Grant scheme expanding

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Businesses in Aberdeen City and Shire are encouraged to apply to a fund which provides financial support and advice to take on their first employee.

The Business Gateway First Employee Grant Scheme has been extended until March 2017 by Aberdeenshire Council’s infrastructure services committee (ISC).

It has been running since March 2011 and aims to encourage and support business growth within the North-east while providing sustainable employment opportunities.

Businesses can apply for a grant of up to £1,000, split into two £500 payments, to help with time spent training or inducting a new employee.

Successful applicants are also provided with support and information to guide them through this important stage in the growth of their business.

Since its inception in 2011, the scheme has grown in popularity each year, providing 68 jobs in the first two years of the project.

In the first six months of this year, 31 applications were approved and around 60 applications are expected over the year.

Successful applicants can receive up to £500 when they take on a new employee, with a further £500 awarded six months later if their employee is still in place.

Members of ISC welcomed the scheme’s extension, praising the potential benefits it provides the local economy. It is financed by Business Gateway Funds.

ISC chairman, Peter Argyle, said: “It’s an extremely good return, there’s no question about that. These are jobs which, in the main, have been sustainable. It’s a good scheme and we are pleased to continue it.”

In order to apply, businesses must be seeking to employ their first full time employee.

That employee must not be a partner or investor in the business and the business must have a valid business bank account and systems in place to deduct National Insurance and PAYE.

Further information can be found on the Business pages of the Aberdeenshire Council website.