Posted on Monday 16th May 2022
A South Staffordshire printing company has survived the pandemic and created jobs thanks to a grant from a business support partnership.
Sean Pearce, owner of the The Print Box in Four Ashes, received £5,000 in just over two weeks following an application for a Thrive Grant from the Staffordshire Means Back to Business Support Scheme.
The partnership between all the district and borough councils in the county and Staffordshire County Council has so far seen over £3.4 million invested in small business to help them survive, start up or grow, with over £372,000 in South Staffordshire.
Now The Print Box has diversified into vehicle graphics and signage - and has even taken on new staff into the family business thanks to the grant.
Our work dried up overnight when the lockdown hit and we knew that we needed to diversify if we were going to survive.
Thanks to a grant from South Staffordshire Council at the start to cover the bills, and then a bounce back loan to move to bigger premises as well as purchasing new machinery and finally the £5,000 To Thrive to make it fit for what we needed, we’re now doing well.
The grant has even helped us to take on another family member as part of the team to help administer the business.
Now I’m able to get out there and talk to customers about our new services and show them how we really are their one-stop-shop for all their printing needs.
I have absolutely no doubt that we wouldn’t have survived the pandemic without this support, which for a small business is massive. Our business is growing every month.”
Staffordshire County Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for economy and skills Philip White said:
Moving quickly with our partners to put together the much-needed support businesses desperately needed was the key aim of the Staffordshire Means Back to Business Scheme.
Across Staffordshire, hundreds of businesses have been helped to survive, grow and thrive through the partnership scheme which is a UK first. They are the lifeblood of our economy and it continues to be one of our highest priorities as a council.”
South Staffordshire Council’s cabinet member for planning and business enterprise Terry Mason said:
It was important to move as fast as possible to support local businesses when the pandemic hit, and that’s exactly what we did, both through the initial funding and also joining with the county council and the other district and borough councils in Staffordshire to make as big a difference as we could at the time.
I’m delighted that the funding has made such a difference to Print Box.”
Although all funding has now been allocated to business from the Staffordshire Means Back to Business scheme, the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Growth Hub on 0300 111 8002 have dedicated business advisors on hand to support and signpost businesses to current funding and professional support.
Anyone interested in started up a business, or have a business less than two years old and need bespoke practice help and advice, can contact the county council’s Get Started scheme at www.staffordshire.gov.uk/GetStartedWithSCC