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District Dispatch - 09 February 2022

I'm really pleased to tell you that grant funding, which has helped boost economic growth and create new job opportunities, has been confirmed for another year.

District dispatch 1

We are launching £71,000 worth of Enabling Grants from April for small businesses in the district to help them grow and develop.

Since 2016, we have awarded 182 grants to businesses, with many seeing their business turnover increase. Grants have previously funded a range of projects, including the purchase of equipment to develop new products and services, website improvements, and upgrading of shop interiors.

The scheme gives small businesses the confidence to try something new and has clearly enhanced the entrepreneurial spirit across the district. Businesses will be able to apply for up to 50% of the total cost of growth projects, subject to a maximum of £2,000. Smaller grants up to maximum of £500 will be available for start-up businesses, without the need for match funding from the applicant.

Further information on the eligibility criteria will be available nearer the time and businesses are encouraged to sign up to the council's E-Biz newsletter to ensure they receive the launch announcements. The newsletter is sent out regularly to businesses across Chichester District to provide them with support and grant information.

If you own a business in the district, please also don't forget to see if you are eligible for the latest Government funding. Three new schemes are available to support those businesses that have been impacted by the Omicron variant and you can find out more about these on our webpage. These new grants recognise the pressure that businesses are under and will offer extra support through these challenging times.

You may have also seen one of our projects on BBC South earlier today, which is encouraging independent shops to join a virtual high street. Specially tailored websites have been created for Chichester, East Wittering, Petworth, Midhurst and Selsey. ShopAppy is an online shopping platform that you can use to browse products and services from small businesses across the district and pay for them online or in-store. Data from ShopAppy has shown that subscribers have seen a big uptick in additional sales with the click and collect service it offers.

As you can see, supporting our local businesses is a big priority for us. However, we can all individually play our own part by using local businesses wherever possible. I know how much local businesses have appreciated the support you have shown them, over what has been two very challenging years.

This also leads me on to confirm that following its success last year, our Cross Market & More event will return to Chichester city centre on Sunday 13 March; Sunday 17 July; and, Sunday 16 October. The markets will take place in North Street and East Street in Chichester between 10am and 4pm — so definitely dates for your diary. The events were introduced in response to increased demand from residents for more varied markets to support the high street. We welcomed thousands of people to the first event in November last year and hope it will go from strength to strength.


Best wishes

Cllr Eileen Lintill

Leader of Chichester District Council