New grants could help market traders through coronavirus crisis

PUBLISHED: 17:26 03 June 2020 | UPDATED: 17:26 03 June 2020

Traders from Sudbury, Hadleigh and Stowmarket markets could be able to access funds from Babergh and Mid Suffolk councils Discretionary Fund. Pictured is Ipswich Market. Picture Sarah Lucy Brown

Traders from Sudbury, Hadleigh and Stowmarket markets could be able to access funds from Babergh and Mid Suffolk councils Discretionary Fund. Pictured is Ipswich Market. Picture Sarah Lucy Brown


Market traders in Hadleigh, Stowmarket and Sudbury could be eligible for a new grant to support small businesses through the Covid-19 crisis.

The new Discretionary Grant from Mid Suffolk and Babergh district councils is open to businesses based in shared workspaces, market traders, bed and breakfasts and small charity properties.

The fund is designed to support businesses not eligible for other help but which still have ongoing fixed property-related costs. They can apply for grants online until June 19.

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Grants from the Discretionary Fund will take into account factors such as a business’ fixed costs, how many people it employees, whether a business is able to trade online and the scale of their losses due to coronavirus.

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Businesses will be able to access between £2,500 and £5,000 if they are ineligible for other forms of government support.

Michael Holt, Babergh District Council’s cabinet member for economic growth, said: “We understand the challenges that our small businesses have faced due to the coronavirus crisis and we welcome the introduction of the Discretionary Grant that will help smaller businesses in shared spaces, market traders as well as B&Bs and charities who have been unable to access any other financial support.”

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Gerard Brewster, Mid Suffolk Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for economic growth, said: “I urge small businesses with property costs to find out whether they qualify for the Discretionary Grant and apply as soon as possible.

“There are a huge number of ongoing challenges for our smaller businesses and charities and this fund could make a huge difference to those that are struggling in the current economic climate.”

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Through his business, he aims to build a conservation-based economy connecting visitors with Suffolk’s stunning countryside both digitally and physically through safaris and lectures. “I spend most of my time on safari in farmland habitat on the Shotley and Deben peninsulas,” he says. “This guiding season for Spirit of Suffolk started early March and I had several safari bookings as well as two photography workshops planned throughout March and April.” Philip was just one safari into the season – with one urban fox tour under his belt – with the business really taking off when lockdown measures were introduced on March 23, which meant he had to ditch his planned events. Lockdown hit him hard on a personal level too, he admits. “I always thought I would be able to head out to the countryside still, alone, and with caution. 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