Watford Borough Council has launched a new programme to provide expert advice, support and grant funding to small businesses adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Watford Business Growth Grant scheme is being delivered in partnership with Hertfordshire Growth Hub, and under the scheme, grants of up to £5,000 will be allocated to successful local business applicants.
The scheme was launched by Watford mayor Peter Taylor at the offices of Wirebox Ltd, a web development agency based in Watford and an example of the type of business that the scheme aims to support.
To qualify for a grant, a business must be based in Watford with between five and ten employees.
It must have the potential to bounce back and grow with support after the adverse effects of the Covid pandemic.
Watford mayor Peter Taylor pictured with Andrew Ajoodha from Wirebox Ltd. Credit: Simon Jacobs
The Growth Hub service is delivered by a consortium of partners and is the central point of access for business support in the county.
Once a business has expressed interest in the scheme, growth account managers from the growth hub will work closely with them to determine their business needs and offer free advice and support.
If the business is a suitable candidate, the growth account manager will also assist them in applying for a grant of between £2,000 and £5,000 to help improve operating performance and drive innovation and growth.
Grants can be spent on further consultancy services, tools to improve business performance and in some cases equipment that will benefit the business. They can also be used as match funding to unlock larger business grants.
Mayor Peter Taylor said: “Watford’s business community is so important to the town, providing employment opportunities to residents and helping us to prosper. The past year has been so tough for so many small companies. The Watford Business Growth Grant Scheme is our way of investing in local businesses so that they can get the support they need to succeed in the future.”
Sian Ryan, head of service at Hertfordshire Growth Hub, added: “We’re delighted to be working in partnership with Watford Borough Council to deliver this grant scheme, aimed at providing support to local businesses.
“Driving targeted impact through this scheme, as well as providing these businesses with a comprehensive range of advice, resources, support and events through the Growth Hub, will help to boost the local economy.”
The Watford Business Growth Grant is available now, and applications will close once the total funding has been allocated or by March 31 2022.
Business owners can register their interest in the scheme at https://www.watfordbusiness.com/business-growth-grant