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£9 billion broadband boost for local businesses welcomed by Crawley MP

‘Superfast broadband is making a real difference to local businesses,’ says Crawley MP Henry Smith.

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Henry Smith MP has welcomed research showing that superfast broadband has boosted the turnover of local businesses across the UK by £9 billion.

This boost to the UK economy has created some 49,000 jobs, showing the clear benefits that superfast broadband provides.

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Nationwide superfast broadband coverage has now reached 95.39 per cent due to the Government’s focus and in the south east of England, more than 97 per cent of homes and businesses can now access superfast services.

Henry said: “This shows that extending superfast broadband is making a real difference to local businesses, boosting turnovers and reducing unemployment.

“This is good news for local businesses as we move into an increasingly digital economy, and it’s great news that 97 per cent of homes and businesses in the south east of England now have access to superfast broadband.

“We know there’s more to do, so are continuing to work with broadband providers to reach areas not yet covered and expect a million more homes and businesses to gain access in the next few years.”

Work is ongoing to extend coverage, with more than one million extra UK homes and businesses estimated to gain access to superfast speeds in the coming years, taking superfast coverage to 98 per cent of the nation.

The Government has introduced a Universal Service Obligation meaning everyone will have access to fast and affordable broadband by 2020.

Going further, plans have been set out to deliver nationwide full fibre connectivity by 2033 as part of the modern Industrial Strategy.

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Crawley Borough Council award grants to two local businesses

Two business start-ups have got a leg up through Crawley Borough Council’s Small Business Grants Scheme.

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The Company Connector Ltd and Haus of FLVR are the latest companies to benefit from a council grant, which awards small businesses with up £2,000.

Manor Royal-based business, The Company Connector Ltd, will support local businesses with finding new clients and opportunities as well as encouraging inward investment from overseas. The company has already supported a number of Crawley businesses on a consultancy basis and helped to generate new business.

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The council awarded The Company Connector Ltd with the maximum amount of £2,000, assisting the start-up and first year costs. The financial boost has helped to establish the brand, website and social media, along with the necessary furniture and computer equipment.

Jeremy Taylor, Managing Director of The Company Connector Ltd, said:

“I am delighted to have been awarded this grant, it will contribute towards the set up and immediate development plans of the business including our first mission to Austin, Texas.

“In addition, the grant will enable us to support local businesses reach overseas markets as well as encouraging inward investment from other business centres. I applaud the council for recognising it costs a lot to establish a business that creates new jobs; this assistance is well received”

Haus of FLVR, a company that produces high quality alcohol infused frozen goods, received £2,000 from the Small Business Grant Scheme. The businesses main aims are to create an exciting, affordable and aesthetically pleasing product that brings a fresh and fashionable approach to ice lollies and canapés.

Samara Gidden, Director of Haus of FLVR, said:

“We are thrilled to receive funding to help produce a creative packaging solution that is luxurious and eco-friendly – both prerequisites will work in cohesion.

“We look forward to developing our packaging further and drive our business forward.”

Cabinet member for Planning and Economic Development, Councillor Peter Smith, said: “I’m pleased that we can offer two start-up businesses a £2,000 grant.

“It’s important to support businesses in the initial stages; it helps them to get off the ground and positively contributes towards the town’s economic climate.”

The grants scheme is for small businesses with less than 50 employees who operate in the Crawley area.

All Small Business Support Grants projects must be match-funded at least 50 per cent by the small business. Apprenticeship grants up to £1,500 are also available and don’t need to be match-funded.

For more information about business grants and funding visit www.crawley.gov.uk/business

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