Published: Thursday, 3rd September 2020

We've continued to help support local businesses during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and have helped thousands of Medway businesses and self-employed people access government grant schemes.

We've distributed £36.360 million in Small Business Grants and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants to 2,955 businesses and have awarded £1.848million to 321 businesses in Discretionary Grants. More than 1,300 retail businesses have also benefitted from £33.786 million Expanded Retail Relief.

Grant helps business owner buy vital machinery

Local business owner Valentina Dipietro, from Rainham, creates environmentally friendly, handcrafted, interior products such as bowls, coasters and vases out of Mykor, an innovative and colourful biocomposite material made from wood waste and mycelium, the ‘root’ of mushrooms. Valentina turns this material into beautiful products which are fully compostable at the end of their life span.

During lockdown Valentina wasn’t able to access her studio or launch and sell her new collection but she received a Discretionary Grant from Medway Council which enabled her to buy vital machinery to help keep her business going.

She said: “The Discretionary Grant has allowed me to keep paying for my studio space and allowed me to buy machinery that was vital to my process. I am now rationing it to promote my e-commerce and pay for publicity. During lockdown I had to start working from home with many distractions, but I was able to set up an e-commerce which is launching in October and study a business course with the Prince’s Trust.”

Valentina now plans to launch new products on her e-commerce and liaise with retailers.

Supporting businesses during these challenging times

Leader of Medway Council, Cllr Alan Jarrett, said: “I am pleased that we have been able to support thousands of businesses during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. We have all been affected by the pandemic and I hope this funding has been able to support businesses during these challenging times. Medway is open for business and I would encourage residents to shop local, shop Medway and help our high streets thrive once again.”

Find out more about the support available to businesses during the pandemic 

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