Business Gateway supports new business start-ups

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Despite the challenges of the Covid pandemic, Argyll and Bute Business Gateway has supported 135 new businesses to start up over the last 12 months.

These supported start-ups have a combined projected turnover above £6 million and predict creating more than 200 jobs.

Business Gateway offers a programme of free support and resources to provide business owners with relevant advice and guidance when they need it most. Confidential advice from an experienced local business adviser is available via phone or video for anyone wanting to start up a business in Argyll and Bute.

In addition, subject experts are available for one hour specialist advice sessions on a range of topics including digital, HR, marketing, PR, finance, exporting, importing, tendering and growth strategy.

National webinars are available covering key topics including HR, business strategy, marketing on a budget and writing a business plan. In addition there are online coaching sessions and a wide range of digital guides.

Business Gateway Argyll and Bute has a team of experienced business advisers on hand to help both existing businesses and those looking to make the move into self-employment. Anyone looking to start up a business is encouraged to complete the

Planning to Start Tool at bgateway.com and reach out to the local Business Gateway office to find out more about the help on offer.

Customer satisfaction with the Argyll and Bute Business Gateway service is high, with 86 per cent of users rating themselves satisfied and 85 per cent stating the support received will benefit their business.

Funding for growth

For both existing businesses and new starts ups that have been trading for at least three months, grant support is available to help deliver growth ambitions. The Argyll and Bute Business Gateway Local Growth Accelerator Programme includes a range of funding.

A growth grant from the programme of between £1,000 and £5,000 can cover 50 per cent of costs for projects linked to business growth. In addition, businesses can also access grants from £250 up to £1,500 (50 per cent of costs) to support training, accreditation or attendance at trade fairs linked to business growth.

‘I have always found the support from Business Gateway to be an immense help,’ explains Colin Potter from Architeco, an architect’s firm based in Dunoon that specialises in sustainable design. ‘Having grant support also helped to reduce the financial pressure of business growth and allowed it to happen faster.’

To access support, businesses must first register for the programme.

Anyone wanting to check their eligibility should visit www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/bglgap. A Business Gateway adviser will work with businesses registered for the programme to develop a growth plan and access relevant support.

The programme, worth a total of £855,239, is funded by Argyll and Bute Council and the European Regional Development Fund under the 2014-2020 Structural Funds Programmes.

The programme will close for applications at the end of October 2022 or sooner if funds are fully committed.