Business support to be discussed

Councillors will today be asked to approve changes to Aberdeenshire Council’s business support scheme.

The Support for Aberdeenshire Business (SAB) Scheme, which offers loans and grants to Aberdeenshire businesses, has been running since 1998.

As part of the Aberdeenshire Council Economic Development Strategy 2011-2016 Action Plan which councillors approved earlier this year, it was agreed to launch a revised SAB scheme.

Councillors will now be asked for their backing for the proposed changes, which include increasing the maximum grant levels to £15,000 and related adjustments to the amount of financial information that a business has to submit in applying for certain levels of grant or loan.

The proposed changes have been based on feedback from recipients who have benefitted from a grant or loan through the initiative.

Businesses applying for SAB grants and loans must demonstrate that they are meeting certain criteria before a project will be considered for SAB

These include bringing additional economic benefit to the area, the viability of the business and the potential to increase employment in Aberdeenshire

The SAB grants and loans not only assist the applicant businesses directly but also enable businesses to lever in funds from other sources such as banks, leasing companies, private investors and public funds like the European LEADER

If approved, the changes to the SAB scheme would be introduced in April, 2013.