Four Hertfordshire businesses have secured funding from Crowdfund Hertfordshire: Small Business Innovation Fund. The purpose of the fund is to provide support to businesses in the retail, tourism, hospitality, and other related sectors most impacted by Covid-19.
The first four to be awarded funding are Auriel Holidays, The Brewery Tap, Creative Juices Brewing Company, and Save Our Standon (Standon Calling Festival).
Between £2,000 and £5,000 in match-funding is available for eligible small and micro-businesses within the tourism, leisure, hospitality, retail, arts, and cultural sectors. This is part of a £200,000 Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership COVID-19 fund administered by Visit Herts via the Crowdfunder Pay It Platform.
Participating businesses are required to raise money for their project through pledges from their community and loyal customers. Once a business secures its target through the Crowdfunder campaign, successful applicants are able to unlock match-funding from the scheme.
The first four businesses to successfully secure match funding are:
The Brewery Tap: Furneux Pelham, East Hertfordshire
Nestled in the heart of Furneux Pelham, the COVID-19 outbreak saw this small, rural pub innovate and adapt quickly. By redesigning their dining area, they now provide customers with a pop-up shop offering fresh produce from a range of local Hertfordshire suppliers. Further modifications allowed the business to set up a new online grocery order service with delivery for the elderly and those self-isolating.
In addition, two refrigeration units were purchased to help increase the display of produce. Thanks to the success of the pop-up, it continues to operate alongside the pub and restaurant.
Creative Juices Brewing Company: Rickmansworth, Three Rivers Hertfordshire
Located in Rickmansworth, Creative Juices Brewing Company is a small craft brewery producing high-quality beers, which were sold within an on-site taproom. During the lockdown, the team at Creative Juices Brewing worked proactively to set up a brand new website and a free local delivery service for customers.
Post lockdown the taproom space remained unusable due to social distancing constraints and funding from the fund has enabled the business to create an entirely new outside space to operate from instead. This work includes developing a contactless ordering system and a range of modifications to adapt the new outside space for their taproom. Picture hazel hurdle fencing, picnic tables, sun shades, stunning planters, newly planted UK wildflowers, and garland lighting. All part of the ongoing efforts to ensure COVID safety for customers and staff.
Standon Calling Festival: Standon, East Hertfordshire
Launched 15 years ago, Standon Calling is an independent Hertfordshire music festival catering for up to 17,000. The outbreak of COVID-19 meant the Standon Calling 2020 festival had to be postponed until 2021. The team behind Standon Calling responded by innovating their festival offer to provide experiences such as a VIP treehouse and the opportunity for visitors’ faces to be incorporated in future marketing and promotion.
Auriel Holidays: Wheathampstead, St Albans, Hertfordshire
2by2 Holidays have been creating tailor-made wildlife and cultural holidays to Africa, Latin America, and India for nearly 20 years. With the ongoing travel restrictions, they are launching a new travel agency Auriel Holidays to deliver a range of holidays in the UK and Europe. St Albans based Auriel Holidays will initially focus on road trips and rail journeys/tours to Scotland, Ireland, England, and Wales. The team is also planning to offer island-hopping trips in Scotland, Ireland, the Isles of Scilly and the Channel Islands.