A Helping Hand for Local Firms

Businesses in West Somerset are being supported by the council to help them develop their ideas.

West Somerset Council launched the scheme for small businesses and start-ups last month and during the three-week window for applications, 17 firms put forward their ideas with ten approved.

Grants were awarded to businesses which could most clearly demonstrate how their proposals would help make a step change in the business that would ultimately raise profitability.

Applications were received from a wide range of small businesses throughout the West Somerset area.

Those successful included Lisette de Roche, of Priestlands Birch Products, Raddington (pictured), who said:  “As a start-up business, the grant will help me purchase treatment and filtration equipment for the birch-based products that I make.

“I am also receiving support from Cornerstone Business Mentoring which is proving to be extremely helpful and the most important motto I have learned is ‘Never give up!’”

Also successful is Oak Funeral Services Ltd, Williton. Jonathan Mees, from the company, says, “We are using the grant to help convert a derelict area into a workshop to build and fit coffins. By converting the space we will be able to finish our own products locally rather than buying them in from elsewhere, potentially creating local employment and offering a more bespoke service.”

The Business Development grant has now closed for applications. However, customer-focused businesses located in Minehead or Alcombe are still able to apply for a maximum of £300 from the separate scheme running in those areas. For details see www.westsomersetonline.gov.uk/mineheadresiliencegrant.

PHOTO by Clare Moffat.

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