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Renfrewshire Businesses get chance to quiz the experts

Invest in Renfrewshire business hub

Renfrewshire Businesses get chance to quiz the experts

Renfrewshire firms can pick up some business-boosting tips at a series of free meet-the-experts events next month.

The special sessions will allow businesses of all kind to find out more about subjects including how to access business-growth funding, and bid for council contracts.

They will be hosted at Renfrewshire Council’s recently-opened business hub in Lawn Street, Paisley throughout October.

Invest in Renfrewshire business hub

Other topics set to be covered include consumer protection, planning and building standards, business licensing, recruitment, and funding for the third sector.

Each of the ten sessions will be staffed by an expert from the council or elsewhere, who will be able to answer questions and offer advice on their subject.

They are open to any local businessperson, although visitors will need to book a timeslot in advance.

To see a full list of sessions and times, and for details on how to book a timeslot, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/meettheexperts

Councillor Roy Glen, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Economy and Jobs Policy Board, said: “The council has a key role to play in creating conditions in which local firms can grow.

“We have made a significant investment in boosting the local economy through our Invest in Renfrewshire programme, to which more than 400 local firms have signed up since it launched last June.

“We are keen to ensure that any knowledge which could help the local business community is passed on, which is why we are hosting these meet-the-expert events.

“If successful, we will look to make these sessions a regular feature in future. I would encourage any local firms to get in touch and find out more.”

Invest in Renfrewshire is the council’s flagship £8m programme to tackle youth unemployment and boost the local economy.

The council recently opened the Invest in Renfrewshire Business Hub in Lawn Street, with the facility intended to be a one-stop shop for local firms to find out about the scheme.

The hub contains rooms which are available for any local business in need of meeting space to use.

For more information about Invest in Renfrewshire, call 0300 300 1180, email invest@renfrewshire.gov.uk or visit www.investinrenfrewshire.com

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New hub for local firms is open for Renfrewshire business

Renfrewshire Business hub opening

New hub for local firms is open for Renfrewshire business

A one-stop shop where local firms can find out how to get financial help has been officially opened for business.

The Invest in Renfrewshire Business Hub in Lawn Street, Paisley was given the seal the seal of approval by invited guests from the local business community at a recent event.

Invest in Renfrewshire is Renfrewshire Council’s flagship £8m programme to boost the local economy and tackle youth unemployment.

Renfrewshire Business hub opening

The new facility is open for any local company – whether big or small – to pop in and find out more about the range of support on offer through Invest in Renfrewshire.

It also boasts meeting rooms and will be a venue for networking and business information events, with a series of ‘meet the expert’ clinics in the pipeline.

To mark the official opening, Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan welcomed representatives of local firms, training providers and partner organisations to a business breakfast at the hub.

He said: “The council sees the local economy as a top priority, which is why we have made a sizeable financial commitment to the Invest in Renfrewshire programme.

“It is essential that small businesses are given the chance to thrive, and the council has a key role to play in creating conditions in which that can happen.

“The new business hub is intended to be exactly that – a central place where local firms can visit, attend events, access funding, and network with other professionals.

“Our team of business development advisors are on hand to offer help and advice, as will staff from Business Gateway, who will be based there one day a week.

“We would also encourage any small businesses who need somewhere to go to meet clients can use the facility by booking one of our meeting rooms.”

Renfrewshire Business hub opening

Support on offer to local businesses through Invest in Renfrewshire includes the following;

– business growth grants of up to £10,000 to help firms develop new products or pay for property improvements and IT equipment

– financial help of up to £5,000 for any company taking on an unemployed person or a graduate intern

– loans to help businesses grow or meet the cost of specific projects

– retail improvement grants and help with staff training.

Find more opportunities and information by going to www.investinrenfrewshire.com

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Count down to the Paisley 10K underway. Are you registered?

10k hopefuls

Count down to the Paisley 10K underway. Are you registered?

There isn’t long to go until competitive racers and fun runners will take their place at the start line of the Scottish West 10k Championship and Fun Run in Paisley.

Renfrewshire Council is reminding runners they need to be registered ahead of the road race, which takes place on Sunday 25 August at 10am if they’re hoping to secure a personal best.

Online registration closes at noon on Friday 23 August for what is expected to be the biggest ever staging of the event. Paper registrations however need to be received by Monday 19 August to avoid disappointment. Late applications or entries on the day will not be accepted.

Last year over 1,400 people took part in the event, ranging from serious athletes to fun runners raising cash for charity.

Councillor Jim Harte, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Sport, Leisure and Culture Policy Board said, “Don’t let months or miles of training go to waste because you miss the registration cut-off.

10k hopefuls

“Paisley is one of three British Heart Foundation ‘Heart Towns’ in Scotland. Your participation in the Scottish West 10k Championship and Fun Run has the potential to benefit the charity twice. Not only will you be helping to raise vital funds, by getting physically active you are also reducing your risk of getting cardiovascular disease.

“Whether it’s lining up on the start line or cheering from the sidelines on the 25th, we all benefit from getting outdoors and getting active”.

This year the race is sponsored by Renfrewshire’s Fairtrade Flagship employer MEPC Hillington Park. Demonstrating their commitment to the cause, Marketing & Customer Manager, Alison Clark, and Leasing Manager, Roddy Proudfoot, have registered and will be among those lining up at the start of the 10k.

Paisley’s 10k is noted for being flat and fast, with a course that takes competitors through the historic town centre, along Paisley canal and Kilmacolm cycle track.

Register online at www.paisley10k.com by noon on Friday 23 August or return your paper application to: Paisley 10K Road Race/Fun Run, Youth and Sport Services Team, West Primary School, Newton Street, Paisley PA1 2RL, by the Monday 19 August with a cheque made payable to Renfrewshire Council.

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Universal Credit is “soul-destroying”

renfrewshire council logo .JPG

Universal Credit is “soul-destroying”

Renfrewshire Council’s Leader has called on the UK Government to wise up and open up after a leaked report revealed staff delivering its flagship benefit change branded the programme “soul-destroying” and “unbelievably frustrating”.

Recent media reports about Universal Credit findings, quote one member of staff as saying: “This is the third review in 16 months. No rollout plans, no confidence in going forward and stakeholders losing confidence in our ability to deliver”.

Councillor Mark Macmillan has branded the findings “shocking” and is calling on the UK Government to share the details of its plan to replace six benefits with Universal Credit across the UK.

Councillor Macmillan said: “These shocking findings prove what we have suspected all along – that Universal Credit is in chaos. We’ve now heard directly from people at the heart of this project that there’s secrecy, dishonesty, no rollout plan, and no confidence. Even the people working on the programme don’t know anything about future developments. That’s nowhere near acceptable.”

Universal Credit will replace child tax credits, working tax credits, income-based job seekers allowance, housing benefit, income support and income based employment support allowance.

renfrewshire council logo .JPGCouncillor Macmillan added: “The UK Government should wise up, open up and share all details of planned roll out of Universal Credit. They have a duty to reassure everyone receiving the six benefits that will be replaced by Universal Credit. Families in Renfrewshire will want to know exactly when and how they will be affected.

“The Government is insisting that everyone apply for this benefit online, despite many people not having an internet connection or a PC. They also want those receiving the new benefit to transfer their housing benefit to their landlord themselves, which is ludicrous considering there are many vulnerable residents who need support to manage their finances.

“The public deserve to know more about Universal Credit now so they can start to prepare for the major changes it will bring.”

Thirteen UK council areas were part of the original Universal Credit pilot that started in September 2012 and a recent announcement confirmed that six more places will offer the benefit from October 2013.