News Article

Helping new and existing businesses to grow and thrive

18 November 2021

Cheshire West and Chester Council is launching a fully funded business support programme to help new businesses start-up and existing businesses to adapt or diversify their growth plans.

Since the start of the pandemic in early 2020, Cheshire West and Chester Council has distributed more than £137m in grants to 38,000 businesses in the borough, coordinating over 10 different grant schemes for businesses, including the Restart Grant Scheme.  

Additionally, the Council has awarded almost £10m in Additional Restriction Grants (ARG), funding directly to businesses that were forced to close or had been otherwise significantly impacted by the pandemic. 

The Council has now received further ARG funding, part of which has already been used for Extended Restrictions Grants and the remainder is being used to provide a programme of wider support, including direct business support and grants for eligible businesses. 

Through a programme of bite-sized training, workshops, networking, and online materials, the Council will ensure as many businesses as possible, from across all sectors, can access professional support and advice.  Additionally, eligible businesses will be able to access 121 support and some grants.

Cllr Richard Beacham, Cabinet Member for Inclusive Economy & Regeneration, said: “Through this programme we hope to inspire and motivate local people to consider self-employment and support our existing businesses to upskill, build resilience and increase local employment opportunities.

“It’s been a challenging time for businesses, but we are sure that the range of support available through this programme will support local recovery and growth, empowering businesses with practical, achievable advice, support and guidance.”

Additionally, as part of an initiative to rebuild confidence on the high-street, the Council has commissioned Loyal Free, a digital solution for businesses to promote their offers and loyalty schemes, helping businesses increase their visibility with a credible online and social media presence and encouraging customers to shop locally.

All these activities will support the Council’s goals to help build a thriving local economy that works for everyone, ensuring our residents, businesses and places thrive whilst creating a borough fit for future generations. It will also work with businesses to play their part in reducing carbon emissions and helping the Council reach their goal of being carbon neutral by 2030.

The online West Cheshire Business Support Programme event is on 2 December, 9.30-10.30am.  Find out more or to register for the event at: West Cheshire Business Support Programme