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Business Support and Advice

There is a huge range of support and advice available to businesses – some of it is generic, some of it very specific. The links below should take you to useful organisations that will be able to deal with most of your queries.

Upcoming events

Note: Events listed below are set up by external organisations. A mention here does not imply endorsement by the Council.

R&D Tax Relief & The Patent Box (The BIC): Wednesday 16 Jan, 12pm-2pm at Stone House Hotel, Stafford Road, Stone, ST15 0BQ. FREE event for Staffordshire businesses. Register on www.thebic.co.uk/events, call 01782 333798 or e-mail sandra.butterworth@thebic.co.uk . Find out more about R&D Tax credit, who is eligible to claim this generous relief, what costs can be put against a claim, what is the process for making a claim, what is the Patent Box and how can you benefit from it (External site).

 

If you want to be kept up-to-date with business support news and events in the local area, why not sign up to the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Growth Hub Newsletter, which is packed full of partner events and  information that may be of interest to you and your business.

Business Boost

The Newcastle Business Boost Awards is an annual competition open to all small businesses in the borough. The 2018 competition is now closed for entries.The awards evening took place on 8 November. Go to the Business Boost Awards website (external link) for full details and to register your interest in next year's competition.

General business advice

The Stoke and Staffordshire Business Helpline is a good first point of contact for any queries relating to business advice. Tel: 0300 111 8002 or e-mail businessenquiries@stokestaffslep.org.uk

Another general site for information about running and growing a business is http://www.greatbusiness.gov.uk/ (external link)

If you are looking to take your business to the next stage and need help with any aspect, Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce run a business mentor scheme (external link) which can provide experts in a variety of fields to work with your business on the issues where you need help.

If you are thinking about starting your own business, see the information on the ‘Business Start up’ page.

Specific help for...

Innovation and diversification (products and services)

The Business Innovation Centre (BIC) (external link) provides advice and support for innovative ideas from all business sectors. It also runs a range of innovation workshops throughout the year.

Both Keele University and Staffordshire University (external links) operate knowledge transfer partnerships, which provide access to university skills and expertise to help companies develop.

The Innovative Product Support Service  (external link) programme supports existing small businesses through the early stages of developing a new product or process aiming to bring it closer to the market. Examples of the type of funded support include: Product Design, Engineering analysis, Market Research, Intellectual Property Advice, Electronics Development, Commercial Reviews, New Product Development & Planning, Development & Implementation of Sensor Technologies. For further information please contact Project Manager Mike Shields on 01902 321105 or at m.shields@wlv.ac.uk.

Environmental Performance

"Businesses who understand the environment are businesses with bright futures" according to the Staffordshire Business& Environment Network (SBEN). SBEN provides a range of services to businesses to help improve competitiveness, profitability and environmental performance.

Trade waste

All businesses produce waste in various quantities. However, no matter how much is generated from commercial premises it is classified as trade waste. Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 a person that requests the collection of waste other than from a domestic household is liable to pay a reasonable charge for the collection and disposal of the waste to the organisation which arranges for its collection. Find out more about trade waste collection services from the Council. 

Training, apprentices and other human resource issues

Training courses for businesses from Newcastle-under-Lyme College (external link).

Fully funded training courses to help your business grow are available through Skills Support for the Workforce (external link). Eligibility criteria apply but both basic skills and higher level skills are included in the programme. For more information contact skillssupport@serco.com.

Learndirect business (external link) offers a range of courses for your staff, leading to nationally recognised qualifications. You can also assess your leadership and management skills and create your own tailored plan for personal development.

Business crime

Explore ways of improving the effectiveness of your security and crime prevention arrangements with the Secured by Design interactive guide (external link).

Businesses in and around Newcastle town centre may be interested in joining the Partnership Against Business Crime (PABC) (external link) a unique partnership dedicated to reducing the impact and cost of crime against businesses in both daytime and night time economies.

