Alex Easton MLA has today called on North Down Borough Council to do a workshop once a year to allow people who are thinking of starting up new businesses in the North Down area what grants are available to them to start-up businesses.

Speaking today Alex Easton MLA said:

Starting up a business can be a daunting process and can be difficult to access funding, to find premises and to also promote your ideas for the business that you want to start up. I am today calling for Ards and North Down Council to hold a work shop every year for residents who want to start up a business. Any workshop should concentrate on what is needed to be done to start residents on the their way towards their goal of starting a new business but to also show what grants are available to help them with their journey towards a new business.”

For instance Invest NI provides an extensive portfolio of support to start-up businesses in Northern Ireland but need in my view to work with local Councils to get the information out to the wider community. Grants that are available include The Regional Start Initiative designed to support locally focused entrepreneurs into self-employment, will grants available for people in Neighbourhood Renewal Areas, and a further grants are available for Education and Training through NEETS. The Jobs Fund is also available and is available to support investment projects to create new sustainable jobs and Grants are available. Innovation Vouchers are available to enable small and medium sized enterprises to engage with 39 Universities and colleges to allow businesses to access specialist skills. The Technical Development Incentive can offer business start up to 50% support of eligible technical supplier.”

These are just some of the grants that can be made available to people who want to start up a business, and it is important to help people on their way so that we get this sort of information made available to the public so that they know that there is expertise and advice available to help them start a business. I am calling on Ards and North Down Council in conjunction with Invest NI work in partnership to create a Workshop every year to allow people to access the information they need to start up a business!