Shadow Games and Supatone Toning and Tanning are the latest businesses to receive grants from Rugby’s Retail Start-Up Scheme.
The moving in grant, funded by Rugby Borough Council and Rugby First, is designed to attract new businesses to the town centre and has already proved popular.
The scheme has been awarded the Federation of Small Business Award for best small business friendly programme or campaign, in recognition of its value to the town centre economy.
The grants, of up to £5,000, are available to new start-up businesses for specific units and areas of the town centre.
Rugby Borough Council has just added £15,000 to the fund specifically to attract new businesses to empty units on High Street and Sheep Street.
Cllr Craig Humphrey, leader of Rugby Borough Council, said: “The scheme can make a real difference to new businesses in their crucial first few months of trading and we are delighted with the uptake and interest it has received so far. Building on this success we have invested an additional £15,000 to extend the scheme to include High Street and Sheep Street where we hope to see similar results and successes.”
Aftab Gaffar, Managing Director of Rugby First, said: “All town centres are finding it tough at the moment. Rugby in comparison to most is doing well with a vacancy rate of six per cent - well below the national average of 14 per cent. What is encouraging is that we are still receiving enquiries for vacant town centre units and indeed seeing new businesses established within them. The moving in grant along with landlords starting to lower rents to encourage new business and other initiatives will make a difference, but it takes time and we need to be patient in a challenging economic climate.”
Jane Harders, from Supatone in North Street, said: “The start-up grant and services provided by Rugby Borough Council and Rugby First have proved invaluable in supporting our first few months in business.”
Neill Wilcock, from Shadow Games in Church Street, said: “Rugby Borough Council and Rugby First have recognised the challenges faced by new businesses in their first few months of trading and they should be congratulated on this award winning scheme which will make a real difference to the town centre.”
For further information on starting up your own business in the town centre and the Retail Start-Up Scheme please call Aftab on (01788) 569436.