Having provided interest-free loans to help support aspiring and existing business owners within Leicestershire and Rutland since 1542, The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity is delighted to announce that it is now welcoming applications for grants of up to £5,000 to support businesses within the county.
Following a hugely successful pilot business grant scheme in 2021, The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity has ensured further support be delivered in the same way this year, as the country continues to recover from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A total of £50,000 has been allocated by The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity to be delivered in business grants for 2022, and provides an additional opportunity for one of the city’s oldest charities to help more businesses at what has been an unprecedented period. Whereas the charity’s interest-free business loans are to be repaid, these grants of up to £5,000 require no repayment by recipients at all.
Based at Friar’s Mill in the heart of Leicester city centre, The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity provides unique interest-free loans to the value of £20,000 to new and existing businesses in Leicestershire and Rutland to aid start-up or development.
With no interest to pay on loans over a nine-year period and a three-year break before repayments commence, The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity’s support has helped a number of well-known businesses within the county, including Barrie Stephen Hair whose owner, Barrie Stephen, is patron of the charity.
Following the culmination of last year’s pilot business grant scheme, a number of businesses benefited from the charity’s funding, including Scott Moore of CEL Sports Ltd, based in Glen Parva, and milliner Giulia Mio, who operates within the city centre’s Maker’s Yard.
Speaking of the impact the charity’s grants, Scott said: The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity helped us stay alive as a business. When the country was in lockdown, we weren’t able to work and we ended up losing around nine months of revenue. It cost us massively and it stunted our growth. The grant scheme was launched just as we were coming out of lockdown to support businesses. We capitalised on that opportunity to help us buy new materials like laptops, improve our gym and the equipment there, allow us to implement a marketing plan to advertise what we’re doing and give us a base to spread our name out there a bit more.”
Giulia added: “The charity provided something of a ‘double relief’ for me. Because I work in a shared studio, the Government funding meant that we had to split it and I wasn’t eligible for the full amount.
Finding out that there was a local charity that was willing to provide some financial support was a moment where all I could say was, ‘thank goodness’. I felt that the charity was thinking about people like me or those that share my workspace. Even if I was unsuccessful in applying, I was happy that there was an organisation in Leicester with good intentions.”
Ammo Khan, Trustee at The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity leading the grants scheme (pictured top with Scott Moore), added: “Last year’s pilot scheme was a huge success, so I am delighted that we will be running our business grant scheme again this year. As a charity, supporting local business is our main focus and to be able to provide these grants, which for many represent an unmissable opportunity, is something we’re very proud to offer during difficult times for many. Having first-hand spoken to some of our recipients last year, our grants really made a difference and helped strengthen businesses. I hope we can do more of the same this year.”
Anybody interested in applying for a business grant of up to £5,000 from The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity can do so by visiting www.stwcharity.co.uk/business-grants, where you can also find further information on the scheme.
The application deadline is 31 August 2022. Applications will be reviewed by the grant committee, with final decisions taken on grant awards during the week commencing 12 September 2022.