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Saturday 10 July 2010

Council Backs Local Businesses To Beat The Recession

Local businesses are being given a cash boost and one-stop-shop advice sessions from Cheshire East Council to help them beat the recession.

Grants, of up to £5,000, are available from the council for local businesses that have projects which can be quickly set up to encourage people to shop locally.

Cheshire East has also created a one-stop-shop called The Business Hub for local firms, which aims to help small-to-medium-sized enterprises make the most of their business through advice and information about the range of publicly-funded support available.

Last year, the grant scheme attracted a range of successful bids for funding from projects such as refurbishing the front of stores through to flower displays and local events.

One company that has already benefit from the scheme is Essence, the health salon and ladies fashion boutique in Nantwich Road, Crewe.

Owner Elizabeth Hickson said: “After a shop refurbishment had used most of our budget we were able to get the extra funding from the grant to help us improve the shop frontage. It’s definitely worth taking the time to fill in a form and make an application.”

There is a limited budget for grants and applicants have to show match funding in order to secure funding. Applications will be considered on a first come, first served basis, with bids presented to a weekly grants panel for consideration.

For further details and to make an application contact or visit

The Business Hub drop-in advice events bring together Business Link, HM Revenue & Customs, Jobentre Plus, Acas, The Reaseheath Enterprise Delivery Hub, Cheshire Fire and Rescue, East Cheshire Chamber and Blue Orchid.

As well as one-to-one advice, the sessions will also include a number of informal workshops on a range of topics, from tendering on public service contracts through to how to become self-employed.

These drop-in sessions will run until March 2011 and are free and open to local Cheshire East businesses.

For more information on the next Business Hub e-mail: or call 01270 685911.

Local independent retailers have also taken part in a series of free workshops by Cheshire East’s Recovery Task Group.

The council’s The Let’s Talk Shop initiative aims to help local businesses cash in on money-making ideas.

Former Dragons’ Den television show judge Rachel Elnaugh has been on hand to pass on expert tips at recent sessions.

For more information e-mail: or call 01270 685911.

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