Calderdale Council has today announced plans to set up a £250,000 fund to help flood-hit businesses in the Calder Valley get back on their feet.
The Recovery Investment for a Stronger Economy (RISE) Fund will be drawn from the Council’s Economic Fighting Fund. It will initially be used to provide short-term help to get businesses back up and running, but will also consider longer-term support to ensure that the businesses are sustainable.
The announcement of much-needed help comes just two days before HRH Prince Charles is due to visit some of the most badly-affected businesses in the Calder Valley.
Calderdale Council has already been supporting businesses in a number of practical ways: through clearing up, providing environmental health and safety advice and getting out the message that ‘against the odds - we are open for business’.
But the Council has also been asking what further help businesses need. The additional financial support will come as welcome news.
Calderdale Council’s Leader, Coun Tim Swift, says there is an urgent need to help the worst affected businesses.
“While many businesses in the Calder Valley have already re-opened, there are some that are in real need of practical and financial help. And many that are now trading again still need help to ensure that they are viable in the longer term.
“The RISE fund will ensure that they receive that help.”
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy and Environment, Coun Barry Collins, says it is right for the council to take a lead in helping businesses.
“We also hope that some of the larger businesses and organisations in Calderdale and across the wider region will follow the council’s lead and think about how they can help.
“Residents in the Calder Valley have shown magnificent community spirit, helping each other to pick up the pieces following the devastating floods. I am confident that businesses will show that same community spirit by providing practical help, either in cash or in kind.
“More than 200 businesses in the Calder Valley have been affected by the floods in some way and many of them need our help. The council is making RISE money available and, over the next few days we will be working out the details of how businesses can ask for that help.”
Calderdale Council’s Deputy Leader, Coun Janet Battye, says the response by Calder Valley businesses to the floods has been magnificent. “Having talked personally to many local shops and businesses, I know they have been badly hit by the floods. I’m concerned that a number are struggling to keep going or get back into business. It’s important that as the local Council, we do what we can to support them.”