Q1: Who should I contact with reference to changes or proposals that I believe are being made that relate to the area where I do my business?
A1: The Planning Policy team at Canterbury City Council on 01227 862199.
Q2: I would like to talk to a Council Officer about possible changes I am thinking of making to my business premises. Who is best able to help me?
A2: Canterbury City Council's Local Economy Team on 01227 862532.
Q3: I would like to start up and run my own business in East Kent but am not sure what to do next. Where can I get impartial advice?
A3: Contact Dorothy Thom, the East Kent Enterprise Gateway Director on 007795 494781. Or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org. She will talk you through your options and help you take the next step. Also, Technology Enterprise Kent deliver workshops on behalf of Business Link Kent aimed at giving you a good grounding for starting a business. Telephone 01227 470234 or email email@example.com or see their website at www.technologyenterprise.co.uk.
Q4: What is a social enterprise?
A4: Social enterprises are businesses with primarily social objectives whose surpluses (or 'profits') are principally reinvested for that purpose in the business or in the community, rather than being driven by the need to maximise a return for shareholders and owners. Social enterprises can be used to tackle a wide range of social and environmental issues and operate in all parts of the economy. For more information about social enterprise go to www.socialenterprise.org.uk. If you want to start a Social Enterprise contact Dorothy Thom, the East Kent Enterprise Gateway Director on 07795 494781. Or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org. She will talk you through your options and help you take the next step.
Q5: I keep hearing about the Global Market. How do I start to sell my goods abroad?
A5: Before you start exporting you need to have a sound knowledge of your would-be markets. You also need to consider whether your products are right for each target market and whether you have the necessary resources. The first step is to get more information by using the guide on the UK Trade and Investment website at www.uktradeinvest.gov.uk or talk to your local Business Link adviser by calling 08457 226655.
Q6: When the high-speed train comes to Canterbury will it have a good effect on the district economy?
A6: It is expected in 2009 and should provide an enormous boost to the economy in terms of enhanced accessibility and mobility of labour, added to local regeneration benefits and the prestige of being served by fast train services.
Q7: I'm aware that the public sector are the biggest "spenders" within the District. How do I become a recognised supplier?
A7: Look on their websites. Canterbury City Council have information and help on how to get work with them and a list of current contracts on their website at Selling to Canterbury City Council. Also, check out www.supply2.gov.uk a dynamic new government-backed service designed specifically to give companies easy access to lower-value contract opportunities (typically worth under �100,000) offered by the public sector.
Q8: I want to expand my workforce but need help. Where can I find an apprentice?
Q9: I need to find new business premises within the area... where do I look?
A9: Canterbury City Council Property Register on www.business.canterbury.gov.uk
Q10: Are there events held locally which can help me to promote my business?
A10: There are various organisations holding business events in the district such as Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce www.kentinvictachamber.co.uk and Canterbury Christ Church University Small Business Forum www.canterbury.ac.uk/centres/enterprise-business-development/.
Q11: C4B - How do I join? Will it take up much time?
A11: Just click on Become an Associate.
Q12: I have several business issues that I would like heard. Where can I express these issues?
A12: Contact C4B via our contact form or become an associate today.
Q13: I'd like to be kept aware of current business issues within the District. Where can I find this information?
A13: C4B website and Canterbury City Council's business website on www.business.canterbury.gov.uk.
Q14: I've heard lots of rumours about development, new roads and business parks. Where can I find out what is really going on?
A14: C4B website and associated links.
Q15: I'm a new business considering start-up within the District. Are there any grants available and what advantages will I have from setting up in this area?
A15: The Local Economy team at Canterbury City Council have provided a grant finder service via their website on www.business.canterbury.gov.uk.
Q16: I support the principles of C4B, what can my business do to help?
A16: Sign our Charter and become an associate and get involved in one of the project groups.
Q17: Is it really true that the Canterburydistrict falls below both the Kentaverage and the South East average on almost all economic indicators?
A17: The district has both economic strengths and weaknesses. It is the second largest local economy in Kent and generally has a good skills and qualifications profile. However, in the most recent Kent Economic Report (2004), the area fell below county and regional averages for productivity and earnings, economic change and prosperity indicators while its local labour market and its industrial and occupational structure are identified as less favourable to growth compared to other levels.
Q18: If I have a good news story about my business, is anyone interested and who should I tell?
Q19: 'Good news' is the best way to promote this district. Are C4B going to be active in gathering and publicising 'good news' over a wide range of topics?
A19: Yes - we will feature good news stories on our website and will actively promote good news stories to the local and regional press.
Q20: Is employment in the private sector increasing or falling within the district?
A20: Official data sources provide a mixed picture of private sector employment in the district. Key parts of the service sector have grown (retail, tourism and some business services) but the number of jobs in manufacturing, banking and finance, construction and distribution has, on the whole, shrunk over the last 10 years).
Q21: 2012 is not that far away! Where can I go to make sure my business doesn't miss out on opportunities from the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics?
A21. Visit the dedicated BLK website at: www.businesslinkkent.co.uk/london2012
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