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Vital links with small companies won’t disappear
The next 12 months looks to be a year of change for many of us, particularly for the business community in Bradford.
With funding cuts and changes to the business support landscape dominating the headlines, it’s easy to become confused about what support there is for small and medium-sized businesses, and how we can access it easily.
Business Link Yorkshire will continue to deliver its excellent services – providing advice, an active events programme and help in accessing much-needed finance – right up to November 25, when businesses will be able to access the new nationally-run support service delivered online and by telephone.
The new service will also have an additional advisory offer for high-growth companies under a new Business Coaching For Growth initiative.
Finance Yorkshire is helping SMEs to meet their funding requirements for growth by providing seedcorn, loan and equity-linked investments, ranging from £15,000 to £2 million.
It is also vital that companies are connected to opportunities to expand into new markets.
Yorkshire Forward works with UKTI to run the Targeted Export Support Scheme, helping businesses access grants to develop their export plans, attend conferences and develop market contacts.
Established businesses and entrepreneurs are also looking for opportunities to invest in new ventures.
The Yorkshire Association of Business Angels is one such network, and its members are always looking for investment opportunities with entrepreneurs and businesses alike.
These are just a few examples, and I would encourage you to spend a little time exploring these and further avenues and services.
If 2011 is a year for changes, we should try to ensure we have all the tools needed to deal with them!