I had the pleasure of meeting the owner of a local networking group today. There are several hundred members within the group and they are all linked by some common themes, one being they are all business owners. This automatically leads me into thinking are all these business owners aware of the types of support, financial & other, that are available to them in the city? The answer is frequently no, as it was on this occasion.
One of my regular requests is that business owners or their intermediaries (accountants, banks etc) always give me a call when they are considering investment upwards of £1 in their business, whether that be in assets such as machinery, equipment and buildings or training & developing their staff or themselves. Whilst I love reading stories about successful local businesses, it is always frustrating when they haven’t accessed support such as grants to help them along the way. There could always be valid reasons for this of course, such as they weren’t eligible or they found the application process too cumbersome. A large part of my role here at Make It York along with my colleagues is to simplify some of the language around business support and make the process as simple as possible. This is where being a honest and open, straight talking Yorkshireman comes in handy!
So I’m really looking forward to providing more information and support to the lady I met this morning so she can share that with her contacts. Make It York for Business is absolutely here to help every business in York. We are not here just for large businesses. We are not here just for small businesses. We are here to help any businesses in the City of York area, end of.
If you’re now thinking that sounds great but how can you help me, then here are some examples of business needs and what support we can provide.
- Not yet started trading and just need help with set up costs and understanding what I need to comply with – the Adventure programme provides mentoring and a grant
- Trading less than 3 years and sales are growing quickly (in the region of 20% per annum) and I need support as I’m coming across lots of challenges – Adventure again provides mentoring and a capital grant to help businesses up to 3 years of age. Loans may also be available from various sources such as Start Up Loans (if less than 2 years trading) or Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund
- All these loans and grants sound great but I don’t understand their application process – our free support will help explain everything to you along with all the options and we provide feedback on your applications before you submit them
- I need to buy a new machine and some more equipment as I can’t keep up with orders – there are various grants available and we will explain them to you in a straightforward manner
- My website is out of date and I want to start selling online but I can’t afford to invest in it at the moment – there is a digital grant currently available that could help
- It’s about time I invested in my staff and sorted them out with some training, I could also do with some leadership training as well – there is funding available that covers all of the cost of training your staff. Dozens of different courses ranging from construction to hospitality to IT and including marketing and social media are available
- I can’t grow my business in my current office, it’s just too small – we will talk to local property agents on your behalf and provide you with the available options, and talk to you about how you could fund a move into a new location
The list could go on. I really hope that gives a good flavour of what Make It York can do to help your business. We’re local people as well, with a passion for seeing local businesses succeed. Get in touch, you never know where it may lead!
Simon Middleton, Business Growth Manager, Make It York for Business