Entrepreneurs setting up new businesses in Staffordshire will be able to access a range of support following the launch of a new £100,000 scheme.
Staffordshire County Council has launched the Start-up Loan Scheme to provide interest-free loans of between £3,000 to £5,000 to new businesses, with no payment arrangements for the first 12 months.
The pilot scheme follows the launch of a similar start-up scheme in the summer – aimed at people who found themselves at risk of redundancy or unemployment due to the pandemic – to help create 600 new businesses in Staffordshire by 2023.
The authority is also looking to launch a student start-up scheme to encourage young people to understand the basics of entrepreneurialism and enterprise.
The three-year programme – which has seen county council investment of £165,000 – aims to engage 4,000 students and is supported by the four Staffordshire colleges.
Staffordshire County Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for economy and skills Philip White said: “Staffordshire is one of the best places in the UK to set up and grow a business and we want to encourage more of our citizens to make their business ideas a reality by providing high quality and accessible support.
“Start-ups and SMEs employ thousands of people in Staffordshire and support for them forms part of our economic recovery plan in response to the Covd-19 pandemic. We have excellent survival rates for new businesses in the county and we recognise that during recessions more people embark on setting one up.
“As a county council we have already invested £360,000 in our start-up scheme. This will be enhanced by a new Start Up Loans Scheme, a Student Start Up Scheme and the creation of a digital Start Up Prospectus for potential new business in Staffordshire.
“We continue to work with the LEP and other partners to increase start-ups across the county and put additional support programmes in place where there may be gaps in national provision.”