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10 small and medium-sized businesses based in the Solent region – including 2 from the Isle of Wight – have been awarded a £1,600 grant to help respond to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Santander COVID-19 Small Business Grant is provided by Santander Universities and managed by the University of Portsmouth’s Business School.  The University of Portsmouth is a partner of Santander Universities, a national network of more than 80 UK Universities, which provides financial and other forms of assistance in research, entrepreneurship, internationalisation and employability for students, staff and business.

The fund will allow the 10 businesses, charities and third sector organisations (with fewer than 250 employees) to purchase additional goods or services, provide staff with equipment or training, or strengthen their marketing capabilities – whatever would most benefit the business. The funding is not for rent or direct employee costs.

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The 10 recipients of the Santander COVID-19 Small Business Grant are:

  • Matthew Jeffery – Brightbulb Design (Wootton)
  • Steve Edmonds – TVMI (Yarmouth)
  • Steve McCulley – LIOS Bikes
  • Karen Vaughan – The Elizabeth Foundation
  • Anne-Marie Asgari – Toucan Diversity Training
  • Hayden Taylor – Unloc
  • Craig McHugh – Living Your Learning
  • Eleanor Cameron – EBP South Ltd
  • Kris Brasted – INCA Design Ltd
  • Sue Wassall – The Knights Chamber

Pat Smith, Small Business Manager at Portsmouth Business School, said:

“I was overwhelmed by the number and quality of responses that we received. It has highlighted the impact Covid-19 has had on our business community and I know how much it means to each of the winners to receive this much-needed income. It has provided me with an insight as to the needs and difficulties facing business owners, something I hope to be able to offer some support with through various projects led by the Business School in the coming months.”

The University of Portsmouth Business School received over 100 applications from small businesses based in the Solent Region, who had to detail what the grant would go towards and describe the impact that this would have on their business.

Each of the businesses have agreed to keep in contact with Pat giving updates as to how the money has been used and what the impact has been on their business, sharing positive stories and offering inspiration to others who are facing similar issues.

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Lady Dunstanding

Always nice to be able to help your friends, and those of your wife, when you are a director of a large financial company, reside (sometimes) in the Isle of Wight, and buy Council Assets for a pound a throw. Buying a place in Heaven perhaps, as guilt eats heartily at the souls of the acquisitive. Regards, especially to those who want no Islanders to be able to afford to live here, Lady Dunstanding.

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