28 Feb 2013

Local company ensures success thanks to the South Cambridgeshire Business Support Service

Local company ensures success thanks to the South Cambridgeshire Business Support Service

A South Cambridgeshire business has been helped to beat the recession thanks to support and funding from a district council Business Support Service.

Delivered by Exemplas, on behalf of South Cambridgeshire District Council, the South Cambridgeshire Business Support Service has been providing free business advice and guidance to eligible business owners and those considering starting a business in a South Cambridgeshire district postcode.

A unique feature of the service is the Business Support Fund, providing up to £1,000 of funding to help businesses access specialist support or training they may not otherwise be able to afford.

Green Heat, a Girton-based domestic and commercial energy efficiency company, had been trading successfully but saw business decrease by 20% as a result of the economic downturn.  With new legislative regulations also being introduced, owner and manager Peter Thom knew that changes needed to be made to ensure the business would succeed.

The Green Deal Initiative, the Government’s flagship carbon emission reduction policy, was introduced for implementation in January 2013.  Peter recognised that the introduction of the Green Deal would have a significant effect on his business and its ability to continue providing many of its services, as it demanded for all of the company’s advisers and installers to receive new accreditation that would cost the business in terms of time and money.

However, Peter came across the South Cambridgeshire Business Support Service through his membership with the Federation of Small Businesses, and discovered Green Heat was eligible to receive support to overcome some of these new challenges to his business.

First of all, an experienced Business Adviser from the Business Support Service completed a business diagnostic process with Peter; building an action plan and identifying the solutions needed to take advantage of the new regulations, along with ways to attract new clients and maximise repeat business.

Peter was also advised that Green Heat was eligible to receive funding of up to £1,000 to implement the solutions identified in the action plan.  This funding contributed towards the training they required to become Green Deal-accredited, allowing the company to expand the range of services available to new and existing customers. 

Peter Thom, Owner and Manager of Green Heat said; “Following a meeting with our Business Adviser, who discussed and analysed the needs and requirements of Green Heat, I was able to access funding to assist with Green Deal training.  Without this training we would not be able to offer Green Deal services to new and existing clients which would have certainly affected the future success of our company.  I am pleased that South Cambridgeshire District Council is showing their support for local businesses in this way during these difficult times.”

Cllr Nick Wright, South Cambridgeshire District Council’s cabinet member for economic development, said: “The launch of this business support fund was really well-received as it is stepping in to fill the gap left by others.  Supporting businesses is a key objective for the Council and this new drive is building on the successes we have already had”.

The Business Support Service is available to anyone who has been running a business within a South Cambridgeshire postcode for at least 12 months and can demonstrate difficulties as a consequence of the recession.  Free workshops are available to all SME businesses and individuals considering starting up.

The free service will run until the end of March 2013.  For further information call 0844 346 0755 or email southcambsbusinesssupport@exemplas.com

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