Council offers helping hand to local businesses

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In LIGHT of the current economic climate and the increasing need to support businesses, stimulate innovation and increase competitiveness, Newtownabbey Borough Council has agreed to deliver a programme which will assist local businesses to identify and implement changes and break down barriers to growth and business success.

The pilot Business Advancement Programme will work with seven businesses in the borough to stimulate thinking, develop opportunities and implement projects to increase competitiveness, boost motivation, raise customer satisfaction and drive growth.

Each of the seven businesses will receive a range of one-to-one support from experienced professionals including a business audit, five in-company workshops, two in-company coaching/mentoring sessions, an Action Plan and a Workshop Manual.

Key aims of the programme will include a demonstrated increase in profitability, new customers secured, a minimum of five per cent increase in sales in each business within one year and an improved rise in business perception and confidence.

Meanwhile, in response to the challenging business environment that many local retailers are facing at the present time, the council has approved support for the Talking Retail Programme.

The main aim of the programme will be to provide 20 local retailers with one-to-one mentoring support and access to retail masterclasses. This will help retailers to identify practical solutions to business problems and enhance competition.

Each of the 20 businesses will receive a Business Audit, a minimum of three 
days one-to-one mentoring support, a minimum of three half-day Retail Survival workshops/masterclasses and a Retail Improvement Plan.

For further information about the pilot Business Advancement Programme or the Talking Retail Programme contact the council’s Economic Development Section on 028 9034 0072 or email