1. Introduction from Cllr Paul Hayward
Introduction from Cllr Paul Hayward, East Devon District Council's Portfolio Holder for Economy and Assets:
As 2020 draws to a close and we take stock of the challenges that business faced in the last 9 months, I am heartened by the amount of support that East Devon District Council is providing to businesses across the district. Some of these funds are nationally supported, others are local funds generated by our own local economy and enterprise.
To date, more than £2m has been paid out through the Local Restrictions Support Grant to almost 1400 businesses which were forced to close between November and December. The majority of these are 'micro' businesses with less than 10 employees. For those not eligible for this Grant, the next “restrictions” fund - the Additional Restrictions Grant - has now launched. Find out if your business is eligible at eastdevon.gov.uk/business-grants.
There are a wide range of support measures either already in place, or in the pipeline, to help our high streets, rural economy and commercial sector “adapt and thrive” in the weeks and months ahead. East Devon District Council is encouraging residents and customers to Shop Local and spend those £’s in their local shops. This can make a huge difference to our local businesses and economy, helping to protect jobs as well as the heart of our communities.
We are providing support to employees who have sadly been made redundant in recent times, creating funds to promote innovation and entrepreneurialism and working with our partners across Devon to assist our incredible labour force to acquire new skills, that will give them the best chance of gaining well-paid, exciting and secure jobs in the future.
There is no doubt that the coming few months will be just as challenging as those that have gone before. But, by working with, and working for, the people of East Devon, this District Council will rise to those challenges and stand alongside every business, every employee, every resident to ensure that East Devon prospers, grows and remains an amazing place to live, work and play.