Almost 60 businesses in the Scottish Borders are expecting to increase their turnover by at least £100,000 over the next three years after receiving support from the Business Gateway service.
A total of 219 new start-up businesses also began trading during 2016/17 after receiving free advice and support from the service, which is provided locally by Scottish Borders Council and offers information, advice and guidance to people who are considering starting a business or growing their existing business.
The service’s annual report was presented to the Council’s Executive Committee this week.
A total of 59 businesses are accessing growth support through Business Gateway, with 38 expecting to increase annual turnover by £100,000 in three years, 15 predicting growth of over £200,000 and four anticipating an increase of at least £400,000. A further two firms, who have accessed account management support, are targeting growth of over £1million.
The report to councillors also showed that almost 900 people attended workshops and seminars during the last financial year.
Councillor Mark Rowley, SBC’s Executive Member for Business and Economic Development, said: “Our Business Gateway service continues to deliver vital advice to local entrepreneurs and established businesses of all sizes, which helps them grow and develop, take on additional employees and expand into new markets or start exporting.
“The support provided is proven to have a positive impact on the survival of businesses and I’d encourage anyone in businesses in the Scottish Borders, or thinking about setting up a new business, to get in touch with the team and get this invaluable advice, which of course is free of charge.”
The Business Gateway service offers a ‘one-stop shop’ for business support enquiries as well as providing direct support and a conduit to other business support services provided by the Council and its partners, such as Scottish Enterprise and Skills Development Scotland.
The service’s business plan for the next year includes increasing the delivery of workshops in hard to reach communities and running more events which bring leading businesspeople to the Scottish Borders to inspire and stimulate innovation and improvement amongst the local business community.
Gordon Henderson, Senior Development Manager for the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), said: “Business Gateway is an essential source of expert help for businesses, new and existing, so I regularly signpost their workshops and advice services to FSB members in the Borders.
“The Business Gateway service in the Borders changed from a sectoral to a geographical approach last year to widen their reach across the region and that has paid-off with huge numbers attending their workshops.”