Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC) celebrated Small Business Saturday on 6 December, by bringing together a group of local independent traders who have been given a helping hand by the Council’s Independent Retailer Grant.
Four of the recipients: The Travelling Cupcake, Bridge Street; Upcycled in the Upper High Street; Charlie’s in Waterloo Court, and The Baby Room (branches in Andover and Romsey) marked the day with a photograph taken with the Mayor of Test Valley, Councillor Jan Lovell.
Economic Portfolio Holder, Councillor Peter Giddings, said: “I am delighted that the Council has given its support to Small Business Saturday. Small businesses employing less than 50 people account for nearly half of all private sector employment and one third of all turnover. They are the lifeblood of the local economy.
“At Test Valley we recognise this, and have been helping new and small businesses for many years through a range of initiatives including the IRG, the Business Incentive Grant and the Andover Skills Training Fund. In recognition of our work we have consistently won awards over the past five years from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB),one of the lead supporters of Small Business Saturday.”
“If anyone is considering setting up their own business or improving the skills of their staff, now is a great time to do it.”
To be eligible for the Independent Retailer Grant, new or existing independent businesses must occupy a town centre ground floor unit that has been vacant for at least one month. Qualifying businesses include shops, restaurants and cafés.
The £1,000 grants are funded from the New Homes Bonus reserve. For more information about the grant, including details of how to apply, visit www.testvalley.gov.uk, or contact David Gleave, Economic Development Officer, on 01264 368309 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information about the Andover Skills Training Fund and Business Incentive Grants can also be found on the Council’s website.
Small Business Saturday is an American concept which last year helped drive sales of $5.5bn (£3.5bn) in small independent shops across the US and led to an increase in longer-term custom. It has now been backed by HM Government in Britain and is just one of the ways the Council is supporting small businesses every day to succeed in Test Valley.