One of the first business owners to receive advertising and website grants from Cherwell District Council has encouraged others to take advantage of the scheme.
Earlier this year, Cherwell announced it would be investing £15,000 to help independent traders in Bicester after receiving £100,000 Portas Funding from the Government to boost trade in the high street.
The £15,000 will be used to provide 30 grants to assist traders in a year-long advertising campaign and another 30 grants to help retailers establish or improve existing websites.
Among the first to sign up for a website grant was Gail Church of the will-writing firm Bicester Wills, who said: “My Bicester Wills website was a few years old and although I was happy with the design and content, it was not that easy to read on a mobile device. With such a large number of people using mobile devices to access the web I needed to bring Bicester Wills up to date.
“By using the Cherwell District Council Grant it meant the cost of making my website mobile compatible was no longer cost prohibitive. It has been of real benefit and I would encourage other companies to also put themselves forward and apply for a grant.”
Companies applying for a website grant will receive 50 per cent of the costs associated with launching a new website or improving an existing site. All will be designed so they can be viewed on computers, smart phones and mobile devices. Alternatively, companies can apply to receive a grant to cover 75 per cent of the costs associated with a year-long radio advertising campaign.
Cllr Norman Bolster, lead member for economy and estates, said: “Having successfully bid for this Portas funding, it is great to see the difference it is beginning to make to independent traders. Bicester has received a lot of investment with the launch of Pioneer Square but it’s important to ensure this does not come at the expense of existing and independent traders who continue to offer a unique shopping experience that can’t be matched by big corporations. For those who have yet to apply for a grant, we would encourage them to get their applications in quickly so they don’t miss out on receiving a financial boost and subsequent benefits this scheme will bring.”
For more information or to apply for a grant visit www.cherwell.gov.uk/towncentreinitiatives