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I got a grant!

By knittykittybangbang, Aug 20 2016 02:32PM

I’m delighted to report that I’ve been lucky enough to get a business grant from Angus Council!

When I started my business a few years ago (long before the studio opened and in a different council area) there was no help. Because I was ‘craft’ I didn’t fit into the type of businesses or practitioners that the creative business bodies wanted to help, and the ‘proper business’ oriented groups didn’t take anything crafty seriously. I applied for things and asked to attend events and was generally turned down or not taken seriously, even getting on a mailing list seemed a trial! So I’ve been fairly put off asking for help, I’ve assumed straight off I wouldn’t get any.

Then I moved to Angus. Now I’m sure there are PLENTY people out there lining up to slag off Angus council but compared to how I’ve been treated in other areas they are remarkable. I’d also like to say that I used to work for a local council, I’ve seen how it is on the inside, so even more so when I come across people who work for the council who really do their job, and are pleasant with it, I want to shout it from the rooftops!

I heard about AC’s business grants through twitter. They had one that specifically mentioned ‘stock’ as one of the things you could spend it on. I’ve never even heard of that before! Having dealt with Angus council before, I thought I’d at least enquire, partly because I thought ‘stock’ had to be some sort of mistake!

There is always a minimum spend with grants and for my business, which doesn’t involve large machinery and is housed in a very nice, newly refurbished premises, it can be difficult to find equipment or normal capital spend items that 1) I need, and 2) are expensive enough to qualify for funding. So having the ability to top up with stock kinda made it possible for me to go ahead.

The grant has allowed me to replace all my tools that needed replacing – some of them being decades old, broken and things I ‘made do’ with. It’s really easy when you’re the only person using something just to say ‘well it’ll do for now’ if something isn’t literally on fire or likely to kill you. My eyes are always on cash flow and bottom line and when it comes to spending a tenner on something I don’t NEED to, then I don’t. Amongst other things I am now the proud owner of some pliers that don’t bruise my palm!

A really great thing the grant has allowed me to buy is….well it’s something really dull and niche so I’m not gonna say what it actually is…..but it’s a piece of equipment that will allow me to motorize part of my process which will save a bit of time but will also, and more excitingly, allow me to make bigger pieces with my HubbleBubble process which means it will be easier to make matching sets but also hopefully larger items such as framed art pieces or bowls….ARGH ALL THE IDEAS!!!!!

Along with the equipment, I’ve bought a heap of stock from other local and independent producers so I’ve also been able to put back into the community too. It can be hard to find the money to meet minimum order requirements, and knowing you’re going to get some of it back certainly makes it easier.

THANK YOU Angus Council. You’re utter stars, particularly the ever helpful Victoria Gibbons who held my hand and fielded my generally stupid questions throughout the whole process.

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