A total of £71,428 is being made available to help small businesses in Chichester District to fund capital projects or help with apprenticeship training.
The Enabling Grants scheme offers a simple way for businesses to apply for match funding of up to £2,500 for capital projects, or up to £1,500 for apprenticeship training.
Examples of capital projects could include: equipment to help fit out a health and beauty salon; an extractor fan system for a pub kitchen; developing a new website; or providing an IT workstation for a new member of staff. These projects can be very costly for small businesses but can provide a huge benefit.
Managed by the council’s Economic Development Team, the availability of these new small grants should give small businesses the confidence to try something new and thereby enhance the entrepreneurial culture across the district.
The scheme is always very popular and in the past year alone has benefited 39 small businesses. Richard Dollamore from WHALEBACK, says “The Enabling Grant provided by Chichester District Council was instrumental in helping WHALEBACK (Architecture and Planning) produce a website and commission photographs of completed projects. This helped to establish a web presence at an early stage of the business, when funds for such development activities needed to be allocated with particular care. The website will continue to grow and be enhanced from the initial base, which was part-funded by the grant from Chichester District Council, as development schemes are completed.
“The grant has helped WHALEBACK to grow into a significant contributor to planning and design services in the region. We hope that we can repay the investment through the delivery of high quality projects that enhance the area and contribute to its economic and environmental sustainability.”
Kate Griffin from Griffin Designs, says “As a small manufacturing business, purchasing machinery specifically to make a new, unique product was a major decision. Being awarded an Enabling Grant made the decision process easier. In fact, six months down the line, we wonder why we didn’t take the plunge sooner.
“Not only has the machine paid for itself, but our product, FabriStick® wall stickers, is gaining recognition as manufacturing costs go down. The process of applying, putting down our future hopes for scrutiny, was also a good exercise and acceptance gave a moral boost to our future growth plans. The only question is why we didn’t do this sooner.”
Councillor Tony Dignum, Leader of Chichester District Council says “small businesses like WHALEBECK and Griffin Designs are important to our local economy. One of our priorities as a council is to improve and support the local economy. That’s why we have a grants programme to help small businesses. We know these grants can have a huge effect and be a real catalyst for growth. We hope this new round of grants will provide another welcome boost.”
The grant fund is now open; full application details can be found on the council’s website at www.chichester.gov.uk/enablinggrantscheme. Small businesses can find out more by calling 01243 534669 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.