District Council’s Business Resilience Programme delivers expert advice and access to funding for local business

Posted on: Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Growing a business in a sustainable way can be daunting even for experienced business owners.

Having a mentor to ask difficult questions, to offer advice and to act as a sounding board is invaluable. Newark and Sherwood District Council’s Business Resilience Programme has given local business owners access to guest speakers and experts in marketing, HR or finance.

One business that has benefitted from the scheme is Soapology, a Newark-based manufacturer of handcrafted artisan soaps. Founder Emma Grosse explained how valuable the programme has been for her and her business: “Participating in the programme gave me two hours a fortnight to work on my business rather than in it. My notebook is now packed with information and ideas that I can now begin to implement in my business to facilitate growth.”

The programme enabled Emma and many other local businesses to find and use connections in areas such as digital marketing and web design. It also provides businesses a space to share ideas and advice and to learn from each other’s experience. 

Businesses could also apply for grants through the fund as well as getting advice on where financial help could be found. Wrigleprint, a bespoke embroidery and printed clothing business in Newark, benefitted directly from a grant which helped them through their business expansion. Owner Scott Wrigley had an eye on future expansion: “Our new premises are not only big enough to accommodate our new four-head embroidery machine but also give us the opportunity to expand further, maybe adding in a mezzanine floor.

“Business is growing, we have added further x2 machines to our armoury, a new 8 head embroidery machine and the latest in garment printing technology a DTF printer”. 

Another business that successfully participated in the programme included Jackson Design Associates, based in Ollerton. Architectural Technologist, Matt Rowbottom, said of the programme: “The course has enabled our business to invest in areas that had been neglected in the past, and has given me the drive to continually develop my skills to help achieve business success in the future. Further to this, the grant we received has allowed us to appoint a specialist web designer to create a brand new website. The past couple of years navigating our way through the pandemic have been challenging, and as a result we were unable to commit investment on this. Now, the new website will help the business attract new clients and staff as we continue to grow going into the future.”

The Business Growth and Resilience Programme launched as part of the District Council’s economic growth strategy and linked business service specialists with local businesses across four key sectors: Retail, Food and Drink; Manufacturing and Construction; Health and Social Care; and Visitor Accommodation.

Matt Lamb, Director of Regeneration and Growth at Newark and Sherwood District Council, said: “We are committed to supporting local residents and businesses in recovering from the challenges faced during the pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis. Our Business Resilience Programme offered local businesses the opportunity to speak to business specialists who can help identify opportunities and sources of funding to allow businesses to not only be more resilience but also to grow.

“It’s key for the vision of Newark and Sherwood, as a place to live, work and enjoy, they we have a thriving and resilience local economy. As such, this programme provided both financial and practice help to businesses of all sizes, which in turn provides new and exciting employment opportunities for our residents.”