500th Request For Business Assistance
The Business information and advice service for the Highland and Moray Councils which is delivered by The Highland Council's Enterprise Trust, Highland Opportunity Limited, has just reached its first major milestone today with at total of 500 requests for advice and assistance having been received since the service started on 1st April.
Enquiries to Business Gateway have come via the national website www.bgateway.com and the national telephone number 0845 609 6611 and 30% of enquiries have come from people visiting the walk-in shops in Inverness and Elgin where business advisers are on hand to answer queries and provide information.
Of the 500 enquires, 63% are new business start up enquiries and 37% are queries from existing businesses.
Business advice has ranged from food retail businesses to online sales and from recording studios to innovative life sciences projects. Advice on marketing especially e-commerce has been in great demand. Also popular have been requests for assistance under the Prince's Scottish Youth Business Trust (PSYBT) which is managed by Highland Opportunity Limited.
Councillor Helen Carmichael, Chair of Highland Opportunity Ltd said: "A business has contacted the Business Gateway every hour since we opened 10 weeks ago. We are pleased that businesses right across the region have been so willing to come and ask for advice and assistance."
Nine free two day workshops covering topics such as personal and business planning, managing resources, VAT and tax requirements, setting sales targets and marketing have proved to be popular with all available places fully booked well in advance. Due to their success, it is hoped that further workshops aimed at helping people who are considering starting their own business can be organised in venues across the Highlands over the next few months.
Donald Mackenzie, Business Gateway Services Manager said: "We are delighted at the response during the first two months of operation and are looking forward to a busy summer assisting the business community right across Highland and Moray."
Business Gateway offers informed and impartial free advice on every aspect of starting, developing and running a business, from feasibility to financial planning to market research. There is also an ongoing supporting programme of free workshops and events where entrepreneurs can network with other like-minded people and develop the skills they need to run their business from day to day.
Ten Business Gateway advisers are based throughout Highland and Moray to help businesses at every stage. They can also connect business to the Prince's Scottish Youth Business Trust and the Enterprise Europe Network, as well as provide access routes to finance.
Since April 2009 the Business Gateway service has been delivered in Highland and Moray by Highland Opportunity Limited, Highland Council's own Enterprise Trust.
Two fully staffed Business Shops are;
81 Castle Street, Inverness (01463 713889)
and 17 High Street, Elgin (01343 563634)
In Caithness Wick Enterpise Centre offers a range of services
Contact Jennifer Irvine
Tel 01955 605360
Homes and businesses in Lerwick on Shetland are set to be Scotland’s first island community to get fibre broadband as part of the £410 million Digital Scotland partnership. Lerwick joins Keith in Moray as the latest areas to be announced as part of the Digital Highlands and Islands project which will deliver fibre broadband to 84% of premises across the region by 2016.
Food and drink businesses across the Highlands and Islands and within the Cairngorms National Park area have just days left before the deadline to enter the region’s largest and most prestigious food and drink industry awards. As the Wednesday, 23 April deadline approaches for entries for this year’s Highlands & Islands Food & Drink Awards, sponsored by Gordon & MacPhail and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), organisers are calling on the area’s food and drink businesses to make sure they don’t miss the closing date.
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is delighted to announce Natural Retreats, a specialist leisure and travel company, as the new operator of Cairngorm Mountain, taking effect in June 2014. Natural Retreats are renowned for offering customers and guests high quality tourism based experiences in some of the most dramatic natural locations around the world.
Highlands and Islands businesses are at the forefront of showcasing Scottish food and drink in Singapore as part of two international events. Eight companies from the region are part of an 18 strong Scottish delegation participating in a trade mission to Singapore on 6-10th April in a bid to crack one of the world’s wealthiest economies.
he marine energy sector is to benefit from £6 million in funding to further develop testing of new wave and tidal energy prototypes in the seas around Scotland. Scottish Enterprise is launching the third round of the remaining competitive funding from the initial WATERS fund in collaboration with Highlands & Islands Enterprise.
Highland Opportunity this week hosted 24 delegates at a Round Table event in Inverness as part of StArt-App – a €400,000 project aimed at providing young people and adults with tools to enable them to start up and continue in business in the cultural and creative sectors. The only British partner in the project, Highland Opportunity hosted workshops, research and discussion events, and a reception at Inverness Town House for delegates from nine European project partners from Italy, Greece, Denmark, Hungary, Portugal and Croatia.
Wick Harbour Authority is making progress with its plans to create a heavy-lift facility on the commercial quay at Wick harbour, with contractors Gunns Lybster Ltd having now begun the work. The project, and its associated dredging works, was supported by CNSRP partners HIE and NDA respectively and is the first of several proposed phases of work to position the harbour as a key player in the energy sector, with the current focus being on potential to benefit from the development of Offshore Wind in the Moray Firth.
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) Chief Executive Alex Paterson has been visiting a Thurso factory where two battery manufacturing firms are powering ahead under new ownership. HIE has supported the smooth change-over for new investors at AGM Batteries and ABSL Power Solutions, which were previously owned by US-based multinational Enersys Inc.
The first residential course for the ScotGrad Graduate Placement Programme in the Highlands and Islands took place this week. The 18 graduates who attended the tailored business skills course are employed to work on innovative projects by organisations across the area.
Highlands & Islands Food & Drink: A cause for celebration as 2014 awards open for entry. Closing Date for entries - Wednesday, 23rd April 2014 Organisers of the Highlands & Islands Food & Drink Awards (HIFDA) are starting 2014 on an upbeat and positive note as they prepare to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the prestigious awards.
[Printer Friendly Version]