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Grants help new firms.

Small business development is a key plank in the economic strategy of Northumberland, hence the importance of the recently established Northumberland Enterprise Fund which is designed to encourage the establishment of new firms in Northumberland.

Administered by the county council, the scheme offers the possibility of a grant of up to pounds 1,000, and loan support of up to pounds 10,000, to business start-ups, the aim being to increase survival rates and business growth prospects while encouraging entrepreneurship.

Ted Burnett, enterprise fund manager says: "One of the first things people looking to set up in business ask when they talk to business advisors is `are there any grants or loans available.' "Obviously, funding is critical in the early days of any company's development, hence the importance of providing this financial assistance at an important part of their development.

"Northumberland Enterprise Fund has a target of assisting 450 start-ups in its first year across all types of sectors and that's a target which we feel is achievable.

One business that has recently received a grant is Guiding Light Reiki Therapy. Owner Jonnie Clarke has established his mobile business in south-east Northumberland with the assistance of a grant of pounds 500 to fund a lap-top computer. He plans to offer his Reiki head massage service to many people who are housebound and unable to travel. He can be reached on (07960) 088-912.

* For information about where and how to apply for the scheme, contact Business Link for Northumberland on (01670) 813 322 or Ted Burnett at Northumberland County Council on (01670) 534-155.
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jul 1, 2004
Words:262
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