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500th Request for assistance (24/06/09)
Business Gateway, 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 with the 500th request for advice and assistance since the service started on 1 April.
Enquiries have come via the national website www.bgateway.com and the national telephone number 0845 609 6611 while 30% of enquiries have been generated by 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, Chairman 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.”