[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]A FORMER MEP is back on the campaign trail to win a vote among the business community in Paisley.

Labour veteran Hugh McMahon has been out canvassing support in a last-minute push to have a Business Improvement District set up in Paisley town centre.


Postal ballot papers have been sent out to owners of shops, offices, cafes, bars and restaurants asking if they want to set up a Paisley BID.

Businesses now only have two days to post off their ballot papers as the votes have to be received by the Electoral Reform Services, in London by 5pm on Thursday, November 13.

In a final push for votes, Mr McMahon, who was a Labour MEP from 1984 until 1999, will be out in Paisley town centre drumming up support from businesses.

Mr McMahon is chairman of the Paisley BID Steering Group and has been using all his campaigning skills to win the vote. He said:

“Many business people have been telling us that they support the idea of a Paisley BID. But like in any election, it’s the votes that count, not what you say beforehand.

“I’ve been involved in countless elections over my political career and I know how important it is to have one final push before the ballot closes.

“We have to make sure people who have said they support us actually fill in the ballot paper and post it before the Thursday deadline.”

If there is enough support to form a Paisley BID, a board of directors will be elected from the local businesses community to run the not-for-profit company. And a small levy paid by local businesses will fund various initiatives to boost trade in the town centre.

Mr McMahon added: “Starting a Paisley BID is an important step in revitalising Paisley town centre.

“What a BID would do is increase footfall in the town centre by organising events and marketing campaigns; act as a buying group for local businesses leading to cheaper utility bills and become a campaigning voice for town centre traders on issues such as business rates, town centre cleanliness, comfort and safety.

“I would urge businesses to make sure they send off their completed ballot paper, voting to create a Paisley BID before the deadline.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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5 Steps to a Successful Business

Running any business you will eventually have to deal with the grey area of ‘Marketing’. Every successful business – small or large – needs to market the company’s products and services.

You can have the best products and services in the world but if you do not market them, your competitors will generate more sales.

Have you ever found yourself pondering, “How come I lost that contract? Our product is superior and better value for money?” The classic case is in the video market: Betamax were in competition with VHS, we remember Betamax fondly, it is universally recognised that they were of higher quality than VHS but VHS were soon in every household because Betamax didn’t market their product.

I plan to take you through five simple steps; these steps must be done for every marketing product – from a simple leaflet, to the most complicated website.

STEP 1 – Plan it out; Mind map

This step can be carried out in several ways; brainstorming, concepts, ideas, every conceivable thought related to the project, it gets put on down on paper. It is good to sit down with a few colleagues, a blank sheet of paper and write down everyone’s ideas. This is sometimes referred to as ‘on the back of an envelope’ planning. For example we’ll look at promoting a new charity ‘Cards for African Relief and Development , “C. A. R. D.”;

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2013 ROCCO group 12x8

ROCCO 2013 Winners:

Friday the 15th Nov saw 16 awards presented at the 10th ROCCOs – the annual business awards of Renfrewshire Chamber. Sponsored this year by Life Technologies who have their European HQ in Inchinnan, the sell-out crowd of 490+ celebrated at The Normandy Hotel hosted by ROCCO regular Fred MacAulay.

Chamber president Tom Johnston commented “it was a great night – a real celebration of the great businesses & people we have in Renfrewshire. I encourage all our 16 winners to use their ROCCO win in their own PR and share their good news with staff & clients. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our sponsors, premier partners and companies that supported ROCCO 2013. For those that didn’t win I hope you will enter ROCCO 2014″.

The ROCCO 2013 winners are:

1. Excellence in Customer Service sponsored by intu Braehead – Glasgow Airport
2. Journey to Zero Waste sponsored by the William Tracey Group – Chivas Brothers
3. Excellence in Manufacturing sponsored by the Scottish Leather Group – Rolls Royce
4. Innovation & Technology sponsored by MEPC Hillington Park – Rainbow Technology Systems
5. Family Business of the Year sponsored by The Malcolm Group – Spectrum Service Solutions
6. Outstanding Performing Business <5 staff sponsored by IRW Systems – Designline Creative
7. Outstanding Performing Business >5 & <25 staff sponsored by Renfrewshire Council – Sarkar Defence
8. Outstanding Performing Business >25 staff sponsored by the Phoenix Car Company – Bray Controls
9. Most Promising New Business sponsored by Business Gateway – Engage Marketing & Communications
10. Community Champion of the Year sponsored by Engage Renfrewshire & RBS – No Substitute for Life
11. International Trade sponsored by Glasgow Airport – Sarkar Defence
12. Young Business Person of the Year sponsored by West College Scotland – Craig Bickett (Tuckerbox)
13. Employer of the year sponsored by Rolls Royce – Life Technologies
14. Invest in Renfrewshire sponsored by Renfrewshire Council – Carli’s Kindergarten
15. Enterprise in Education sponsored by the University of the West of Scotland – Ferguslie Pre-five Centre
16. Business Leader of the Year sponsored by Diageo – Peter Beagley, intu Braehead

