15 November 2011
Grants - What A Waste Of Time?
We have been looking at investing money in automating many of our currently manual processes to include filling, capping and metal detection. As part of this plan, we had looked into getting some grant support rather than doing it all through external lease finance or debt funding. As a microbusiness, this would have enabled us to invest more now rather than doing it in a piecemeal fashion and taking more time to complete the project. However, having provided an expression of interest, the response is that the old Rural scheme is winding down and will be replaced by a new scheme that is yet to be launched. While applications can be made in the new year, these will go towards a national appraisal scheme rather than local appriasal and it would be June/Jule 2012 before any contract could be provided, if successful. That is a long, long time away, especially for something that is uncertain in any case. Also, by making appraisal national, there will be a bias from North to South, rather than looking at each regional on its local merits. If this is how the government aims to kick start the economy, it is a remarkably slow process, and I have not even explained the bureaucratic appraisal process. We will scale back our investment plans, do it ourself and give a big thumbs down to the government's plans.