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Business grants, loans and financial support

View grants, loans and other support available for businesses in Rochdale borough.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): support for businesses

Government support packages: the government has created a support package to help businesses during the coronavirus outbreak. Use the GOV.UK tool to quickly find out what you may be eligible for.

Find coronavirus financial support for your business

Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant: this grant is for hospitality, leisure and accommodation businesses who have a rateable value and are likely to struggle.

Omicron Additional Restrictions Grant: this grant is for businesses who can evidence a negative impact due to the rise of the Omicron variant, and who operate from commercial premises.

COVID-19 Additional Relief Fund (CARF): this relief was announced in December 2021. It's a one-off business rate relief for the financial year 2021-22, which is aimed at some of the businesses whose finances have been impacted by COVID-19.

Businesses who are eligible for existing support linked to business rates aren’t eligible to apply for this scheme. Some examples of exiting support includes:

  • Extended Retail Discount (covering Retail, Hospitality and Leisure)
  • Nursery Discount
  • Empty Rate relief
  • Small Business Rate Relief

The government has now asked local councils to create their own schemes. We'll now work with local councillors to create a suitable scheme and will give further information to businesses as soon as we're able to.

Grants and funding not managed by the government: many organisations are offering coronavirus business support. Action Together have created a list of some of this help. They also offer a service to help you find the funding that's right for you.   

The council is not responsible for managing any of the funding opportunities promoted by Action Together.

Finance services for start ups and established businesses​​

  • Kickstart Scheme - funding from the government to create new jobs in your business for 16-24 year olds.
  • Business growth loans - we're working in partnership with GC Business Finance, part of Manchester Growth Company, to provide a range of business growth loans.
  • Business Finance Solutions: - Government backed finance products for you and your business.
  • Business finance and support find​​er: - GOV.UK guides your search to find business finance, including government grants and publicly-backed finance and loans.
  • ​LEADER Rural Development Fund - the programme offers grants to small and medium sized rural businesses for development in parts of Heywood, Norden and the border with Whitworth​.​
  • Financial support for new businesses - to help boost business and create more vibrant town centres in the Rochdale borough, we're offering a big benefit to new independent retailers opening in selected empty units.
  • Innovation Voucher Scheme for Greater Manchester based for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) - enables eligible SMEs to apply for up to £5,000 matched funding (minimum £3,000) to access specialist facilities within research institutes to accelerate the development of innovative products and services. Collaborative partnerships can be developed with a Greater Manchester University or a recognised research organisation nominated by the applicant. Activities that can be funded include product testing; product design; research and development; knowledge transfer and consultancy.
  • Greater Manchester Social Investment - funding for social enterprises - offers affordable and accessible loan finance for small social enterprises, businesses with social impact and charities that trade. Organisations can apply for £10,000 - £50,000 of flexible unsecured finance to be repaid over 1-5 years. Each investment combines grants with loans to help smaller organisations, including very new organisations, that have potential to add more value to local communities and grow their social impact.

Finance services for established businesses

  • South Pennines LEADER - LEADER is now open for business and accepting new applications for funding. The programme offers grants to small and medium sized rural businesses for development in Littleborough, Milnrow and Whitworth​​​.

Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme

Businesses can claim a voucher of up to £3,000 against the cost of a full fibre internet connection either individually or as part of a group project.

Residents can benefit from the scheme as part of a group project, which also includes businesses, who can claim for a voucher of up to a value of £500.

Claim a Gigabit voucher

View information about how to claim a voucher, who's eligible to apply and who the suppliers in your area are on the government's website.

Find out how to claim a Gigabit voucher on GOV.UK

Aims of the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme

The UK now has 95% coverage for superfast broadband with speeds of 24 mbps or higher but most superfast connections still depend on copper telephone wires which are limited in the speeds they can provide. For the fastest and most reliable broadband, capable of delivering speeds of over one gigabit (one gigabit = 1,000 megabits), a full fibre connection is required.

The Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme is part of the Local Full Fibre Networks programme which aims to increase full fibre internet coverage across the UK. More information about the Local Full Fibre Networks programme

Greater Manchester Investment Fund

This is a fund managed by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority to encourage business growth and job creation in Greater Manchester.

Loans are available for eligible companies that are having difficulty accessing traditional forms of finance from the private sector. Loans will typically be for up to 5 years, with the commercial interest rates reflecting the risk profile of the business.

What's available?

Benefits include:

  • Flexible loans of £500,000 to £5 million.
  • No specific security requirements, although the level of security will impact on the interest rate.
  • No financial covenants attached to the loans; instead, information covenants to monitor outputs.

Investment criteria

Projects can qualify if:

  • They have been turned down by a bank or other lender but can sustain a level of debt repayment.
  • There is a funding gap - this means the business has secured some financing but needs additional debt support to proceed.
  • They demonstrate a clear link to jobs secured within Greater Manchester. The focus of the programme is on new job creation, but jobs safeguarded will also be considered.

Greater Manchester Housing Fund


The Greater Manchester Housing Fund represents a cornerstone of Greater Manchester's housing growth strategy, and specifically targets the ongoing constraints within the residential finance market, including the reduced risk appetite many lenders continue to exhibit and ceilings on the financial exposure they are prepared to accept.

This Housing Fund will initially provide loan development finance for private sector partners on a fully recoverable basis. It will be managed by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority on behalf of the 10 councils in Greater Manchester. The Fund will be open to applications on an ongoing basis.

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