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18.07.05
Business Support Celebration

Left to right: Liz Matcham (Mid Cornwall Enterprise Trust), Rob Allingham (Enterprise Tamar) and Carleen Kelemen, Director of the Objective One Partnership for Cornwall and the Isles of ScillyA highly successful project that gives advice to small businesses in north Cornwall is celebrating helping more than 150 businesses and creating hundreds of thousands of pounds of sales. The three year North Cornwall Business Advisory Project gives free support to businesses with less than 10 employees.

The project cost just under £180,000 and half of that investment came from the Objective One European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Rob Allingham, of Enterprise Tamar and Liz Matcham, of Mid Cornwall Enterprise Trust, are the advisers who cover the region and so far, half way through the project, have helped 162 businesses with information and planning, including business plan preparation to attract initial investment.

"Many small businesses in north Cornwall lack resources to compile a quality business plan and don't have finances to employ someone qualified," explained Dr Matcham. "Having a good business plan is fundamental to securing loans and grants."

At a presentation on Wednesday July 13th at the NCDC offices at Camelford, Rob Allingham said that highlights of the scheme so far included, raising £466,579 of private investment, helping to attract £247,115 in grants and loans for businesses in north Cornwall, creating £725,690 gross additional sales and creating or safeguarding 15 jobs.

Of the 162 businesses helped, 81 per cent were existing businesses and 19 per cent start up businesses. The main sectors seeking support were agriculture and tourism with other business sectors including manufacturing, real estate and education.

Carleen Kelemen, Director of the Objective One Partnership, said: "This project is a great example of how the Programme should reach out and improve the prospects for new business ideas to take root in Cornwall. It is about local support for local businesses to add greater value to the local economy."

Ann Van Der Meulen of the Federation of Small Businesses said: "I have sent a lot of people to this project and I think it is fantastic. This hands on, face to face help is real, tangible and meaningful to the businesses who are often at their wits end. Sadly great ideas can fail without strong business acumen or experience. Having a person who cares, understands and gives step by step help is nothing short of a miracle. Much more of this is needed and not just for start ups and high growth businesses, as often those somewhere in the middle need this help too."

Businesses that have received help include The Padstow Mussel Co, The Providence Café, Threads of Time, Ironfoot Industries, Home Zone Warehouse, Sara Miles Textiles, Panographs Worldwide, Iguana Computer Solutions and Salmon Creative Photography.

Artist and designer Susie Ray had help with business planning before setting up The Padstow Mussel Co. The products manufactured and sold include the unique Cornish Pebble Range, bone china, table mats, tea towels, fine art prints and original gift cards and paperware. The shop opened in June and is already successful. She said: "I am an artist and haven't got a clue about how to go about setting up a business. I just knew I wanted to open a shop in Cornwall where I could sell things I had created myself and were manufactured in Cornwall. I was introduced to Liz who made the business plan process so much easier and broke it down into bite sized pieces. It was fantastic."

Jane Blonder (right) teaches Carleen Kelemen, Director of the Objective One Partnership how to weaveJane Blonder runs two fabric companies from Beeston Farm, near Bude, Threads of Time and House of Hemp and is about to launch a third. She grew her own hemp and has perfected making it into hemp cloth and colouring it. She said: "To turn an artist into a businessperson is quite a challenge, but after meeting Rob the challenge of writing a business plan became fun. I now supply Europe and America because we have a unique hemp product."

For further information please contact Clare Morgan of the Objective One Partnership Office on 01872 223439 or 07973 813647 or email: cmorgan@cornwall.gov.uk.

The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has invested in the North Cornwall Business Advisory Project through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

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Editor's notes:

Finance Cornwall is a £20 million investment fund backed by £9 million from the Objective One European Regional Development Fund.

Finance Cornwall's funds are administered by Finance Cornwall Fund Managers Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.

For more information visit www.financecornwall.co.uk

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Clare Morgan
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439

cmorgan@cornwall.gov.uk

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