Aspiring entrepreneurs with ambitions to set up retail, leisure or hospitality businesses in County Durham can apply for a new grant to help make their dream a reality.
Durham County Council has launched the Retail Start Up Grant to support businesses in their first six months of trading.
It is part of the local authority’s Towns and Villages programme and enhances the wide range of support already on offer to new and existing businesses in the county.
Funded by the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, the Retail Start Up Grant can be used to cover costs such as rent, business rates, service charges, utilities and insurance.
The amount of funding awarded is determined on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the needs, location and circumstances of each business.
Cllr Elizabeth Scott, Durham County Council’s cabinet member for economy and partnerships (pictured above), said: “The first six months can be an expensive time for new businesses, especially within the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors.
“There are many additional expenses to cover, including acquiring new stock and equipment and fitting out the business premises.
“The Retail Start Up Grant offers support during this crucial time by assisting with day-to-day running costs, helping to relieve financial pressure while the business is getting established.
“Helping businesses to grow and attracting new enterprises into County Durham is a key part of our Inclusive Economic Strategy.
“Retail, leisure and hospitality businesses are especially important as they not only employ thousands of people, but they enhance the vibrancy of our towns and villages and attract visitors into the county.
“I would encourage anyone who is considering starting a business in County Durham to get in touch.”
For more information about the Retail Start Up grant visit www.durham.gov.uk/helpwithbusinessfunding.