Telford & Wrekin Council’s Invest Telford team has launched the Thrive Telford business support programme.
Set up to drive business creation, innovation and growth the first part of the programme will provide a fully-funded business advice service.
The service will be available to SME businesses – from start-ups that have been trading for six months through to those with growth aspirations.
It offers opportunities for businesses to engage with consultants with a wealth of experience and specialisms across a wide range of business sectors and help local businesses achieve the next milestone on their journey.
Businesses will be able to access a range of practical support to help them increase and improve their business resilience and productivity.
This could include strategic planning, financial planning (including accountancy and accessing alternative finance) and digital expertise to help businesses get online and implement new systems.
Sales and marketing experts can work with businesses to look at new ways of reaching customers/markets, the effectiveness of sales and diversify products or services.
Businesses can also access support with clean growth and moving to net zero, innovation development and learn to adopt new processes and systems through the service.
The service will offer specific support for social enterprises so that they can access the same level of business support to transform lives and communities in Telford and Wrekin.
Since September 2020, Telford & Wrekin Council has delivered successful programmes of 1-2-1 specialist support to over 170 local businesses.
This new service builds on this to direct support where it’s needed, so as well as businesses becoming more resilient the local business community can also thrive.
Businesses which have benefited from previous support include Webster-Wilkinson Ltd, 8 Financial Planning and retail business Cosibox.
James Russell, Managing Director of Webster-Wilkinson Ltd, said: “Our expert business consultant’s experience in the manufacturing sector was invaluable in understanding the specific pressures we face on the ground and at board level.
“He was particularly helpful in pointing us to the latest government-backed schemes and supporting us with financial and structural guidance in our efforts to grow the business.
Our professional consultant was also responsive, knowledgeable and supportive and provided real world, expert guidance to support our business.
Rikesh Bhatt, Director of 8 Financial Planning, said: “The help we received from Invest Telford has been invaluable.
“It has given us access to a well thought out and a reasoned outside perspective and holds us accountable to the actions we’ve pledged to do which has achieved amazing results. I would wholeheartedly recommend this support.”
Lucy Clark, of Cosibox, said: “The 1-2-1 business support I received was so valuable. It gave me the focus and insight that I needed to come up with a clear and realistic plan.
“I felt a renewed sense of excitement about my future business journey and it was just the boost I needed.”
Councillor Lee Carter (Lab), Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet member for place (the economy & neighbourhood services), said: “We have already offered extensive specialist support to businesses across the borough and are delighted to launch this new ‘Thrive Telford’ business advice service.
“This latest package of support underlines our commitment to helping Telford businesses grow and prosper but also guide them through the individual and financial challenges they face.
“Our team of experts can support businesses with a whole range of specialisms covering a huge spectrum of topics – making sure they are well-placed for the future and continue to go from strength-to-strength.”
Delivered by Telford & Wrekin Council with the UK Shared Prosperity Fund* this two year programme will help people secure local jobs and support businesses to start, grow and innovate.
The next package of support to be launched are grant-based funds for businesses who can demonstrate growth and job creation, expansion into new markets, the introduction of new products and services or the adoption of new technologies.
The Thrive Telford business advice service is a great place to start for businesses with a project that is being developed or in the pipeline.
To find out more about the Thrive Telford business advice service and to apply visit: www.investtelford.co.uk/business-advice-service