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Keep supporting local business and community, says Newark and Sherwood District Council deputy leader

May 17 was a big day. It was a big day for our local businesses, it’s a massive day for local employers and of course a huge day for our community, writes Keith Girling, deputy district council leader.

We saw restrictions on outdoor gatherings lifted, though groups of 30 or more will remain illegal.

The rule of six (or two households) applies indoors, but significantly, the government looks to continue easing limits on seeing friends and family wherever possible, allowing people to decide on the appropriate level of risk for their circumstances.

Newark and Sherwood District Council deputy leader Keith Girling.
Newark and Sherwood District Council deputy leader Keith Girling.

For our local economy, we see businesses able to open more fully.

With events up to 30 people being allowed, our hospitality sector can begin to return to normal.

Across the district, we will see events returning and venues opening again.

We have been told that we will need to adapt to the new normal, for some this may mean a more flexible approach to working, whether that’s working from home more often, or maybe working different hours. For others, this could be reviewing business models to create a more sustainable business for the future.

Local businesses are our lifeblood. They create the character of our area, from the independent retailers and hospitality venues on our high streets to the larger employers creating opportunities for our residents to live and work in our towns and villages.

That is why we have worked hard throughout the pandemic to offer support to business.

We have worked with central government to ensure our area gets the support we need and deserve in a timely way.

To date we have given out over £20m in grants support for hundreds of businesses across the district.

As we adapt to new ways of working, we can all play our parts.

By shopping local, you’ll be helping to keep our area unique and vibrant.

We are working hard to attract new business to our district, and we are seeing business confidence at its highest levels since September 2015, according to the East Midlands Future Activity Index.

We are also seeing that the hardest hit in our communities are the youngest workers.

So we are delighted to be supporting Apprenticeship incentives with Futures for Businesses, paying £3,000 per hire regardless of the apprentice’s age. This can be supplemented by another £1,000 for new apprentices aged 16 to 18.

Futures for Businesses can also offer a £1,500 Yes Grant for new learners, so businesses could benefit from £5,500 funding per new apprentice.

As we continue with Lifting Lockdown, so we want to ensure that no part of our community is left behind, so we will continue supporting business and supporting our communities.

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