Businesses and entrepreneurs across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent are being reminded that support and advice on how they can expand their operations is just a phone call away.
The areaâ€™s local enterprise partnership launched the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Business Helpline in February 2012 to provide advice on a range of issues, from taking on new employees or apprentices to starting a new company.
In April this year, the helpline extended its range of services. As well as providing telephone support, the helpline team now runs initiatives throughout the year, including business surgeries to allow face-to-face discussions with business professionals; topical events around key business processes and online initiatives that will provide out-of-hours support. The helpline team is on hand to take calls from 8.30am to 5:30pm Monday to Friday. People should call 0300 111 8002.
LEP chairman Ron Dougan said: â€œSupporting small businesses and those looking to start their own enterprise is an integral part of what we do at the LEP. Their success is vital for our areaâ€™s continued economic growth. We understand the challenges facing SMEs and there are a range of business support organisations across Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire ready to help. â€œHowever it can be difficult for people running a business, or thinking of starting one, to identify where they need to go first.
â€œOur helpline team is on hand as a single point of contact â€“ easing the process and making it more efficient.â€
Steve Smith from the helpline team said: â€œWe are fortunate to have such a well placed network of business support, but it can sometimes seem daunting knowing where to start to seek the support you actually need. The helpline is connected to all the providers and sources of support and so takes away the headache of trying to identify your best options.Â By making just one call we can help to point people in the right direction or provide support to them on the spot.â€