Bus operator launches £20,000 fund to boost eco-friendly sales for Bradford small businesses
First West Yorkshire has launched the Bradford Go-Greener Fund with £20,000 available to help small businesses in retail, leisure, hospitality, health & beauty and other consumer services encourage eco-friendly high street spending and boost customer-led sustainable growth.
The purpose of the fund is to support plans by independent owners and small firms in consumer sectors to build on environmental practices and products that directly appeal to customers, helping them to consider sustainable choices in what they buy and the services they use.
It has the support of Green Street, an organisation helping small retailers to become more sustainable which is pioneering is first project in Bradford, and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority.
The Bradford Go-Greener Fund will make awards of £2,000 to 10 successful applicants. Videos showcasing these businesses will then go to a people’s vote with the winner receiving a fully-funded sustainability review of their business with advice from experts, paid for by the Combined Authority.
Applications open today (23 May 2022) until 14 June 2022 with entries submitted on a dedicated page of the First Bradford website Firstbus.co.uk/bradfordgogreenerfund.
The bus company has teamed up with Green Street and the Combined Authority to draw up the criteria for applying and how money from the Fund should be used. Green Street Founder Victoria Robertshaw and Vincent McCabe, Programme Lead (Clean Growth & Innovation) at the Combined Authority will help in assessing and deciding successful entries in a panel including First West Yorkshire Managing Director, Paul Matthews.
He said: “Thriving, successful independent small businesses on the streets of the city and our outlying communities will always be essential to Bradford’s prosperity. We know one of the challenges for them and others of all sizes, is how to achieve growth at the same time as helping to reduce the carbon footprint of operations and customers to meet regional and national environmental targets.
“Sustainability in products and services is increasingly valued by customers and we want to help small business owners by giving them a financial boost to build on what they’re doing and put new plans into action.
“We are really pleased that Green Street and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority have joined us in launching the Bradford Go-Greener Fund. Their guidance in creating a simple application to understand and identify strong business ideas on sustainability has been invaluable.”
Paul added: “I would encourage Bradford’s small business owners to get thinking how the Fund could help them and submit an entry quickly. There is not long to get applications in as we want to be able to make the awards in June so they can get started as soon as possible.”
Victoria Robertshaw said: “It is this type of partnership that will help support small businesses in Bradford to realise their full sustainability potential so we can all enjoy greener ways of working, living and shopping.
“Even small changes can have a positive impact on the environment and, thanks to First West Yorkshire, this fund will allow smaller businesses to explore some exciting possibilities to become more planet friendly.”