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Business support website launched

Posted onPosted on 4th Sep

Mansfield District Council has launched a new website offering support for businesses.

The site at www.mansfield.gov.uk/makingbusiness gives information about the resumption of the council business grants for start-up and growing enterprises, which were suspended during the council’s coronavirus response.

There is also information about how businesses can prepare for Brexit, details of the Discretionary Rate Relief Scheme, networking opportunities, accessing free business advice, investment funding and training.

The website is launched as the government’s COVID-19 support measures for businesses come to an end in the coming weeks.

Since April the council has distributed more than £19m of government grants to over 1,600 businesses affected by the virus lockdown. The final grants were handed out last month.

Now the council said its efforts are turning to supporting the local economy as the district recovers from the virus restrictions on trade.

Services offered by the council to businesses includes help with finding the right premises and relocation support. It can also advise employers on how they can develop, train and re-skill their workforces to encourage staff retention and attract talent.

Cllr Stuart Richardson, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration and Growth, said: “The council’s priority in the coming decade is to nurture an ambitious, vibrant and confident place.

“We want to raise the bar in Mansfield and encourage aspiration. Working with our partners such as D2N2, the East Midlands Chamber, Mansfield BID, Vision West Notts College, and Nottingham Trent University, we aim to encourage inward investment in this district and its people.

“We want local people to be able to study here and acquire the kind of skills that local employers are seeking so they can fill higher paying positions with homegrown talent.

“Over the past months, the council did a marvellous job in distributing the government’s COVID support grants and helping local businesses. Now we have to pick up the reins of our ongoing regeneration work and look forward.

“Not least we have to help our local businesses prepare for the changes coming with Brexit and continue to support those who have struggled during the pandemic and also those who see this as the right time to start a new enterprise.

“We know this pandemic has left business casualties but markets are always changing and with change comes opportunity for growth and enterprise.

“National data shows that across the UK, footfall in our high streets continues to be low but Mansfield is recovering better than many other places.

“The council’s measures, such as free parking and now half price parking until the new year, have helped and will continue to encourage people to support their local businesses.

“This is the message we want people to hear loud and clear: shop locally as this will safeguard jobs and create new ones in this area.

“The council is working closely with shops and traders to ensure they are doing everything to reduce the risk of this virus returning and spreading.

“Mansfield has the lowest number of cases in the county and people here have done a fantastic job in taking this illness seriously by being sensible, following the rules and looking after the most vulnerable.

“It is vitally important that everyone continues to do this. We have to think ‘Hands, Face and Space to keep Mansfield safe!’ because the last situation we want – and the last thing businesses want – is for cases to rise and for Mansfield to be put in another lockdown.

“We are on the cusp of exciting times in Mansfield. We potentially have over £50m of government money heading our way to transform our town centre and boost the whole district.

“This will help to prepare and position this area in a way that it can continue to thrive in the face of universal changes in the way people work, live, shop and spend their time and money.

“There may be challenging times ahead but we have faced them before and Mansfield has survived them and prospered. I am confident that this district will evolve and change for the better in the future.”

The council’s financial support available includes:

Business Start-Up Grant: Up to £1,000 is available to start a business in the Mansfield district. The money can be used towards costs such as buying machinery and equipment, business stationery, website design and marketing.

Business Growth Grant: Up to £2,500 is available to established businesses based in the Mansfield district and which produce a viable growth plan that demonstrates potential job creation.

Shop Front Improvement Grant: Up to £2,500 is available for independent retailers, already occupying premises in the Mansfield district, which want to make alterations or repairs to their shop front to enhance its appearance.

Vacant Shops Grant: Up to £2,500 is available to independent retailers taking occupation of a vacant property in the Mansfield district. Eligible costs include improvements to premises, fixtures and fittings, rental payments, insurance premiums, advertising and marketing costs.

Discretionary Business Rate Relief: Up to 75% relief over two years is available for small to medium sized businesses. To be eligible, they must be either established high growth businesses in Mansfield or wishing to locate to the district and must occupy premises with a rateable value greater than £51,000 a year. More details of the criteria can be found at https://www.mansfield.gov.uk/business-support-1/discretionary-business-rates-relief-scheme/1.

Businesses seeking help should check out the new website at www.mansfield.gov.uk/makingbusiness or email [email protected] or call 01623 463499.

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