Phil Halls, founder of Grain Brewery said: “Last year we were looking for ideas to improve our turnover, as the business was under pressure. I had always wanted to convert the barn alongside the brewery and create a taproom where people could stop by, however I wasn’t financially in a position to invest in the work on my own.
“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 Jo guiding me 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.The locals really appreciate having somewhere they can pop in after work, especially since our local pub closed. Not only has it made a significant and critical difference to our turnover, it’s also a fun place to be for our local community.”
Broadland District Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Cllr Martin Booth, said: “We want our businesses to grow and succeed, a buoyant local economy, means more jobs for local people and more local spending. Our Business Development Team work closely with businesses to unlock funding and tailor advice and training to ensure they reap the maximum benefits.”
Yolanda Wetteland, founder of trii, a sustainable solid body-care brand, received a Build Up Grant; and she said: “The grant meant I could book a digital marketing consultant to optimise my website in terms of product presentation and customer experience. It’s made my website more professional and, really importantly, appropriate for a luxury brand. This all happened just as I was starting to pitch my trii range to online retailers – and I know that the website played a major part in landing these new contracts, so the timing worked out perfectly. The Business Builder grant made a significant and critical difference to my business, exactly when I needed it.”
People looking to launch a business, but don’t know where to start, can also get help through the scheme. The Councils’ team can work out if the business is viable and provide a free in-depth online training course which covers everything a first-time entrepreneur needs to know. Once established, the business can come back and apply for a Build-Up Grant to take the next step.
For rural businesses, the Rural England Prosperity Fund has also provided a welcome pipeline of significant grants to assist investment in capital equipment and building works, with all applications going through the Business Builder programme.
The Government provided separate funding allocations to each of Broadland District Council and South Norfolk Council.