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Keep Business Healthy to Beat the Crunch Add News61 to Scrapbook
A FREE informative guide and an online healthcheck have been launched by Business Link to help businesses across the High Peak 'Beat the Crunch'

With many businesses worried about the potential impact of the credit crunch, Business Link's team of advisers is working with High Peak Borough Council to help local companies access timely information and advice to protect themselves against any potential adverse business conditions.

Business Link's informative guide and business healthcheck tool are being complemented by a series of Beat the Crunch events planned across the region. The aim is to encourage local businesses to take positive steps and help them identify areas that could improve both their business performance and competitiveness during any possible downturn they might experience.

"The main thing is for people to contact us before things get serious," says Paul Stuart, Derbyshire Area Manager for the regional Business Link service. "There is a lot of help, advice and support available to help businesses tackle difficult situations. The earlier they get in touch, the better able we will be to help them access the information and support that is right for their needs."

He adds: "Now is also the time to look at ensuring your business is smart and efficient. By taking steps now, businesses can reduce the impact that the current economic situation may have and access help to avoid running into serious problems. Sometimes, re-evaluating the business can even help to identify new opportunities for growth or diversification."

Companies can get further information and guidance on any aspect of their business from Business Link's team of local advisers.

The team of experts is available to help review performance and identify any improvements that can help to achieve strategic business goals and what effective steps can be taken to manage cash flow. They can also provide additional access to information and signpost to other specialist business support services available to help address individual needs.

A FREE event, designed to help local businesses Combat the Crunch is being held at the Gateway Centre in Derby on Thursday, November 13, 2008, from 8.30am to 10.30am.

To secure your place, request a copy of the FREE information guide or receive advice on how to access online tools to help you Beat the Crunch, contact Business Link on 0845 058 6644, or email info@businesslinkem.co.uk.

WellConnected Roadshow Add News60 to Scrapbook

The easy way to learn about business technology.

As part of the DDEP's Derbyshire WellConnected ICT help and advice programme, a series of FREE ICT Roadshows will be taking place during October and November at venues all over Derbyshire. A fully equipped mobile ICT suite will be manned by a team of ICT experts who are available for you to speak with about any ICT matter. If you want to know :

  • how to apply for business tenders on-line,
  • how to use the internet to make telephone calls and save money,
  • what type of software will benefit my business
  • how can I introduce computers into my business

Advisers will be able to answer any query you have.

15 Oct


Promenade to the back of Pavilion Gardens

17 Oct


Norfolk Square in Glossop Town Centre

22 Oct


Agricultural Business Centre

23 Oct


Public Car Park opposite Sainsbury's

24 Oct


Quality Hotel Ashbourne


Launch of LEADER Funding will Help Develop Rural Economy Add News56 to Scrapbook

£1.9m funding provided by the European Union and Defra is now available until 2013 to help develop the Rural Economy.

Micro-enterprises and land based businesses within the Peak District Rural Action Zone (RAZ), covering large parts of Derbyshire Dales, Staffordshire Moorlands and High Peak, will be able to apply for funding to help them diversify their interests and become more sustainable thanks to the launch of Derby and Derbyshire Economic Partnership’s (DDEP) new LEADER funding.

LEADER will be co-ordinated by the Local Action Group (LAG), which comprises 15 public, private and voluntary sector representatives, all with local knowledge and expertise. Local members include Councillor Tracey Critchlow, Farming Life Centre Manager.

Over the next few months, the focus will be on helping the land-based sector to diversify into non-agricultural activities, particularly within the food and drink, creative industry and environmental sectors. Eligible projects will have a value of at least £7,000 and could include applications for funding towards the cost of feasibility studies, market research, start-up capital and revenue costs, product development and refurbishment projects.

Alongside this, LEADER funding will support the creation and development of micro-enterprises and social enterprises. New start-up businesses and existing businesses employing less than ten people will be able to apply for match-funding grants to help set-up and market a new business venture, develop local products or refurbish and convert a property for business use. To be eligible for funding, businesses must have a focus on local products or services and deliver clear economic benefits, particularly on job creation.

In the future, grants will also be available through LEADER for projects and businesses that will contribute to tourism in the area; enhance and develop rural heritage; projects that help raise skills and address specific skills gaps in rural provision; and activities that improve access to key rural services.

The LEADER approach has a cross cutting theme of ‘growing greener enterprise’ and will therefore give priority to any proposals that make use of environmental technologies and/or renewable energy solutions and those that integrate environmental management and resource efficiency principles into their proposals.

Cllr Lewis Rose Chair of the Local Action Group commented:

“The LEADER approach has been designed to address gaps identified in the current provision within the Rural Action Zone and complement existing activities, so that we can help to support our key industry sectors, such as land based businesses, micro-enterprises, tourism and heritage.”

“The first phase of grant activity has been designed to help support organisations that are most likely to be affected by a slowing economy – micro-enterprises and agricultural businesses. So I would encourage any business that meets the criteria and is looking to diversify its interests or develop a new project to apply.”

LEADER has received £1.9million from the Rural Development Programme for England 2007 – 2013.

£1.6 million has been awarded from East Midlands Development Agency (emda) together with an additional £285,000 funding from Advantage West Midlands (AWM).

