Businesses urged to use free advice service before September

Louise Stolz, James Roberts and Klaudia Haines

Businesses across Lichfield District are being urged to take advantage of a free advice and support service before September, while the current funding is available.

More than 70 small and medium enterprises have already benefited from a free business health check with one of three Growth Hub advisors. 

The advisors provide firms with connections, information and the support they need to overcome barriers to growth. They have access to a range of services, initiatives and organisations that can help businesses in a variety of ways.

This could include support with writing business plans for start-up firms, helping to recruit staff, exploring funding opportunities and accessing training and workshops in a variety of sectors.

However, funding for the advisor roles is currently only available to September, so Lichfield District Council is encouraging local businesses to take advantage of this useful, free and impartial service before then.

One business which has taken advantage of a free business health check session with a Growth Hub advisor is creative graphic design agency, Design Pit, based in Elmhurst, Lichfield. As a result, Design Pit has now been referred to two new schemes.

Gareth Robertson, Creative Designer and Owner of Design Pit, said:

“There are lots of areas of support out there for small business and I wasn’t aware of any of them. Meeting the Growth Hub advisor has been really useful in opening my eyes to the range of schemes and initiatives available and I would definitely recommend the service to other businesses.

“This week I will be starting a business mentoring programme through Coventry University Enterprises Ltd, which will be brilliant for me as it gives me someone to liaise with about business decisions and which direction we are going in. If you want this sort of help, you usually have to pay for a consultant, but this is fully funded and is going to be really useful going forward.

“We are also in discussions with Staffordshire University about their recruitment programme which will match us with a student who will work with us for six months, fully funded with wages paid by the university. If they meet their targets in that time, they will have a job at the end of it.”

Lichfield District Council is working in partnership with the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership Growth Hub to deliver the role to support businesses across Southern Staffordshire.

Councillor Iain Eadie, Cabinet Member for Investment, Economic Growth & Tourism, said:

“There are plenty of great schemes available locally to help businesses to grow, but it can be difficult to find out what is out there and if your business is eligible.

“This is why we’re encouraging small and medium sized enterprises to contact one of the Growth Hub advisors this summer to see how your business could benefit.

“It can also help just to talk through your business growth and direction with someone impartial looking at things from another perspective."

To arrange an appointment with a Growth Hub advisor, contact:

The GBSLEP Growth Hub acts as a single point of contact for business advice, funding and support for any business across Greater Birmingham, either providing support directly, or referring to specialist advice through partner organisations.

Lichfield District Council also offers a wide range of local support to businesses. For more information, please visit www.lichfielddc.gov.uk/businessadvice.

 

Published: 13 June 2019