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17 June 2016

Wessex Business Bytesize - Issue 199

Police warning over 'ringing the change' scam 

A message from Hampshire Constabulary: Protect your stores from losing money and remind all staff to be vigilant for sleight of hand scam commonly known as 'ringing the change'.

The fraud commonly involves shop staff being persuaded into exchanging denominations of what can be substantial sums of money by a seemingly innocent customer. The customer may also purchase a low value item and then cancel the transaction but confuse the cashier and not return all of the original change or request to change money into a foreign currency at a bureau de change but then change their mind. Thieves will then ask for their original money back but remove notes so the full amount isn't returned, leaving the store with more money than they entered with.

These are well practiced criminals who use well rehearsed patter, distraction and sleight of hand to take advantage of a shop workers good will and eagerness to provide customer satisfaction. Be on your guard and be cautious of any customer requesting to change large denomination notes, or cancelling a transaction once the cash is already in the till.

Is your Wi-Fi as fast as it could be?

Maybe not.  And there's a whole spectrum of reasons why you may not be getting the most out of your wireless router.  The good news is that Ofcom has created an app for your smartphone or tablet that can tell you if your home Wi-Fi set-up is slowing down your broadband.  They even have some tips on what you can do to fix it.
Download the Ofcom Wi-Fi Checker app for Android
Download the Ofcom Wi-Fi Checker app for IOS

Seeking our successful younger entrepreneurs 

We are currently trying to find our younger entrepreneurial members who may wish to inspire others to achieve greater success. If you are one, or know of any members who may fit the bill, and who would be happy to share their experiences, we would be delighted to hear from you. Please contact Neil Eames.

Applications for Smallbiz100 are now open! 

In the lead up to this year's Small Business Saturday taking place on Saturday 3rd December, applications for this year's SmallBiz100 are now open. If you are a small business that would like to be profiled as one of the SmallBiz100 2016 then click here to visit the Small Business Saturday UK website to sign up.

Small Biz 100 highlights 100 small businesses, one each day for the 100 days leading up to Small Business Saturday. For the last three years, the 100 have not only received exposure on social media channels and in the local and national press, but also joined the Small Business Saturday team in London at receptions in both Downing Street and The Treasury Drum with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne. Applications will be open for one month, so don't delay! 

Reminder - West Quay Road overnight resurfacing 

West Quay Road is being resurfaced overnight from Monday, 20 June and is expected to take up to six weeks to complete (weather permitting). Work will be between 8pm and 5.30am, Sunday to Friday.

West Quay Road will be open as normal during the day. Work has been broken down into six sections each taking 4 to 5 nights to complete, with these sections being planned to maintain as much access as possible and minimise disruption. There are no planned Saturday night closures and only some Friday night works.

More information including road closure and access maps for each phase and answers to frequently asked questions can be found online. If you have any additional questions, you can contact

Winchester Business Survey

Winchester City Council is keen to ensure that the services offered for business are shaped by business input, and would be grateful if you would consider finding a few minutes to respond to their business survey. The Council is also looking to improve the way it delivers regulatory services for business though the government's Better Business for All programme, and want to support business growth by identifying the issues facing local businesses and shaping the provision of their services to support this. 

Unlocking overseas opportunities business seminar

An interactive discussion with a UK Trade Advisor to help you explore opportunities of trading abroad, at Basingstoke Golf Club, from 7.30am to 9.30am on Wednesday 22 June. Follow the link for more information and to register.

Fit for finance

One of the biggest challenges to growth for most businesses, big or small, is managing the finances. Keeping good financial records, understanding the number of funding options and making the best business case - 'de-risking' the proposition can be daunting especially for those without a professional financial background.

This session, at the Innovation Centre, Basingstoke, from 10am to 12.30pm on Wednesday 30 June, clarifies the finance and funding process, giving you the clarity and confidence to approach potential funders to help you achieve your growth objectives. Follow the link for more details and to register.

Building a sustainable city: how can business leadership create a greener Bournemouth?

Together, BU and Bournemouth Borough Council have been working to establish a Sustainable Business Leaders Group, with the aim of developing a thriving green economy and a vision of Bournemouth as a sustainable city.

Come along to the BU Talbot Campus on Monday 27 June, from 14:00 to 17:00, to hear from businesses across the region who are already contributing to sustainable development and also to find out how you can get involved. Tickets can be booked via the BU website  for this Free event.

New Agri-tech centre opens at Kingston Maurward College

Kingston Maurward College has officially unveiled its new £1.2 million state-of-the-art agri-tech centre co-financed with funds secured by Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership through the Dorset Growth Deal.

The contemporary agri-tech centre took five months to build and positions Kingston Maurward College at the forefront of agricultural training facilities in the region. The purpose built facility comprises an agricultural classroom, an IT suite, a high spec workshop and machinery facilities including a fleet of tractors, a GPS tractor, plough, sprayer and variable rate drill. Follow the link for further details.  

Have your say on Poole's Local Plan Review

Poole Borough Council are consulting on Issues and Options for the Local Plan Review until the 8 August 2016. Full details of the consultation are available online.

There are two consultation documents that the Council are seeking views about: Housing and Other Development Sites; and Development Management Policies. Poole has a need to provide 14,200 homes at a rate of 710 homes per year in the period 2013 to 2033.

There also remains a need to deliver other new employment, retail, infrastructure and open spaces alongside additional housing to provide a balanced economy and maintain Poole as a high quality place to live and work.

You can email a response to the Planning Department and feedback will be used to help prepare the Draft Local Plan which will be published for consultation in spring 2017 with a view to the Plan being adopted in spring 2018.  

There are also several consultation drop in events, see list here.  

What do you need to consider when growing your business?

Get Set for Growth in conjunction with Christchurch and East Dorset Councils, are running two interactive workshops for businesses who have an ambition to grow but are unsure of the route or direction to follow. The workshop will help you to clarify business ideas and define long-term objectives.  

Find out more and to book onto a workshop in June or July.

Business Jelly comes to Christchurch

Thursday 9th June saw the first business Jelly in Christchurch. Jellies, which are aimed at business people who are based at home are a worldwide concept that is becoming more and more popular as the way we work changes. Find out more here.

Property Pilot

Property Pilot is a commercial property database providing a free online search facility on building and site availability for employment purposes across Dorset. It covers offices, studios, retail units, industrial premises, warehousing and workshops. Find out more here.

See how FSB have campaigned on this issue