Latest News | 11 June 2024

Business support scheme engages over 1,100 companies

East Midlands Chamber
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A government-funded project being delivered by East Midlands Chamber to provide tailored business support has engaged more than 1,100 firms so far.

The Accelerator project, which is funded by the Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF), was established in the autumn and is being delivered by the chamber in Derby, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicester.

Evaluation of the project’s performance at its halfway point has identified over 1,100 businesses that have been engaged and are working with a business adviser to boost their growth.

Alongside one-to-one support from a business adviser, the project has so far also delivered the following:

*102 growth vouchers up to the value of £2,000 to help businesses access tailored, one-to-one consultancy support to introduce digital technology and green measures.

*300 workshops and webinars successfully attracting over 7,000 delegates.

*50 energy saving and improvement audit approvals to help businesses create an action plan to save money.

Businesses signing up to the project have also been introduced to the wealth of additional support available from other regional and national sources.

For innovative SMEs, this includes growth and scale-up support from Innovate UK Business Growth.

Manufacturing micro and small businesses can also benefit from Made Smarter support on how to switch to advanced and automated technologies.

Diane Beresford, the chamber’s deputy chief executive, said: “From our launch events onwards, we’ve listened to what businesses want in terms of what, where, when and how they would like to access Accelerator support.

“Chamber and D2N2 Growth Hub support is undoubtedly at its best when businesses are given a helping hand to apply for support from other sources, including grant funding and pitching for investor support.

“The Accelerator project has some challenging targets including the creation and safeguarding of jobs, creating new enterprises, accessing new technologies or processes and engagement in knowledge transfer activity.

“We’re certainly on the right trajectory to achieve that and for any business yet to sign up, I would urge them to seize the opportunity before the project ends in March of next year.”

Among the companies which have received support through Accelerator is menswear brand Mr Shaw, which is in Sadler Gate, Derby.

Run by Karl and Emma Shaw, the business received a Derby Accelerator High Street Grant, which allowed it to create an outside café bar, enabling customers to enjoy their beverages in a quiet and relaxing garden oasis away from the bustle of the high-street front.

The business has also been awarded an Accelerator growth voucher to implement a social media strategy, which is helping to raise awareness of the new café bar with a new audience.

Karl, designer and director at Mr Shaw, said: “The support received from the chamber has been a breath of fresh air.

“They’ve really taken the time to understand our business and the vision we have to progress our brand and Sadler Gate.

“The High Street Grant scheme allows us to push forward our vision and make things possible. We’re truly grateful that retail businesses are being supported in this way.”

To find out more about Accelerator visit .

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