Ninety businesses in Bassetlaw have been given the digital tools and expertise needed to increase footfall and attract new customers via an innovative scheme.
Support was offered by East Midlands Chamber under the Bassetlaw High Street Business Support Programme, which aimed to support high street businesses across the district to adapt to changing purchasing habits, such as a move towards online transactions.
The businesses benefitted from one-to-one support from a high street adviser, and 78 of them received grant funding of up to £2,000 to help implement business improvement actions.
East Midlands Chamber’s deputy chief executive Diane Beresford said: “The Bassetlaw High Street Business Support Programme has helped businesses to improve their digital skills and implement online trading that complement, rather than replace, their high street presence.
“There are so many highly passionate business owners across the district who simply needed very practical support in boosting trade, for both the short and long term.”
The project, which ran from June to December last year, was funded by Bassetlaw District Council via the Government’s Welcome Back Fund, supported by the European Regional Development Fund and delivered in partnership with the chamber of commerce for Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire.
Councillor Jo White, cabinet member for regeneration at Bassetlaw District Council, added: “It is wonderful to see so many businesses in Bassetlaw benefitting from the Bassetlaw High Street Business Support Programme.
“Purchasing habits have changed since Covid-19, with more people moving towards online transactions. The adoption of contemporary online trading methods will improve sales both now and in the future.”
Businesses supported by Bassetlaw High Street Business Support Programme
Paul Lane’s fitness business was quickly outgrowing his premises, but not at such a pace where he could afford to expand.
Support has allowed Paul to attract and retain customers through a more sophisticated website, allowing clients to order and pay for protein supplements and book onto group sessions.
Paul said: “Getting my group numbers up to pre-Covid levels has proved particularly difficult. Having a website that supports a more seamless customer journey means I can stand out from the competition and attract more clients, gaining the revenue needed to invest.”
Café Neo, Worksop
Funding to invest in a digital menu screen and entice in new customers provided a welcome boost – as did an Kickstart wage subsidy via the UK Community Renewal Fund-backed East Midlands Accelerator. This enabled owner Diana Kaponas to take on an inexperienced member of staff, Gareth, and equip him with the skills needed at a minimal, no-risk cost to the business.
Diana said: “Our new digital sign is the perfect complement to our new premises and will help to show off my business as the friendly, vibrant and welcoming destination my late husband and I worked so hard to build. Having additional support to take on and train a member of staff in that positive ethos is simply the icing on the cake.”
The Saucy Pizza Company, Retford
The takeaway business has received digital marketing expertise to build its local presence. Funding went towards a new Facebook live campaign called “Friday Night Takeaway”, which creates a buzz by giving customers the opportunity, every week, to win a pizza.
Brian Smailes, owner, said: “We now have the tools and expertise needed to build brand engagement and revenue, in ways not possible on our own.”
Learn more about the Bassetlaw High Street Business Support Programme at www.emc-dnl.co.uk/about-us/our-success-stories/#bassetlaw