Businesses planning to grow with training and funding boost

More than 40 businesses in South Staffordshire are celebrating after being awarded grants totalling over £200,000.

Bill Wilkinson, Gifts from the Forest; Tom Nadin, Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce; Hayley Cooper, South Staffordshire Council, Pam Wallis, Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce; Shimron Equiano, BlocSquared; Wayne Dutton, South Staffordshire Council, Cllr Terry Mason: Cabinet Member for Planning and Business Enterprise, South Staffordshire Council
Bill Wilkinson, Gifts from the Forest; Tom Nadin, Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce; Hayley Cooper, South Staffordshire Council, Pam Wallis, Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce; Shimron Equiano, BlocSquared; Wayne Dutton, South Staffordshire Council, Cllr Terry Mason: Cabinet Member for Planning and Business Enterprise, South Staffordshire Council

The £5,000 ‘Plan to Grow’ grants were paid using the Government’s Additional Restrictions Grant, allocated to all local authorities to assist businesses affected by Covid related restrictions.

South Staffordshire Council decided that they would use the money to businesses who were looking to revitalise their business as they emerged from the pandemic and a series of lockdowns.

Councillor Terry Mason, cabinet member for planning and business enterprise, said: “Feedback from our businesses over the past two years highlighted the need to support them in strengthening their resilience post-pandemic. The flexibility of the Additional Restrictions Grant allowed us to put together a programme that enabled businesses to develop their plans for growth and provided grant funding to implement those plans. We are extremely pleased with the success of the Plan to Grow programme which was expertly delivered by Staffordshire Chambers.”

The training was delivered by Pam Wallis from the Growth Hub, based at Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce.

She said: “It was a tight schedule as we started the training in January and it had to be completed by the end of March. Luckily the businesses in South Staffordshire were up for the challenge and we managed to get 44 over the line, fully trained an in receipt of the grant by the end of the financial year.”

One of the companies in receipt of the training and grant was Brewood-based luxury leather goods manufacturer Marlborough of England.

Managing director Richard Taylor said: “This has been a fantastic opportunity to re-focus our business after an incredibly tough two years. Receiving the grant is a great help to the business, but it’s in the process of being able to re-evaluate our business and reset the fundamentals, that the real value lies.

“Pam was extremely knowledgeable and helpful and being able to network with other business owners, who had been through a similar experience, was very positive.

“I feel very confident about the outlook for my business, and I am very grateful to Pam and to South Staffordshire Council for their help and assistance.”

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