Relocation

The Borough of Newcastle-under-Lyme offers a first class location for your business, whatever its size. Excellent communication links, a mixed land and property portfolio and a great quality of life adds up to a superb opportunity for the future of your business. The Council has different types of property and land available and a range of sizes to accommodate businesses in different stages of growth. Details of other land and premises available in the area, using an interactive database, can be found on the 'Make it Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire' website (external link).

For additional information to help with investment decisions, for example area profiles and census data, details about local education establishments, see the ‘Useful Links’ section.

Health and Safety Issues

During 2014/15 the Environmental Health team made over 800 pest control visits to local businesses, including factories, offices, shops and school.  They regularly treat ant infestations, wasps’ nests and control rats and mice for commercial clients.

Certain workplace injuries, accidents and dangerous occurrences must be reported to the relevant health and safety enforcing authorities. These accidents are called ‘reportable’, and can now be reported directly to the HSE Incident Contact Centre (external link).

Sector specific support

Tourism businesses

Destination Staffordshire (external link) is a dynamic partnership of visitor attractions, accommodation, eating establishments, artists, tourism businesses and councils that are working together to drive tourism in Staffordshire. Working in partnership with Winning Moves they are able to offer a specialised package of support for tourism businesses in Staffordshire.

Exclusively for small to medium tourism businesses across Staffordshire, the programme will provide tailored support for businesses to help improve your bottom line. Eligible businesses will have access to services under the programme including 1-2-1 consultancy, as well as a series of inspirational workshops and masterclasses that will give you practical tips and actions that you can apply in your business straight away. Check out Destination Staffordshire Support for Tourism Businesses ( external link) delivered by Winning Moves Ltd for the full programme.

Creative industries

The creative sector continues to grow and develop in the area. Factory is Staffordshire’s dedicated business support programme for the creative sector, delivered through a series of bespoke support activities including: one to one business advice & guidance, business development workshops, sector driven events, networking opportunities, experienced mentors, tradeshow exposure and competitive market intelligence to help drive your business forward.

Rural businesses

The Rural Enterprise Programme (external link) operates across Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire’s rural areas which includes a large part of Newcastle borough. Grants worth up to £65,000 are available to help small and medium businesses to convert under-utilised buildings or construct new workspaces in order to increase productivity and create jobs in rural areas. Businesses need to be operating on a business to business basis. Eligible end uses include manufacturing, creative industries, service businesses and office premises.

Medical technology and healthcare businesses

Opportunities, events and networking for medical and non-medical companies wanting to grow their business from Medilink West Midlands (external link).

Professional and business services

Finest - The North Staffordshire professional services network (external link).

Town centre businesses

Businesses in and around Newcastle town centre have recently voted in favour of making the town a Business Improvement District (BID). This will generate around £280,000 a year for the next five years which will be used to fund activity identified in the business plan. The Newcastle BID website (external link) provides information about the BID and details of the support activities available for town centre businesses.

Businesses in Kidsgrove can become part of 'Go Kidsgrove' (external link), the town centre partnership for Kidsgrove.

Food related businesses

All food businesses are legally required to register with their Council at least 28 days before they intend to start trading.  Registration is free and involves completing a simple form to confirm the business's trading name, address, ownership, type of food activity and the opening date.  Registration is a one off process and the food business only needs to notify the Council if there are any significant changes.
 
Allergic reactions to food can be life threatening. In Britain, there are about six reported deaths each year due to food induced allergic reaction or anaphylaxis. Most of these fatal reactions are triggered by food eaten out. If your business involves food, check out this guidance for caterers and managers.
 

When problems arise

If you feel your business is getting into financial difficulties, contact the Stoke and Staffordshire business helpline as soon as possible on 0300 111 8002 or e-mail businessenquiries@stokestaffslep.org.uk to be put in contact with organisations that may be able to help you.

If you are struggling to pay rent, talk to your landlord as soon as you realise this is an issue - they may be willing to offer more favourable terms. For issues with rates contact the Council's business rates team on 01782 715500

In the worst case, if you are considering insolvency, look at the advice from the Insolvency Service. The Law Donut site also has concise information about the questions you need to be considering (external links).


Last updated 18 December 2018

 
 
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