Thinking of Starting Up or Expanding? Tower Hamlets Answers
F ollowing on from our article 'Thinking of Starting Up or Expanding?' of the boroughs inclined to respond we have published their answers for you to access their services

1. What is your organisation doing to promote small business and enterprise in your borough?

One of the main tasks of Tower Hamlets Council's small Enterprise Team is to encourage an entrepreneurial spirit and a culture of innovation. Support for small businesses is a vital part of this task. Small businesses are promoted through the team's work to support the borough's town centres, and through special events like the Mayor's Business Forum and the annual Small Business Saturday.

The Enterprise Team also collects case studies of business success to demonstrate how small enterprises can transform the lives and prospects of those who run them.

2. Where can entrepreneurs access frontline services to business advice, guidance and support immediately?

The Council's Enterprise Team operates a contact line for local people who are involved in entrepreneurial activities and who wish to access available support. Enquirers are put in touch with the organisation or agency best placed to give the specific kind of support or advice sought.

3. Have you got a policy for encouraging start ups? If so, please elaborate?

The overall aim of the Council's Enterprise Strategy is to “encourage and support enterprise and entrepreneurial activity to increase opportunity prosperity and mobility in Tower Hamlets.' In pursuance of this aim, the first objective of the Strategy is to “support the establishment, growth and development of SMEs'.

The main way in which new enterprises are supported is through the Council's work with enterprise agencies which have a local remit and other organisations. The Enterprise Team seeks to find the best solutions for individual entrepreneurs, and constantly improve the advice and support sources available.

4, Are there any empty retail spaces that could be accessed to provide discounted market testing for start-ups?

One of the main ways in which the Council's Enterprise Team seeks to support the commercial health of town centres is to identify high street premises whose owners are willing to have short term tenants. This provides the opportunity for test trading by local people as the first step in entrepreneurial careers.

The Enterprise Team is always glad to hear from any local resident who might wish to take part in such test trading.

5. Do you have a rent or rate free period to attract new business to your local high streets?

Test trading opportunities from vacant high street premises generally involve reduced rent opportunities, but there is no general policy to make rate-free arrangements for local businesses.

Ahmedul Haque

Business Information Team

London Borough Of Tower Hamlets

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