Hats off to the Council: further funding allocations for business development

Press Release: 25/01/2013

The photograph shows Rachel Drewer from Rachel Drewer Millinery. The two hats are from Rachel’s new summer collection.

As the sad news reaches us all that HMV has gone into administration, Winchester City Council is continuing to pledge its support for local businesses by announcing an additional £10,000 of grant funding for Winchester District-based businesses.

The Council introduced its micro-business development grants in the autumn of last year in order to stimulate enterprise during the economic downturn. This pilot has just been extended and more funds have been allocated in response to demand from local businesses.

Established businesses located within the Winchester District, with one to nine employees, can apply for grants of up to £1,000 on items required to allow their business to grow. These might include website design, purchases of IT equipment, recruitment costs or anything else which is essential for developing a micro-business.

Grants have been already awarded to local micro-businesses for business development across the entire Winchester District. These include Rachel Drewer Millinery, based in Micheldever, designing hand-made hats and headpieces for ladies who want to look fantastic on special occasions and The Business Collective, which is a limited company that offers support services from local, highly experienced and socially responsible consultants at fair rates to members.

Rachel Drewer from Rachel Drewer Millinery, said

I am using the grant from Winchester City Council to update my website to include an online shop facility. This should allow my business to expand and to attract customers from a wider geographical area. In order to be competitive and stay ahead of the game businesses such as mine need to accommodate an increasingly IT-savvy consumer. I believe that online sales will be crucial to increasing my income and ensuring the future of my business.

Cllr Robert Humby, Deputy Leader of Winchester City Council and Portfolio Holder for Strategic Planning and Economic Development, added

Allocating additional funding to the micro-business development grants is one of many ways Winchester City Council is supporting its local businesses. My role is to champion the many excellent services we provide for business, and – where they exist – take down barriers. My administration sees every grant allocated to a micro-business as a step towards strengthening the local, vibrant economy of the Winchester District.

To find out more about Winchester City Council’s micro-business development scheme download the criteria and application form at www.winchester.gov.uk/microbusinessdevelopmentgrants or contact Alison Woods at Winchester City Council on 01962 848 347 or email awoods@winchester.gov.uk