FIRMS have been given the opportunity to learn more about a £1.85m pot of cash available to help them grow.
The Solent Local Enterprise Partnership has launched a new event promoting its Bridging the Gap fund in Portsmouth.
The initiative gives budding entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized businesses the opportunity to discover how they can get a slice of the money.
Yesterday’s launch event at Portsmouth Guildhall saw 80 companies across the Solent region show up to find out more.
Around 25 of them got one-to-one meetings with a LEP advisor about their business plan and where money can be used.
Information was also given on how parts of the Portsmouth area have clinched Assisted Area Status, making companies eligible for tax breaks and extra funding.
Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt attended the event and pushed for it to be kickstarted in the city.
She said: ‘It went really well. We had a big turn out and the room was absolutely packed.
‘My message to businesses is that they need to be getting involved with the Solent LEP.
‘It is there to request money and support from government, but it is only as good as the input that is going into it.’
Similar events will be held each month and the next is going to be at Southampton Solent University on Tuesday, November 25.
Ms Mordaunt said: ‘I hope to hold more of these events as there are still of lot of businesses that are yet to realise the benefits.’