Small Business Charter Growth Vouchers Programme. Terms and conditions OCTOBER 2014

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1 Small Business Charter Growth Vouchers Programme Terms and conditions OCTOBER

2 Contents Contents 2 Terms and Conditions of Participation 3 Rules and Responsibilities 4 De Minimis Rules 6 Data Protection 7 Freedom of information 7 Notes 8-2 -

3 Terms and Conditions of Participation Please read these Terms and Conditions carefully before you apply for a Small Business Charter Growth Voucher. Eligibility Requirements 1. The Programme is open to businesses that fulfil all of the following criteria: Must have between 1 and 19 Full Time Employees (FTE) (see note 1). A full-time person counts as one FTE. Please score any part-time employees in proportion (e.g. if an FTE works 40 hours per week, then a part-time employee working 20 hours = 0.5 FTE). Must have a turnover or balance sheet total of less than 3.2 million (see note 1); Must be independent (i.e. no more than 25% of the business is owned by one or more external organisations); If part owned by no more than 25%, collectively the companies in the group must have 19 employees or fewer and their turnover/ balance sheet must not exceed 3.2 million); (see note 1); Must be able to demonstrate that the business has been actively selling goods and / or services for at least 12 months; Must not have not applied for a Growth Voucher under the Small Business Charter or main Growth Vouchers Programmes before; Growth Vouchers cannot be used alongside any other forms of public funding (i.e. they cannot be used in conjunction with European Regional Development Funds or other forms of public finance); Businesses must be registered in England at Companies House, and with Her Majesties Revenue & Customs (HMRC) for VAT/PAYE if appropriate). Must have received less than Euro 200,000 of public support in the last three fiscal years (previous two fiscal and current fiscal year), or which is currently pending before applying for the Growth Voucher programme and satisfy the eligibility criteria for De Minimis aid; Must not have already paid for any strategic business advice in the last three years (see Notes 2-4); Must have an address. Those who are eligible and complete an application shall be referred to as the Business or the Client. Those who work on behalf of BIS in the delivery of the Small Business Charter Growth Vouchers Programme, shall be referred to as the Delivery Partner or Supplier

4 Rules and Responsibilities 2. The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills ( the Organiser ) reserves the right to refuse to accept any entry that it feels does not meet the criteria and rules of the Small Business Charter Growth Vouchers Programme ( the Programme ). 3. By completing this application form you are confirming that all information provided via the Programme website is, to the best of your knowledge, correct. The Business also acknowledges that this information may be used to validate the eligibility of the Business to participate in the Programme and if found to be incorrect the Business may, at the sole discretion of the Organiser, be disqualified. 4. The Programme will be open to new applicants on a temporary basis and the Organiser reserves the right to withdraw, suspend or amend the services provided without notice. The Organiser will not be liable if for any reason the website or the services provided under the Programme are unavailable at any time. 5. Entry into the Programme through the submission of an on-line application shall be deemed to be made in accordance with and in acceptance of these rules in full and without exception. 6. The Organiser reserves the right to publicise the Programme through normal channels. No confidential details shall be included in the publicity material. 7. If randomly selected to receive a Growth Voucher for 2000 (match funding) the Business agrees to; Pay 50% of the eligible costs incurred whilst participating in the full programme in three phases; 500 before commencing the series of workshops, 500 after workshop five, and 1,000 after completion of all workshops; Submit a De Minimis Declaration to a selected Delivery Partner. 8. In addition, having completed the programme the Business also agrees to sign a Client Declaration in the Claim Form when asked by the Delivery Partner. By signing the declaration the Business is confirming that: They are happy with the advice received from the Delivery Partner; They have attended all workshops; They have paid 50% of the eligible cost stated in Part 2 of the Claim Form. 9. The Growth Voucher cannot be used to cover the VAT element of the cost of the advice delivered under the Programme. If applicable, the Business agrees that it will pay any VAT charged by their Delivery Partner

5 10. Growth Vouchers may only be used by the Business and are not transferable. Growth Vouchers will only be valid until 31 st March the expiry date will be clearly stated in the confirming . The Organiser reserves the right to amend the validation period to meet the objectives of the Programme. 11. Only one claim per Growth Voucher can be submitted. The claim must be for strategic business advice that has been supplied by a Delivery Partner that will help the business to grow, through a series of workshops on key areas of business development. The Delivery Partner must have applied for the Small Business Charter and have received a successful award to be registered as an accredited Growth Voucher supplier. 12. The Business cannot use a Growth Voucher with a Delivery Partner that is: Directly connected to or part of the participant s own business (including being a holding company or a subsidiary company), and/or Whose trustees, directors, employees or advisers are engaged directly or indirectly with the Business. 13. The Organiser reserves the right to reject any claim where it determines that there is a conflict of interest or a potential misuse of public funds. Where a claim is rejected the Organiser may exclude a Business from the Programme if there are reasonable grounds to show that the Business has abused the Programme. 14. Growth Vouchers may not be used to cover the cost of purchasing business as usual services, for example; building a website; paying for advertising; the acquisition of software; buying any new equipment, staff training or capital investment projects prohibited under state aid rules. 15. The Organiser reserves the right to amend these terms and conditions from time to time by posting an updated version on the Small Business Charter Programme website. 16. The Organiser reserves the right to involve a third party organisation in the running or evaluation of the Programme at any time, including, but not limited to, assigning its rights to a third party organisation, including the Delivery Partner. 17. The Organiser reserves the right to involve a third party organisation to audit claims during the life of the programme on a random basis, to determine compliance with the Terms and Conditions, the quality and value for money of advice provided. This will require access to data, statements and records held by the Business and or Delivery Partner relating to the provision of advice under the Programme, for audit purposes. 18. The Business shall inform the Organiser if any information submitted to the Organiser is confidential and subject to the duty of confidentiality; where appropriate identifying the relevant parts of information that are confidential

