Stoke Staffs LEP
Small business backing vital for county and city economy
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Small business backing vital for county and city economy

People are being urged to support small businesses in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent and help boost the local economy ahead of a national campaign day.

Small Business Saturday takes place on December 7 and the county and city councils and their partners are celebrating successful enterprise in Staffordshire and raising awareness of the broad range of support available.

The Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Growth Hub is funded by the area’s local enterprise partnership and delivered by the county council and Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce. It offers advice and guidance on a range of business support available to small businesses – from marketing to funding and employment law.

The hub also runs the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Business Helpline on 0300 111 8002.

One of the latest hub initiatives is the Investment Readiness Programme. This supports businesses in applying for finance packages such as loans or grant funding by helping them to prepare the necessary business plans and cash flow projections. Grants between £1,000 and £3,000 are available to fund sixty per cent of professional support services. People wanting further information should email: Matt.hustwit@staffordshirechambers.co.uk

Over the last financial year nearly two-and-a-half thousand small businesses in Staffordshire were supported by the hub. During this period the hub made 2,439 referrals to small businesses which employ thousands of people across the county.

The vast majority were existing businesses (89 per cent) with eight per cent start-ups. Calls to the hub’s advice line were mostly about financial issues. The hub’s leading referral issue was also finance, with marketing and operational advice close behind.

Businesses can find out more about advice and support offered by the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Growth Hub by visiting www.stokestaffsgrowthhub.co.uk
The hub’s helpline number is 0300 111 8002 or people can email businessenquires@staokestaffslep.org.uk

Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Growth Hub business and enterprise support manager Nicola Kent said:

There is an excellent range of business support available – the hub helps to ensure each business gets the right support for them. This can range from grant funding to workforce training.

Small businesses play a vital role in local economic growth, employing thousands of people and supporting larger businesses’ supply chains. We’re pleased that the growth hub is supporting local business to grow and thrive.”

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