10/10/2011 / Leave a comment / Permalink

Council wins £1.1 million to help Shropshire businesses

Related topics: Business and economic growth

A new enterprise grant fund designed to boost profits and bring to life budding ventures has been launched, and is set to support 140 existing local businesses and help a further 160 people start a new one up.

The Shropshire and Herefordshire Business Enterprise Fund is supported by £1.1 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), which is managed by the Department for Communities and Local Government, and matched by the businesses themselves.

Norman Price, deputy chair of the West Midlands ERDF Local Management Committee, said:

“Taking the first step on the journey of starting up your own business is often the most difficult, and keeping existing businesses afloat in the current climate is challenging.  With reduced general finance and support available it is vital now more than ever that we are able to help the people and businesses in the local community. 

“I am pleased that we are able to offer ERDF support to this project that will begin to remove the barriers preventing growth and expansion.”

Over the next three years two types of grants worth between £1,500 and £5,000 will be on offer to businesses in Shropshire who are looking to either get a new business off the ground or improve and boost an existing business.

Councillor Mike Owen, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for economic growth and prosperity, said:

“Shropshire and Herefordshire have declining rates of new business starts and this was further impacted by the economic downturn where we witnessed more traditional sources of finance for businesses falling sharply.  Through the new enterprise fund, the council can really boost enterprise and help businesses succeed.”

Due to European regulations, there are restrictions on the type of businesses that can apply.  Ineligible sectors include retail and land-based.  It also does not cover Telford and Wrekin. To find out more about the support on offer, contact Shropshire Council on 01743 252596 or visit shropshire.gov.uk/sbef

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