December 2013 – Written Question – Support to New Businesses

by Nigel Bakhai on 20 December, 2013

Question

What advice or support does the council provide for new businesses wishing to start up in the borough?

Are there also any plans to update the council webpage on this subject which is very limited in the amount of information provided?

Answer

The Council does not have a formal business support and advice department for new businesses wishing to start up.

We deliver a number of programmes and initiatives some in partnership with other stakeholders (for example

community organisations, and Traders group) that help to support businesses. Examples are listed in the table below:-

Ealing Business Partnership (EBP)

Ealing Business Partnership is a borough wide business partnership open to all businesses in the borough. Originally established as a mechanism for formal consultation between the Council and local businesses, it has recently been revised to create a more collaborative and broader approach. The EBP has elected a business Chairperson and agreed to hold three (rather than one) meetings or events a year. These events will focus on issues identified by business and to provide more opportunities for networking.

The recent improvements to the EBP have resulted in improved attendance, increased profile and provide an opportunity to expand the activities of the partnership to create more effective business engagement, collaboration and through this support business growth.

There are opportunities to continue to develop the partnership as a key LSP ‘prosperity’ partnership and to encourage engagement of businesses and development of value-adding activities through the EBP work programme.

Business Improvement Districts (BID)

(a) Ealing Broadway BID

(b) A Bid in West Ealing

A Business Improvement District (BID) is a partnership between a local authority and the local business community to develop projects and services that will benefit the trading environment within the boundary of a clearly defined commercial area. Ealing has an established BID – the Ealing Broadway BID Company has been successful in securing private sector funds of £400k for central Ealing. These funds have helped to ensure the town centre remains vibrant in the face of competition.

BID campaign is underway in West Ealing- the results of the ballot will be known in April 2014. Other town centres are being explored for possible BIDs- feasibility is due to start in Southall.

Southall Big Conversation

Southall Destination Market

The Big Conversation was a year-long dialogue between the stakeholders of Southall and the Council to set out a shared Vision to shape its future. Over 1,400 people including local businesses were consulted. One of the outcomes was a Patrons group set up with local businesses to provide resources to champion business related initiatives.

The Council is working in Partnership with the University of West London to create a Southall Destination Market- The objective is to attract new shoppers to Southall and provide opportunities for local businesses to gain exposure to a wider audience and increase footfall.

West Ealing Innovation and Riot Recovery

With £300,000 from the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) as part of the High Street Innovation Fund and Riot Recovery Fund, a partnership was formed with the voluntary and community sector, local businesses, Ealing BID, educational establishments and young people to develop a vision and projects for West Ealing to help improve the vitality and vibrancy of the town centre. To date projects agreed specifically to address businesses’ needs include: – A bid for West Ealing (notes above), A hub feasibility, a young people’s conference and a number of events aimed at increasing footfall to West Ealing.

Accession Social Enterprise

Accession Social Enterprise is a partnership between Ealing Council, West London Mental Health Trust and others.

Accession was formed as a company limited by guarantee in April 2011 and trades in horticulture, community retail, print & design, catering and arts & crafts. Accession provides training, volunteering and employment for adults with learning disabilities, physical disabilities and mental health conditions, as well as others who find it difficult to access employment through other routes. Accession also provides practical support to people who would like to set up their own social enterprise.

ShopFront improvement Programme

The Shopfront Improvement Scheme provides successful applicants with a grant of up to 90% of the cost of works. In addition, they receive £400 towards architect and planning fees.

The programme targets our town centres namely; Acton, Central Ealing, West Ealing, Hanwell and Southall.

Traders Association:-

Hanwell

Acton

Greenford

Hanwell Association of Traders (HAT) was the first traders association to be set up in Ealing. HAT promotes and supports local businesses though lobbying the council and other decision makers to act in the interests of traders.

HAT are particularly effective in supporting local traders in Hanwell and bringing businesses together to promote the Town centre by hosting events and activities.

Other Traders Association have been legally constituted with external funds (Acton and Greenford) but they are not as active as Hanwell – further work and engagement is required to help increase their membership and develop project ideas.

Introducing a Market Strategy

The aim is to open up opportunities for better quality markets to be set up in Ealing- with the potential to help young people start-up businesses to test trade their products and ideas on a market stall whilst keeping their overhead costs low.

Pop-Up shops

A Pop-Up shop can help to support new start-ups without the financial commitment of set up costs while they test trade their products and services, whilst adding vibrancy to High streets that have been blighted with empty premises. A Pop Up shop is opened in West Ealing. The shop will hosts up to 4 traders at a time- the first 4 businesses will start on 16th December and the project will run until 31st March.

Website: We have number of links to partner organisations on our website, we are currently reviewing its content and structure in particular with the aim of hosting information regarding support for businesses from partner organisations.

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