Big boost for local businesses

Six small local businesses have received a cash boost, thanks to the council's Small Grants Scheme.

Small Grant winners

In March and April, Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council encouraged small businesses in the borough to apply for a business grant of up to £1,000.

The following businesses celebrated their success with their awards:

· Slumbering Hound

· Pedigrees 'n' Pooches

· Aries VR Ltd

· Gate2Pharma

· Agogos

· Right At Home

Dee, Slumbering Hound:

I am thrilled to have been chosen for this small business grant. Help like this doesn't come along very often and I decided to grab it with both hands. After all the lockdown stress, this money will help me get back on my feet again and go towards making Slumbering Hound a 'paw'fect destination for Hertfordshire dogs and dog lovers.

Rana, Gate2pharma:

We're an NHS pharmacy providing prescriptions and free delivery services to care homes, domicillary and individual patients. We help patients to manage their medication. This award will be help us to deliver a fast and efficient service.

Victoria, Pedigrees 'n' Pooches:

So excited to receive this award which will be a huge help in building awareness of my business and bring more people through the door. One day, I hope to become a training centre for future dog groomers.

Keith from Right At Home:

It's heart breaking when people ring you to get help for themselves or another family member and we have to say sorry we do not have the capacity to support them. Having this grant means we can afford extra resources to recruit more caring people and support more elderly and vulnerable people in our communities.

Kennedy, Aries VR:

Totally didn't see expect this. It was the toughest panel I've ever presented to! This experience has been a huge confidence boost as well as a boost to building my business, especially after having faced numerous rejections in getting some pre-startup capital for Aries VR.

Jide, Agogos:

We were excited when we received the news simply because it supports our vision to better serve our customers and stakeholders and influence our niche and industry. In times like this, we believe local businesses play an important role in bringing the local economy and community together and that is what we will continue to do with the purpose of inspiring the next generation of young entrepreneurs.

Councillor Bernard Sarson, Executive Member Regeneration, Economic Development and Partnerships, said:

Behind every small business is a person or group of people with the drive and ambition to create jobs and make our communities great places to work and play. They are vital to a thriving local economy and now more than ever, we need to do all we can to help our business community recover, rebuild and start to prosper again.

I was hugely impressed by the high standards of this year's award entrants. The diverse range of winning businesses - from pets and pharma to Caribbean food, elderly care and virtual reality - reflects the fantastic entrepreneurial spirit in Welwyn Hatfield.

This is the third year of the Small Business Grant scheme, with around £22,000 paid out to local businesses. For information on how to apply and general help and advice, please visit the Welwyn Hatfield Business Matters website: https://www.inwelwynhatfieldbusinessmatters.org.uk/.