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New figures from Business Gateway Argyll and Bute indicate a year of success.
Between April 2016 and March 2017, the organisation has helped 104 companies start up and has supported almost 1,000 existing businesses.
Business Gateway held 154 workshops in Argyll and Bute, drawing nearly 1,000 attendees. It also boasts an 86 per cent one-year survival rate for its clients – higher than the 80 per cent national average.
The annual first-year turnover of Business Gateway’s clients in Argyll and Bute is projected to be £3.7 million, and the new businesses expect to create 109 full-time jobs.
Argyll and Bute Council leader Aileen Morton said: ‘These figures are a real success story for Business Gateway Argyll and Bute.
‘We are proud to be one of Scotland’s most promising regions, and this hugely successful year is testament to that.
‘Together with the council and our other partners, Business Gateway is helping build a prosperous future, boost the economy and make Argyll and Bute an attractive place in which to invest, work and live.
‘With results like this, a host of new businesses launching and existing firms growing, we’re going from strength to strength.
‘If you are thinking of starting a new business, or are already operating and would like to take advantage of Business Gateway’s support, please get in touch and the advisers will be happy to help.’
Business Gateway offers free and impartial advice to anyone wanting to start up or develop a business and provides one-to-one support from its advisers and arranges a variety of locally-run courses.
Among the success stories is Helensburgh resident and former army medic Melanie Neil, who launched an artisan chocolate shop called CocoaMo.
Melanie said: ‘I was keen to make Business Gateway my first stop before I launched CocoaMo, as I had no previous business experience. My adviser had a wealth of information, providing me with details from accounting to food standards contacts.’
Business Gateway also supported the Dunoon-based firm Architeco.
Founder Colin Potter set up Architeco in 2011 to offer technologically competitive sustainable architecture.
Mr Potter called the scheme ‘a huge investment for a small business’. He added: ‘Our adviser has been incredibly helpful and we are now looking at other opportunities to explore, such as staff training that will being new skills to our practice.’