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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

Business

Crawley jobs at risk as DW Sports goes into administration

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Jobs at DW Sports in Crawley town centre are at risk along with 1,700 hundred jobs across the country as the company announced it is to wind down the business.

The sports website has also been closed with immediate effect.

According to reports closing down sales are due to begin at the remaining stores as the business comes to an end.

Fitness First, a sister company of DW is to continue to operate as a separate company and its 43 clubs are not to be affected by the news.

Chief executive Martin Long said:

“As a consequence of Covid-19, we found ourselves in a position where we were mandated by Government to close down both our retail store portfolio and our gym chain in its entirety for a protracted period, leaving us with a high fixed-cost base and zero income.

“Like many other retail businesses, the consequences of this extremely challenging operating market have created inevitable profitability issues for DW Sports.

“The decision to appoint administrators has not been taken lightly but will give us the best chance to protect viable parts of the business, return them to profitability, and secure as many jobs as possible.

“It is a difficult model for any business to manage through without long-term damage, and with the limited support which we have been able to gain.

“Having exhausted all other available options for the business, we firmly believe that this process can be a platform to restructure the business and preserve many of our gyms for our members, and also protect the maximum number of jobs possible for our team members.”

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

“This is terrible news for the staff of DW Sports; I sympathise with them and hope that they are able to secure other employment quickly. Our Employ Crawley service is currently providing free one-to-one employability and training support to jobseekers by phone, email and text.”

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