West Sussex businesses have a welcome boost this week with the return of a £600,000 fund designed to help support the local economy and create jobs.
The money is part of West Sussex County Council’s ‘Be the Business’ programme, which supports micro, small and medium sized businesses.
Its aim is to help those with a great business idea start up a new enterprise in West Sussex, offer established companies an opportunity to grow their business and help create new jobs in the county. It also contributes to promoting West Sussex as a good place to do business and encourages businesses to relocate to the county.
Previous grant recipients include Worthing-based food producers Piglet’s Pantry, who were able to offer existing part-time staff full time positions, allowing them to expand their business. The funding will also help to create new jobs as the business grows, including roles for apprentices.
To qualify for a grant, applicants must be located in West Sussex and, if applicable, be paying business rates there. Alternatively they could be about to start up a company in, or be planning relocation to, West Sussex. Grants of up to £25,000 are available and businesses will need to provide 50% match funding.
West Sussex County Council’s Leader, Louise Goldsmith, said: “Boosting the local economy and creating jobs is one of the Council’s top priorities, and anything we can do to help create the right conditions for economic growth is a step in the right direction.
“Last year’s ‘Be the Business’ grant fund was extremely popular, and provided valuable support to a diverse range of businesses across the county. I hope that we see the same level of interest this year, and that companies will come to us with a range of interesting and innovative and plans to help us nurture a strong and diverse economy in West Sussex.”
The closing date for applications is 5.00 pm on Monday September 15th. A programme of support is available to guide businesses through the application process, and to help them achieve their aims if they are successful in their applications.
WSCC is working with Sussex Enterprise and Branduin Support Ltd to deliver the ‘Be the Business’ programme.