Kickstart Grant – suitable for Oxfordshire Venues
If you are applying – and it is well worth it – time is short! If you haven’t applied for grants in the past the following should be helpful:
The application portal opens and closes on Tuesday 8th December 2021.
You’ll need to have all the information (eg company number, trading figures) ready in advance and it is worth reading the information and having pre-prepared notes to prove the various criteria so you are one of the first 75 to complete the application.
There are various criteria to fulfil including the following in bold – we have added some thoughts on the sort of evidence you might include but please change the wording to make it personal to your venue!
COVID impact – what impact has COVID-19 had on the business?
- The industry has been effectively closed since March.
- There has been a loss of X as a direct result.
- You’ve been unable to access grants because … (eg couldn’t furlough as staff needing to deal with postponements / not treated as a hospitality business)
Grant impact – to what extent will the grant help to mitigate the impact of COVID on the business?
- Our work is deferred, not lost, but there is a small window of opportunity to maximise on that deferred business.
- Training on digital and social media marketing will minimise ongoing costs and help secure jobs for team members when furlough ends and before weddings fully restart.
- The work will help build confidence in the wedding industry in general as well as our venue in particular.
- The service provider offers guaranteed ROI (Return on Investment) so there is guaranteed to be a tangible benefit of at least £295.
- The projected benefit would give us an immediate ROI of £x (calculate the value of 4-6 weddings).
- Weddings are largely booked on reputation and referral of current customers. As we have had no weddings for x months we need to rebuild that funnel.
- Active instant digital and social marketing allows us to maximise the benefits as soon as we return to work; as soon as others see weddings take place, more couples will book.
Sustainability – to what extent will the grant help to safeguard the business?
- The consumer confidence part of the proposed work – seeking reviews, testimonials and referrals – will be key to our success and helps us maximise on the goodwill built up by looking after our couples over the past months.
- Marketing through the leading platform for weddings in Oxfordshire will give us guaranteed results in the short and long term.
- Learning the skills in order to continue the marketing activity beyond February assures long term sustainability of the sales funnel.
- Couples booking weddings during January and February 2021 will pay deposits now for weddings throughout 2021 and 2022. This ensures long term sustainability through instant cashflow now with additional pre-payments and final payments covering the cost of delivery over the next 2 years.
Financial Health – Prior to the pandemic, was the business in good financial health?
- In addition to your own evidence here, it is worth demonstrating that projections were strong. Several of Oxfordshire’s successful wedding venues closed in 2019 (not for financial reasons) so there was increased opportunity. There has been a move towards weddings 90 mins from London. The two big conferences last year (Bridelux and Engage!) were focused on incoming weddings from overseas.
If there is a suitable opportunity, it may be worth adding that in addition to your business there has been a knock-on effect on the (local, Oxfordshire based) suppliers that work at your venue and a significant effect on tourism in the area as most wedding guests stay overnight. The grant will be spent with an Oxfordshire business whose team also live within Oxfordshire.
The link to find out more about applying, as well as access to the form on Tuesday 8th Dec, is here.
It is worth taking some time before Tuesday to read the information, watch the video and call or email the Kickstart office with any questions so you can maximise your chances of getting a winning bid in fast.
They are very helpful; their job is to give away government funding to those who ask for it! They may also be able to help with the deMinimus form before Tuesday so it is ready (it is a simple form, but the questions aren’t very obvious).
Top tip: Read the information VERY carefully and answer the questions in a way to score the maximum points in each section against the criteria they set out. The process is like an exam…they will award points for each point that you prove.
The project can be part of ongoing work, which is why the attached quote is for a specific package.
You’ll need to demonstrate the benefit, which is why the quote mentions an expected 12x return and refers to training to help retain jobs.
Quote to attach
You’ll need a written quote for the amount you are applying for.
You can apply for any eligible project but as marketing activity and training seems a very obvious use of the grant there is a pre-prepared quote below. If you are wanting to use the grant for other purposes be sure to obtain a written quote in advance.
If you have any questions, the Kickstart team are the best to answer them but we’ll help here if we can.