For some people, running their own business can be a lonely affair and it is sometimes difficult to know where to turn for support and advice or to know what help there is available to you. As accountants and business advisors, we are keen to support and help our clients wherever possible. Set out below are a few things that we have become aware of that may be of benefit to anyone running their own business.

We hope you find this roundup of current support that is out there for small businesses useful and if you would like any further information on this, please feel free to contact us.

Federation of Small Businesses (FSB)

This is an organisation that small business owners can subscribe to. Monthly networking meetings are held, which normally have a specific topic aimed at small business owners. This can be a useful way to meet other business owners or like-minded individuals and to share ideas.  As well as the monthly networking opportunity, an FSB subscription comes with many other benefits including telephone support lines and discounted rates for a range of services.

More details about the FSB can be found at www.fsb.co.uk.

Learn Direct

This is an organisation that is delivering a government-backed initiative to provide training for staff, across Devon and Somerset. Money is available to offer training to up-skill your work force in key areas. This is being done at no cost to the employer, apart from allowing the employee some time off, to undertake the training.

More details on this can be found at www.learndirect.com/tred

Government Business

Did you know that the government has set a target of 1/3 of its spending to be with small businesses by 2020?

The following website lets you search for information about contracts worth over £10,000 with the government and its agencies www.gov.uk/contracts-finder

The Somerset Business Agency

The Somerset Business Agency are currently offering two packages of support. The first is aimed at new start-ups and the second is for businesses looking to grow. The Start Up & Grow programme has been made available to support pre-start and new businesses who have the potential for growth and to create employment opportunities. The Growth Support Programme is an EU funded support package which offers an initial 3 hour diagnostic to businesses wishing to grow or expand.

More details on this can be found at: www.somersetbusinessagency.org

Sedgemoor Businesses

If you run a small business in the Sedgemoor area, there are currently grants available of up to £5,000. Round 1 has just closed, but Round 2 will run from 1 January 2018 until 9 February 2018 and Round 3 from 1 May 2018 until 23 June 2018.

The grants can be used towards any of the following:

  • Retain and employ new staff
  • Invest in new facilities, equipment and processes
  • Carry out innovative R&D
  • Diversify into new markets
  • Undertake marketing initiatives
  • Export

More details on this can be found at:
www.sedgemoor.gov.uk/article/2093/Sedgemoor-Small-Business-Grant-Fund

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