Grants for small businesses aiming to grow

There is continuing support from Crawley Borough Council for local businesses with grants of up to £4,000 available for firms with fewer than 50 employees.To help create a more prosperous local economy, the council will match-fund successful applicants seeking to either start an enterprise, expand their services or create new jobs.
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A recent recipient was Building Blocks SLT, which provides speech and language therapy for children from its practice in Gossops Green.

Specialist toys and equipment for children with autism, or other communication support needs, were bought using a £1,900 grant, along with IT equipment to improve productivity and a new team member was hired.

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Jessica Wates, an independent speech and language therapist and a director of Building Blocks SLT, said: “As a small independent start-up business this grant has been extremely valuable and gratefully received.

“We are in the process of expanding our universal services where we will be developing a course for parents on how to support their child’s language and communication at home which wouldn’t have been possible without the Crawley Borough Council grant.

“The grant has not only allowed us to improve the service we provide to families and for them to trial equipment to see if this is helpful for their children, but also grow our small business rapidly within the past few months.”

The small business grant scheme was launched in 2016 and is funded by the West Sussex Economic Recovery Fund. Since it began, Crawley Borough Council has awarded £282,123 grants to 122 local businesses.

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Cabinet member for Planning and Economic Development, Councillor Atif Nawaz, said: “It’s great to hear a story from a small business, like Building Blocks SLT, providing a vital service to children with growing confidence and capacity thanks to one of our grants.

“Crawley is home to thousands of businesses, from the international to the micro; the council is committed to creating an environment in which they can all succeed so I urge anyone who thinks a grant would make a difference to their business to apply.”

The council is also currently constructing the Crawley Innovation Centre at Manor Royal, providing an environment for small businesses, particularly those in innovative technologies, to establish themselves and grow.

The aim is for the centre to help create more than 200 new jobs and benefit directly up to 40 businesses. It’s expected to open in October.