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DIY dog wash grows with £5,000 seed loan

An indoor self-service dog wash shop has grown with a £5,000 start-up loan.

Victoria Shepherd created Happy Henry’s! at Amerton Farm, near Stafford, last year to pursue her dream of running a dog spa business.

Now she has used an interest-free loan from the Staffordshire County Council Start-Up Scheme to develop herself into dog grooming.

The funding is part of the wider Staffordshire Means Back to Business support scheme set up by the county council to get more money and business support faster during and after the pandemic.

Victoria said: “My own dog was very nervous but having had dogs for years I know how to help people deal with them. When I saw a gap in the Stafford market for a dog grooming service do-it-yourself that not only makes bathing nervous dogs easier, but also helps teach their owners to manage their behaviors, I jumped on it.

“Although I have years of experience as a dog owner, when my dog ​​Henry came into my life, I realized he had issues that I didn’t know how to handle. game-based training and I started to learn more about dog behavior and great ways to help dogs.

“The interest-free loan from the county council has given me just that bit of breathing room to complete my grooming training so that I can now offer a full service for all dogs.”



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The county council has so far provided £124,000 in interest-free loans to businesses in Staffordshire that needed a boost.

Deputy Leader of Staffordshire County Council and Cabinet Member for Economy and Skills, Philip White, said: “Our start-up loans can make a real difference for young businesses and have been a vital part of growing of Victoria.

“With flexible repayment terms as well as zero per cent interest, these loans have already made a big difference to small businesses in Staffordshire, who are the engine of our economy.

“With support available across Staffordshire, it’s no wonder our county has seen more businesses start up in recent years than ever before, and they’re growing faster than most in the UK. .”

Interest-free loans of between £3,000 and £5,000 from the Staffordshire Means Back to Business support scheme are available for businesses less than two years old.

Visit the Staffordshire County Council website for more information.

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Lloyds Bank backs Platform Housing with £235m loan

Lloyds Bank has backed a West Midlands housing association with its biggest ever sustainability-related loan.

Solihull-based Platform Housing will use the massive new £235m funding to help it develop new affordable housing and decarbonise its existing portfolio.

The company’s current housing stock includes approximately 47,000 homes serving over 100,000 people in the region and employs 1,500 people.

The funding is Lloyds Bank’s largest ever loan to the sustainability-linked social housing sector and will focus on three key areas.

Platform Housing will improve the energy efficiency of its existing portfolio by changing the fabric of buildings and introducing low-carbon technologies to heat and power homes.



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It will also aim to increase the energy efficiency of all its new properties as it begins to ramp up development activities above pre-pandemic levels of 1,500 homes per year.

Finally, Platform Housing plans to invest in its staff and communities by increasing the proportion of employees who undertake apprenticeships each year, increasing this figure by 0.5% each year for the next five years.

Chief Financial Officer Rosemary Farrar said: “The Midlands is experiencing one of the most acute housing shortages in the country.

“That means it’s crucial to develop a stock that is both fit for purpose and fit for the future.

“We are proud that our ambitions span a range of environmental, social and corporate governance objectives and will deliver a housing portfolio that benefits the communities in which we operate across the region.”

Jatinder Dhaliwal, Regional Head of Housing at Lloyds Bank, added: “Platform Housing is committed to improving its environmental, social and corporate governance delivery to its communities and within the social housing sector and we are proud to help the association in its journey.

“This funding will have a lasting impact on the quality and availability of housing in the Midlands and we look forward to working closely with Platform as it achieves its goals.”

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