Janet Kirkum has been awarded the first instalment of a £1,000 Independent Retailer Grant from Test Valley Borough Council, after opening a new floristry business in Andover.
For the last ten months, Janet has been busy building up clientele with a floral stall and pop up shop at the Andover Artisan Market. In March this year, Janet Mary Floral Design opened its doors in Andover’s Waterloo Court.
Janet is keen that her business is as environmentally friendly as possible, ensuring that her designs are plastic free, with recyclable gift packaging or simply wrapped in brown paper and tied with raffia.
Councillor Kevin Farrer presented the cheque to Janet this week. He said, “It is brilliant to be welcoming another business to town, and it just shows how supportive Andover residents are of local business. Using her stall at the Artisan Market has allowed Janet to invest in a permanent shop in the town.
“I am impressed that Janet has chosen to put the environment first when it comes to packaging her flowers, giving shoppers the option to visit a florist in Andover that avoids plastics, uses seasonal flowers and values sustainability.”
Andover’s Artisan Market takes place on the third Sunday of each month, from March until December.
Janet added, “I am really enjoying having a shop and a base in the town where my customers can pop in and treat themselves or a loved one to some beautiful flowers.
“I am very pleased to have been eligible for an Independent Retailer Grant from the council. My business has grown since being at the shop which is fantastic and I look forward to providing flowers to lots of local people to brighten up their days.”
Recipients of the £1,000 grant first 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. 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.