Welcome to East Devon District Council’s new Portfolio Holder for Economy, Asset Management and Regeneration, Cllr Paul Hayward, Member for Yarty Ward and to Cllr Geoff Pratt, Member for Ottery St Mary, who is the new Assistant Portfolio Holder.
Cllr Hayward introduces this week’s business update:
“I’m very pleased to take up this new role to support residents and businesses of East Devon. I would like to thank Cllr Kevin Blakey for all of his service to the Council and wider community, having been in that role since last May. I am also delighted to be working closely with Cllr Pratt within this portfolio role. Geoff and I have been colleagues since May 2019 and have worked closely together on DMC and I am certain that the synergies that already exist between us will help us to jointly meet the challenges that face the East Devon economy as we move out of the shadow of CV-19.
I agreed to take on the economy role as I am fortunate enough to have worked in all five tiers of the employment sector and have seen the economy in action at various levels. My experience ranges from a multi-national corporation, national small and medium sized enterprise (SME), local SME to self-employment and work in the public sector.
I am pleased to announce that East Devon’s new Discretionary Grant Fund is now live for eligible businesses. This follows previous schemes which supported businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors as well as small businesses more generally and has seen over £40m being deployed to over 3,000 businesses in the District. I must emphasise that the amount of funding available is limited and will not be able to meet all local needs. I urge businesses to read the criteria and, if appropriate, apply as soon as possible, as the fund is open until 24 June. The eligibility criteria can be seen here www.eastdevon.gov.uk/discretionary-business-grant
I fully appreciate that everyone is going through a very hard time at the moment and it is important that we continue to tell local people that the District Council is here to assist everyone, in a multitude of ways. The Council is acting as a support mechanism until such times as things return to normal. It will be extremely hard for some people and we must be here to do what we can, when we can.
With Cosmic, we have put together a series of free webinars and workshops to support local businesses and help them adapt to new trading opportunities. Please do book on to find ways to optimise your prospects and ensure your business survives these difficult times and thrives in the future.”