Mixing the grant cocktail: towards an understanding of the outcomes of financial support to small firms

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One of the key policy objectives of government at national and regional level, is to overcome the constraints preventing local industry achieving greater competitiveness in the international market-place. This paper examines the impact of grant assistance to Northern Ireland small firms delivered over the period 1994 ^ 97 by the former Local Enterprise Development Unit through its Growth Business Support Programme (GBSP). Previous work by the authors showed that there was some tentative evidence to suggest a link between employment growth and grant aid provided to very small firms (fewer than 10 employees) assisted under the GBSP. The central objective of the empirical work reported in this paper is to extend the previous analysis by understanding the extent to which the value of financial assistance influences growth (employment, turnover, and productivity measures) and if differential impacts arise depending on the nature and timing (lag structures) of the grant assistance.

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)841-857
Number of pages17
JournalEnvironment and Planning C
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • local industry, competitiveness, international marketplace, grant assistance, Northern Ireland, small firms


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