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Solent LEP supporting businesses to adapt to change

10 January 2019

A core value for the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is a commitment to supporting small and medium sized businesses in the region; this relates particularly in the areas of safeguarding jobs and supporting business growth, both of which they have been extremely successful.

Successes include:
• Over £10 million LEP grants invested in small and medium sized businesses
• Over 270 small and medium sized businesses funded; including more than 70 new start-ups
• Nearly 1,000 businesses and start-ups have received support from their Growth Hub team
• Over 1,400 jobs created or safeguarded through LEP support

In line with this commitment to support small businesses the LEP has been engaging with companies at the Apex Centre since January last year, and with those at Bury Farm since 2016, providing support to those seeking new premises due to the re-use of industrial land on a one to one basis through dedicated points of contact at the Solent Growth Hub team.

Building on this bespoke support, businesses affected were invited to a free half-day event to meet with other support providers to fast-track information to businesses in support of their future plans, including experts with market-leading knowledge in areas such as commercial property, funding, finance, law, tax and business support.

Brian Johnson, Solent LEP Business Director and Small & Medium Sized Enterprises (SME) Business Ambassador said:

"We recognise that a number of small businesses are being impacted across these two sites and for that reason we have been engaging with them and have offered dedicated support on an individual basis through the LEP's Solent Growth Hub. The drop-in event yesterday was the latest in a host of opportunities that have been available to these businesses and it was designed to provide them access to a wider range of business support.

It is a challenging time for them, and we will continue to engage with them to provide as much support as possible."

Expert advice was on hand at the free half day event with representatives from Funding Circle, Vail Williams and Lambert Smith Hampton the commercial property agents, the accountancy firm Menzies, lawyers Coffin Mew, the Federation of Small Businesses, Barclays and five local authority economic development teams.

The Solent LEP Growth Hub team will continue to work with effected businesses seeking support.

More widely, when considering the approaching Brexit deadline at the end March, the Solent Growth Hub team can help access advice, guidance and support to individual businesses based in the Solent LEP area. The service is completely free and confidential.

The Hub is currently running a series of business masterclasses aimed at helping small and medium sized businesses in a number of different industry areas. Launched last month, the first event focused on exporting and offered businesses who are considering entering into new markets practical guidance and advice from experts.

This set of business masterclasses will be accompanied by Solent LEP funding application workshops, and monthly business clinics that are available to any small and medium sized businesses in the Solent LEP region. The next masterclass will focus on customer engagement and a dedicated series of Brexit support sessions will be announced shortly.

To find out more about the free business masterclasses, Brexit support, funding application workshops and monthly business clinics, please email enquiries@solentlep.co.uk

More information about support around Brexit, can be found here