Accountancy firm receives generous reward in combined authority grant scheme
PUBLISHED: 12:44 10 June 2020
A Fenland accountancy firm has received a generous grant to help a new staff member work effectively from home during the coronavirus lockdown.
Welbourne and Co Ltd. from Elm near Wisbech was awarded £3,197 as part of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority’s micro grant scheme for businesses with five employees or less.
Richard Welbourne, who owns the firm, has been running the accountancy business on his own since its launch in 2010, and was about to take on a new employee before the lockdown began.
With the grant, Mr Welbourne can now buy equipment such as a PC, tablet and phone to allow his new member of staff to work from home.
“Having a new staff member working remotely isn’t as ideal as having them in the same office, especially in a training period, but a combination of screen shares and FaceTime has helped us through,” he said.
“These items are a lot of money, so it is awesome that the grant funding was available.”
Although Mr Welbourne was able to work independently, the growth of his business has meant he has needed additional support and has also been juggling other commitments, such as home-schooling.
During the lockdown, the business owner has helped his clients with furloughing employees for free, as well as directing them towards various coronavirus support measures from the Government.
Mayor James Palmer, of the combined authority, said: “In many cases, these grants have given businesses the stimulus they needed to get on with existing plans to expand or diversify.
“This will potentially lead to many of them coming out of this period stronger, more resilient, and hopefully creating new jobs and wealth in our economy.”
From hairdressers and tradespeople, Mr Welbourne works with various businesses, and although he sees them making strides, he believes normal business will not resume just yet.
“I’m in regular contact with a range of businesses, and you sense they are now slowly getting back into the swing of work,” he added.
“But the impacts are set to continue for a while, and we are a still a long way from returning to normal.”
The micro grant scheme provides cash grants of between £2,000 and £5,000 to some of the county’s smallest businesses to help them adapt to the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
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