Accountancy firm joins £30m government SME growth scheme

ClearSky Accounting, part of SME advice specialist ClearSky Business, has been made an accredited advisor for the Growth Voucher scheme.

Announced by chancellor George Osborne in the 2013 Budget and officially launched on January 27th, the scheme will match 20,000 small businesses with mentors through a marketplace-style website.

ClearSky’s accreditation means start-ups and small businesses will be able to come to the company for subsidised financial and cash flow advice.

Daniel Mepham, accounting director at ClearSky Business, said: “We’re really excited to be part of one of the coalition’s flagship initiatives to support Britain’s small businesses.

“For us, the Growth Voucher scheme is an ideal project to be involved in. Small businesses are the engine room of the economy, and our philosophy is to help them get on and grow, so it’s a perfect fit.

“Prohibitive costs and long-term, iron-clad contracts are just two factors that can stop a growing business seeking the professional, specialist advice it needs to fulfil its potential, which is why we are committed to offering flexibility and fixed fees.

“We can’t wait to find out which businesses we’ll be supporting as part of the scheme.”

Growth Vouchers are worth up to £2,000 and must be match-funded by the small business that is receiving the support.

In order to become an accredited advisor, ClearSky had to meet certain qualifying criteria that demonstrated compliance with the highest professional standards in accountancy.

Only businesses that have been running for a year, have fewer than 50 employees, and have not paid for strategic external advice in the past three years can apply. Successful applicants will be chosen at random by government officials.

The government announced in mid February that, since the scheme’s official launch a fortnight earlier, more than 700 start-ups and small businesses had already secured more than £400,000 worth of advice and support between them.