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Erdington wedding florist refused £10k lifeline despite 60 cancellations

Erdington wedding florist refused £10k lifeline despite 60 cancellations

A wedding florist who runs two separate businesses has received financial council support for only one firm because of a help scheme ‘loophole’.

Clare Handsaker, 48, told how her floral wedding firm – CZ Handsaker Floral Designs Limited in Erdington – missed out on a funding lifeline as she can only claim for a single grant per business property.

She suffered the cancellation of more than 60 wedding this year and it has not traded since March.

The mother-of-three’s other business, named CZ Floral Designs Limited which provides flowers for corporate clients and customers from her shop in Mason Road, received a £10,000 grant from Birmingham City Council in May.

But that business has also been forced to close again due to current restrictions from the second national lockdown and her three florist workers are back on furlough. Clare Handsaker has been forced to close her shop for the second time during lockdown (Image: Darren Quinton/Birmingham Live) "I run two completely separate businesses and they (the council) haven’t entitled me to claim for my wedding business because I can only claim for one business under one address," Clare, from Streetly, Sutton Coldfield , told BirminghamLive.

"They are both limited companies and have separate VAT numbers.

"The wedding business hasn’t traded since March. With the grants being available you are only allowed to claim for the property and not the business, but both are linked to the same address.

"I’ve had in excess of 60 weddings postponed this year, so I’ve had no income at all. Anyone in the events sector has been forgotton. The funding just hasn’t been there. You just hit your head against a brick wall.

"People are so uncertain over what will happen they don’t want to risk their wedding getting cancelled so close to the date. I had one bride that has moved the date four times.

"It’s the lack of help doesn’t equate to the loss of business. They (the council) are doing it on the property rather than the businesses. It’s a bit of a loophole."

She said many summer weddings next year and starting to move to 2022.

"I’m very despondent," she added. "I’m a single parent with three children, one at university. When my income in the sole income coming in it’s quite worrying. I’ve been running my business for 20 years and I seriously got to the point of ‘let’s just close.’

"The banks won’t help you as they say you’re not trading even if I can say we have work next year. But they don’t look at that."All this ‘we’re here to help’ isn’t quite the case. People say you you’ll be busy next year, but you won’t as you only feasibly do the weddings that have moved and the people thinking of booking next year aren’t yet. Clare Handsaker says she is only able to claim financial support for one of her businesses registered on Mason Road, Erdington (Image: Darren Quinton/Birmingham Live) "You’re not going to be busier, just, theoretically, doing what you normally do. The council says you haven’t […]

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