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PKC plans to support rural business locally

Perth & Kinross Council's Strategic Policy and Resources, (SP&R), Committee will receive an update on the proposed Rural Micro Enterprise Fund and Micro Loan Fund at its next meeting on Wednesday 28 November.

This Funding was allocated in the 2018/19 and 2019/20 budgets for a Rural Business Property Fund (£100K in 2018/19 and £100K in 2019/20); and for £100K in 2019/20 for a Micro Finance project.

Rural Micro Enterprise and Micro Loan Fund

Elected members will be asked to approve the creation of a Rural Micro Enterprise Fund. This is a grants scheme targeted at small rural businesses and community enterprise projects.   The members of the Committee will also be asked to approve in principle the creation of a Micro Loan Fund. 

Both schemes are intended for the support of rural business in Perth and Kinross outside the City of Perth wards

Small rural businesses, social enterprises and organisations 

The Rural Micro Enterprise Fund proposal is aimed at supporting small rural businesses, social enterprises and constituted community organisations with fewer than ten employees. The Fund will support them to invest in projects which will make a positive economic impact on their businesses and on the wider local economy.

Grant funding

Grants of between £1,500 and £10,000 will be available with various conditions attached to the scheme.  Businesses and organisations will be required to provide detailed applications demonstrating how their project will support expansion and growth of the business together with financial information and an indication of match funding for their projects.    

At the meeting, councillors will also consider the outsourcing the running of the proposed Micro Loan Fund to an organisation which is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, (FCA).

Mindful of trading conditions

Convener of Perth of Perth & Kinross Council's SP&R Committee, Councillor Murray Lyle said:

"The new Rural Micro Enterprise Fund and Micro Business Loan Fund highlights Perth & Kinross Council's commitment to supporting small rural businesses in the area as well as enabling social enterprises and community organisations to grow and for new ones to be established over the next 18 months.

"We are mindful of the currently difficult trading conditions that we are experiencing, with business confidence reported to be declining. I hope these schemes will help go some way to alleviating these pressures locally."