Business support & starting up a new business

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This section contains information of use to existing and new businesses in St Albans.
BUSINESS SUPPORT - NEWS -  EVENTS - ECONOMIC DATA



BUSINESS SUPPORT

Stanta
St Albans Enterprise Agency (STANTA)
Providing advice on business starts-up and business growth. Tel: 01727 837760 www.stanta.co.uk 


The Herts Growth Hub
 
Free targeted support for businesses who are at least 2 years old www.hertsgrowthhub.com. Contact the Hertfordshire Growth Hub on 0844 725 5575 Email enquiries@hertsgrowthhub.com

St Albans City and District Chamber of Commerce

The Chamber of Commerce offers members professional advisory services. Tel: 01727 863 054 hgtp://www.stalbans-chamber.co.uk


Watford Enterprise Agency (WENTA)
 
Starting up a business and have a business idea? Tel: 0845 371 089 https://www.WENTA

University of Hertfordshire
Support for start-ups and small businesses. www.herts.ac.uk/business-services  01707 286 406. 
     

Start or grow your own business with a government backed loan
https://www.startuploans.co.uk/

Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce
An organisation which can open doors for businesses of all types and size http://www.hertschamber.com

Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (Herts LEP)
Aiming to create the right conditions to “accelerate business-led economic growth in Hertfordshire”. Tel: 01707 358744 http://www.hertfordshirelep.com/ Email: info@hertfordshirelep.co.uk


New Enterprise Allowance (NEA)
Get a business mentor to help you develop your business idea and start trading.

https://www.gov.uk/new-enterprise-allowance

Federation of Small Business
The FSB offers members a range of business services and is a powerful voice in government. Tel: 0808 2020 888 http://www.fsb.org.uk

The Entrepreneurs Handbook 
A free resource to help support businesses 
http://entrepreneurhandbook.co.uk/

A free energy consultation for SMEs
The Carbon Trust can arrange for an expert to visit SMEs to identify energy saving opportunities. To register and find out more contact https://www.carbontrust.com/client-services/programmes/start2act

NEWS

Update on Business Rates Support
In March 2017 the government announced 3 types of support available to businesses. The first was a sum of £1000 for pubs to help mitigate business rate increases. This was fully implemented in St Albans. The second was for Supporting Small Business Relief. New bills are expected to be issued during September following software updates.  In the meantime, having identified the companies who will benefit from this relief, no action will be taken against businesses for non-payment.  The third was a discretionary scheme of relief to assist businesses who were hardest hit by business rate revaluations. The fund will operate for 4 years. The Council will use its 2017/18 funding allocation of £249,790 by April 2018. We are currently asking Councillors to consider three options for its dispersal amongst businesses. Following their comments we shall consult with businesses. The three options are expected to help support between 89 and 189 businesses.

For further information;
https://www.stalbans.gov.uk/business/Business-rates/default.aspx
Email businessrates@stalbans.gov.uk
Tel: 01727 819270


Small Business Saturday is on Saturday 2nd December 2017
Small Business Saturday is a UK wide campaign that encourages people to shop locally and celebrates small businesses success. To promote your business; https://smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com/my-small-business

Idling.....Switch Off For Cleaner Air
The Council are asking local businesses to support a campaign to improve air quality http://www.stalbans.gov.uk/greentravel


Low Carbon Workspace 
Offers eligible small and medium sized enterprises grants of between £1,000 and £5,000. Contact Rowan Wallis rowan.wallis@ngagesolutions.co.uk 07786 080165. www.lowcarbonworkspaces.co.uk
  
St Albans Business Improvement District (BID)
The St Albans BID went live on 1st April 2017. For more information contact: http://www.stalbansbid.com
List of eligible BID hereditaments

  
Parker&Vine win key award
The Harpenden based retailer won the Herts Life Best Independent Retailer Award at a prestigious ceremony last month info@parkerandvine.com


St Albans City and District Council Apprenticeship Scheme
We are advertising two opportunities which are due to start in Autumn 2017.  
Accountancy Apprentice Click https://www.getmyfirstjob.co.uk/Search/Jobs.aspx?id=74388
Planning Apprentice Click https://www.getmyfirstjob.co.uk/Search/Jobs.aspx?id=74370
For both posts the year 1 salary will be £9,000, increasing to £15,000 in year 2. Hours of work are 37 hours per week, 8.45 am to 5.15 pm (4.45 pm on Friday). Benefits include flexitime scheme, 23 days annual leave, up to 18.5% pension contribution, train season ticket loan and discount scheme, and leisure discounts. The posts are subject to a Basic Disclosure Check

EVENTS

British BIDs
Join the conference for the leading lights in the Business Improvement District community. http://britishbids.info/national-bids-conference/


Community Business Awards 2017
St Albans District Chamber of Commerce Finalists in the Leadership category include the former Chief Executive of St Albans City and District Council, James Blake.  The Gala Dinner takes place on 28th September 2017.


Invitation to the St Albans Productivity Roundtable
“Better Productivity to drive growth and competitiveness” Date: 19th September 2017
Venue: 4 Victoria Square, St Albans AL1 3TF 
Time: 08.00am-9.30am
Following a research paper by the London School of Economics, Vodafone UK are organising a roundtable event. The paper concluded that, as the world becomes more automated and with technology driving most business areas, companies of all sizes need to adapt to a changing environment.
Contact Philip Cunliffe Regional business editor Insider Media 0161 907 9712 philip.cunliffe@newsco.com

DATA



Vacant Units March 2017 
The retail vacancy rate in the district was 2.2% in March. This information covers 10 Parishes (including the non-parished area in the City) and is extracted from the Council's business rates database. The vacancy rate for Town Centre’s in England (exc retail parks and shopping center’s) during 2016 was 11.3% according to figures from the Local Data Company.

Unemployment
The number of people claiming Out of Work Benefits in the St Albans City and District in July 2017 is 825 people or 0.9%. This is 20 more than June and 135 more than July 2016.The Claimant Count for England is 2.2%. 

Date of last review: 10 August 2017