With entertainment provided by young artists from UWS MA in Songwriting and Performance and Loud’n’Proud, the event raised £10,000 for local charities & good causes including Accord Hospice and Sailability (Sailing for the disabled). Afterwards guests celebrated into the night at the after show party.

Renfrewshire Chamber themselves are officially short listed in the coveted UK Chamber of the Year award with the winner announced in London at a glittering awards ceremony at the end of November. The popular Chamber based in Paisley at Glasgow Airport has a growing membership at just under 600 companies and celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2014.

The twitter hash tag for any tweets on ROCCO 2013 is #2013Rocco (& #Rocco2013)

For more info on the ROCCOs please visit

More images are available on the Chamber facebook page  –


Renfrewshire Chamber Annual Golf Competition

The Renfrewshire Chamber annual Golf Competition this year was held on the 14th June at Renfrew Golf Club and was a great success. The sold out event saw 18 teams play the course which was in top condition given the recent spell of warm weather. The forecast in the run up to the event had not been good – but on the day the weather was ideal for golf – warm with little wind. The winners were:

  • Nearest the Pin – Murdoch Ferguson, Ferguson Imaging
  • Longest Drive- Russell Cohen, Benchmark Packaging
  • Winning team – Bray Controls
  • Best Score – Tom  Goldie from Bray Controls

The event raised £700 split between the Chamber charities of the year – Beatson Pebble Appeal and Pace Theatre

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The Chamber would like to thank Kenny and all the staff at Renfrew GC for looking after us – and thank you to all the teams for taking part and to those that kindly donated raffle prizes.

Pic: Bray Team pictured with Tom Johnston Chamber President, 3rd from left. Bob Davidson Chief Exec, far right. Tom Goldie 2nd from right

More pics at –

Juliette’s Bridal Wear & Kilt Hire Paisley

We at the Paisley website like to shout from the rooftops about Paisley Business and especially the ones which offer second to none service. Such was the case when I recently had a last minute panic for my son’s prom night.  We had asked him months ago what he would like to wear and he said “not a Kilt, no way!”… so we went for the trousers and smart shirt combination that he asked for, until late last week (his prom night is this week coming) when he said I really want a kilt as that’s what my friends are wearing, (I am sure you know the situation I am speaking about).


So last minute panic set in and we could not get last minute kilt hire anywhere for a 12 year old boy and any shop we had called it was as if we were asking them to make the kilt from scratch. We called the shop on Incle Street, Paisley called Juliette’s which is predominantly a Bridal wear shop, however on looking at the website we saw that they also had kilt hire as an option. Upon answering the phone the lady we spoke to was extremely helpful and understood our situation.

Customer service from Juliette’s was fantastic and very efficient and nothing was too much for them, we now have a handmade kilt which is top quality and most importantly a very happy son who will be comfortable and smart at his upcoming school prom… (what happened to plain old school discos?)

So thank you Juliette’s… Top class.. 10/10

Visit to find out their range of products and services…

£750k business boost to provide wages bonus

Renfrewshire Council has unveiled a £750,000 business-boosting measure designed to support the local economy and boost employment.

The money has been secured to help companies take on new staff, with extra money for businesses who agree to pay the Living Wage of £7.50 per hour.

The news was announced by Council Leader Mark Macmillan at an event designed to celebrate the first anniversary of the council’s Invest in Renfrewshire economic development programme.

Councillor Mark Macmillan at conferenceOn the night, Councillor Macmillan revealed that:

– an extra £750,000 will be pumped into the council’s existing wage subsidy programme, after it secured external funding;

– the council will pay an extra £1,000 per post to firms which agree to pay at least the Living Wage of £7.50 per hour;

– as a result, the wage subsidy programme will be renamed the Renfrewshire Employer Recruitment Incentive.

The announcement takes the total amount made available for Invest in Renfrewshire to more than £8m.

Invest in Renfrewshire is a council-run programme with the twin aims of boosting the local economy and tackling youth unemployment, and includes a variety of funding packages, including graduate internships, retail improvement grants and financial support.

