Newport City Council’s Leader Councillor Jane Mudd has launched its most generous package of support grants for new and existing small and medium sized enterprises.
To mark the occasion, Councillor Mudd visited Sero Waste, Newport’s first zero waste shop which received a business grant from the council
The shop in the grounds of Tredegar House sells refillable dry whole foods, local produce such as bread, baked goods, milk and British grown flowers as well as refillable and sustainable products.
It was opened by friends Liz Morgan and Laura Parry
Laura said: “We used the grant towards the rent. The council allowed us to spread it out so we used it monthly. It was really useful to us as a small start-up business and it meant we use the money we would have spent on rent to buy more stock.
“It definitely made a difference. We’ve been in contact with the council through the whole process and they’ve been really helpful.”
Councillor Mudd said: “This is just the sort of fantastic, innovative small business that we want to back. Liz and Laura are great ambassadors for this ethical, sustainable approach which meets not only the council’s priorities, but the priorities of all those who care about our environment and our planet.”
Applications for the new City of Newport business fund are now invited from those considering starting their own venture and those who want their business to grow.
This year’s budget has been increased to £300,000 with the potential of helping even more businesses.
- Grants of up to £5,000 for the city centre or up to £2,500 across the rest of the city
- This will increase to up to £10,000 for the city centre and up to £5,000 across the wider city if a significant contribution to identified priorities is shown
- Grants can be used for fixed property costs such as rent and service charges; IT or digital costs or plant and equipment
- Previously applicants had to create at least one full-time job but businesses that create part-time jobs can also apply
- Businesses started at home are also eligible for the first time
Councillor Mudd said: “We’ve seen a huge increase in requests for financial support as a result of the upheaval of the last 18 months.
“During the pandemic, we were able to support businesses in the city through the distribution of millions of pounds of grants and non-domestic rate relief.
“Now I want to do more to help our local small and medium-sized businesses who are ready to expand their businesses and those who are just starting up. Some of these will be residents who have taken that decision as a direct result of their experiences over the last year or so.
“I was pleased that we were able to include a significantly increased amount for business support in this year’s budget, including £300,000 for our support grants. We know these have made a real difference to businesses we have already helped and it’s been my pleasure to meet some of the recipients and hear their stories.
“The increased budget means we can not only help more businesses but also offer an additional level of support to SMEs who demonstrate they are innovative in areas such as helping to tackle climate change, addressing poverty or reducing waste.
“This is still a time of uncertainty, so we have acknowledged that flexibility. Should new priorities emerge as a result of the ongoing situation, the fund could also adapt to meet new needs. We want to do everything we can to support local entrepreneurs in a changing world.
“Our businesses are vital to the success and prosperity of Newport and we know they are resilient, forward-thinking and innovative. We will continue to back them whenever we can, working as partners to fulfill the potential of our city and its residents.”