South Norfolk Council programme sees businesses secure grants of more than £700,000
Two-hundred businesses have secured grants of more than £700,000 through a programme set up to create jobs and boost the economy.
The Business Builder support programme offers investment to help accelerate growth and support start-up companies.
Business owners can also access advice and training, tailored around each business and its specific needs.
One of the firms to receive help has been Grain Brewery in Alburgh, where founder Phil Halls jumped at the chance to secure investment for his venture, based at South Farm.
“I had always wanted to convert the barn alongside the brewery to create a taproom, where people could stop by, however, financially, I was not in a position to invest in the work on my own,” he said.
“So, when the opportunity came up to apply for a development grant, I jumped at it.
“The whole application was very straightforward and fast, with guidance on which expenses the grant could cover, right down to details on items such as tables and chairs.
“Within months, the work was done and the taproom was open and ready to welcome customers.”
Set up by South Norfolk Council, people looking to launch a business can also get help through the scheme.
The council’s team can work out if a business is viable and provide a free online training course, which covers everything a first-time entrepreneur needs to know.
Once established, the business can return to apply for a build-up grant.
A Rural England Prosperity Fund grant, accessed through the programme, can also help rural businesses with investment in capital equipment and building work.
District councillor Lisa Overton-Neal said: “For many entrepreneurs, taking the next step to grow a business can be challenging.
“Lack of funds or a gap in knowledge or skills can put a stop to the best of plans. This is where the Business Builder programme can make a huge difference.”
To find out more, go to the South Norfolk Council website.