Support will help council's Business Gateway companies to grow bigger

Highland companies with ambitions to grow could be eligible for up to 10,000 of support thanks to a fund being offered exclusively through Highland Council’s Business Gateway.
The Business Development Grant is financed through The Highland Council under the Highland LEADER 2007-2013 programme, which aims to promote economic and community development in rural areas.
Budding new businesses, which have been trading for between six months and two years, can apply for the development grant after utilising the expert advice on offer at their local Business Gateway office.
By working closely with a Regional Development Officer business owners will devise a robust action plan, laying out how they will utilise the money to grow, before applying for funds.
Successful applications for a Business Development Grant will see the funding used to:
  • Assist the development of new services or products,
  • Access or test new markets,
  • Help improve processes,
  • Attract new customers,
  • Improve marketing and sales.
Donald Mackenzie, Business Gateway Service Manager said: “The Business Development Grant has been set up to help those who fit the criteria not only access financial support but a wealth of business expertise which will give them a strong foundation on which to grow their enterprise. Applying for support is very straightforward and the local Business Gateway team will be on hand every step of the way, providing support before, during and after an application has been made.”
Councillor Ian Ross, Chair of Highland Council’s Planning Environment and Development Committee, added: “Economic conditions are still very challenging and it is therefore critical that businesses across the Highlands have access to a comprehensive range of support services. The Business Development Grant, combined with Business Gateway’s extensive support network, will ensure many businesses with growth potential are in a position to realise their development plans.”
To find out how Business Gateway could benefit your company visit or call 0845 609 6611.
Alternatively to find out how to apply, and for full conditions of Highland Business Development Grant, contact the Inverness office on 01463 713889.
Business Gateway “new jobs” service for remote areas
Business Gateway Highland has launched a service to help create new jobs in some of the region’s most remote, rural areas.
The service will target more than 300 businesses in Caithness, Sutherland, Wester Ross, Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch and Strathspey to help them better understand the process of recruiting staff for the first time.
Two recruitment advisers, based in Fort William and Bonar Bridge, have been taken on to give businesses help on issues including employment legislation, identifying the right people for interview and employment contracts.
Business Gateway manager Donald MacKenzie says: “Many small businesses need to but are nervous about taking on staff for the first time.
“The prospect of employment legislation, red tape, identifying and recruiting the right person and employment costs are all very real concerns.
“This service is highly personal, specialist and designed to help create jobs in some of this region’s most fragile areas by helping give businesses greater confidence and knowledge about the recruitment process.”
Emma Gunn, recruitment adviser based in Fort William believes many small businesses have information overload when it comes to employment.
“There’s a plethora of information out there to help businesses understand employment issues. The problem is that this in itself can be confusing to navigate and the majority of small business owners seldom have the time to work their way through lots of information.”
Marianne Ross, recruitment adviser in Bonar Bridge says: “The lack of productive people within a business is often a barrier to growth. Business Gateway’s recruitment service sets out to help businesses by providing an integrated package of information, advice and practical support.”
Business Gateway provides practical help, advice and support for new and growing businesses.
In the past year Business Gateway Highland has helped more than 200 start up businesses and provided support to over 300 existing businesses