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Babergh & Mid Suffolk Grants

Business Innovation Support Scheme

The Business Innovation Support Scheme (BISS) is designed to support local businesses by increasing productivity and encouraging economic growth. The scheme, which offers businesses a range of grants, is funded by Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils. Grants will cover up to 50% of the costs towards projects that encourage innovation and economic growth.

The aim of the scheme is to support businesses who want to innovate, reduce their carbon footprint and stimulate the local economy.

To be eligible for a grant, businesses must meet the following criteria:

  1. The business must be based in the district of Babergh or Mid Suffolk
  2. The grant cannot fund projects retrospectively, or works already in progress
  3. The business must agree to the match funding requirements. Businesses must provide evidence, upon request, that they can cover the full project costs
  4. The grant will cover a maximum of 50% of total project costs, up to the maximum value of the grant. The grant will be paid in arrears, on proof of payment and the production of any relevant invoices
  5. The business cannot be in administration, insolvent or in a situation where a strike-off has been made

Under the scheme, there are four new grants available to eligible businesses - from start-up to expansion:

  • Growth and Increased Productivity Fund
  • Enterprise and Innovation Fund
  • High Street Premises Enhancement Fund
  • Environmental Sustainability Fund

Businesses can use the grant funding to deliver improvements and change that enable the following outcomes:

  • Improve environmental outcomes and carbon efficiencies
  • Enable the growth of innovation in our businesses
  • Create and retain commercial floorspace
  • Access professional advice and training
  • Improve business frontage and town centre streetscapes (which impact footfall and visitor satisfaction)
  • Create and sustain jobs. Please note the fund will not cover recurring revenue costs including salaries, payment of apprenticeship qualifications, or equipment deemed as a basic requirement for new starters or existing members of staff to do their job e.g., laptops, mobile phones, telephony equipment, office furniture etc.
  • Encourage the development of technology based business solutions
  • Improve disabled access
  • React and be resilient to changing business landscapes (for example, Brexit)

Businesses must be able to demonstrate how their project meets the criteria of their chosen scheme. For full details on eligibility, please refer to the scheme's guidance notes.

Subsidy control

The scheme is subject to the new subsidy control regime.

Small amounts of financial assistance allowance

Under the new regime, grants may be paid in accordance with Article 3.2(4) of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), providing that doing so does not exceed the maximum level of subsidy allowance of 325,000 Special Drawing Rights1, to a single economic actor over any period of 3 fiscal years.

COVID-19 business grant allowance

If the above threshold has been reached, grants may be paid in compliance with the Principles set out in Article 3.4 of the TCA and in compliance with Article 3.2(3) of the TCA subject to £1,600,000.00 limit per single economic actor.2

COVID-19 business grant special allowance3

Where an applicant has reached its limit under the small amounts of financial assistance allowance and COVID-19 business grant allowance, they may be able to access a further allowance of funding under these scheme rules of up to £9,000,000 per single economic actor, subject to the following conditions being met:

  • The special allowance covers only the applicant’s uncovered fixed costs4 incurred during the period between 1 March 2020 and 31 March 2022, including such costs incurred in any part of that period (‘eligible period’);
  • Applicants must demonstrate a decline in turnover during the eligible period of at least 30% compared to the same period in 2019.5


Applicants must complete the subsidy control declaration within the application form.

Further guidance on subsidy control and state aid is available from GOV.UK.

Apply for the Business Innovation Support Scheme

When applying, please refer to the scheme's guidance notes. Make sure you clearly demonstrate how your business meets the criteria of the relevant grant.

For any additional queries, please email our Economic development team.



1 Equivalent of £335,000 as at 2 March 2021

2 This allowance includes any grants previously received under the COVID-19 business grant schemes and any State aid previously received

under Section 3.1 of the European Commission’s Temporary Framework across any other UK scheme.

This may be combined with the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance to equal £1,935,000 (subject to the exact amount applicable

under the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance using the Special Drawing Right calculator).

3 This allowance includes any grants previously received in accordance with Section 3.12 of the European Commission’s Temporary

Framework; all figures used must be gross, that is, before any deduction of tax or other charge.

Grants provided under this allowance shall not be cumulated with other subsidies for the same costs.

For the avoidance of doubt, grants under the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance, the COVID-19 Business Grant Allowance

and the COVID-19 Business Grant Special Allowance may be combined for a potential total allowance of £10,935,000 (taking into account

all grants previously received under the COVID-19 business grants schemes and subject to the exact amount applicable under the Small

Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance using the Special Drawing Right calculator).

4 ‘Uncovered fixed costs’ means fixed costs not otherwise covered by profit, insurance or other subsidies.

5 The calculation of losses will be based on audited accounts or official statutory accounts filed at Companies House, or approved accounts

submitted to HMRC which includes information on the applicant’s profit and loss