Certain industries or types of industry tend to be excluded from the grant system, thus banks, estate agents and insurance or financial service industries are typically not eligible.

Often, but by no means always, businesses which have a purely local impact e.g. individual retail shops, local builders, local service companies are excluded from the national grant system. Such businesses may well benefit specifically from local grants from economic development units, enterprise agencies and other local initiatives.

Certain industries, where there is a marked over-capacity in the European Union, are also unlikely to receive assistance e.g. textiles, steel, coal, shipbuilding, ship repair, manmade fibre and yarn and some fisheries, agriculture, food and drink products. Exceptions are often made for SMEs.

Equally some grants are targeted at specific industries or technologies. E.g. tourism; energy industry or nanotechnology.

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