A grant scheme from Tendring District Council (TDC) offering funds to independent businesses in Harwich and Dovercourt to refurbish is still open.
Match-funding of between £100 and £2,000 is available to businesses in the two town centres looking to enhance or improve their premises under the Harwich and Dovercourt Bay Business Grant Scheme.
The funding pot, of £20,000, had been due to close at the end of 2020, but has been extended due to the impact of Covid-19.
So far four businesses have claimed grants totalling almost £5,000, meaning there is plenty of cash left for other firms to apply for.
Mary Newton, TDC Cabinet Member for Business and Economic Development, encouraged businesses to apply.
“While lockdown is no doubt having an impact on many businesses, the closure period might be the ideal time to refresh your premises or building,” Councillor Newton said.
“These grants can help you install new signage, give a lick of paint to a tired shop, or get fresh lighting put in; all the sorts of things businesses will want to do to draw in customers once the current restrictions end.
“As well as supporting the business undergoing refurbishment, we hope local tradespeople will also benefit, and as such this grant scheme aligns so well with our Back to Business agenda.”
So far grants have been used for improvements such as new bathrooms, fresh decoration, window repairs and new flooring at the New Bell Inn, The Alma Inn, hair SHAC by the Pier and Universal Fitness.
The funding is primarily being targeted in Harwich and Dovercourt to help mark the 400th anniversary of the sailing of The Mayflower, the Harwich ship which carried the Pilgrims to America in 1620 – with the celebrations being delayed due to the pandemic.
The scheme is only open to independent traders (not national chains, banks or charities) and match-funding is on a 50:50 basis. Businesses must cover the cost of works up front, and the grant will be paid retrospectively upon successful completion of the work.
It is open to businesses within old Harwich and in Dovercourt town centre around the High Street and Kingsway area.
To find out more – including the areas covered by the scheme – or to download an application form visit www.tendringdc.gov.uk/business/harwich-and-dovercourt-bay-business-grants-scheme