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Retailer? Grab a grant to improve your store

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 and complete an application for the ‘Retail Improvement Grant’ scheme. For more information about business support visit and select business funding and grants.


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