Deal to boost and attract businesses

Wigan town centre
Wigan town centre

A £500,000 boost to support small businesses and start-ups in Wigan, Leigh and Ashton town centres is to be launched.

The Business Booster fund will be unveiled by the local council at tomorrow’s Wigan Business Expo.

Companies will be able to access loans of up to £10,000 and grants of up to £2,000 in exchange for which they will sign up to The Deal to pledge their commitment to supporting the local community.

This would be through employing apprentices, offering local companies the opportunity to be suppliers, paying business rates on time and volunteering in the local community.

In return the authority will offer business support, access to financial support packages and programmes, advice on staff development, health and wellbeing, and employment and recruitment.

A further Business Deal fund and package of support has been allocated to attract firms looking to relocate to the borough, enabling it to boost employment and reduce the number of people in the borough on benefits.

Again those accessing support from the council will be expected to fulfil their part of The Deal.

Karl Battersby, director for economy and environment, said: “This announcement of the Business Booster fund shows how we are putting significant funds into promoting start-ups, retaining existing businesses in the borough and where possible helping them to grow.

"We are focusing on our town centres as they have so much potential to support new and diverse independent businesses, increase employment and reduce the number of empty units. An important part of accessing the support from the council is signing up to The Deal.

“We believe all businesses have a corporate responsibility to support the local communities in which they are based. The Deal for business helps put that in black and white and gives businesses the opportunity to put something back in to the community and help future generations and the long-term unemployed into work.”

Applications for the Business Booster and Business Deal will be through the Wigan Works website at wiganworks.com