RBDS: 2.0 How to answer the questions

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All sections of your application form must be completed as fully and concisely as possible as this information will be used in the assessment of your project proposal.

Incomplete applications will be deemed ineligible and will not be assessed for funding. Please note maximum word limits per question.


Applicant Details

Please state trading name of business
Please state contact name and details
Please provide the status of your business and confirmation that you are running a registered business by selecting 1 of the options and completing the details in full


Business Overview

Please state the date your business commenced trading.

Please provide your sales turnover for the last complete financial year, or year to date.

Please state your business address, if different to contact address.  Please remember that the project must be in a defined rural area of the Council to be eligible for grant aid.

Please tick what sector your business operates in.

Please provide an overview of your current business activities, including a description of the range of products or services offered, where you sell (eg physical location, own website, 3rd party websites etc), types of customer (commercial / private and your target market) and any export sales (percentage of overall sales and destination).

Please enter the current number of full-time and part-time employees (including yourself if applicable).  Full-time employees must work at least 30 hours per week in the business and part-time is a minimum of 16 hours per week.

Note – in order to be eligible, the business or enterprise must employ less than 10 full-time equivalent employees. Contact your Council officer if you need help to calculate your full-time equivalent staff numbers.

Please state if your business has been impacted by COVID 19.  If you answer yes, please provide brief details to explain how it was impacted. 


Project Details

Please enter a short title for your project (e.g. Business Expansion, Business Sustainability)

Please provide an overview of the current  business activity and describe the proposed project, detailing any changes to existing business activities, including any new products and services, new customers or markets or selling methods as a result of implementing it.   Please explain why you need to carry out your proposed project and what the demand is for your project, including any customer feedback or market research.  Maximum 2500 characters.

Please outline what the anticipated outcomes of implementing your project will be over the next 12 months.  You should complete all text boxes and provide specific and relevant details on the impact as a result of your proposed project – eg state number of jobs sustained / created, what roles these are, percentage or value of any increase in sales.

Please outline the impact that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on your business, and detail how your project will support your business to recover from this.

Please provide details of the skills and experience which you or your organisation has that will assist you to carry out the proposed project. In particular, you should comment on general management, marketing and financial experience and any relevant training/mentoring undertaken or qualifications held.  You should provide as much information as possible. Maximum 2500 characters.


Project Costs

Tick as appropriate, enter your business VAT registration number if applicable.  Ensure it is in the correct format e.g. XI 123456789

Please provide details of the quotes that you have obtained in respect of the individual items you wish to purchase. You must follow the procurement process detailed in the guidance notes (see section 1.7) and upload the specification and quotes with your application.  The online system only permits six budget lines so you may wish to group similar items together in one specification, ensuring items are like for like.  Please provide NET cost for each item. 

Please provide details of the items/activities you require funding for.

Note – maximum total cost is £20,000 and maximum grant request is £4,999. The maximum total cost of £20,000 is net if you are VAT registered and gross if you are not VAT registered.  

If your business or enterprise is not VAT registered, you may apply for 50% up to £4,999 of the GROSS cost (i.e. the cost including VAT). 

If your business or enterprise is VAT registered, you can only apply for 50% up to £4,999 of the NET cost (cost excluding VAT).

Please detail the source of your match funding for the project.  Please note that if issued a Letter of Offer, the total project costs will be incurred by the business prior to submitting a claim for up to 50% of the eligible expenditure retrospectively. 

NOTE – your match funding will be for the NET costs if you are VAT registered and GROSS costs if you are not VAT registered. 



Project Timescales

Please confirm if you can complete your project by 31 October 2022, to include project items purchased, onsite and operational, and paid and cleared your nominated bank account by this date.


Note – projects which have already commenced are ineligible for funding.  Your project cannot commence until a Letter of Offer is released (anticipated late August / early September 2022)


De Minimis Aid declaration

Please read the State / De-Minims Aid declaration carefully.  Complete details of all De-Minimus aid received in the last 3 fiscal years.  Please note that this may include grant funding (for example COVID-19 government support grants*, Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme, Intertrade Ireland or Invest NI) and also business support programmes (such as GoForIt and local Council mentoring programmes).  Complete the declaration in full.


* COVID-19 government support grants for the Retail, Hospitality & Leisure sector (£25,000), self-employment grant scheme and micro business hardship scheme must be declared on your declaration.  Payments through the furlough scheme, and the Small Business Grant Scheme (£10,000) do not need to be declared as these are not considered De-Minimis aid.


Supporting Documents

Please tick to confirm what you are submitting with your application.




Please read the declaration carefully and complete it in full.

Reading the Guidance Notes in full

This Section of the Guidance notes should be read in conjunction with Section 1 Introduction  and Section 3 on how we assess and score your application, as well as the Appendices

A PDF copy of the guidance notes in full can also be downloaded HERE