Applications to the York Restart Fund have more than doubled in the past week.
Nearly 70 small businesses have applied, hoping to get a share of £20,000 to help with recovery from lockdown.
The fund was launched less than a fortnight ago by First Bus York with support from the FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) in North Yorkshire.
Managing director of First Bus York Marc Bichtemann said: “We’ve been delighted by the rapid response of independent businesses and impressed by the ideas and ingenuity they are showing to build back stronger.”
The York Restart Fund is designed to support plans by independent owners and small firms in consumer sectors to grow their customer base as non-essential retail and hospitality re-opens in the coming weeks.
Applications close at midnight this Friday (30 April) and must be submitted on a this dedicated page of the First York website.
The York Restart Fund will make awards of £1,000 to 15 successful applicants with the remaining £5,000 shared between three of these businesses who come out on top in a people’s vote.
Carolyn Frank, development manager of the FSB, said: “The fantastic response to First Bus York’s recovery fund is testament to the innovative thinking of small businesses in York and we can’t wait to see the projects underway. York is experiencing a strong bounce back from lockdown thanks to its independent micro-business sector.”
Entries will be assessed by a panel comprising Marc Bichtemann, Carolyn Frank and FSB’s Regional chair, Simon Williams, who runs Yorkshire Express Services in York. Judging is set to be held next week with successful businesses notified week commencing 10 May.
Marc added: “There’s still time to apply and I would encourage York’s small business owners to get thinking how the Fund could give them a boost.
“We’ve deliberately made this a short process as we want to make the awards in May to help businesses put their plans into action as quickly as possible.”