The employer recruitment incentive offers employers 50% of the wage costs of any new employee aged 16-24.

Councillor Macmillan said: “Jobs and the economy are two of the major priorities of this council, and we are making a substantial investment in both.

“The aim of the Employer Recruitment Incentive is to stimulate the Renfrewshire economy by making it easier for firms to offer employment to young people.

“While the terms of the funding only require the council to pay 50% of the costs of the employee at minimum wage (up to £6.31 per hour), we are offering firms an incentive to pay the Living Wage of £7.50.

“We want the council to help set the standard for the rest of Renfrewshire by offering a fair deal to employees.

“That’s why we brought in the Renfrewshire Living Wage for 800 of the lowest-paid council employees last November, and this funding will make it easier to extend that deal to the private sector.

“I would encourage all local firms to get in touch with the Invest in Renfrewshire team and find out how the employer recruitment incentive could help them.”

The one-year anniversary event saw around 150 representatives of various businesses signed up to the scheme gather at the Normandy Hotel in Renfrew to hear about the successes of the past 12 months.

Visitors heard from employees and young people who have benefitted from being part of Invest.

Awards were presented to three firms judged to have made big contributions to the scheme: Bray Controls Ltd, Inchinnan; Cairellot Learning Centre, Bishopton; and Ingliston Country Club, Bishopton.

For more information about Invest in Renfrewshire, call 0300 3000 144, email or visit

Pinnacle Logo

 New premises and new relationships for 2013

Pinnacle Training, an accredited training provider, recently moved to Paisley and are looking forward to growth and expansion in the Renfrewshire area.
Pinnacle deliver bespoke training courses Scotland wide, covering a broad range of industry sectors including First Aid, Construction, Health and Safety, Fire Safety, OSAT VQ’s, Licensing and In-House short courses, among many others. Pinnacle Training also offer freelance Assessing/Verifying services, time served tradesmen
and professional services.

Pinnacle LogoPinnacle Training was established in 2012 and over the past year, has grown to be an approved training provider for large scale organisations such as North Lanarkshire Council.
They have one lead trainer/assessor/verifier, James Furie, who has over 10 years training experience, and over 30 years trade experience across various industries. Mr Furie previously ran a successful Property Maintenance business, before turning to the Training sector. 
”I asked myself if there was a way to use my trade skills and knowledge in another way, and realised the Training sector was the way forward.” says Mr Furie.

Over 10 years later, after working with young people on the Modern Apprenticeship Programme, and working for various companies including HB Training,
Learning World Acadamies (Pearsons Group, Edexcel) and notably becoming an External Verifier for SQA, Mr Furie decided to start his own company; Pinnacle Training was born.

However, in Spring 2013, Pinnacle made the decision to move their business from North Lanarkshire to a new location; Paisley, Renfrewshire.
This move enables them to offer their services and training to a broader audience, whilst providing training services to Paisley Buddies.

Director and Lead Trainer, James Furie, says, “Moving to Paisley is an exciting development for Pinnacle, we are working closely with several organisations to make the transition as smooth as possible. We are looking to offer a few very special offers to the companies in Paisley, as a way of introducing ourselves and we are looking forward to being a part of Paisleys thriving community.”

As part of their move, they intend on working closely with local businesses offering discounts/promotions, announcing their events and courses through organisations such as Build Scotland, What’s On Renfrewshire, local Newsletters etc.
Pinnacle Training support local and national charities, and very recently delivered a free First Aid course “No Bodies Perfect”, Scotland’s Charity for Eating Disorders (SC043354). Previously, they offered free monthly Paediatric First Aid courses in the Lanarkshire area for members of the public and not-for-profit organisations; this is something to keep an eye out for in the coming months in the Renfrewshire area.
For a friendly personalised service, and no commitment discussion, you can contact Director James Furie on 07775428676, or email For anyone wishing for more information, all contact details and course list can be found on their website;

Cllr Roy Glen

Details of extra £4.5m jobs cash boost agreed

Details have been agreed over where a £4.5million cash injection for the Renfrewshire economy will be spent.

The money will be used over the next two years to deliver Invest in Renfrewshire, a council programme pulling together a number of schemes aimed at supporting local businesses and tackling youth unemployment.

At the council’s budget meeting in February, councillors agreed to pump an extra £4.5m into Invest in Renfrewshire, which – when added to the initial investment from the programme’s launch a year ago – takes the total to £7m.

