New support scheme to help small Chesterfield businesses thrive online
A new support scheme has been launched to help small businesses in Chesterfield join the online sales revolution.
The Chesterfield Digital High Street project helps those reliant on bricks and mortar to transition into the online world of sales by creating e-commerce websites equipped with the latest forms of payment, such as Apply Pay and Google Pay, and modern shopping concepts like ‘click and collect’.
Funded by Chesterfield Borough Council and delivered in partnership by East Midlands Chamber, it aims to support small businesses in sectors which have been hardest hit by lockdown restrictions – such as retail, hospitality and leisure – to become more resilient.
The support will include access to a Digital High Street adviser to help them develop and maintain their new or existing digital presence, as well as dedicated webinars and free marketing resources.
Scott Knowles, chief executive at East Midlands Chamber, said: “While we’re all looking forward to a return to normality as we come out of lockdown, it’s crucial these small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are future-proofed by creating modern websites to embrace some of the consumer trends that were already noticeable pre-Covid.
“Not every company can afford to do this, however, so we’re delighted to be playing a key role in supporting businesses in Chesterfield to establish and maintain the latest e-commerce solutions on behalf of the project funder, Chesterfield Borough Council.
“We believe the Digital High Street project will go some way to ensuring the much-loved independent businesses on our high street continue to thrive in a sustainable fashion for a long time to come.”
Grants of £2,200 – covering 100 per cent of costs – will also be awarded to 50 of these SMEs in a package that includes support in creating an e-commerce website and ongoing digital training.
A year-long free East Midlands Chamber membership is also available to all participants.
Cllr Dean Collins, Chesterfield Borough Council’s cabinet member for economic growth, said: “In Chesterfield, we have lots of fantastic local independent businesses and after the last 18 months, there has never been a more important time to support them.
"We hope this funding will help lots of these businesses sell more effectively online, which will help guarantee their future in our town and hopefully allow them to grow.”
Applications can be made via www.emc-dnl.co.uk/chesterfield-digital-high-street.