe, Gravesham, Maidstone, Medway, Sevenoaks, Swale, Thanet, Tonbridge and Malling, and Tunbridge Wells.
  • Be a sole trader, partnership, limited company or a not for profit business
  • Currently have fewer than 250 employees

Ineligible sectors: fisheries and aquaculture, agriculture, coal, steel and shipbuilding, synthetic fibres, education, banking and insurance, membership organisations that are politically affiliated and charities and voluntary sector organisations, that are not using a trading arm.

Types of costs

These are some of the items that were eligible:

  • IT equipment
  • plant equipment, machinery, and tools
  • specialist software (licenses, software development and programming costs are not eligible)
  • website development
  • commercial vehicles for your business
  • consultancy.

These are some of the items that were not eligible:

  • staff costs including IT, desks or recruitment
  • purchase of stock
  • anything required by Statute
  • advertising or search engine optimisation
  • paying off debts
  • purchase or rental of land or buildings
  • subscriptions or licensing
  • research and development
  • training (excluding some items of specific training which is included with equipment purchase)
  • premises or building improvements
  • cars.

Not have exceeded the de minimis state aid limit (€200,000 over three years) or be in a position where the de minimis state aid limit would be exceeded were the application to be approved.

The SEBB programme is now permanently closed and no new applications are being taken for 30% Grants, NEG or business support programmes.

General business advice

Kent and Medway Growth Hub is government funded service provided by Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce that provides help and support to new and existing local businesses.

Support from your bank

Your local bank can support you.

The following banks are working in partnership with us to support this initiative:

Royal Bank of Scotland

Support from your district council

Contact your district council for additional support and advice about services available in your district area.

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