Paula Basnett continued by saying that there were the business forums and businesses were increasingly contacting Wirral Council more and more. Under the new structure, they would go out to see businesses, agree an action plan and bring in support from sector experts (not local authority employees). From referral to action plan, the relationship manager would agree the needs and requirements of the business. The action plan would go to Paula. This support was for two types of businesses, those with five or more employees with a turnover of over £100,000 and micro-businesses with one to five employees and a turnover of £100,000 or less.
The New Brighton conference had brought business angels with money (a bit like Dragon’s Den) looking to invest in businesses that couldn’t get help from banks with their projects. There was a business angels network and a new focus on social enterprises. She said social enterprises were a business and make a profit, the only difference was in the commercial sector that the profit went to owners or shareholders but in as social enterprise it was given to who the social enterprise supports.
Paula also detailed help and advice they give businesses in the areas of development control, business rates, planning permission, schools (entrepreneurship) as well as support to schools. She said there was a SME Project Manager, Micro-business Manager, Business Angel scheme and Social Enterprise Team.
She said they were also working with social enterprises with their business plans specifically to do with working with the Department for Adult Social services.