500th Request For Business Assistance
21st June 2009
The Business information and advice service for the Highland and Moray Councils which is delivered by The Highland Council's Enterprise Trust, Highland Opportunity Limited, has just reached its first major milestone today with at total of 500 requests for advice and assistance having been received since the service started on 1st April.
Enquiries to Business Gateway have come via the national website www.bgateway.com and the national telephone number 0845 609 6611 and 30% of enquiries have come from people visiting the walk-in shops in Inverness and Elgin where business advisers are on hand to answer queries and provide information.
Of the 500 enquires, 63% are new business start up enquiries and 37% are queries from existing businesses.
Business advice has ranged from food retail businesses to online sales and from recording studios to innovative life sciences projects. Advice on marketing especially e-commerce has been in great demand. Also popular have been requests for assistance under the Prince's Scottish Youth Business Trust (PSYBT) which is managed by Highland Opportunity Limited.
Councillor Helen Carmichael, Chair of Highland Opportunity Ltd said: "A business has contacted the Business Gateway every hour since we opened 10 weeks ago. We are pleased that businesses right across the region have been so willing to come and ask for advice and assistance."
Nine free two day workshops covering topics such as personal and business planning, managing resources, VAT and tax requirements, setting sales targets and marketing have proved to be popular with all available places fully booked well in advance. Due to their success, it is hoped that further workshops aimed at helping people who are considering starting their own business can be organised in venues across the Highlands over the next few months.
Donald Mackenzie, Business Gateway Services Manager said: "We are delighted at the response during the first two months of operation and are looking forward to a busy summer assisting the business community right across Highland and Moray."
Business Gateway offers informed and impartial free advice on every aspect of starting, developing and running a business, from feasibility to financial planning to market research. There is also an ongoing supporting programme of free workshops and events where entrepreneurs can network with other like-minded people and develop the skills they need to run their business from day to day.
Ten Business Gateway advisers are based throughout Highland and Moray to help businesses at every stage. They can also connect business to the Prince's Scottish Youth Business Trust and the Enterprise Europe Network, as well as provide access routes to finance.
Since April 2009 the Business Gateway service has been delivered in Highland and Moray by Highland Opportunity Limited, Highland Council's own Enterprise Trust.
Two fully staffed Business Shops are;
81 Castle Street, Inverness (01463 713889)
and 17 High Street, Elgin (01343 563634)
In Caithness Wick Enterpise Centre offers a range of services
Contact Jennifer Irvine
Tel 01955 605360
Businesses in the Highlands and Islands are being encouraged to apply to the next round of Scottish EDGE funding and the chance to win up to £100,000 each in grants and loans. The Scottish Government funded competition supports and encourages business growth in Scotland.
The next areas where fibre broadband is rolling out across Scotland have been announced by Digital Scotland partners today. See the release here http://bit.ly/fibrenext Local area and progress detail for Highlands and Islands areas are as below: Latest independent figures from Think Broadband confirm 75% coverage across the Highlands and Islands region.
The first batches of seaweed have been harvested and processed by a new food and drink business in Wick. New Wave Foods has invested £240,000 at its newly fitted out premises on the Wick Industrial Estate with support of £60,000 from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).
An Aberdeen oil and gas company that located its manufacturing operation to Lybster in Caithness says it is delighted with the results. Torque machine manufacturer Enerquip secured £60,000 investment from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) towards the £240,000 initial capital equipment and employment costs at Lybster.
Influential decision makers and buyers from creative industries around the world will meet Scottish businesses and individuals when they take part in XpoNorth in Inverness this week. Supported by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), the European Regional Development Fund and Creative Scotland, XpoNorth is now firmly established as Scotland's leading creative industries festival.
Non-Executive Members of the Board of Highlands and Islands Enterprise announced. The Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Connectivity, Fergus Ewing MP, today announced the appointment of Amanda Bryan, Ailsa Gray, Dr Robert McIntosh and Belinda Oldfield, as Non-Executive Members of the Board of Highlands and Islands Enterprise.
Businesses in the Highlands and Islands new to exporting or looking to move into new markets are invited to a ‘Doing Business in France' event in Inverness next week. Organised by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), the free information and advice event will be held at the Kingsmills Hotel from 9:30am to 1:30pm on Tuesday 7 June.
Confirmation that SSE is to go ahead with its investment in the Beatrice Offshore Wind project has been welcomed by both of Scotland's economic development agencies. The project is expected to deliver billions of pounds of investment during construction, installation and longer-term operation and maintenance of the windfarm.
Economic development agency, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), has reported a successful year of investment and job creation in the region for 2015/16 - its 50th anniversary year. Year-end figures compiled by HIE show an estimated 855 jobs are expected to be created or retained in the region, as a result of HIE's investments last year, 87 of these in Caithness and Sutherland, 17 of which are in fragile areas.
Energy & Business Services: As previously covered in this update Atlantis Resources Ltd has now completed the acquisition of tidal energy assets from Scottish Power Renewables. http://renews.biz/102590/atlantis-seals-tidal-expansion/ I was delighted to meet Cameron Smith of ARL this week, and to take him to meet Scrabster Harbour Trust in a week that the port was very busy with large oil & gas industry vessels (see our online blog page for pictures).
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