First York launches £20,000 fund to boost small business revival from lockdown
First York has launched the York Restart Fund with £20,000 available to help small businesses in retail, leisure and hospitality boost their recovery from lockdown.
The purpose of the fund is to support plans by independent owners and small firms in consumer sectors to grow their customer base as non-essential retail and hospitality re-opens in the coming weeks. It has the support of the FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) in North Yorkshire.
The York Restart Fund will make awards of £1,000 to 15 successful applicants with the remaining £5,000 shared between three businesses who come out on top in a people’s vote.
Applications open today (15 April 2021) until Friday 30 April 2021 with entries submitted on a dedicated page of the First York website https://bit.ly/3ddvhfF
The bus company has teamed up with the FSB to draw up the criteria for applying and how money from the Fund should be used. The FSB’s Regional chair, Simon Williams, who runs Yorkshire Express Services in York, and Development Manager Carolyn Frank will help in assessing and deciding successful entries in a panel including First York Managing Director, Marc Bichtemann.
He said: “Thriving, successful independent small businesses on the streets of the city and our outlying communities will be a vital and uplifting part of York’s recovery from lockdown. We want to help owners with ideas and plans as they re-open by giving them a financial boost to realise their ambitions.
“We are really pleased the FSB has joined us in launching the York Restart Fund. Its guidance in creating an easy application process to identify strong business ideas has been invaluable.”
Marc added: “I would encourage York’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 May to help businesses put their plans into action.”
Carolyn Frank said: “We are very excited about this generous offer from First York to local small businesses now reopening in the city and know that it will make a big difference. York is packed with great small businesses and traders serving the community, who are the heart of the city and its economy. This fund will help them get off to a flying start now that restrictions have been lifted and help York bounce back quickly.”
She added: “Businesses should use the opportunity to think about their business plan for Summer 2021 and beyond, whether that’s investing in new markets, digitisation, training, changing your business model or investing in new equipment, let us see your innovative plans to make the very best use of the funding on offer.”