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Crawley council offers grants of up to £4,000 for small businesses

Crawley Borough Council is offering small businesses up to £4,000 thanks to continued funding from a county-wide pot.

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The successful small business grant scheme was created to help start-ups and existing small businesses with expansion costs; it’s financially supported over 72 micro and small businesses in Crawley since launching February 2016.

Small Business Grants are available to Crawley businesses with 50 employees or fewer and require a 50 per cent match fund from the business. Up to £1,500 is available to offset the costs of hiring and training apprentices.

The council has been awarded £144,000 from the West Sussex Structural Investment Fund to deliver the scheme until 2021.

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

“I’m delighted that we are able to provide vital Small Business Grants to deserving local businesses for another two years and with this extra funding, we’re now able to award double the amount than previously!

“I hope these grants continue to inspire the community to set up their own businesses, expand on existing enterprises and take on apprentices; all positively contributing to Crawley’s economy.”

A £1,430 grant has recently been awarded to Sage Café, situated on the Historic High Street. The vegan eatery will use the funding for kitchen refurbishment including wall cladding and installation of new shelves.

Partner at Sage Café, Sabriye Eren, said:

“As a family run business, we were extremely happy to find out about the Small Business Grant Scheme. We received a £2,000 grant with ease, which massively helped to lift the initial financial stresses and allowed us to install a few final additions to our café.”

Digital marketing company, Boxcrack, have also received a Small Business Grant for marketing, advertising and stationary costs.

Alex Sebuliba, Managing Director at Boxcrack, said:

“Money is paramount when starting a new business and receiving a £2,000 grant has greatly reduced the initial financial strain.

“I am extremely grateful to Crawley Borough Council, and appreciate what they are doing to support small business development in Crawley. I would strongly advise small businesses and start-ups to take advantage of the council’s grant scheme.”

Small Business Grants applications should include an outline business plan to demonstrate how the investment will unlock business growth.

For more information visit crawley.gov.uk/smallbusinessgrants or email economic.development@crawley.gov.uk

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Nervous wait for Pizza Express in Crawley as firm prepares for debt talks with creditors

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Photo: Google Street View

Another major restaurant could be the latest victim of changing conditions on the high street.

The chain has reportedly hired in financial advisers ahead of talks with creditors over huge mounted debts.

The company reported a 11% fall in pre-tax profit in the second quarter of the year.

The Chinese owned company is reported to have huge debts that have amounted as the chain has struggled to cope with the changing habits of shoppers.

There are also rumours that the debt could be as much as £1.6m per restaurant.

Pizza Express is currently refusing to comment on what they call ‘speculation’ around their appointing of creditors.

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