BUSINESSES in East Staffordshire have been urged to apply for a grant to help pay for potential expansion plans.
Small to medium-sized firms across the area looking to grow are being urged to bid for cash from the business development scheme.
East Staffordshire Borough Council, a partner in the scheme managed by Birmingham City Council, is encouraging companies to apply for a share of an £8 million funding pot.
Since it was launched in 2012, thirteen East Staffordshire businesses have received funding from the programme, each getting between £10,000 and 15,000, with £140,000 in total awarded to date to the area's businesses.
A borough council spokesman said: "If you are a business leader or work for a business based in East Staffordshire that is thinking of expanding, then you may be eligible to apply for funding towards your costs.
"Examples of East Staffordshire-based businesses already supported through the programme include a local brewery, a firm of accountants, telecommunications and a firm of architectural consultants.
"If you are a business owner or work for a business based in East Staffordshire (or thinking of relocating here) and are thinking of expanding your operations, get in touch with the council's enterprise team on 01283 508625 to find out if you are eligible to apply.
"The programme runs until early 2015, so there is still time left to apply, but East Staffordshire Borough Council is urging businesses not to leave it too late and miss out on this fantastic opportunity."
The news comes after the Mail revealed the council's own business development fund had pumped £150,000 into boosting ventures.
The council's scheme has helped 21 business schemes and helped to create 63 jobs in the area.
However, bosses at the authority have stated they will be conducting a 'detailed review' of the service in the coming months, to evaluate the impact of the scheme and whether or not it should continue.
The council's business development scheme was launched in 2013.
The fund is aimed at small and medium-sized businesses located in East Staffordshire who wish to grow and expand, and local entrepreneurs who need some financial support to make their business ideas a reality.
Existing small and medium-sized business are also able to apply for a grant of up to 50 per cent of total project costs, with a maximum grant totalling £10,000.
For new start-up companies which have been trading for fewer than 12 months, a slightly lower maximum grant of up to £5,000 is available, although a grant rate of up to 50 per cent of a project's cost would still apply.
Burton firm Crescent Motors has benefited from the fund in the past 12 months.