Grant sparks growth for Godiva Granite
"The grant really pushed us along...the support from the county council meant we could move forward before we otherwise could have done."
A kitchen worktops business near Rugby has taken on three staff and is planning to recruit further after its growth was assisted by a grant from Warwickshire County Council.
Godiva Granite, in Wolston, needed to invest in order to meet high demand for its bespoke granite products.
The business, founded in 2007, was faced with the dilemma of whether to commit to a major investment in order to continue its growth.
The required hi-tech machinery, a computerised CNC Processor, came in at more than £150,000 a sum which would stretch the budgets of any small business.
But it was needed, so the company went for it - and a £35,000 Small Capital Grant from Warwickshire County Council gave them precious support which enabled the purchase, and associated recruitment, to go ahead sooner rather than later.
"The grant really pushed us along," said director Martina Fryer. "The machine cost over £150,000 and we would have struggled to find that, so the support from the county council meant we could move forward before we otherwise could have done.
"The purchase has transformed the business. It has computerised a lot of tasks that we were previously doing by hand so we can now do more jobs in house whereas previously we had to outsource.
"It has sped up our production line and really allowed us to grow our business further. Since the grant we have taken on three people and we will probably have to recruit again soon."
The Small Capital Grants scheme is part of a package of support from Warwickshire County Council's which has seen the council make loan and grant payments of more than £2.28million to businesses in the last year.
Hundreds of businesses have been fortified by it during the last two difficult years and for Godiva Granite, a family-run company which manufactures granite, marble, quartz and slate surfaces, specialising in kitchen worktops and bathroom cabinets, the benefit was not just financial.
"We had to put a business plan together with projections for the next three years," said Martina. "That was a big job but a good exercise for us and really interesting because it made us look closely at the business's history and analyse what we have been doing and what we might do differently.
"Sim Lee, at the council, was great, talking us through the application and in every way we felt very supported."
Warwickshire County Council Portfolio Holder for Economy & Place, Cllr Kam Kaur, said: "I am delighted that our support has helped Godiva Granite to take the next step and acquire the machinery needed for it to grow the business and to recruit more staff.
"Our Small Capitals Grants scheme has proved extremely popular and is an integral element of the wide range of support available from the County Concil and its partners in the Coventry & Warwickshire region. I urge all businesses to visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk/business-support to see how we can help them."
* The access to finance advice was delivered as part of the CW Business: Start, Grow and Scale project which is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.
* For more information about support with accessing finance, please visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk/cwbsp or call 01926 412709.