Grant helps printing firm survive pandemic and create jobs

A South Staffordshire printing company has survived the pandemic and created jobs thanks to a grant from a business support partnership.

Sean Pearce, owner of the The Print Box in Four Ashes, received £5,000 in just over two weeks following an application for a Thrive Grant from the Staffordshire Means Back to Business Support Scheme.

The partnership between all the district and borough councils in the county and Staffordshire County Council has so far seen over £3.4m invested in small business to help them survive, start up or grow, with more than £372,000 in South Staffordshire.

Now The Print Box has diversified into vehicle graphics and signage and has taken on more staff.

Pearce said: “Our work dried up overnight when the lockdown hit and we knew that we needed to diversify if we were going to survive.

“Thanks to a grant from South Staffordshire Council at the start to cover the bills, and then a bounce back loan to move to bigger premises as well as purchasing new machinery and finally the £5,000 To Thrive to make it fit for what we needed, we’re now doing well.

“The grant has even helped us to take on another family member as part of the team to help administer the business.

“Now I’m able to get out there and talk to customers about our new services and show them how we really are their one-stop-shop for all their printing needs.

“I have absolutely no doubt that we wouldn’t have survived the pandemic without this support, which for a small business is massive. Our business is growing every month.”

Staffordshire County Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for economy and skills Philip White said: “Moving quickly with our partners to put together the much-needed support businesses desperately needed was the key aim of the Staffordshire Means Back to Business Scheme.

“Across Staffordshire, hundreds of businesses have been helped to survive, grow and thrive through the partnership scheme which is a UK first.  They are the lifeblood of our economy and it continues to be one of our highest priorities as a council.”