Business resilience in Ashford: Pure Abodes and founder Emma creating collaborations

Posted on 7 May 2020

The current Covid-19 crisis has meant that businesses have had to adapt and Pure Abodes (Purely Serviced Accommodation Ltd), a serviced accommodation provider in Ashford, has done just that. By making the most of business grant funding from Ashford Borough Council, the company has not only been able to continue to operate but has also housed key workers and supported other accommodation providers in the borough.

Emma Howitt, Founder of Pure Abodes, said: “It’s understandably a very frightening time, not just as a business owner but also as a mother and wife. Sasha and I knew straight away that we wanted to do everything we could to support our employees, clients and fellow Ashford businesses.

“First and foremost, I want to keep our staff and those staying in our apartments safe. All our properties are cleaned and sanitised to the highest standard and are equipped with remote access to ensure everyone can adhere to social distancing.”

“When the crisis began, I actually had a massive influx in requests from key workers looking for places to stay. It got to the point where we didn’t have enough accommodation, so had to think creatively of how I could find places for those people to stay. I searched extensively and reached out to other providers in Ashford. As I am well known in the industry, a large share of accommodation requests came directly to me. I have worked really hard to match empty properties with people looking, so it has been very rewarding to be thanked for helping keep other Ashford providers in business.

“My ethos has always been to collaborate within the Ashford business community. I am pleased to have been able to contribute in helping other businesses, as well as provide vital accommodation for keyworkers coming to Ashford.”

Ashford Borough Council is continuing to process applications for the government’s coronavirus grants scheme and Pure Abodes is among the businesses that have benefited. As of 30 April, 1,911 applicants had received support, totalling just under £23m.

“My ethos has always been to collaborate within the Ashford business community. I am pleased to have been able to contribute in helping other businesses, as well as provide vital accommodation for keyworkers coming to Ashford.”

Emma Howitt, Founder of Pure Abodes

Emma continues: “The grant that we received as part of the government’s coronavirus support has made a huge difference. Ashford Borough Council made the process very easy and acted fast to ensure that businesses like ours received the money quickly. I know this is not necessarily the same in the rest of the country, so I feel extremely lucky.

“The funding has meant that we can take on more properties, help other serviced accommodation providers to house those in need and has given us confidence for the future.”

To find out more about how your business can benefit from coronavirus grants and support, please visit https://www.ashford.gov.uk/coronavirus.