Two businesses in Ottery St Mary have praised the town council's shop front grants scheme, which gave them a financial boost as they prepared to launch new premises.

Sup Dawg, a combined cafe and shop for dog owners, opened in Mill Street in May. Owners Reuben and Solo Marsh had previously run a shop selling dog products in a nearby unit.

Grace Hair in Mill Street was a new business. 

Both enterprises applied successfully for grants in the town council's third round of funding, launched in April. 

Solo Marsh from Sup Dawg said: “We were moving shops within Ottery and diversifying in larger premises and saw details of the scheme on social media. The application was simple, easy to follow, and the council answered any questions I had about the process quickly.”

Grace Mangeng, who owns Grace Hair, said: “Having the grant was great as it helped towards the costs of setting up my salon and making it look welcoming. The grant is incredibly valuable to small businesses like mine and make a real difference to the overall look of the town.”

Cllr John Green, Chair of the Council's Environment, Local Development and Commerce committee, said “We are delighted the shop fund grant scheme continues to be popular with business owners in the town and has already made a difference. We continue to support initiatives to improve Ottery and make it an attractive destination for both local shoppers and visitors. Ottery continues to see new independent shops opening, offering that local service and point of difference enjoyed by locals and visitors alike.

“The council have commissioned a new publication that includes a town map and blue plaque map. The publication will be available free of charge from early July in all local shops, restaurants, pubs, the library, accommodation providers and visitor attractions. This supports the digital Visit Ottery St Mary website, providing residents and visitors with information and events in our wonderful town.”