South East Business Boost (SEBB)

Funds for those wishing to apply for a 30% intervention grant are now very limited.

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.

Our SEBB grant is for Kent businesses only.

The programme can fund up to 30% of the costs of qualifying projects, with the remaining 70% being met by the business. No purchases may be made, or suppliers engaged, until your project is approved. Once approved, all purchases have to be paid for in full before 30% of the cost can be claimed back.

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.

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

These are some of the items we can help you with:

  • 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.

The cap for services is £20,000 in total.

These are some of the items that are 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.

Application process

There are 4 stages in the application process (PDF, 90.5 KB). We will provide you with feedback at each stage.

Step 1: expression of interest

Please read our privacy notice (PDF, 108.7 KB) before expressing your interest.

The South East Business Boost (SEBB) programme is in its final year and funds for those wishing to apply for a 30% intervention grant are now very limited.

If you are considering an application to this grant fund, we would recommend that you submit an expression of interest form as soon as possible to give your business the best possible chance of success.

Whilst the SEBB funding is available until December 2022, the funding can still support your business in two other ways:

  • benefit from 12 free hours of dedicated one-to-one coaching or workshops across the Kent and Medway region.
  • The New Enterprise Grant is available for businesses that have been trading for less than 12 months which offers 100% funded grants of up to £2,000 for the funding of projects that demonstrate solid growth.

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: grant application

This is the full application stage.

If you are eligible we will send you a grant application to complete. This will give us further detailed information about your project. The application will be partly pre-populated with details you provided during the previous stage.

We will ask you to supply financial details of your business and quotes for your intended purchases. Once we have verified and checked your application we will forward this to our panel for full grant approval.

When your application is approved we will send you a grant funding agreement for your signature.

Step 4: start your project

When you have signed your documentation, you will be given a start date when you can begin your project.

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.

Supported by