Business loans’ scheme approved

Councillors have agreed to approve changes to Aberdeenshire Council’s business support scheme from next year.

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

As part of the Council’s economic development strategy action plan which councillors approved earlier this year, it was agreed to launch a revised SAB scheme.

The proposed changes 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.

Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, Councillor Peter Argyle, said: “I very much welcome the changes made to this scheme, which have been based on feedback from previous recipients - it is amazing how much of a difference a small amount of money can make to a new or developing business.

“Aberdeenshire Council recognises the importance of supporting business growth in this area and this scheme is just one of a number of services available via the council for businesses to access.”

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

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 funding.

The changes to the SAB scheme will be introduced in April, 2013.