"An e-commerce offering will allow businesses to adapt and expand their services so that they can continue to trade, and trade safely, despite full or partial restrictions."
TEN businesses across the Braintree district are set to get a step ahead of the competition after securing a fully-funded e-commerce website.
Braintree Council joined forces with LOCALiQ to offer the support, inviting all hospitality and retail businesses to apply.
Applications were assessed on the support needed and the impact the e-commerce website would have in helping sustain the business.
Of the applicants, ten were chosen who showed the greatest need and as a result, will get a fully-funded e-commerce website created for them.
The applicants who missed out will also get a fully-funded training course on how to set up an e-commerce website.
Atit Kumar, who owns the Fox and Herb deli in Halstead with wife Balwinder, was one of the successful business owners.
He said: “This is a show of great support for local businesses and we’re thrilled. Our priority is to support our staff by paying their wages so at the moment we couldn’t afford to set up a website, which we desperately need.”
Toppesfield’s Pumphouse Community Brewery also made an application after they saw their means of selling beer dry up.
Vice-chair of the management committee Richard Evers said: “This new website will really help us transform our business, enabling us to market Pumphouse’s high quality craft ales direct to a far larger number of end consumers. We are hugely grateful to Braintree Council for their generous and enterprising initiative – and to our many customers, who continue to support our community venture and enjoy our beer.”
Cllr Tom Cunningham, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Infrastructure at Braintree District Council, said: “We know that this initiative will make a real difference to the prospects of independent businesses. An e-commerce offering will allow them to adapt and expand their services so that they can continue to trade, and trade safely, despite full or partial restrictions. These businesses are vital local employers and key to our economic recovery and it’s important that we continue to do as much as we can to support them.”
The other successful applicants in the initiative were Gemco News, the Painter Pub Company, Hare & Hounds, Bell Inn Essex, Eatons Tea Room, Bumble and Yarn, Area 51 Records and Fever Accessories.