For further information about the LEADER project and grant eligibility, visit www.ddep.co.uk/rural-forum/leader-/. Alternatively e-mail Amanda.Brown@ddep.co.uk.

Social Enterprise Seen as Worthy but Inefficient Add News59 to Scrapbook

Research into current levels of understanding and awareness of social enterprise, carried out for the Office of the Third Sector, has revealed a high level of confusion. In those surveyed, when asked to pick out social businesses from a list of candidates the largest number chose Comic Relief or Childline, rather than the likes of Eden Project or Big Issue. And the sector is seen as vague, woolly, worthy, small and inefficient.

See Social Enterprise magazine news item, www.socialenterpriselive.com or the OTS short summary which has a link to a presentation (PowerPoint style) of the findings.

DDEP Grants Add News57 to Scrapbook

DDEP currently has Invitations to Apply for Grant Funding for both revenue and capital projects. These cover both DDEP’s main programme and the remaining allocation available to the Peak District Rural Action Zone (RAZ) up to March 2011. Whilst the priorities identified are relevant to the RAZ, projects will be prioritised which demonstrate clear fit with the specific actions in the RAZ Action Plan 2008-11 (available on the website) and address gaps in current provision. Emphasis will be placed on developing rural-market town linkages and activity in Market Towns.

Bradwell's Ice Cream Seals Tesco Deal Add News58 to Scrapbook

Supermarket giant Tesco has agreed to stock ice cream made in a Peak District village at more of its stores.

Bradwell's Ice Cream is celebrating after the chain agreed to sell its range of traditionally-made ice creams in 52 of its Midlands stores. The product, which has been made in Bradwell since 1899, is currently sold in 13 Tesco stores.

James Gough, Tesco's regional marketing manager, said: "We are proud to support local producers and sell locally- produced products."

Source: Derby Evening Telegraph

Future Farms Food Club Add News55 to Scrapbook

Organised by the Farming Life Centre in conjunction with the Peak District National Park Authority, the Future Farms Food Club aims to promote and encourage the use of food grown and produced in the Peak District.

The Club will hold seven one-day events where participants will visit a business which already makes, uses or promotes local foods and learn from its experiences. Venues will include food producers, retailers and users, such as hotels, tearooms, farm shops, village stores and delicatessans.

Each event will include an interactive seminar where topics covered will encourage sharing of ideas and development of skills. Time for networking will be built in, so participants will be able to make new contacts and talk with like-minded business people.

The first meeting will be on 23 September at The Maynard in Grindleford, with subsequent events in October in Ilam and November in Hathersage. For more information and a copy of the programme visit www.thefarminglifecentre.org.uk, email juliacook@thefarminglifecentre.org.uk or telephone 01298 85162. Booking essential.

Farming Life Centre Manager, Julia Cook said, “We want to bring together farmers, producers, retailers and other businesses using local food, to promote improved development, availability and use of local food products in Peak District communities and businesses.”

Consultation on Peak District National Park Recreation Needs Add News54 to Scrapbook

The Peak District National Park Authority, working with a range of partner organisations, is asking what recreational activities people do now and how that might change in the future.

As well as traditional activities such as walking, climbing, horse riding, mountain biking and caving the survey will also ask questions about the quality of services offered at visitor and cycle hire centres, car parks and toilets.

Members of the public can have their say through an online questionnaire by visiting www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/consultations any time until 3 October.  Paper copies are available by ringing Penny Aitken on 01629 816343.

The information gained will be used to plan how to manage demand and deliver services to support recreational activities in the national park; to meet government targets to increase physical activity; and to raise awareness of the special qualities of national parks and what they can offer for different groups.

Judy Merryfield, recreation strategy team manager, said: “This will be one of the biggest surveys carried out in the Peak District to find out what people are doing with their time when they come here to help us plan how to improve opportunities for all.”

“It only takes a few minutes to fill in the questionnaire so we hope as many people as possible will take the opportunity to give us the information we need to plan services better with our partners.

“We are also really keen to hear from people who don’t use the national park to find out what is putting them off and what services they would want to see before they would feel comfortable coming.”

Business Idea Competition Add News53 to Scrapbook

If you are thinking of setting up your own business, or have just started and are looking for new premises, Westthorpe Innovation Business Centre in Killamarsh is offering free space for a year, valued at £2,500, for the best business idea in North East Derbyshire.

The offer, a joint initiative between North East Derbyshire District Council and Derbyshire Enterprise Agency, is for new businesses: applicants will have to submit a business plan and explain their idea to a team of dragons' den style judges. Find out more from D&N Chamber's events team - tel 01332 851280 or email events@dncc.co.uk

Derby University Offers Computer Security Tips for Business Add News52 to Scrapbook

The University of Derby is launching a new programme of events to help businesses improve their computer security. The School of Computing has come up with the idea behind the Derbyshire Information Security Consortium.

The aim of the consortium is to share knowledge with local businesses about computer security - and through the relationship encourage firms to offer workplaces to its students.

The consortium will stage a free programme of guest speakers on computer security, enabling students and interested firms to hear about the latest ways of keeping data and information secure.

Source: Derby Evening Telegraph

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