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Comic Shop completes refurb thanks to grant from Crawley Council

A new business on the Historic High Street has completed its refurbishment thanks to a Small Business Grant from Crawley Borough Council.

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The Comic Shop, which sells comics, graphic novels and merchandise, received the maximum amount of £2,000 from the council to finish its major revamp.

Since opening in December 2018, the niche shop has proven popular with comic and gaming enthusiasts from in and around Crawley.

The financial boost has helped The Comic Shop to fit out the gaming room, covering costs of the work, materials and furnishings, and to finish other areas of the shop to a high standard.

With the works complete, the owners will bring forward plans to use the shop as a function room for charities, groups and local businesses, as well as holding games nights, events and activity sessions.

Councillor Peter Smith, Cabinet member for Planning and Economic Development, said:

“I’m really pleased that we were able to help Chris and Howard at The Comic Shop with a £2,000 grant. It’s great to see how our funds have directly helped the business to meet its goals and create a fun, relaxed environment for its customers.

“I urge more local businesses to consider our grants scheme, especially start-ups who need extra help to get off the ground or for small businesses who are looking to employ an apprentice.”

Chris Mills, co-owner of The Comic Shop, said: “We are so grateful for this grant and the support from the council. We are trying to build a community here and everything to help us achieve that means the world to us. It’s really rewarding to see the community reacting to what we have built here – this is just the beginning!”

The Comic Shop is offering local businesses 25 per cent off all hot drinks and a further 15 per cent if you bring your own cup at their in-store café.

The grants scheme is for small businesses in Crawley with fewer than 50 employees.

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

Business

‘no longer commercially viable’ – LloydsPharmacy to close in Tilgate, Crawley

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Image: Google Streetview

It could be seen as another victim of the High Street but this time it appears that local communities are now going to start to feel the bite of national chain closures.

McKesson UK, the owners of LloydsParmacy sent a statement outlining how they have been making commercial decisions buy and sell pharmacies.

In a statement the firm said that the decision was made due to an increase in financial pressures and also cited COVID-19 as one of the reasons.

It is not clear when the pharmacy will close although there is speculation it could happen as soon as October with rent leases not being renewed.

McKesson added that they aimed to either retain or redeploy staff as much as they could acoss other stores.

But as the shopping landscape continues to be devastated with closures, the impact of a vital local resource disappearing could affect residents harder than most.

A spokesperson for McKesson said:

“Good business practice requires us to regularly review our estate and make appropriate commercial decisions including buying and selling pharmacies. 

These decisions need to be made because of changing market dynamics and increasing financial pressures including the impact of COVID-19, business rates and changes to pharmacy funding.

We are proposing to close a small number of community pharmacies that are no longer commercially viable for us to operate and we are currently consulting with impacted colleagues about those changes. We always prioritise care of our colleagues through any change.

Where there are closures, our aim will be to retain and redeploy as many of our talented colleagues as possible to other vacancies that exist.”

Tilgate Cllr and Mayor of Crawley Francis Guidera said:

“We only found out this morning from a resident. I have spent much of today trying to found out if it was true and if it could be prevented.

It appears Lloyds have already made up their minds to the detriment of our community.

We can only hope that another pharmacy seizes the opportunity to take their place.”

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