Funding process

Accessing the Sunderland Business Support Fund is very straightforward – you could have a decision on your grant application within a few weeks.

The grant funding application form asks for general information about your business and contact details for the person applying. We also need to know some basic past, current and future financial data; staff numbers and previous grant funding. Finally, we’ll need to know about the project you intend to complete and how it will benefit the business. Prior to applying, please note the following:

  • Incomplete application forms will not be assessed and will be returned for completion.
  • Funding cannot be provided for costs incurred prior to a Funding Contract being signed.
  • This is a retrospective Grant i.e. businesses must be able to cashflow the costs of their project and claim the Grant once everything is completed (all work complete, all payments to suppliers/providers made).

We would encourage you to review the Application Form to ensure you have access to all the requested information prior to completing the Form as it cannot be saved. Once you have all the relevant information available the Form should not take longer than 15 minutes to complete

The NBSL team will assess your application to ensure the business is eligible for funding – the more detailed your application form, the less time this will take. If we need any further information to complete the assessment of your application, we’ll get in touch using the email address you supplied on your application form. We’ll also make an initial assessment on whether your proposed project meets the criteria.

One of our Advisers will call to discuss your application, explore your proposed project and gather the information we need to complete your funding contract paperwork. On the basis of the call, we will make a final decision on whether the project qualifies for the fund, so please ensure you can discuss how your project fits.

Your Adviser will ask for proposals/quotes from providers/suppliers for the work you intend to use the funding towards – we will need this before we can issue your funding contract.

You do not need to seek 3 quotes although we would always recommend this as good business practice. All proposals/quotes will be assessed to ensure they represent good value for money

You cannot use a provider/supplier with whom you have a family, legal or financial relationship

Please note – the success of your Application for Funding cannot be guaranteed so please do not commit to undertake any work. Also, do not make any payments to any provider/supplier prior to receiving and signing a Funding Contract (any payments made prior to a Funding Contract being in place will not be eligible for the Grant)

You must not start any work with a provider/supplier or make any payments before you receive your contract. Your funding contract and supporting paperwork will be sent out to you by NBSL using SignNow – you’ll need to read the full document pack and sign electronically where required. As soon as you’ve signed the contract, your chosen provider can start work.

Once the funded work is complete and paid in full, you’ll need to provide your claim evidence to NBSL so that we can process your claim. Once we’ve got all of the evidence, we’ll pay your grant within 30 days.

A key aspect of the funding is understanding the impact it has had on your business – around 4-6 months after your grant payment, we’ll ask you for updated financial/staffing figures (including any jobs created or safeguarded as a result of the Sunderland Business Support Fund) so that we can understand the difference the funding has made.

Business eligibility

Your business may be eligible for funding if it’s a trading SME based in the Sunderland Council catchment area.

Project eligibility

You can use the grant for almost any type of business support that will help your business to grow or become more resilient.

Apply for a grant

We’ll need to know some details about your business, the project you’d like to fund with a Sunderland Business Support Fund grant and how it will help.