The Booksellers Association (BA) has launched a £150,000 Covid-19 recovery project, offering members free mentorship and grants ahead of their planned April reopening.
It said the fund would help booksellers make necessary improvements and minimise the risk of closures. Those who are struggling or unsure about continuing their business, for whom grants or mentorship could have a significant impact, will be prioritised.
Individual grant applications can range from £500 to £4,000 and will be awarded in response to an application process on the BA website.
The programme will also offer free mentorship from an experienced bookseller, provided by the Unwin Charitable Trust Bookseller Mentoring Programme. Booksellers can access the mentoring at any time regardless of grant application status, providing advice and strategic insight as part of the project’s commitment to helping them prepare for the next year.
Meryl Halls, m.d. of the BA, said: “We are delighted to announce the launch of the Covid Recovery Project as we prepare for the reopening of the high street in April. We know that the past year has been incredibly difficult for bookshops, and understandably some booksellers will be feeling disheartened and weary after 12 months of adapting to shifting circumstances and new challenges. We hope that the grants and mentorship offered by this programme will help booksellers to emerge feeling energised and supported as they reopen, continuing their fantastic work within their communities.”
The BA will also be sending refreshed point-of-sale kits to their members in the coming weeks, including posters, shelf talkers, floor vinyls, till point cards, face masks and hand sanitiser cards.
Booksellers can apply for a grant and/or a mentor now on the BA website. The deadline for completing the first stage of the application process is 9th April.
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