Executive Mayor of Mansfield Andy Abrahams has been singing the praises of entrepreneurial spirit in the district after touring five new independent retail outlets.
The five businesses he visited have all benefited from Mansfield District Council's Vacant Shop Grant scheme.
They were: Mansfield Refillery in Warsop, Burner & Wick in Mansfield Woodhouse, Darren Bettison Wellbeing Services in Ladybrook and the Toffee Hut, and Victoria Hallam Hair Salon, in the town centre.
Mayor Andy said: "These are exactly the kind of quality independent businesses we are keen to welcome in Mansfield.
"I was so impressed by the drive and professionalism of the business owners who I met and they really showed what this district has to offer at its best.
"They help to forge a unique identity to our high streets as well as embracing the latest trends in online shopping to reach audiences that go way beyond our own neighbourhood.
"The products of one of the businesses, Toffee Hut, have even caught the eye of Harrods and Selfridges.
"The council is fully committed to supporting local enterprise in every way possible to show that Mansfield is 'Open for Business'.
"By shopping local, people will be supporting jobs and boosting the local economy which keeps this district thriving and vibrant.
Mansfield has seen a surge of start-ups during the past year with 95 business support enquiries since September 2020, 51 from new businesses.
The council's business data intelligence service FAME* (see notes to editors) show that in Mansfield, business start-ups increased from 468 between April and December 2019 to 578 between April and December last year (2020).
During the pandemic, the council has distributed a total of £34.5m in government support grants and £48,000 in council business support grants.
The Vacant Shop Grant offers independent traders who take a vacant retail space in the district up to £2,500 towards improvements to premises, fixtures and fittings, rental payments, insurance premiums, advertising and marketing costs.
There are also council grants of up to £2,500 available for new businesses, expanding businesses or for independent retailers who want to improve their shop front.
Other support measures include:
- Providing Covid Marshals and Ambassadors to offer advice to businesses and the public how to operate safely.
- Peer to peer sessions supported by Mansfield and Ashfield 2020 to enable businesses to learn from each other.
- Support from Environmental Health, Licencing and Town Centre operations to businesses on the ground.
To find out more about how the council can help your business or help make your business ideas a reality find out more on the council website (link opens in new window) or email the Regeneration team at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01623 463499.
The website also has information about how businesses can prepare for Brexit, details of the Discretionary Rate Relief Scheme, networking opportunities, accessing free business advice, investment funding and training.
The council's business support service works closely with Mansfield and Ashfield 2020, D2N2 Growth hub, NBV Enterprise Solutions, East Midlands Chamber of Commerce and the Federation of Small Businesses.
Services offered by the council to businesses includes help with finding the right premises and relocation support and it can also advise on Covid-secure reopening.
In addition, it can advise an employer on how to develop, train and re-skill their workforce to encourage staff retention and attract talent, including employing young people.
Officers can also give tips on business planning, supply Brexit support, and information about Covid-19 Government grants and wider finance and grant opportunities.
Five new stores
Mansfield Refillery zero waste shop in Warsop, is run by Brianne and Jon Pritchard, and is just the place to stock up on refills of household products or food by weight. Take your own containers. They also sell eco-friendly cleaning and bath products, local honey and vegan food products. Check them out on Facebook.
Burner & Wick, in Mansfield Woodhouse, run by Emma Gilnicz, specialises in vegan-friendly scented candles, wax melts and reed diffusers in a wide selection of exotic fragrances from the familiar, such as lavender or vanilla, to the intriguing such as peony and blush suede or paradise beach. Visit the Burner & Wick online store (link opens in new window) or find them on Facebook.
Victoria Hallam Hair Salon in the Old Town Hall in the Market Place specialises in hair extensions, boutique colours, couture cuts, occasion hairstyling and extra glamorous big and bouncy blow dries and also offers facial hot waxing and the HI brows system. Services are for all genders. See the Victoria Hallam Hair Salon website (link opens in new window) or find them on Instagram or Facebook.
Darren Bettison Wellbeing Service offers outdoor group training classes and bespoke personal trainer services based in Ladybrook Place in Mansfield. All fitness levels are welcome. Darren is one of few coaches in the area qualified in Biomechanics and is also a certified sports massage therapist. His clients include Paralympic champion Sophie Wells MBE, a world gold medallist in dressage. See his website (link opens in new window) or find him on Facebook or Instagram.
Toffee Hut on Regent Street in Mansfield, is the place to go to enjoy quality coffee, speciality teas, and hot chocolate made with real chocolate, as well as toffees, fudge, brittles, honeycomb and other delicious treats. Their products, made on the premises by owner Rachel Richards, can even be found in the likes of Harrods and Selfridges. It is available wholesale via their online store (link opens in new window) or find them on Facebook and Instagram.