Worcestershire LEP Chair, Mark Stansfeld: 4 December 2015

Worcestershire has companies of all sizes which makes it a great place to do business and Small Business Saturday tomorrow (5 December 2015), is an opportunity to celebrate and promote our fantastic SMEs. I would encourage Worcestershire companies to take part and the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership is proud to be backing the campaign.

It is important that businesses of all sizes understand the wealth of business support available locally. Last month, we launched the £2m Worcestershire Growth Fund which, financed by the Worcestershire Growth Deal, provides grants of up to £100,000 for businesses looking to expand although higher levels of support could be considered in exceptional circumstances. The deadline for the first round of funding of 18 December is fast approaching and so do enquire as soon as possible via Worcestershire.Business.Central.

We are seeing the positive impact that Growth Deal funding is having across the County and I was therefore pleased to see continued support for Local Growth Deals in the Chancellor’s Spending Review and Autumn Statement last week, with Worcestershire’s allocation currently standing at £54.2m. Alongside the €68m EU programme, this is making a real difference to our local economy and whilst we continue to focus on delivering the schemes we have received funding for, we are also working to achieve more.

Finally, I would encourage all businesses to complete a short survey at www.wlep.co.uk which is designed to ascertain levels of interest in a service that could offer serviced office and meeting space within London on a flexible basis. The potential for a ‘Worcestershire Business Gateway’ service would enable small and medium sized companies across the County to more effectively market themselves in the UK’s capital city. We need your views before a decision can be made and so please take this, and other opportunities, to get more involved and to have your say on important decisions which could benefit your business.