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Council awards grant to local business

Test Valley Borough Council has presented the first £500 instalment of a £1,000 Independent Retailer Grant to a new Andover business owner following a successful first few months of trading.

Clifford Pullen launched his new business, CJ Flooring, in the second half of last year, taking on a four-year lease for his showroom in Andover’s Black Swan Yard.

With more than 35 years’ experience supplying and fitting both domestic and commercial properties, Clifford offers his services to customers across the borough.

Andover St Mary’s ward member, councillor Iris Andersen said: “I’m pleased that Clifford has found a suitable showroom in Andover’s Swan Court, and it is great to know that business owners are looking to start their new venture in Andover. I know that Clifford has had a great start and long may his success continue!”

Clifford added: “I originally applied for a Business Incentive Grant but the council officers explained I actually qualified for more support, which was brilliant news! I am very happy to be trading locally now and I am pleased that I already have a great customer base.”

These funds have become available to the community as a consequence of the council’s prudent investments, financial management and use of the New Homes Bonus.

Recipients of the £1,000 grant receive £500 after three months of trading and a further £500 six months later. To be eligible for the grant, new or existing independent businesses must occupy a town centre ground floor unit which has been vacant for at least one month. Qualifying businesses include shops, restaurants and cafes.