Flood grant brings new look to local salon

Press Release: 03/12/2014

Topaz

Family hairdressing salon Topaz in Kingsworthy was one of many businesses in Hampshire affected by the severe weather last winter. But this winter the salon is bursting with confidence once again, thanks to a helping hand from Government and Winchester City Council.

Topaz - which is owned by Catriona, Ian, Caroline and Keith Honeychurch - lost many of its regular customers during the floods in February which saw parts of the village completely cut off. The salon is situated on Springvale Road, which proved to be one of the biggest local flood blackspots.

The hard-working salon owners heard about a number of Government support schemes to help flood-affected businesses and applied for a Business Support Grant. The scheme is intended for any business adversely affected by the floods, and not just those which had water on the premises.

Catriona Honeychurch said:

The grant was for helping the business get back on its feet, and not to reimburse lost earnings. So we had a think about what would be most helpful, and decided that it was the visibility of the salon that we would like to improve.

The Honeychurches made their application to Winchester City Council in July and were awarded a grant of £1,180 to pay for bright new uniforms for the staff, redecoration of the shop front, new promotional displays for the windows and local advertising.

Cllr Rob Humby, Leader of the Council, visited the salon this week to view the improvements. He said:

I went out with the Mayor to visit many of our worst-affected villages back in February, and Kingsworthy was one of the first places we visited. I know that for many people, it has been a long and slow route back to normality after the adverse weather of last year, but I am really pleased that the Honeychurches have taken up the offer of support and put their grant to such good effect.

Other successful applicants have included The Vine pub and Lotts Stores in Hambledon, Remarkable PR agency in Winchester and Twyford Playgroup. But they are among only 13 businesses that have so far applied for support grants across the Winchester District.

Thirteen businesses have also applied for and received business rate relief as a result of the flooding, and another two which fell outside the Government scheme criteria have received hardship rate relief from the City Council.

But the Council is still urging other businesses affected by the winter floods to come forward and make applications. Cllr Humby, who also holds the Portfolio for Economic Development, added:

I know there are many more businesses who could make use of a support grant, but who are not applying for whatever reason. My officers will happily sit with business owners and fill in the form with them if it helps.

Consequently, applications are still being accepted, well beyond the original September deadline.

Business owners who believe they may be eligible for support should contact the Economy and Arts Team at Winchester City Council in the first instance on 01962 848 303 or visit www.winchester.gov.uk/environment/flood-recovery/flood-advice-businesses/