As the nights draw in, the days get a bit more chilly, and we head for winter, our region continues its renewal and recovery following our response to the Covid pandemic.
While there’s no way that we could consider ourselves back to normal, we’re settling into some sort of normality. We can meet up with family and friends, dine out, travel, visit galleries and museums, and head for the cinema or theatre.
Covid is, however, still amongst us and continues to presents a threat to our wellbeing. Sadly, it can still be deadly. So, we must still be vigilant and on our guard.
Even before Covid, our high streets and town centres were up against it with many showing signs of decline.
A combination of lockdowns and internet competition means that many are in a parlous state.
So, it’s good to welcome two new initiatives, launched today, that are aimed at supporting and invigorating local businesses.
The High Street Challenge Fund aims to refresh the high streets of our towns by helping aspiring applicants to start new businesses in empty retail units. The Enterprise Seed Fund will support start-up and early-stage development businesses, from pre-start to 12 months of trading.
We very much hope that local entrepreneurs make the most of these funding opportunities and speed the renewal and recovery of our region.