£372,000 boost for South Staffordshire businesses
Released on 20 May 2022
A partnership to get more money and support to businesses needing help during and after the pandemic has spent over £372,000 in South Staffordshire.
As part of a unique partnership, Staffordshire County Council and South Staffordshire Council came together as part of the Staffordshire Means Back to Business scheme to pool resources and funding to support businesses to survive and grow.
Together, the councils supported businesses to recruit 20 apprentices, upskill 162 employees with the skills for the future with fully-funded training, and helped 16 businesses with growth grants to help them survive through lockdown and grow. The county council has funded £25,000 in loans for businesses to start-up, alongside professional advice and support for entrepreneurs and young people to set up their own business.
Sean Pearce, owner of The Print Box in Four Ashes, received £5,000 that made the difference between his business surviving and failing during the pandemic.
Sean said: “Our work dried up overnight when the lockdown hit and we knew that we needed to diversify if we were going to survive.
“Thanks to a grant from South Staffordshire Council at the start to cover the bills, and then a bounce back loan to move to bigger premises as well as purchasing new machinery and finally the £5,000 To Thrive grant to make it fit for what we needed, we're now doing well.
“The grant has even helped us to take on another family member as part of the team to help administer the business.
“I have absolutely no doubt that we wouldn't have survived the pandemic without this support, which for a small business is massive. Our business is growing every month."
Antidote Hair Ltd reopened in Perton with a bang thanks to an interest-free £5,000 start-up loan.
Owner Sarah Riley said: “I wouldn't have been able to create a unique salon that was ready and waiting to open when restrictions lifted, without the loan. To get an interest-free loan with flexibility around repayments is such a huge help for start-up business, and it was incredibly easy to apply for."
Cllr Philip White, Cabinet Member for Economy and Skills for Staffordshire County Council, said:
“The pandemic was both a public health crisis and economic shock that no one could have seen coming, so moving quickly to help businesses with what they needed was essential. Coming together with all the district and borough councils in Staffordshire to pool our resources helped more small business with more advice and more funding quicker. Over £3.4m has been made available from the scheme over and above that originally available from central government.
“Together we helped over 1,000 businesses and nearly 4000 individuals across Staffordshire with the advice and help they needed to not just survive and grow, but adapt to life in business in a very different post-pandemic world."
Councillor Terry Mason, Cabinet Member for Planning and Business Enterprise at South Staffordshire Council, said: “Small businesses right across South Staffordshire worked hard in the most uncertain times many of us have ever known, and I'm proud that we were able to support them with the finance and advice they needed to get through.
“Now we look forward to seeing them grow and a skilled workforce helping to grow prosperity in the area."
Although all funding has now been allocated to businesses from the Staffordshire Means Back to Business scheme, the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Growth Hub on 0300 111 8002 have dedicated business advisors on hand to support and signpost businesses to current funding and professional support.
Any business less than two years old can apply for an interest free start-up loan of up to £5,000, with more information at www.staffordshire.gov.uk/StartUpLoans.
Anyone thinking of starting up their own business can get fully-funded bespoke advice, marketing and accountancy support from the county council's Get Started scheme https://www.staffordshire.gov.uk/Business/Supportandadvice/Support-and-advice.aspx
For media enquiries only, please contact Kirsten Rawlins at South Staffordshire Council at firstname.lastname@example.org
For further details contact
South Staffordshire District Council
Tel: 01902 696000