A COUNCIL has secured funding to help support retailers bounce back after the pandemic.

Mid Sussex District Council has gained £80,000, which is to be used to help high street businesses recover from financial difficulties following the pandemic.

The council has joined with local authorities across West Sussex to use part of the funding to help develop a virtual learning hub for independent retailers.

The West Sussex Retail Hub launched yesterday and is free for local business owners to use.

Councillor Stephen Hillier, Mid Sussex District Council cabinet member for economic growth, said: "The Covid-19 pandemic has made life extremely difficult for many of our local businesses, and it's absolutely vital that we support them through these tough times.

"The recovery of our local economy is the number one priority for Mid Sussex District Council, and that's why we're providing this free support for our independent retailers.

"Local businesses will be able to connect with industry experts through the West Sussex Retail Hub, and the knowledge they gain will help them to grow their businesses and create additional jobs, which will be vital to the future prosperity of our area as we recover from Covid-19.

"If you run a small business in Mid Sussex, then please take advantage of the training and support on offer."

The hub has been developed with Digital Islands - a business consultancy company - and consists of a series of pre-recorded learning sessions and live events with industry experts.

All of the live question and answer events will be accessible virtually on Zoom, and they should last no longer than one hour.

The sessions, which will run throughout July, August and September, should help local retailers strengthen their skills as well as improving their business knowledge.

Experts will provide information on a range of topics such as marketing, customer insight, business modelling and social media promotions.

The hub is part of a broader programme of support, including grant funds, which will be launched later this year.

For businesses to be eligible for grant funding, they must engage with the training element of the programme.

Businesses can find out more by visiting www.westsussexretailhub.co.uk