How to apply for new business grants for North Northants Council area

You have until December 2 to apply for the new grant

By Alison Bagley
Wednesday, 27th October 2021, 4:35 am

Business owners in the North Northants Council (NNC) area will be able to apply for a new grant aimed at supporting those impacted by Covid-19 to 'build back stronger'.

Following on previous grants offered throughout the pandemic, NNC has launched the ‘Discretionary Recovery and Innovation grant’ aimed at helping those most in need.

The one-off grant aimed to support local independent businesses impacted by Covid-19, support plans which enable businesses to build back stronger, give a boost to measures which support the move to ‘Net Zero’, facilitate diversification and innovation to improve resilience and protect and create local jobs.

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Applications for the latest grant are now open

Cllr David Brackenbury, NNC executive member for growth & regeneration, said: “We all know how difficult the past 18 months have been for business owners and we are extremely proud that throughout the pandemic NNC, and the sovereign councils before us, have helped so many businesses across North Northamptonshire with much needed grants and this grant continues to build on this work.”

Ian Blackwell from Canoe2 received a previous grant from NNC and it helped his business adapt and respond to the challenges of the pandemic.

He said: "As a small local, independently owned business, operating along the Nene Valley, Canoe2 like so many businesses suffered a huge impact from the pandemic.

"Issues have ranged from losing half our 2020 operating season to lockdown, when we were unable to open for hire craft or retail, through to the combined impact of lockdown and supply chain issues closing our retail shop for what will be two years by the time we re-open for the 2022 season.

"The remaining 2020 and 2021 hire seasons continued to be impacted by reduced capacity, as well as enforcing limits on group sizes. Additionally, the boathouse meeting room that we manage for local community meetings and events was forced to close and is still limited to smaller groups.

"The grant funding support received from NNC has been vital in supporting Canoe2 through this incredibly uncertain period, allowing us to focus on keeping our hire services available whenever guidelines allowed, and putting the business in a position whereby we dare plan and invest for the company’s future recovery.

"Grant monies have assisted us in covering essential basic overheads such as insurance and maintenance, allowed delayed investment in replacement of equipment, and with an eye on future longevity and full recovery, to invest in our promotional efforts around our canoe, kayak, pedalo hire services and to assist in promoting use of the meeting and events facility.

We are incredibly grateful to North Northamptonshire Council for the grant funding assistance received. Beyond that, NNC representatives have shown real understanding of Canoe2’s business needs in their day-to-day advice and support.”

Anna Jeyes from Jeyes of Earls Barton, a family-run business with a gift shop, café and heritage centre, also received a grant from NNC.

She said: "The COVID Grant Scheme from North Northamptonshire Council was a huge support and a lifeline to our business during Covid. The funding received enabled us to invest and make necessary changes to the business for when we emerged from lockdown. Outdoor initiatives were essential for survival therefore we used the funds to extend and develop a welcoming and safe outdoor hospitality space.

“Receiving the funds gave us the chance to improve our attraction and filled us with hope and belief in our business. We then worked tirelessly over the following months to ensure every penny was spent with care, consideration and with the commitment to reinventing our family business at the core.

“We cannot thank the team at North Northamptonshire Council enough for their help and support during a very difficult time for local, independent businesses.”

Any business owners wishing to apply or find out more information should visit the NNC Covid grants webpage and read the guidance before applying. The deadline for applications is Thursday, December 2, at midday.