Grants scheme for small businesses approved by Chichester councillors

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Small businesses could be in for a boost after a grants scheme was approved by Chichester District Council cabinet this week.

Applicants to the Enabling Grants Scheme will be able to claim for at least half of costs for capital projects up to £2,500 or £1,500 towards apprenticeship training from December 1.

A total of £83,333 has been allocated for Chichester from the Pooled Business Rates Fund, with £500,000 shared across district and borough councils in the county.

The scheme will run until September 2017 or before if funding is used up.

Examples of capital projects could include an extractor system for a pub kitchen, developing a new website or providing equipment for a new member of staff.

Managed by the council’s Economic Development Team, the council hopes the availability of these new small grants will give small businesses the confidence to try something new and ‘enhance entrepreneurial culture’ across the district.

ouncillor Gillian Keegan, Cabinet Member for Commercial Services at Chichester District Council, said: “A similar scheme that we ran in the past was extremely popular and benefitted more than 350 companies across the district, so we hope businesses will be keen to apply.

“One of our priorities as a council is to improve and support the local economy by promoting commercial activity and business growth.

“A large proportion of the district’s firms are classed as small businesses and for them, small grants can have a huge effect and be a real catalyst for growth. We hope these grants will provide a welcome boost.”

The grant fund will start on 1 December, full application details will be placed on the council’s website later this month.

In the meantime, small businesses can find out more by calling 01243 534669, emailing business.support@chichester.gov.uk or visiting www.chichester.gov.uk/economy

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