Starting a small business in Portsmouth can be an incredibly exciting and prosperous move. The area is filled with other local businesses meaning there is plenty of opportunity for local networking, growth, and the general prospect of surrounding yourself with like-minded, ambitious people. 
Of course, it’s all well and good knowing that there is support available to you, it’s a whole other thing entirely knowing where you can actually turn for that support. Well, in order to make it as easy as possible for all Portsmouth businesses, we have devised the below list which provides details on businesses grants, loans, advice, relief, crowdfunding and Portsmouth networking groups. 
Portsmouth Business Grants 
A common question asked by start-ups in Portsmouth is, “what grants are available for my business?” Unfortunately, there aren’t as many as you would think; however, because of the nature of grants in that they do not need to be paid back, they are certainly worth looking into to see if any are applicable to you. 
It should be noted that the grants that are available are due to the recent coronavirus pandemic and are here to offer relief to businesses who have taken a hit because of covid-19, and many have closing dates (though can then reappear in a further funding round). 
- Additional Restrictions Grant – Restart Grant 
This is a grant which is eligible for businesses who were required to close by law due to government mandated lockdowns. Alternatively, it can also be applicable to businesses who simply took a large hit as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. 
- Restart Grant – Portsmouth City Council 
This grant is available again to businesses who took a hit because of the pandemic. It is an option for those who require face to face, in-person contact in order to genuinely carry out their business’s services. 
- Taxi Driver Additional Restrictions Support Grant 
These grants are available for private hire or hackney carriage drivers who have been impacted by the effects of the recent pandemic. 
- Local Restrictions Support Grant 
Any organisations who have seen losses in their incomes because of the pandemic can apply for this. It is available to: 
i. Nightclubs and other venues 
ii. Hospitality and leisure businesses 
iii. All businesses who were forced to close as a result of lockdown 
Portsmouth Business Loans 
Due to the fact there are not many grants available for Portsmouth businesses and those that pertain to covid, you may want to consider taking out a business loan. There are many of these available, including: 
- Enterprise Finance Guarantee 
This is a loan available to small businesses in Portsmouth, who do not have the security or proven track record required in order to obtain a regular commercial loan. This will account for roughly 1-2% of the lending to SMEs. It is available to SMEs with an annual turnover of up to £41million who are seeking a loan between £1000 and £1million. 
- Enterprise Capital Funds 
There are many young and innovative firms and for these organisations’, equity finance remains one of the best options for growth. That being said, because of the high costs of undertaking this, investors usually prefer to make larger investments. This is called an ‘equity gap’ and is addressed by the use of Enterprise Capital Funds. 
- Business Angel Co-Investment Fund 
The £50million Business Angel Co-Investment Fund is there to provide support to angel investments that are injected into high growth potential early-stage SMEs. This fund is especially applicable to businesses who are affected by public spending cuts. 
- National Loan Guarantee Scheme 
This National Loan Guarantee Scheme is designed to specifically give businesses in Portsmouth that have a turnover of up to £50million access to cheaper finance. This loan includes reductions in the interest rates of 1% or equivalent on loans and asset finance facilities. 
- Business Finance Partnership 
Up to £1billion of loan funds have been invested into mid-sized businesses in Portsmouth with the intention of diversifying the channels of finance that are available to them. These loans are available to businesses in the UK with a turnover of up to around £500million. 
- Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme 
The Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme provides income tax relief of 50% to individuals who invest in shares in qualifying companies. The government will also offer capital gains tax holidays for investments made into this new scheme. 
Portsmouth Networking Groups 
Local networking can be one of the most effective ways to expand your reach throughout Portsmouth. This can take many different forms as local networking in Portsmouth can be as formal or as informal as you want it to be. You can attend multiple events with the primary aim of networking or you could look into much more casual events such as charitable fundraisers, which have a lot less structure. 
In order to find out more about upcoming networking events, you may consider joining some of the different Portsmouth Networking Groups. These include: 
- BNI 
- Portsmouth Business Exchange 
- Business Builders 
- LinkedIn Local 
Networking can be great as not only could you meet people that will benefit from your business and whose business you could also use to your advantage but there is also the opportunity to learn. You will be speaking with people who run established businesses and as such, these groups / events are great sources of advice. 
Crowdfunding and Match Funding 
These are also very effective methods of generating some money that can assist your business with growth. A great example of this is Solent LEP who have secured a significant amount of public funding and as a result operate within the confounds of public funding framework. Subsequently, Solent LEP are supporting small businesses in Portsmouth with funding initiatives that can help kick start them on the road to success. Match funding means simply that for every £1 raised by you in a Crowdfunding Campiagn, a further £1 is added to the pot, so doubling your money, which is well worthwhile. 
It’seeze Portsmouth, as a Portsmouth Web Design Company, have worked with multiple small businesses from the area and know how difficult it can be to get your business off the ground. This is why we have provided the above references to assist start-ups in Portsmouth. 
We also offer affordable website packages to such businesses so that when, either because of funding or networking, you have increased website traffic, consumers and business partners will be met with a slick and easy to use website that will ensure conversion and retention. If you would like to speak to It’seeze Portsmouth about our professional web design services then do not hesitate to get in touch. 
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