At the latest Crawley and Horsham FSB Connect networking breakfast (pictured), Grant Baker, Coast to Capital (C2C) Account Manager, outlined the business services of the C2C Growth Hub.
The Growth Hub is part of the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership – a Government funded body supporting economic growth in East Surrey and West Sussex, focussing on the M23/A23 corridor.
The Growth Hub services are free to business although concern was raised over the strategic shift towards supporting ‘scale-up’ businesses with 20% year-on-year growth. “It is questionable whether these are the businesses that need to be targeted for further support,” said Development Manager, Martin Searle (pictured, left)
“One could argue the C2C LEP are simply riding the wave of their success, when it is in fact new start-ups and steady, established firms that need the boost from a tax-payer funded service.”
At the meeting, newly elected FSB Area Leader, Geoff Williamson (centre) announced the retirement of local volunteer, Ann Swain, and presented her with a bouquet of flowers in recognition of her unstinting long service for FSB.
“We plan to continue Ann’s work in the Gatwick Diamond area,” said Geoff, “these are big shoes to fill but there must be a seamless transition in our advocacy for smaller businesses.” FSB has good relations with Coast to Capital LEP, with local MPs and Councils in the area.
“We are also a key sponsor of the Start-Up Talent initiative – which encourages and develops young entrepreneurs,” added Geoff.
FSB is also working with West Sussex County Council and the Apprentice Ambassador Network on an Apprentice Graduation Ceremony with a business reception at the Hawth Theatre on 20 May.
“It is important we provide awareness of apprenticeships as a purposeful and credible route for people into training and work,” said Geoff Williamson.
The FSB Connect networking group meets on the third Friday of the month at the Cisswood House Hotel which is at the junction of the A281 and B2110, south of Horsham, starting at 0745.
A tasty buffet breakfast is served after networking and business introductions, with continental options on offer too, and there is ample free parking at the hotel. At the 15 March meeting, the speaker will be Simon Palmer of UK Business Mentors who will introduce some of the tips and tools from the free seminar he is running in Crawley on the 20 March, aimed at driving business growth.
Members and non-members of FSB are welcome at both events. You can find details and book the FSB Connect breakfast on 15 March here and the free business seminar on 20 March here.