South Durham Enterprise Agency started the ‘Pandemic Business Recovery Grant’ to allow local business to thrive with support and grant funding, especially after the economically challenging last few years we all know too well about.
The ‘Pandemic Business Recovery Grant’ allows for both existing businesses and those who have dreamed of owning their own business to thrive with business support and grant funding which is supplied by the European Structural and Investment Funds 2014 -2020 as part of the South Durham CLLD Programme.
As this programme has been running since the start of 2022, we have Supported many business owners within the CLLD area and the help from South Durham Enterprise Agency and the local council to develop and grow their business. The impact the grant funding has had on their business and the benefits it has brought them has created a vast improvement following the impact the pandemic has had.
Firstly, we spoke to Linton Henfrey from Tallow Financial Planning.
Linton started his business back in 2019, in Innovation house in Bishop Auckland.
Tallow Financial Planning offers a wide range of financial services, including mortgage planning, retirement planning and investment planning to name a few. Their team of three are independent financial advisors, including a trainee in financial planning.
Due to Linton's previous experience in financial planning, their first few months ran smoothly, picking up clients through referrals. “Business was started to pick up, obviously no one knew what was coming up...”
Then, the story which all of us know too well... Covid-19 struck. Linton and his team were forced to work from home, in compliance with the government rules.
The Tallow Team adapted to the new model of working from home with communications shifting to ‘Team Calls’ and emails. Linton said “It became apparent amongst our team that their technology was outdated. It took ages to load pages on Google, and calls would break up frequently”. Many lockdowns later, Linton and his team were back in the office with the same laptops and technology which they had used throughout the pandemic.
Looking for a solution, Linton was lucky enough to be just down the corridor from Steve Robson (A financial advisor at South Durham Enterprise Agency). “A short walk down the corridor and a solution was provided; The Pandemic Business Recovery Grant.”
Linton discussed with Steve what he would require for his business to grow in a digitised way. Understanding the current climate, Linton recognised that to grow into the future, he would need to move onto the online world as more businesspeople have adopted a hybrid working model.
The aim of the grant is support businesses through accessing what they need, therefore Steve sat with Linton to discover what specially he would need for his business and if he would be eligible for the grant.
Steve also helped Linton with his application process for the grant, to ensure he was justifying his reasons for applying. Linton’s application successfully went through, and Linton and his team receive the support they needed for their business to grow. This included purchasing the technology with the grant funding.
“The grant funding allowed my business to purchase new computers, laptops and mobile phones for Tallow Financial Planning.”
The new technology for Tallow Financial Planning has allowed Linton and his team to host webinars for their clients to attend, providing their clients with value and a professional guide to their finances.
This has improved the level of communication for their business, being able to speak to clients quickly and effectively with new mobile phones without slow loading speeds.
Any administration work can now be done at a much faster pace, allowing for more time-efficiency within their business. This will lead to cost reductions for Linton with an increased capacity for clients.
“We are moving forward in a digital way, and that wouldn’t have been possible without the support from the South Durham Enterprise Agency.”
Linton has hailed the support provided by South Durham Enterprise Agency, noting that “Sarah and Colin provided support at every process, they were great.”
Adding to that, Linton said “They don’t hand it to you on a plate. You must put the work in, which is brilliant, and the support is always there when you need it.”
Steve added “Linton was brilliant to work alongside, he really put the work in on his side. It just proves the fact that ‘If you want something, work for it.’ We want people to understand that the support is out there, go and find it.”
Check out Linton’s flourishing business through clicking here https://tallowfp.com If you are looking for professional financials planning and advise, enquire with a member of the Tallow FP team today!
If you are in the relevant postcode areas of DL14, 16 and 4 ( exclusions applicable) and either have the ambition to start your own business or are looking to grow your business, we can support you just like how we supported Linton.
Please get in touch with a member of our grant advisors today to ask about your eligibility for the grant funding