Supporting businesses in Mid Sussex to start up, grow and adapt

PR2456/SB/JB - 07/09/2022

Mid Sussex District Council has been catching up with businesses who were supported by our grants over the past few years to hear how they are getting on.

The Covid pandemic and economic stress put unprecedented strain on the local Mid Sussex economy and the businesses operating within it. During that time the Council took every opportunity to support the local economy in a huge variety of ways.

Grant schemes have included MSDC funded Covid-19 Recovery Grants to support businesses to adapt and diversify supporting 42 businesses across the district; Store Improvement Grants, which allocated over £70,000 to support 24 independent retailers to enhance their business premises or make operational improvements; and a further 48 businesses and start-ups were supported with over £70,000 worth of Micro-business grant funding.

Projects to help support residents back to our high streets included Santa’s Secret Mission, Pop to the Shops and most recently subsidising independent traders to join ShopAppy.com along with Council funded grant schemes to support businesses to diversify, grow and even start-up. 

Over the Summer we have been catching up with some of these businesses to understand a bit more about how the grant funding has helped their businesses. These included visits to local traders such as 7th Heaven Beauty Salon in East Grinstead where owner Ellie commented that “Mid Sussex, I felt, handled it better than a lot that I heard about, and the support was incredible. At the end of the phone they were really kind and understanding and the information was, I think, brilliant.”

MSDC’s Covid-19 Recovery Grant funding also helped support the following local businesses to adapt and recover.

The Fresh Fish Shop Ltd in Haywards Heath was awarded a grant towards the cost of e-commerce and marketing activity. Manging Director, Sebastian, commented “During the pandemic we wanted to ensure we could continue to serve the local community from our shop and offer a comprehensive online ordering and home delivery service for those who were self-isolating, shielding, or simply looking for a safer, convenient way of shopping for food. The development of our e-commerce site has introduced a new way of supplying our products to the local community, as well as highlighting the quality, sustainability, and availability of Sussex seafood to consumers nationwide.”

Mid Sussex Osteopaths was awarded a grant towards the cost of staff training to offer new services, marketing, and outreach work. Business owner Adam provided the following feedback: “It has helped push a lot of marketing forward which has accelerated our return to a reasonable level of service. It has also helped us reach out to the community more effectively and helped boost our skill set to offer more to the public.”

Sally Blomfield, Assistant Director of Planning and Sustainable Economy, commented, “We worked really hard to support our local economy in the past few challenging years, and these positive stories are a testament to this work. We continue to have advice and support available for businesses and our current 2022/23 Micro Business grants scheme is open for applications”

“The current Micro-business grant scheme has already awarded over £18,000 in grants to 13 businesses so far this year. Interested businesses and start-ups are urged to apply while funding lasts”.

To find out more and apply for a Micro-business grant please visit www.midsussex.gov.uk/licensing-business/micro-business-grants

ENDS