6 De Minimis Rules 19. The Growth Vouchers programme is covered by European State Aid laws, which means the Organiser and the Business participating in the Programme must comply with the De Minimis Regulation. As set out in these Terms and Conditions and the Claims Form - Terms of Funding. Further information can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/state-aid#de-minimis-aid-regulations 20. The Business must supply information of any support it has received from public sources, which was given under De Minimis State Aid regulations as evidence that the Business has not exceeded the Euro 200,000 limit permitted within a three year rolling period. 21. The Businesses should note that certain sectors are excluded from the De Minimis Regulation the latest version is available at: df - Article 1 covers its scope. 22. "The De Minimis rule does not apply to: Undertakings active in the fishery and aquaculture sectors; Undertakings active in the primary production of agricultural products (Separate, more restrictive De Minimis rules exist for the agricultural sector); Undertakings active in the processing and marketing of agricultural products (i) when the amount of aid is fixed on the basis of the price or quantity of such products purchased from primary producers or put on the market by the undertakings concerned; (ii) when the aid is conditional on being partly or entirely passed on to primary producers; Export-related activities towards third countries or Member States (namely aid directly linked to the quantities exported, to the establishment and operation of a distribution network or to other current expenditure linked to the export activity). Note: it does apply to the costs of participating in trade fairs or studies or consultancy services needed for the launch of a new or existing product on a new market. Aid contingent upon the use of domestic over imported goods; Undertakings active in the coal sector; Aid for the acquisition of road freight transport vehicles granted to undertakings performing road freight transport for hire or reward; 23. Businesses who receive a business advice assessment or Growth Voucher will be required to declare the value of the support they received for future De Minimis purposes. All Businesses will be notified in an the value of this support. The value of a business advice assessment is

7 Data Protection 24. By accepting to participate in the Programme the Business is committing to provide the Organiser with necessary information about the Business. This will include but not be limited to information required for application and also financial information relating your Business s position before and after the Business has participated in the Programme. By participating in the programme you (and your employees) are also consenting to the Organiser sharing the information the Business provides (including any personal data (see note 5) as defined in the Data Protection Act 1998) with the following third parties: BIS (data Controller see note 6) data processors (see note 7) including the Programme delivery partners and their chosen subcontractors; if, when appropriate, successor data processors appointed by BIS; other public sector organisations; other providers of public sector support; and Governmental, regulatory and audit organisations. 25. The use of the Business s information may include matching the Business information to other data sources to understand more about organisations like yours and general patterns and trends, although the Business s data will not be published or referred to in a way which identifies any individual or business. We may also use the Business s contact details to contact the Business for Growth Vouchers Programme impact assessment surveys and may refer the Business to services of value to you. If the Business has any questions in relation to how the information the Business provide, and in particular any personal data, will be processed and disclosed please contact: Freedom of information 26. As Government, the Organiser is bound by the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 ("FOIA") and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 ( EIR ) or such later revisions of the Act. All information held, received or transmitted by the Organiser is potentially subject to public disclosure in the event that a request for information is received. 27. You are advised to consider the potential impact of public disclosure when submitting information under this Programme. 28. Notwithstanding any duty of confidentiality that might exist between the Organiser, its selected partners and the Business, the Business accepts and agrees that all information and communications exchanged between the Business and the Organiser may be subject to public disclosure under the FOIA and / or EIR and that the Organiser shall have no liability whatsoever to the business arising from any disclosure of information it is required to make under the FOIA and / or EIR. 29. These terms and conditions shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the law of England and Wales

8 Notes 1. The programme criteria for size and turnover of small and micro businesses are based on the EU definitions. 2. By strategic business advice we mean advice such as; developing financial, marketing or sales strategies, exploring how digital technologies can used to improve productivity, and undertaking a skills audits. 3. If a business has received day to day advice from an accountant, book keeper, and solicitor or as a member of a business organisation on completing your annual business accounts, or understanding the legal/ regulatory requirements of running a business, the business is eligible for the Programme. 4. If a person used personal mentoring or any light-touch business support at the start-up stage that was fully or partially subsidised and now applying for a Growth Voucher as a business, the business is eligible for the programme. 5. If a business used another government programme that was fully or partially subsidised, like Growth Accelerator or Manufacturing Advisory Service, in the last three years, the business is ineligible for the programme. 6. Personal data means data which relate to a living individual who can be identified; (a) from those data or (b) from those data and other information which is in the possession of, or is likely to come into the possession of, the data controller and includes any expression of opinion about the individual and any indication of the intentions of the data controller or any other person in respect of the individual. 7. Data Controller means a person who (either alone or jointly or in common with other persons) determines the purposes for which and the manner in which any personal data are, or are to be, processed. 8. Data Processor in relation to personal data, means any person (other than an employee of the data controller) who processes the data on behalf of the data controller

9 Crown copyright 2014 You may re-use this information (not including logos) free of charge in any format or medium, under the terms of the Open Government Licence. Visit write to the Information Policy Team, The National Archives, Kew, London TW9 4DU, or This publication available from Any enquiries regarding this publication should be sent to: Department for Business, Innovation and Skills 1 Victoria Street London SW1H 0ET Tel: If you require this publication in an alternative format, or call BIS/14/

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