One hundred new businesses have been set up thanks to help from Blackpool Council last year.
The Council’s Get Started team, which is part of the Start Up Lancashire service supported by the European Regional Development Fund, has now helped a century of local businesses to start up.
Ranging from magicians to accountants, legal services to bakers, the new businesses have been created from different sectors but are all local.
As well as gaining advice and training from the Get Started scheme, the council’s team have helped companies to get their hands on around £350,000 worth of loans from the Government.
They have been accessed from various national schemes, including the Start Up Loan fund, the X Forces fund and the New Enterprise Allowance.
The firm enjoying the sweet success of being number one hundred is the Lancashire Cheesecake Company. Matt Watts, who is now supplying prestige catering outlets across the Fylde coast, said: “I’ve been an employee and a manager before but this time, although I’m doing something I have a lot of knowledge about and passion for, it’s my own money and ultimately for my children’s future.
“Thanks to the Get Started team, I now have confidence that The Lancashire Cheesecake Company, and the best cheesecake you’ll ever taste, is on the right track.”
The Get Started team have continued to support companies who have used the service, including helping the Fylde Promotional Merchandise company to move into new offices at the New Enterprise Centre on Lytham Road.
Managing Director of the business, Graham Arnold, said: “It is really encouraging to know that someone is looking out for our interests and ensures we are included in new initiatives such as the Mayor’s networking group and other business building opportunities.”
Over the course of the year, businesses from all different sectors have accessed help from the Get Started team.
Nicola and Chris Attwood set up an IT company in North Shore, called Axon Communications. Nicola said: “We have had an enormous amount of help from Blackpool Council’s Get Started team, who have been very helpful with our business plan, financial cash sheets, and even helped with a loan application to enable our business to expand.
“We have attended all the courses to help us on our way, and would like to say a huge thank you for the support. We would have been lost without their help.”
Mum of two, Kim Styles, set up a boutique hair salon in South Shore: “I spoke to the team and went on a few of their advice courses about how to set up on my own and they were really supportive and helpful. They were honest too and told me exactly how to improve my business plan. I couldn’t have set up without them.”
Ben Marshall, director at a new music production company, Dynamequ, added: “Get Started have given me a life changing opportunity which I am extremely grateful for. I have had a superb amount of ongoing support from my mentor who stillgives me help and advice when I need it.”
This story was first published in the Blackpool Gazette by Tim Gavell
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