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Council launch grant programme for local businesses in Barnet after “difficult few years”

Bidding has started for a piece of Barnet Council’s £50,000 funding pot launched to support local businesses after a “difficult few years”.

The council is running a competitive grants programme in which five grassroots groups that support local businesses will be chosen to receive £10,000 each.

The fund was created to help business activities such as events, training sessions, internships, and mentoring programmes.

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund, a part of a £2.6billion government funding programme to support placemaking in the UK, provided the grant money to the council.

James Watkins, head of policy and public impact at the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), said the need for “targeted funding” that assisted with business activity was “more important than ever”.

He mentioned the “difficult few years” small businesses in Barnet and across London had faced and was “delighted” the grant was made available.

James said: “LCCI was consulted by the Greater London Authority on the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, which will be providing the funding for these schemes, and as such we are delighted to see targeted support arriving in London. Our city’s high streets and small businesses are central to the communities they serve, and we will continue to champion them.”

Groups which can apply for the funding include volunteer-led town teams, business associations and resident associations.

Anne Clarke, cabinet member for community wealth building, said the council recognised the importance of local businesses in the community and said the council wanted to help them “create more jobs” and “grow”.

Cllr Clarke said: “Barnet is home to diverse communities, and we want to hear how those bidding for the funding have targeted business owners from under-represented groups so that entrepreneurs from all backgrounds have the support and resources they need to succeed.”

Applicants should outline how their plans benefit businesses and include how they will target under-represented business owners. Bids should include the local businesses they intend to impact and come under the towns listed on the council’s website.

Applications for the programme opened this week. The deadline to submit an application is 19th February.

Two free online sessions will run, chaired by an independent consultant, to answer questions and share more information around the programme. These will take place on 18th January and 1st February.