Retailers can apply for up to £4,000 to spruce up their shop fronts or stores as part of the West Sussex Retail Hub, a project between borough and district councils in West Sussex. The grant is open to more than 100 independent retail businesses in the town centre and neighbourhood parades. Applicants can apply for up to £4,000 and need to commit 25 per cent in match-funding and complete at least one module of the West Sussex Retail Hub’s training scheme. The West Sussex Retail Hub has been developed by Digital Islands and has been paid for thanks to a joint bid to the West Sussex Business Rates Pool. The training consists of a series of pre-recorded learning sessions and live events with industry experts. Independent retailers can access the following pre-recorded modules:
Measuring sales, tracking profitability
Key steps for creating a marketing plan
The importance of business planning
Employing staff: an introduction to HR for small businesses
Using social media for business outcomes
Card payments and electronic point of sale
Understanding today's customer
Creating an exceptional customer experience
Developing a quality customer experience for the modern independent retailer
Developing new business models that work effectively and efficiently.
Businesses can access the training at their own convenience and are free to pick and choose the modules of most use to them. The modules will be available for the next two years and there will also be downloads and useful resources for businesses to keep. Councillor Peter Smith, Cabinet member for Planning and Economic Development at Crawley Borough Council, said: “This is a great opportunity for independent retailers to spruce up their premises. “I’d urge any eligible small business to take advantage of this funding opportunity and use it to entice more customers into their shops.” To apply for a shop-front grant, visit the Grant Approval website at grantapproval.co.uk and complete an application for the ‘Retail Improvement Grant’ scheme. For more information about business support visit crawley.gov.uk/business/business-resources-and-support and select business funding and grants.