The current round of Lichfield District Council’s small business grants scheme opened in September. This is a scheme that offers small businesses and start-ups based in the district grants of between £500 and £1,500, with a total of £5,000 funding available in each round.
A maximum of half of the cost of the total project can be applied for. Applicants will need to outline their business expansion plan, how the grant will help achieve this, and how the grant will be used to support business growth and create jobs.
To be eligible, applicants must first receive 12 hours of free business support from Enterprise for Success programme, which includes attending a two-day start-up masterclass.
Since the scheme started in 2018, there have already been 23 successful applications. These are from a range of businesses, including virtual assistants, IT recruitment, marketing, matchmaking, commercial cleaning, health and wellbeing, accountancy and dog grooming, as well as a zero waste shop, a cake maker, an audiologist and a wedding venue.
One local business owner has received a small grant to establish The Lichfield Pantry, which is a zero waste shop based at The Plant Pot Garden Centre.
Samantha Paddock, Owner of The Lichfield Pantry, said: “I received £1,400, which provided half of the funding for my food dispensers and a set of scales. It meant I could provide a professional quality of equipment needed for the shop.
“As someone with no previous business experience, the two-day business masterclass with Enterprise for Success was really helpful and the subsequent guidance with building a business plan was vital.
“I highly recommend anyone thinking of opening a business to attend the Enterprise for Success courses – in particular the two-day masterclass – and to apply for a grant. The grant will mean you can afford to pay for something vital for your start-up that can give your business the initial boost it needs.”
Cllr Iain Eadie, Cabinet Member for Investment, Economic Growth & Tourism, said: “It is fantastic to see small business owners like Samantha get up and running, and I am really pleased to see the council giving real support when people need it most.
“Local startup businesses have a high success rate, and I want to see the council continue to keep supporting those people who are thinking of launching a business, or have just taken their first steps and need some help to get to the next level.
“We have £5,000 available in this latest round to invest in local businesses and start-ups, and I would encourage anyone wanting to get ahead to apply for a cash boost to help them grow, and in turn deliver economic growth and jobs for our district.
“Samantha’s story, and that of all the other people who have benefited, shows that even a relatively small amount of money can make a huge difference to a business that is just starting out and it is very important that we support them.”
The grant can go towards:
- IT software and hardware (excluding laptops, computers, mobiles and tablets)
- office equipment such as desks, filing cabinets and chairs
- professional qualifications or training, such as professional body membership
- equipment to support product or process development and business growth
The scheme is open to small businesses based in Lichfield District with up to ten employees that have been trading for no more than three years. It is also open to residents who are planning to open a business in the district.
The deadline to apply for the current round of small business grants is by 5pm on Friday 29 November 2019.
To register your interest in applying for funding and to find out more about the process, contact Jonathan Percival, Economic Development Officer, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 01543 308149. For the full eligibility criteria and to find out more visit www.lichfielddc.gov.uk/sbg.
Photo: Samantha Paddock – The Lichfield Pantry