The Warwickshire and Coventry Small Business Info Zone, your one stop shop for small business information. Don't forget to check out the links section too!
If there's information you think we should have on here, let us know and we'll see what we can do.
How can Government help Small Businesses?
FSB Warwickshire & Coventry delivered a series of Real-Life Entrepreneur Workshops in conjunction with local MPs; that allowed local businesses to discuss their barriers to growth and to guide boththe FSB and the MP on what Government should focus on to stimulate the economy.
The events were held in :
- Solihull with Lorely Burt MP for Solihull
- Stratford with Nadhim Zahawi MP for Stratford-upon-Avon
- Coventry with Bob Ainsworth MP for Coventry North East
- Rugby with Mark Pawsey MP for Rugby
- Warwick with Chris White MP for Warwick & Leamington
- Nuneaton with Marcus Jones MP for Nuneaton & Dan Byles MP for North Warwickshire & Bedworth.
At the workshops the firms discussed a range of issues including access to finance, regulation and planning and they made suggestions for how simple changes can help small businesses concentrate on growth instead of administration.
Read the report on what issues are faced by businesses and the recommendations they make to Government!
Real-Life Entrepeneur Awards 2012
Coventry based business Maskarade have been awarded FSB Real-Life Entrepreneur of the year!
At the Federation of Small Businesses annual ‘Small Business Engagement' lunch on Friday 13th July founders of Maskarade - Dean Walton, Chris O'Nyan and Ray Duffy accepted their Real-Life Entrepreneur of the year award.
Maskarade were joined at the lunch by the other finalists D & D Chocolates and Luxury for Less.
The FSB recognises that setting up and running a business can be a daunting prospect, but the spirit of entrepreneurship that accompanies every new and growing business can also liberate, excite and inspire. The award form part of the FSB's Real-Life Entrepreneur Campaign, which was launched in 2011 to ensure that at every level of Government, entrepreneurs are viewed as potential wealth, growth and job creators of the future.
Ian O'Donnell, FSB Warwickshire & Coventry Regional Chairman said:
"Mask-arade are worthy winners. They are a recent start-up business who have achieved great success via a guerrilla marketing plan and by offering a unique, quality and expanding product range – and all of this was done during a recession."
Dean Walton, Maskarade said
"It is fantastic to be recognised for all the hard work that we have put in to Mask-arade over the last 4 years, from an original idea in a pub, we have gone from Chris's spare bedroom to Ray's garage to a barn before purchasing Albion House in Southam last year. We are proud to win the FSB award and will share our success by taking the entire workforce out to celebrate with us!" "It is great to have proved the TV Dragons wrong!"
FSB 'Small Business Friendly' Local Authority Awards
On Friday 13th July 2012 Coventry City Council and Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council, were awarded Best ‘All Round Small Business Friendliness' award as part of the FSB's Local Authority Awards at the Federation of Small Businesses annual ‘Small Business Engagement' lunch.
The awards, launched this year, provided an opportunity for all councils in Coventry, Warwickshire & Solihull to make known any project or initiative that promotes and champions local economic development. There were three awards which focused on small business friendliness:
- Best 'Small Business Friendly' Programme or Campaign
- Best 'Small Business Friendly' Procurement Policy
- Best all round 'Small Business Friendliness'
These awards form part of the FSB's Real-Life Entrepreneur Campaign, which was launched in 2011 to ensure that at every level of Government – national and local - entrepreneurs are viewed as potential wealth, growth and job creators of the future.
The award for the Best ‘Small Business Friendly' Procurement Policy was won by Nuneaton & Bedworth Borough Council and the Best ‘Small Business Friendly' Programme was won by Rugby Borough Council.
Ian O'Donnell, FSB Warwickshire and Coventry Chairman said:
"These awards are an excellent way to highlight the sometimes less well known support and initiatives that Councils provide the small business. We were impressed with Coventry City's application as it told us that 75% of the Councils supplier data base are SME's and that they all qualify to be paid within 10 days, they offer start-up, growth and efficiency support, as well as access to finance though their Enterprise and Business Growth package, and ‘meet the buyer. events . And these are just a few of the initiatives they are involved with.
We were delighted with Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council's application, particularly their procurement strategy which detailed how the council has signed up to the National Small Business Concordant, there overall SME focused enterprise support service - that supports new business from the pre-start stage - including young business in their first 12 months; and their proactive promotion of Small Business Rate Relief.
We awarded Rugby Borough Council the Best Programme or Campaign because of their unique and inclusive scheme that tackled one of the key issues highlighted in the FSB's Keep Trade Local campaign around the saviour of our high streets. The Council have worked in partnership to offer support – both in a financial sense and the essential support that new businesses need when starting a retail business.
And Nuneaton & Bedworth Borough Council won the Best Procurement Policy because they showed emphasis on analysis, which they then linked to economic spend; and they also reviewed and adopted appropriate insurance levels (PI) and Pre-Qualification Questionnaire's (PQQ) so that they were relevant to the contract size."
Enterprise Centres in the Warwick District
Warwick District Council have launched a number of affordable office premises and creative workspaces, with specialist business support services offered as part of the service. The projects are devised to support new and high-growth businesses.
For more information visit WDC Business Enterprise
Recession brings enormous pressures to businesses and it may be tempting for small firms to treat fraud as the least of their worries. The risk of fraud to businesses is at its greatest in times of economic downturn. Big companies can be badly shaken by fraud; small ones can be destroyed.
Fraud prevention is an essential part of any recession survival strategy.
The Fraud Advisory Panel have produced a 2 page guide to help small businesses protect their business from fraud.
For more information view the FRAUD FACTSHEET
Protection Against Fuel Thefts
As fuel prices rise, so does the number of fuel thefts. Fuel is being stolen from vehicles and storage tanks by the use of siphoning equipment that can vary from the basic tube to more sophisticated arrangements involving pumps, and the cutting of fuel lines.
View Warwickshire Police's Fuel Theft Factsheet, to find out more about how you can limit your chance of being a victim.
The Warwickshire and Coventry region of the FSB is warning businesses in the area to make sure they apply for the Rating Relief they are entitled to.
Previously, it was proposed that only firms with a single property of a rateable value under £10,000 would be granted any rates relief.
Information - Small Business Rate Relief