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City of York Council has appointed UMi as the delivery partner of its new £500k Business Growth Voucher Scheme to provide additional support to local businesses, which is now open for registrations.

The Business Growth Voucher Scheme scheme is funded by the final  instalment of the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) from the government, which is expected to help support at least 450 City of York businesses.

The newly launched scheme will be delivered by UMi and builds on the success of the council’s Micro Business Grants Scheme, which saw grants of up to £1,000 provided to 1,114 small, micro and one-person businesses during the early stages of the pandemic. The aim of the new schemes is to enable small and micro businesses to continue to navigate the challenges of the pandemic and stabilise their business models with help from City of York’s business community.  

Which businesses are eligible?

To apply for a Business Growth Voucher Scheme, businesses must:

  • Be actively trading
  • Be based in the York local authority area, or demonstrate that at least 75% of your trade is in York
  • Have 50 or less employees
  • Have been impacted by COVID-19
  • Satisfy our business verification process

How the Business Growth Voucher Scheme works:

The scheme will issue vouchers of up to £1000 to eligible businesses in the City of York, which can be used to procure services from a list of local providers.

It encourages York’s local businesses to identify their key requirements, difficulties and the services they need to overcome them. These services can range from business management, legal aid and publicity to marketing, sales and e-commerce. Based on their requirements, the scheme will connect local businesses with relevant York-based service providers.

The voucher scheme will help local businesses get the expertise and support they require from other businesses across the city – not only helping those in receipt of the vouchers, but also generating income for local businesses providing the services.

Key dates for the Business Growth Voucher Scheme:

Registrations for businesses interested in providing services under the voucher scheme are now open. 

Businesses seeking support can apply for the scheme from 17 November, 2021 and can redeem their support vouchers until 18 March, 2022.

For more information about the Business Growth Voucher Scheme, its eligibility criteria and application process, visit here

Councillor Andrew Waller, Executive Member for Economy and Strategic Planning, said: 

"It’s still a challenging time for many of our local businesses, as they adjust to new economic conditions and different ways of working, looking to a more sustainable future.

"This will strengthen business networks across the city and generate additional work for local companies. The aim is to support local businesses through the transitions that they are working through to help with their recovery and growth.” 

Nicki Clark, Chief Executive of UMi, added:

“We’re very proud that the City of York Council has chosen UMi to be the delivery partner for the Business Growth Voucher Scheme, which is set to help York-based businesses and the wider community.

Since 2007, UMi has helped more than 450,000 businesses to do more and go further by providing the best information, expertise and finance to help them make better decisions more quickly.

Our Investment Centre is a crucial part of this, and our highly knowledgeable team combined with innovative approaches have transformed accessibility, understanding and, ultimately, success.

“We’re confident that the Business Growth Voucher Scheme will give small and micro businesses in York access to funding that can help fuel their strategic growth plans as they move into the new year and beyond.”

Key takeaways:

  • The Business Growth Voucher Scheme has been launched to support small and micro businesses across York, helping them navigate through the pandemic and revitalising the city's business community.
  • Eligible businesses could receive vouchers of up to £1,000 that can be used to access expertise and support from other service providers within City of York's business community. 
  • To find out if your business is eligible, visit the website
Ashleigh Smith
Article by Ashleigh Smith
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