Cllr Roy GlenThis week saw members of the council’s Economy and Jobs Board agree a report which lays out where that money will be spent between 2013 and 2015.

Just over £3.85m will be targeted at supporting businesses, with the largest chunk to go on wage subsidies to encourage companies to take on new staff.

Money has also been set aside to help companies grow, with funding to help pay for new premises, staff and technology, and grants to improve the look of shopfronts.

Another £1.5m will be spent on supporting unemployed young people to find and keep work.

This includes funding for graduate internships – with the council and with private-sector employers – and money for training and support for schools.

Councillor Roy Glen, Convener of the Economy and Jobs Policy Board, said: “Supporting the local economy and helping young people find work are two of the major priorities of this council.

“We have been able to make this substantial investment in both in spite of the challenges caused by the tough financial climate, and the reduction in the council’s budget by the Scottish Government.

“We are determined to make Renfrewshire a better place to do business, and want to work with local firms to do that.

“June will see the first anniversary of the launch of the Invest in Renfrewshire programme and in the past year, almost 300 businesses have signed up to the scheme.

“But we want others to come forward and take advantage of the range of funding packages which are available to them.

“I would encourage all Renfrewshire businesses to speak to one of our team, who will advise them on what we can do.”

For more information, visit, email, or phone 0300 3000 144.

Funding for new start businesses in Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire & Inverclyde

For individuals thinking about starting their own business, knowing the right people to ask for advice and information is vital to the success.

For many prospective business owners accessing funding sources is also important in the start-up process. Through Business Gateway, businesses in Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire and Inverclyde can potentially access some early stage funding provided by the local authorities.

(This news update is from the Business Gateway Ezine, you can find out more by clicking the following link. )


Renfrewshire – The Renfrewshire Microloan

The Renfrewshire Microloan fund, delivered by Invest In Renfrewshire, aims to support the creation of new enterprises and support the growth of existing micro and small businesses that have potential to create jobs and generate additional economic value.

Unsecured loans of between £1,000 and £5,000 are available with repayment terms of up to 2 years to both new and existing businesses which are unable to secure funding elsewhere but have a viable business capable of repaying a loan.

Loans can be used for the following:

  • Start-up costs including the purchase of existing businesses
  • Provision of working capital
  • Purchase of assets
  • Purchase of commercial property, property extensions or alterationsbusiness-gateway

Inverclyde – Launch Pad Grant

In Inverclyde, the local authority Launchpad Grant (LPG) offers up to £1000 grant support for capital expenditure on business development activities. The LPG provides ‘gap’ funding which is the minimum finance needed to allow a project to proceed after a business – which has been trading for at least six months – establishes how much it can raise itself and from banks and other lenders.

East Renfrewshire – The East Renfrewshire Microloan

Micro and Social Enterprise loans will be available from June 2013 for smaller scale start up projects and social enterprise projects. Loans of between £1,000 and £3,000, repayable over three years, can be accessed through the East Renfrewshire Credit Union.

For each of the local authority funds application and eligibility criteria apply. To find out further information and eligibility criteria, please contact us on 0141 585 6353. We will also post updates on our information and advice for local businesses on Facebook and Twitter.

Find out more by visiting the Business Gateway website here.


Glasgow Airport reports passenger growth for April 2013

Passenger growth at Glasgow Airport has continued with almost 550,000 people travelling through the airport in April 2013, representing an increase of 0.4% compared to the same period last year.

A strong demand for both domestic and long haul travel coupled with the launch in April of Lufthansa Regional’s direct service to Dusseldorf ensured the airport was able to maintain its steady pattern of growth. Wizz Air’s flights to Warsaw and Gdansk, which launched in March, have also continued to prove popular.

glasgow-airport-safety-carAmanda McMillan, managing director of Glasgow Airport, said: “It is always pleasing to report growth and April was yet another busy month in terms of passenger numbers and route announcements.

“Outwith the launch of the new Lufthansa Regional service there were a number of positive developments. We received confirmation from Thomson Airways we will be the first Scottish airport to welcome the Dreamliner when it arrives on 8 July and British Airways reaffirmed its commitment to Glasgow with the launch of its new £800,000 lounge.

“Our multi-million pound investment programme is underway and passengers will begin to notice work within the terminal, particularly in the check-in hall where we are currently creating more space as we approach the busy summer period.”

Glasgow Airport is investing £17 million in refurbishing and enhancing key parts of the main terminal building, including international arrivals which for many will be the gateway to the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Find out more here