Thinking of Starting Up or Expanding? Bexley Answers
F ollowing on from our opening article 'Thinking of Starting Up' of the boroughs inclined to answer we have published their replies in full for you to access their services

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

The London Borough of Bexley welcomes all businesses and enterprises from the start up to the multi-national, from cottage industries and hi tech innovators to manufacturers and high street retailers.

The London Borough of Bexley provides support to local businesses to help them grow. It helps businesses looking to relocate or expand, and provides information on grants and funding. Businesses can also sign up for an email newsletter, which includes information on events and initiatives, like the Bexley Business Awards, apprenticeship schemes, training courses and more.

For all business enquiries or to sign up for the newsletter, contact us on 020 8303 7777

or

business@bexley.gov.uk

Businesses based in the borough also benefit from a drive by the Council to buy more goods, works and services from local companies. The Bexley Business Guide and Directory, published by Burrows Communications Ltd, promotes the goods and services available from local businesses. The directory lists over 2000 local businesses as well as useful information on the services provided by the London Borough of Bexley and business support agencies. The directory is available online and in print. Businesses can submit their details to the database free of charge by visiting www.burrows.co.uk/bexley

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

A range of information is available for businesses on the London Borough of Bexley website – www.bexley.gov.uk.

From March 2014, there will be a dedicated Bexley for Business website, providing essential information about locating, starting or growing businesses in the borough. The website will feature information about the borough, news, events and links to local, regional and national organisations. It will help businesses find the information they need, whether it's advice on choosing a new location, recruiting the right staff, contacting the Council about business rates or licenses, or connecting with local business networks.

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

A wide range of support is available to businesses at the Thames Innovation Centre (TIC). The TIC is an award-winning business and innovation centre offering business support, mentoring and training to organisations large and small. Support includes pre and post start-up training, refresher courses, workshops and seminars, and expert advice provided in one-to-one sessions.

The centre provides high quality business accommodation for both new and growing businesses. It offers everything from virtual office deals and hot-desk facilities, to a wide range of impressive studios and conference rooms. It also has an IT training suite and a coffee shop. More information is available at www.thamesinnovationcentre.com

The London Borough of Bexley can also help start ups find suitable properties, or signpost them to training opportunities, funding and other support.

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

Sidcup & Co is a new multi-purpose space on Sidcup High Street, designed to house and support small businesses. Retail space is available to rent at competitive prices, starting from £25 per month and on flexible terms, ideal for start ups. The In Store for Sidcup team is working with a range of new businesses to develop their skills through a series of workshops and tailored training.

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

The cost of retail and office space per square foot in Bexley is amongst the lowest in the whole of London. Together with its proximity to the City and great connections to the South East and Europe, Bexley offers great value for money and a real, competitive advantage for businesses.

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