More businesses given golden hellos as a welcome gesture to boost town centres
MORE people have been given a helping hand under a scheme that supports new and growing businesses in Erewash.
The Golden Hello grant, run by enterprise agency Erewash Partnership on behalf of Erewash Borough Council, gives money to help businesses move into new and empty premises in Ilkeston and Long Eaton town centres and now also Sandiacre.
Six business owners have recently been awarded grants. Each has received £500 initially, which is followed by a similar amount after 10 weeks of trading.
Petals Flowers has moved across from one side of Bath Street in Ilkeston to bigger premises across the road which had been a menswear shop for decades.
The premises at the junction with Pelham Street are larger but more importantly have five windows which give more exposure.
Ruth Gough bought the florist business two years ago and last year, in its first full year under her ownership, the business won the best window display in Ilkeston under the Good Town Traders scheme.
Ruth used the grant for new counters and fittings. “The Golden Hello scheme is fantastic, a real help to people and their businesses,” she said. “I could not have moved if it was not for that,” she said.
A similar sentiment was expressed by Gillian Manners who had run Gillian's Beauty Treatments on Bath Street for seven years.
She moved the business to a shop on Granby Street and re-named it Indigo Nails and Beauty, using her grant to buy new stock, advertising and a processing machine for card payments.
“I would not have been able to move without this grant so I am very grateful,” she said. “Trade has definitely picked up, helped by free car parking.”
Richard and Mandy Muir were able to toast the scheme's success and say cheers when they transformed a former empty unit on South Street into a micropub.
Called The Brewery Tap, it is an extension of The Muirhouse Brewery which Richard started in 2011 and runs from Enterprise Court, an Erewash Partnership unit on the Manners Industrial Estate.
Mandy, who runs the micropub and function room, said the money had been spent on signage, repairs and buying glasses.
“The grant was very useful to us in setting up the bar which we have financed ourselves without any other help,” she said.
Dragonflies craft and gift shop on Lower Bath Street, previously on Station Road, received a grant.
In Sandiacre, India Food 2 Go takeaway has opened in a former clothes shop that had been empty for nearly a year. Owner Mohammed Zaman, who has taken on six staff, used his grant for refurbishing the premises.
He is very grateful for the Golden Hello assistance. “It's a fantastic scheme to help businesses get off the ground,” he said.
At Long Eaton, Tax Assist Accountants have moved into a former clothes shop on the High Street. Part of a franchise, directors Phil Marriott and Carl Whitehead have had a business in Shepshed for several years. In addition to rotating between the two shops they have two part-time staff at Long Eaton. Their grant was used for a new shop front and refurbishment.
Erewash Borough Council lead member for planning and regeneration Geoff Smith said: “I'm pleased that we have been able to support a variety of businesses by giving them a helping hand through the Golden Hello scheme.
“I'm particularly pleased that we were able to extend the scheme to include Sandiacre as well as the town centres of Ilkeston and Long Eaton.”