Bumper year for Business Gate­way Ar­gyll

The Oban Times - - Business - SIGI KOERNER edi­tor@oban­times.co.uk

NEW fig­ures from Business Gate­way Ar­gyll and Bute in­di­cate a year of suc­cess.

Between April 2016 and March 2017, the or­gan­i­sa­tion has helped 104 com­pa­nies start up and has sup­ported al­most 1,000 ex­ist­ing busi­nesses.

Business Gate­way held 154 work­shops in Ar­gyll and Bute, draw­ing nearly 1,000 at­ten­dees. It also boasts an 86 per cent oneyear sur­vival rate for its clients – higher than the 80 per cent na­tional av­er­age.

The an­nual first-year turnover of Business Gate­way’s clients in Ar­gyll and Bute is pro­jected to be £ 3.7 mil- lion, and the new busi­nesses ex­pect to cre­ate 109 full­time jobs.

Ar­gyll and Bute Coun­cil leader Aileen Morton said: ‘Th­ese fig­ures are a real suc­cess story for Business Gate­way Ar­gyll and Bute.

‘We are proud to be one of Scot­land’s most promis­ing re­gions, and this hugely suc­cess­ful year is tes­ta­ment to that.

‘To­gether with the coun­cil and our other part­ners, Business Gate­way is help­ing build a pros­per­ous fu­ture, boost the econ­omy and make Ar­gyll and Bute an at­trac­tive place in which to in­vest, work and live.

‘ With re­sults like this, a host of new busi­nesses launch­ing and ex­ist­ing firms grow­ing, we’re go­ing from strength to strength.

‘If you are think­ing of start­ing a new business, or are al­ready op­er­at­ing and would like to take ad­van­tage of Business Gate­way’s sup­port, please get in touch and the ad­vis­ers will be happy to help.’

Business Gate­way of­fers free and im­par­tial ad­vice to any­one want­ing to start up or de­velop a business and pro­vides one-to- one sup­port from its ad­vis­ers and ar­ranges a va­ri­ety of lo­cally-run cour­ses.

Among the suc­cess sto­ries is He­lens­burgh res­i­dent and for­mer army medic Me­lanie Neil, who launched an ar­ti­san choco­late shop called Co­coaMo.

Me­lanie said: ‘I was keen to make Business Gate­way my first stop be­fore I launched Co­coaMo, as I had no pre­vi­ous business ex­pe­ri­ence. My ad­viser had a wealth of in­for­ma­tion, pro­vid­ing me with de­tails from ac­count­ing to food stan­dards con­tacts.’

Business Gate­way also sup­ported the Dunoon-based firm Ar­chiteco.

Founder Colin Pot­ter set up Ar­chiteco in 2011 to offer tech­no­log­i­cally com­pet­i­tive sus­tain­able ar­chi­tec­ture.

Mr Pot­ter called the scheme ‘a huge in­vest­ment for a small business’. He added: ‘Our ad­viser has been in­cred­i­bly help­ful and we are now look­ing at other op­por­tu­ni­ties to ex­plore, such as staff train­ing that will be­ing new skills to our prac­tice.’

Me­lanie Neil launched choco­late shop Co­coaMo.

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