Crewkerne Business Group’s next Zoom meeting on Thursday December 10th, from 9 am until 10 am, promises to be a ‘cracker’ of a time, as members have been asked to wear festive hats or Christmas jumpers. Last month’s online meeting, which welcomed Joe Walsh and Marie Ainsworth from South Somerset District Council, was attended by the highest number of local business representatives, since the monthly online meetings began.

Members received advice on the different Government grants available to help local businesses, trading from retail or commercial premises in the town and the Discretionary Grant Scheme, designed to help businesses working from home. Joe Walsh, an Economic Development Officer at SSDC, gave an overview of the district council’s support for rural and urban economies and updates on Covid-19 Response, which has seen over £35 million in grants given to over 3,000 South Somerset businesses. Part of the council’s Covid-19 Recovery strategy, includes encouragement for start-up businesses, support for existing businesses and plans to attract inward investments.

The Town Centre Regeneration programme is ongoing and a substantial amount of funding would be available for Crewkerne to realise its aspirations in assisting trade and commerce in the town. Marie Ainsworth, a Community Development Officer at SSDC, agreed to meet up with the CBG and other interested parties, for a walk around Crewkerne’s shopping and business areas, when restrictions are relaxed, to see where regeneration projects could be implemented.

Leighton Ballantine of Ballantine Wealth Management, host of the CBG meetings said: “November was our most successful attendance with 31 on the call at one point. Really impressed by everyone’s commitment and community spirit. Let’s finish off the year in style and celebrate the steps forward we have taken as a local business community in very challenging circumstances. Lots of positivity to build on for 2021.” Any local business that would like to join the new business group, or is interested but unable to connect at that time of the day, please email

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