South East Business Boost (SEBB)

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

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

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

The programme can fund up to 30% of the costs of qualifying projects, with the remaining 70% being met by the business.

The South East Business Boost II (SEBB II) grant opened on 15 June 2020.

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

Please note that business support workshops and 1-2-1 advice will be available later in the year.

You can 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
  • Be seeking a grant between £1,000 and £10,000 with total project value of between £3,334 and £35,000 (offering a 30% intervention rate).
  • 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

There are a varied eligible costs under this grant programme:

Machinery/ equipment:

  • plant equipment
  • machinery and tooling
  • installation of machinery and hardware.


  • business related extension and improvement (non-retail premises only)
  • the cap for services/ works is £20,000 in total.

These costs are reliant on building ownership/length of lease:

  • specialist IT equipment/ higher cost
  • specialist software (software development /programming costs are not eligible)

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.


Email today for more information and assistance.

Application process

There are 5 stages in the application process (PDF, 90.5 KB). We will provide you with feedback at each stage.

Step 1: express of interest

Please read our privacy notice before expressing your interest.

Complete the expression of interest form

Once submitted, we will contact you directly to provide you with guidance notes. The guidance notes will help you during a business assessment telephone appointment.

Step 2: business assessment

During the call, we will complete the business assessment form on your behalf. The form allows us to assess your eligibility.

We will send you the completed form for confirmation, and to request for any other documents.

Your submitted form and requested documents will then be sent to the Programme Management Team (based at Southend Borough Council) for final confirmation.

If you are unsuccessful at stage 2, we will contact you and request that you resubmit your form.

If you are deemed as ineligible for ERDF support, you will not be able to resubmit your form.

Step 3: project proposal

If you are eligible, we will ask for further details to help evaluate your project:

  • further detailed information about your project that you could not provide in step 1
  • how you plan to grow your business.

Step 4: application and approval

Once your proposal has been validated, the Programme Management Team will contact you.

This is the full application stage.

The full application has been pre-populated with details you provided during previous stages. Once we have verified and checked your application and documents, we will ask for your signature.

You will be sent a grant funding approval date and a grant funding agreement, we will ask for your signature.

Step 5: start your project

When you have received your final signature from step 4, you can then continue to contact your supplier(s) to begin your project.

Questions about your application

If you have any questions about your application please email

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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