Rural Businesses Urged To Attend Funding Seminar

Rural business owners and those interested in starting a business in a rural area have been encouraged to attend a special funding seminar in Mountfield this Saturday (June 20).

The Rural Business Seminar in St Brigid’s PS (10am-12.30pm) will focus on the potential for private individuals and community-based organisations to apply for funding under The Rural Business Investment Scheme, which is scheduled to open for applications in 2015.

The event will be hosted by West Tyrone MLA Declan McAleer, who sits on the Agriculture and Rural committee at Stormont. He has encouraged the local business community to put themselves in the best position possible ahead of the introduction of the process.

“This programme will provide grant aid for new and established businesses and is an excellent opportunity for people with a business idea and for those who wish to grow and develop existing businesses,” he said.

“The fund will provide capital grants with some support for marketing and bespoke training. It proposes 50% funding for private businesses and 75% funding for social economy enterprises.

“Support is available to existing businesses and new start-ups, but if an existing business applies, support will only be provided for activities that the beneficiary has never carried out before applying.”

The Sinn Féin MLA stressed that the RBIS is a separate programme from the larger Farm Business Improvement Scheme.

While the technical document relating to the scheme is currently under consideration by the European Commission, it is already clear that applicants will require a business plan.

This Saturday’s Rural Business Seminar will offer guidance to potential applicants on the best way to set themselves up for the funding.

Key note speakers from DARD will elaborate on the technical details of the scheme and draw on experiences of the previous programme.

Omagh Enterprise Company will also be on hand to offer advice on business planning, while representatives from the Rural Development
Council will outline what support and training is available for businesses.

“The key objective of this seminar is to help individuals and groups with a business idea get prepared for this funding opportunity and I extend an open invitation to everyone,” said Mr McAleer.

The seminar runs from 10am until 12.30pm (tea served from 9.30am). To register, please email