By Caoimhe MacLochlainn
Strabane based balloon artist, Sharon Walker, was able to set up her dream business from home last year after she received a grant from Derry City and Strabane District Council. She is now looking forward to the easing of restrictions with confidence; with the grant allowing her to purchase a balloon stuffing machine and stock to make up the themed displays from her home.
The Covid Recovery Business Start Up Grant is delivered by Council as part of the Go For It Programme, in partnership with Strabane Enterprise Agency and Enterprise North West.
Sharon said “If anyone is at home with a business idea at the moment, I’d recommend that they contact the Business Support Team at Council and learn more about the support available to get things off the ground.”
Sharon is the proprietor of Budget Balloons who offer creative balloon decoration displays of all shapes and sizes to celebrate every occasion. While the restrictions to reduce the spread of Covid-19 have had a devastating impact on many businesses, it has created opportunity for others. For example, Sharon said the lockdown actually helped her business.
“People haven’t been able to host parties over the last year so the balloon displays allowed them to do something to mark an occasion within their households and share photographs of them on social media,” she said.
The grant provides new businesses with funding of up to £500 to encourage start-ups and help them through the unprecedented challenges presented by the pandemic.
More infoirmation about the scheme is available at derrystrabane.com/business. Follow Budget Balloons on Facebook or Instagram for more information.