Northamptonshire County Council today launched a new initiative called INV-ENT which is designed to stimulate innovation, boost business and create jobs.
INV-ENT works by providing businesses with a rebate of up to £20,000 on their annual business rate bill, allowing funds to be released for new investment in their business.
All small and medium-sized businesses in Northamptonshire are able to apply, but the principal target is businesses in high growth and advanced technology sectors.
A sum of £300,000 has been earmarked for this initiative in this financial year which is enough to support at least 15 local businesses to grow.
Speaking at the launch today at the Northamptonshire Business Summit, Councillor Jim Harker, Leader of Northamptonshire County Council, said: “This initiative will help provide the finance for businesses to realise their plans for moving to the next level through investment in areas such as product development, capital, new technology, R&D and skills. It is the only one of its type in the country.
“In these tough times it is vital that we help to create the conditions which promote innovation and enterprise and support local businesses to grow.
“This is just the start – I am looking forward to seeing how it goes and if it is successful we will consider the possibility of increasing the funding so we can do more.”
The INV-ENT initiative is part of a wider £2m package of measures funded by the county council’s prosperity fund to support local businesses and create new jobs.
The county council is managing INV-ENT in conjunction with Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership, the designated Local Enterprise Partnership for the county.
Applications should be submitted to Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership by 5pm on November 25, 2011. Further details are available at: www.northamptonshireep.co.uk/INV-ENT