A BUSINESS owner has thanked his “fantastic customer base” after receiving the second instalment of an independent retailer grant from the borough council.

Clifford Pullen was presented with the remaining £500 of a £1,000 grant from Test Valley Borough Council after almost a year of doing business in the town.

Clifford launched his new company, CJ Flooring, in 2018, taking on a four-year lease for his showroom Black Swan Yard. He has almost 40 years of experience supplying and fitting both domestic and commercial properties and works across the borough.

He said: “I’ve really enjoyed the past 12 months and everyone has been really welcoming, I truly do have a fantastic customer base.

“At first I applied for a Business Incentive Grant but the support I’ve received from the council has meant I’ve ended up with something better that has equipped me well over the past year.”

Andover St Mary’s ward member, councillor Iris Andersen, presented the cheque to Clifford.

She said: “Being able to support our businesses is an absolutely key factor and Clifford is very experienced in what he does.

“I’m pleased that Black Swan Yard was able to accommodate him so he can continue doing what he does best.”

Recipients of the £1,000 independent retailer grant receive £500 after three months of trading and the remainder of the money six months later.

To be eligible for the grant new or existing independent businesses must occupy a town centre ground floor unit which has been vacant for at least one month. Qualifying businesses include shops, restaurants and cafes.

For more information go to testvalleygov.uk