The Enabling Grants Scheme will support new and existing businesses while the Independent Retail Support Programme will support independent retailers in the district's designated high street areas: Chichester, East Wittering, Midhurst, Petworth and Selsey.

Both schemes were approved by Chichester District Council's Cabinet at its meeting on Tuesday 8 December. The schemes have been funded thanks to a joint bid with the county's other borough and district councils to the Pooled Business Rates Fund.

"We have been running both these schemes for several years now, and we have always received very positive feedback as a result," explains Councillor Tony Dignum, Cabinet Member for Growth, Place and Regeneration at Chichester District Council. "The coronavirus crisis means that it's now more important than ever that we support our independent businesses so we were extremely keen for these schemes to be repeated again next year. The Enabling Grant Scheme is aimed at creating jobs and growth while the independent retail support programme will undoubtedly help support our independent retailers to identify how best to adapt for the future, after having worked so hard this year to survive some very difficult circumstances.

"Supporting our independent businesses is one of our key priorities in the council's Covid Recovery Plan and also supports the various visions that are being created for Chichester City, East Wittering, Midhurst, Petworth and Selsey. And as we are now firmly in the festive season, I would also like to remind people about our Christmas Support Local Campaign and encourage people to continue supporting their local and independent businesses wherever possible.

Businesses are urged to sign up to the council's eBiz newsletter at Business and economy to ensure they are notified when the schemes are open for applications.

Date of release: 8 December 2020

Reference: 3951