Torridge District Council is set to launch a business grant scheme of up to £5,000 for local businesses ready to take on their first employee.

The scheme recognises the important role small businesses play in the local economy with an estimated 4,800 sole traders making up 60% of the 8,000 or so businesses operating across the district. Councillors were keen to find a targeted way to provide growth opportunities for this important sector of the local economy and the adopted £5K grant scheme is the result of that focus.

The scheme will require applicants to submit a business plan and some financial information, which will then be considered by a grant panel, who will decide which businesses will be awarded a grant and an amount up to £5K. Even if a grant isn’t awarded or businesses just want help and guidance for other issues, the Councils Economic Regeneration team and partners will be on hand to advise on these areas as well and can also provide information on free business and training courses.

The opening window for the first round of applications is from 2nd March to 30thApril with decisions to be made at an investment panel meeting on 20th May. A special awareness event will also be held at Torrington Town Hall on 3rd March. Businesses are invited to come along and discuss the grant scheme but can also talk to business experts from partner organisations.https://www.torridge.gov.uk/businessgrant