Burton & District Burton & District Chamber Patrons

Contact: Chris Plant T: 0845 6036650

Grants available for small businesses

Businesses across Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire are being urged to apply for grants of up to £3,000 to help boost economic recovery from Covid-19. The Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Growth

Hub has launched two funds, worth almost £1m, to help support small to medium businesses (SMEs). Any SMEs whose trade is fully business-to-

business can apply to the ‘SME Restart Programme’, and those located in a tourist area and dependent on visitors can apply to the ‘Kickstarting Tourism Programme’ for help. Growth Hub manager Nicola Kent said: “The

Growth Hub is pleased to have been able to support Staffordshire businesses throughout the pandemic and we are thrilled to have this European Regional Development Fund money at a time when it couldn’t be more vital for many businesses, especially those in the tourism sector. “We hope these small grants will help our

economy to recover and enable businesses to bounce back stronger than ever. “The funding will be distributed on a first

come, first served basis, so I would urge businesses to complete the expression of

Fore!: The club’s driving range has been fitted with new ball-tracking technology

interest form. We have set up a dedicated web page on the Staffordshire County Council website, where people can read FAQs and fill in the form to check if they meet the criteria.

‘We hope these small grants will help our economy to recover’

“Those who are eligible will be sent an

application pack so they can make a formal request.” Businesses can use the funding to seek

professional advice or buy equipment or technology that will assist them in their recovery from the pandemic. Andrea Sammons, Senior Marketing Officer for

Enjoy Staffordshire, said: “Tourism contributes £1.85bn per year to Staffordshire and Stoke-on- Trent’s economy, as well as providing over 32,000 jobs. “These grants can make all the difference for

many small and micro tourism, hospitality and leisure businesses such as B&Bs, tea rooms and small visitor attractions.”

Going for growth: Nicola Kent hopes the grants will help boost the region’s economic recovery

Let’s Do Business is postponed until 2021

Staffordshire’s largest business exhibition, Let’s Do Business, has been postponed until next year. Organisers have said that the decision to

Golf venue undergoes transformation

Burton’s Branston Golf and Country Club has used the lockdown to carry out a major refurbishment of its facilities. The club decided that it would squeeze of five-year programme of works into just five weeks, spending £1m in the process. The work including giving the clubhouse a modern make-over, refurbishing the changing

rooms at the same time. This included installing a new sauna and steam room. Outside, the club’s driving range has been improved with the addition of ball-tracking

technology, so golfers can see how their shots have performed. Managing director Ben Laing said: “The Covid-19 pandemic was devastating on all levels, the

losses people have faced over the last six-seven months have been inconceivable. “When we were told to close our doors in March we made the decision to make use of a time

that we knew the club would be empty. “We wanted to create a place that our members could really look forward to returning to. Mr Laing is one the new owners who too over Branston at the end of December 2019 in a management buy-out. The others are Steve and Francesca Sharp and Marcus and Abby Litting.

postpone the event – due to take place on 1 October – was taken in the interest of visitors' and exhibitors’ health and safety. The event will now take place at Uttoxeter Racecourse on 24 June 2021. The county-wide exhibition will see members

from all the Staffordshire Chambers across Staffordshire come together to network, make new connections, attend business growth seminars and do business together. Exhibitors who have already purchased stands

will have their bookings transferred to the 2021 expo, or issued with full refunds. Chamber director Chris Plant said: “I, alongside other Let’s Do Business organisers, decided that although some face-to-face events are being permitted in October, many of those who would usually attend Let’s Do Business may not find attending the event feasible, comfortable or practical at the moment. “Therefore, we have taken the decision to

postpone this major business expo, in the interests of health and safety of everyone. “Have no doubt, Let’s Do Business will be a

critical and crucial business celebration and networking opportunity for businesses next year, looking to grow and thrive again after the devastating impact that the pandemic has had on all of us.”

October 2020 CHAMBERLINK 37

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