Ruddington’s independent fashion outlet on Church Street is among the Rushcliffe-based businesses now benefitting from professional advice to develop their digital offer alongside in-person sales at their retail premises.
Utilising UK Shared Prosperity Funding (UKSPF), Rushcliffe Borough Council (RBC) has contracted East Midlands Chamber’s Steve Phillips as one of its experienced Business Advisers to deliver the project here in Ruddington and beyond. RBC is one of the first authorities in Nottinghamshire to use this new £25,000 funding from central government to respond to the pressures our high street traders are facing currently.
Between now and March, Steve is out and about right across Rushcliffe chatting with business owners, listening and exploring how he can assist development of their websites, online marketing and use of social media to aid sales and assist further footfall, as well as opportunities to refer them for fully funded specialist business advice. The project includes traders being supported through a set of short ‘how to’ films, guides and webinars that provide advice on a range of topics and examples of good practice, previously identified as helpful by business owners in other recent Council projects.
This week Steve dropped in on Ruby Rae Ladies Boutique to speak to owner Paula Kershaw – whose business is the first in our village to be signed up to the new project.“Ruddington is a fantastic place for independent shops, which helps to create a welcoming community feel to the village” says Paula. “I’m delighted to have a dedicated Digital High Street Adviser who can offer free expert advice and support for my local business. I’m looking forward to working with Steve and learning more about how we can further build on the digital side of Ruby Rae to help reach even more residents locally and further afield.”
Steve adds: “I can refer businesses such as Paula’s to our specialist colleagues – tailoring owners’ needs to particular support and advice they need in their sector and working closely with EMC and RBC colleagues on further ways businesses can seek grant support or increasing their networks.”
RBC’s Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Business and Growth, Cllr Andy Edyvean, says: “The last three years have been especially challenging for high street businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic, experiencing supply issues, rising fuel costs, a shift to online shopping and a challenging and unpredictable economy. We’re therefore one of the first to act in the region by taking advantage and utilising this UKSPF funding and applying it to local businesses’ advantage with this support and using Steve’s and the Chamber’s expert insight.”
It follows other local business support from RBC over the last couple of years, including distributing COVID grants, running webinars during ‘lockdown’ and high street digital recovery grants to assist with digital trading, payment and marketing initiatives.
Cllr Edyvean, adds: “All the projects aimed to meet some of the needs identified by local businesses to help them trade more effectively, market themselves to a wider audience and attract customers back to the high street. This latest project will further enhance this work.”
Other Ruddington businesses wishing to chat to Steve directly are invited to complete the online expression of interest form, available to download >>HERE<<, to telephone 0330 053 8639 or email firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible.