City of Wolverhampton Council’s Business Development Team is looking for 25 Wolverhampton-based companies to join the final phase of its fully-funded European business growth support project, AIM.
It is just one of the opportunities the Black Country Growth Hub will be showcasing to local businesses at the ‘Small Business, Big Impact’ on Monday, September 24.
The event is part of the city’s annual Business Programme and will take place at the Black Country Growth Hub’s HQ, at the Science Park, Glaisher Drive, WV10 9RT, between noon and 2pm. To book a place visit www.investwolverhampton.com
By the end of 2018 the city council will have teamed up with 150 small businesses through the AIM programme to help identify and provide access to a bespoke business support package to help them grow.
Companies work alongside their own business growth specialist to tailor the support to ensure the business receives all the grants, specific guidance, marketing support and connections that lead to the expansion and sustainability of the business.
The programme is popular among businesses who are looking to grow, investigate new market places, move premises, take on staff or buy plant/equipment.
It has already attracted companies ranging from digital and media to advanced manufacturers supplying the automotive, rail and aerospace sectors. Many of these companies have a fantastic customer base – including the BBC, JLR, Aston Martin, UTC Aerospace and Bentley, and have supplied high-profile projects such as Heathrow Terminal 5 and the Piccadilly Extension Line.
The programme has also provided companies access to European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Black Country Transformational GOLD grants, set up to support a variety of growth projects.
Councillor John Reynolds, Cabinet Member for City Economy, said: “There are thousands of small businesses in the city that employ less than 100 people.
“These businesses account for a staggering 97 per cent of our business base and are businesses that we are keen to support.
“The AIM programme funded through the EU, the city council, and other local partners including the University of Wolverhampton and the Black Country Chamber of Commerce, is showing our commitment to this important group of businesses.”
Luke Plant, Director at Infinity Tubes based in Dixon Street, added: “The support received from the city council’s Business Development Team has been invaluable.
“It seems that you cannot ask them for the wrong thing, with advice and support for numerous matters being there when you need it.
“When you feel like the world is against you, things are stacking up and you don’t know which way to turn, a quick conversation with one of the business advisors can lead to a world of opportunities – and it’s nice to know that help is out there.”
Adam Mercy at 22 is one of City of Wolverhampton’s youngest entrepreneurs – setting up his company Air Accounting at the city’s Chubb Building after just a couple of years working for a major accountancy firm.
A key focus of his business growth plan has been to develop apps with features that make accounting and tax easier, to help improve the service.
He said: “The AIM project has helped us to define a clear marketing plan to take our business to the next level.
“Our business advisor provided us with professional guidance and helped us to identify the support available that will assist our business in achieving growth.
“We were further helped to tailor the specifics of our digital marketing strategy to strengthen our understanding of our key target audience and locations.”