Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - OPINION -

BUCK­ING­HAMSHIRE is a good place to start a busi­ness, pri­mar­ily be­cause of the ex­cel­lent skills base in this county.

There are other pos­i­tive fac­tors such as good trans­port links na­tion­ally and in­ter­na­tion­ally, with the grow­ing strength of our com­mu­ni­ca­tions links. I find that there is also a strong ethos of en­ter­prise and in­no­va­tion in our area, which en­cour­ages peo­ple to think about start­ing their own busi­ness. In the past it has some­times been dif­fi­cult to get ad­vice about tak­ing those first steps. There is now a web­site www.great­busi­, which pro­vides a place to find sources of in­for­ma­tion and prac­ti­cal ad­vice for the many ques­tions for which some­one set­ting up a new busi­ness is go­ing to have.

For those at the very start of their busi­ness ca­reer, there is a tem­plate Busi­ness Plan to study. There’s a Busi­ness Sup­port tool­kit which en­ables the user to en­ter details about the busi­ness and which then sug­gests which re­sources and schemes could be avail­able to help the en­ter­prise develop. Just a few of the ar­eas cov­ered in­clude fi­nance; em­ploy­ment and skills; new mar­kets; new ideas; and reg­u­la­tion. There are case stud­ies on is­sues like tax re­liefs and about tak­ing on ap­pren­tices. This re­source is open to ex­ist­ing busi­nesses so that they can re­fresh their knowl­edge and con­sider ways of de­vel­op­ing the en­ter­prise and help it to ex­pand. Busi­nesses whether brand new or well-es­tab­lished need to ful­fil their re­spon­si­bil­i­ties to em­ploy­ees and learn more about work­place pen­sions or the min­i­mum wage. There is also a Busi­ness Fi­nance Guide which cov­ers the fi­nan­cial spec­trum from start-ups to stock mar­ket flota­tions.

There are times when every en­tre­pre­neur needs a bit of help and ad­vice from a real, live per­son. The Great Busi­ness Sup­port line en­ables peo­ple to do this by tele­phone – 0300 456 3565, where they can speak to an ad­vi­sor. This ser­vice is avail­able on­line too, Mon­day to Fri­day, with the busi­ness hours of 9am to 6pm.

In­for­ma­tion is also avail­able through weekly emails, through an app, or on so­cial me­dia: for in­stance, the Face­book pages have re­cently fea­tured a se­ries of short videos about as­pects of ex­port­ing.

DO­MINIC GRIEVE MP for Bea­cons­field

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