Small deli is planning for the future thanks to "breathing space" from swift Government grant
"The speed at which the grant came through was a huge help and the support we have received all-round from Warwick District Council and Warwickshire County Council has been exceptional."
A small deli and caterer in Leamington Spa has rolled with the punches of the pandemic to reopen for its customers - and is planning for life post-Covid-19 thanks to the "breathing space" afforded by the swift arrival of a small business rate relief grant.
Rustic Food, in Regent Street, was one of more than 5,000 small businesses to receive a grant within days of the funding's release by Government.
The district and borough councils across Warwickshire, working with Warwickshire County Council, allocated more than 60% of eligible grants in the first two weeks, putting them firmly among the best-performing local authorities in the country, and have now allocated over 80%,well above the national average of 74%.
That rapid roll-out of the complex process was an immeasurable help to businesses at such a difficult time. In the case of Rustic Food, the speedy work by Warwick District Council 'eased the pressure' and enabled the family-owned business to reopen its doors - and start planning to keep them open, and the business growing, far into the future.
"We closed for two weeks to take stock of the situation and wait for government advice," said director Daniel Moss. "Then on Good Friday we opened from 9am to 1pm, with customers able to pre-order for collection and a strict one-in-one-out policy at the store. We also made deliveries.
"Trade was very good and our customers and suppliers were so supportive, it was really uplifting. To be honest, it did us the world of good just to be open again at this really strange time. Since then we have opened every Friday morning and we are planning to expand that to opening all day Friday and also Saturday mornings.
"It was fantastic that the grant came through so quickly because it meant we did not have to worry about taking out a loan. It gave us breathing space and the confidence to plan ahead. Our business will be very different post-Covid 19 so this breathing space has given us time to think about how the business might look in 2021.
"The speed at which the grant came through was a huge help and the support we have received all-round from Warwick District Council and Warwickshire County Council has been exceptional. They have kept us informed every step of the way and Leamington BID have also been excellent."