SHDC says new funding will "help local businesses and communities to get together and grow stronger"

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SHDC says new funding will "help local businesses and communities to get together and grow stronger"

South Hams District Council and West Devon Borough Council are offering cash grants to local businesses to help them to "bring ideas to life that will boost the local economy or community wellbeing". 

The new scheme, called the Community Recovery Grant, opens on 1 November 2021 and could be worth up to £30,000 to businesses in the district and borough. It’s for businesses of all sizes in the South Hams and West Devon and has been secured by the council via the government’s COVID recovery fund. The funding will give a spiralling boost to the local economy and community by kick-starting a chain of positive business activity.

Through the scheme, a business can bid for a grant to cover or part-cover the costs of setting up a new business initiative that will have a positive impact on others in the community or other local businesses. For example, a business may want to set up a collaboration with another local business or may have plans for an event that will involve the wider community. 

Cllr Hilary Bastone, South Hams District Council Executive Member for Commercial Strategy, (photographed) explained: “This scheme will have a domino effect for our local economy and communities. It essentially takes the ‘shop local’ concept and applies it to business. Just as the local high street benefits when people shop in their local town, we want our local businesses to look to see where they can work together to support each other and spend money within the local business community. We’ll give businesses the money to overcome any financial barriers to doing this and make your ideas happen.

“This is a brand new initiative and we’re looking forward to hearing the creative and new ideas from local businesses who want to take this opportunity for financial help to get together with others. However, here’s an example to get you started thinking about how this could work. For example, a local drinks producer links up with a local artisan bottle producer to create a limited edition range and collaborates with a local artist for a series of new labels.

“As well as supporting business collaborations, we also want to help businesses to set up activities that have an impact on their local community too. Using the drinks producer example again, the business could apply for a grant to help them to link up with local food and entertainment suppliers to stage a festival for local people, which results in a community wellbeing benefit.
 
"Businesses can also profit from these activities – for example, they could sell tickets – the idea is that we are dropping this money into the economy but want to see it grow and help even more people locally rather than just one business. 

“There is so much creativity and potential in our local businesses and business people, but the shock of the past 18 months has reduced the ability to deliver on those ideas. Our hope is this funding will encourage some truly innovative ideas that enable wider benefits for the applicants and the wider community as we recover from the impacts of the last year. Get thinking now about what your business could do with this money, put together your plans and let us know before the deadline of 30 November.” 

Since the start of the pandemic, South Hams District Council and West Devon Borough Council have collectively paid around £100million in government support grant funding to local businesses to help them to survive during the lockdowns. The council is now looking to use all available grant money as effectively as possible to help the local economy and communities to emerge stronger than before

Business owners are invited to submit their ideas and plans to the Council, outlining what they want to do and how they will either work with other local businesses or engage with their local community. Applications that deliver greater benefits from the funding requested will be more likely to be approved. More details and an application form can be found at: www.southhams.gov.uk/community-recovery-grant 

Applications will close on 30 November 2021. A thorough application with clear benefits for the community will be more likely to receive funding than one submitted quickly. It is anticipated that the majority of grants to be awarded will be valued between £2,000 and £10,000. However grants up to £30,000 will be considered for exceptional and innovative schemes that can show a wide range of benefits for the local economy and community.

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