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Help for Moorlands businesses as restrictions ease

Published 24 May 2021                                                                                    

Businesses across the Moorlands are opening their doors once again as Covid restrictions ease further.

Staffordshire Moorlands District Council is working with the Stoke & Staffordshire Growth Hub and Staffordshire County Council to support them through this next stage on the national roadmap by offering a range of funding, support and advice to help businesses meet the ongoing challenges they face.

Councillor Sybil Ralphs, Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said: "It's great news that our businesses and services are re-opening as restrictions begin to ease but we are acutely aware that the impact of Covid remains particularly difficult and challenging for them.

"That's why our focus continues to be on supporting small businesses and people who have seen their jobs or employment prospects affected by the pandemic. I would urge existing business owners, employers, entrepreneurs and those with sound business ideas to research what is on offer and take advantage of what's available."

There is lots of help available from the Growth Hub who can help advise on business resilience, access to finance and funding and the Council itself continues to make grant awards for re-starting to businesses in eligible sectors and is working with the County Council and Growth Hub to support the Staffordshire Means Business Programme.

The Staffordshire Means Back to Business programme offers an enhanced package of funding including:

  • Small Businesses to Thrive grants of £2,000 to £5,000
  • Start-up Scheme and loans of £3,000 to £5,000 to help you set up and survive the first critical months
  • Free training Top-Up for Employers offering grants of up to £5,000 towards training or upskilling costs

There's more information about all these schemes online:

Additionally in the Moorlands, the Council is offering micro-businesses a year's free membership to the Federation of Small Businesses where they will be able to access a wide range of support including tax and legal advice and a discounted workplace pensions scheme.

A series of online fact sheets are also now available with lots of hints and tips covering topics ranging from health and safety to digital and contactless payments.

Whilst the Council wants to encourage people to support shops and businesses across the District, Councillor Ralphs stressed the need to remain vigilant:

"This next step in unlocking is a very welcome and much-anticipated one but our excellent progress could so easily be at risk unless we all continue to stick to the rules whilst enjoying our new freedoms.

"We must all stick to rules when meeting up with family and friends, carefully consider how our actions might affect them and continue to wear a face covering, wash hands regularly and keep a distance form others.

"Taking the vaccination when you're offered it and getting tested regularly even if you don't have symptoms are also key to keeping the spread of the virus at bay.

"Our loved ones and our businesses need us all to play our part and I'd like to say a big thank you to Moorlands residents for doing the right thing for so many months, and for continuing to do so, to safeguard the continued path to restrictions being eased and removed."