Micro-businesses in East Cornwall are being urged to take part in an online survey to help them get noticed and get access to local support.
East Cornwall Local Action Group (ECLAG) want to make sure that all micro-businesses in East Cornwall, no matter how small, have access to local support, business networks and funding opportunities. So they have teamed up with PFA Research to conduct a survey that gauges the needs of local businesses with fewer than 10 employees.
Businesses are encouraged to visit the survey web site (www.eastcornwallbusiness.co.uk
) to ensure their voices are heard and to register for future updates on relevant news, events, support and funding for micro-businesses.
Linda Emmett from East Cornwall Local Action Group says: “We’ve supported many businesses with our grant funding programme but we know that there are many more under the radar.”
ECLAG believe that for small businesses in rural areas, it can be difficult to become part of the wider business community. Many small businesses operate from the home with very few, or no employees and a very small marketing budget, so it can be hard for business networks, potential clients and the public to find them. Often these businesses aren’t VAT registered or limited companies, which means they don’t appear on online directories and listings either.
Serena Buckeridge-Hobbs from Gerry’s Originals, a successful small ice-cream business in East Cornwall says: “It can be very hard to get your voice heard in East Cornwall – to get the publicity out there, to get funding, for people to know that you’re in the area. We all need help developing our small businesses.”
ECLAG have developed a video showcasing some of the problems small East Cornwall businesses face and what can be done to help.
Kim Conchie from Cornwall Chamber of Commerce features in the video and tells us: “It’s really tough, East Cornwall is spread out, the road network’s not very good and all these things add cost and problems to running a small business. However there is a lot of help for small businesses – from EU grants, mentoring, training and loans. All these things are there… but many businesses don’t have the time to look to the longer term, which is where all this help really comes to fruition.”
This is what ECLAG hopes to address with their survey. Linda explains: “The purpose of the survey is to find out the needs and aspirations of the micro-businesses within the East Cornwall area – to understand the challenges they’re facing and the issues that are causing them problems.”
If you are a micro-business in East Cornwall and would like to be part of the ECLAG network, you can complete their online survey and find out more at www.eastcornwallbusiness.co.uk