Staffordshire will celebrate small business success this weekend and its support and advice hub which has now backed nearly 4,000 businesses.
The Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Growth Hub offers advice and guidance on a wide variety of business-related issues, as well as signposting companies to organisations offering specialist support.
This weekend the county council is marking Small Business Saturday (December 1) and is celebrating the success of small businesses it has supported through the growth hub, its business loans scheme, enterprise centres and funding initiatives.
It is run on behalf of the local enterprise partnership by the county council and its partners the Chamber of Commerce and Stoke-on-Trent City Council. The growth hub includes the Staffordshire Business Helpline and eight qualified business advisors, through which business referrals can be made.
Since April 2015, 19,427 referrals or signposts have been made by growth hub advisors. Of the 3,982 businesses supported over that period, 79 per cent were existing and the remainder were start-up companies.
The most frequent requests to the business helpline are around access to finance, operational issues, marketing and human resources. Most calls have come from the manufacturing, retail and wholesale, professional and technical services and information and communication sectors.
Staffordshire County Council’s economic growth leader Mark Winnington said:
Small businesses play a vital part in our ongoing economic growth and ensuring they have the support to grow and thrive is very important.
We’re pleased that with the growth hub we have been able to offer support and guidance to thousands of Staffordshire businesses across a range of sectors. We have established strong relationships to the many organisations we refer businesses to which helps with the efficiency of the process.
Together with our enterprise centres, business loan scheme and other funding initiatives we’re pleased to celebrate the success of the companies we’ve supported this weekend.”