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Stamford store owner says support she received from InvestSK made 'a massive difference'

The owner of a Stamford fashion boutique says a council grant scheme has made a 'massive difference' to her new business.

Beth Scott -Morris opened Iris and Violet on the corner of St Mary's Street and St Mary's Hill in May.

She was helped with a £6,400 grant from the Town Centre Investment Fund, operated by InvestSK, South Kesteven District Council's economic regeneration company.

Beth Scott-Harris (13345019)
Beth Scott-Harris (13345019)

Now, high streets across the district are set for a further boost after councillors last week voted to pump an extra £50,000 into the scheme.

Beth, who is originally from Peterborough had worked as a fashion buyer in London for River Island and Lost Ink but after a ten year career saw a chance to pursue her dream of opening her own boutique. The historic premises became available so the 28-year-old took the plunge.

Beth said: "I chose Stamford because it has a lot of independent shops, a lot of footfall and many residents who shop in the town. It also receives a lot of visitors from outside the area."

"I received £6400 and its impact has been amazing. This is a listed building and the shop needed a lot of work doing to it. We put in new flooring, lights and heating. We had the shop front painted. The money was definately well-received. It's made a massive difference to the business. I had pretty much spent all of my personal finances."

Beth Scott-Harris (13345008)
Beth Scott-Harris (13345008)

Beth says when she was setting up the business, stock turned out more expensive than originally expected.

"I needed to order more stock but I did not have enough. It meant for the launch I was able to have more stock available."

Such support meant that trade was higher than it might have been, helping the business in its all-important opening months.

"It has certainly given a boost to help ensure the survival and prosperity of the business."

Beth Scott-Harris (13345017)
Beth Scott-Harris (13345017)

Beth advises other business start-ups looking to open up or expand in South Kesteven's towns to submit an application to InvestSK.

When it was first launched in January, the Town Centre Investment Fund offered up to £10,000 to help applicants with the capital costs in such start-ups. With the extra £50,000, InvestSK will soon seek applications again.

Beth added: "It's great to see InvestSK are really wanting to help local businesses and ensuring the survival of the high street."

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