BUSINESS partners who were given a helping hand by a council run support programme are now planning to help the young unemployed.
Smart Environmental Services, of Bowgreave Close, South Shore, was set up by partners Dave Docherty and Paul Channon after they were made redundant by Blackpool Council 17 months ago.
The former environmental protection officers decided to stick with what they knew and founded their company to deal with the full range of environmental issues from waste disposal, house clearances, pest control to drainage work.
Mr Docherty said that although they managed a team for the council, starting a new business was daunting at first as all the responsibility was on them.
So they turned to Blackpool Council’s Get Started team for help and Geoff Reeves, the small business adviser.
Mr Docherty said: “A lot of it was not knowing what to expect running your own firm and making sure the cash flow was there.
“At a time when we were coming to terms about being made redundant and also trying to plan for a new business, Get Started and Geoff were there to get us on track.
“Obviously, given the fact neither Paul or I had ever run a business before, we needed some positive guidance on how to ‘Get Started’ and that is exactly what the team did.
“From day one we received a lot of support in how to put together our business plan and all the other tedious administration that came with starting a new business.
“The whole support network that was provided by them resulted in us receiving the maximum grant available, which gave us the financial boost we required.”
He said the business had gone from strength to strength and had increased clients among many local authorities and ironically, Blackpool Council.
Mr Docherty and Paul Channon are now planning to take on help to cope with the demand by providing employment opportunities for local 16 to 24-year-olds as part of the Blackpool Council ‘Chance2Shine’ Scheme.
They were recently nominated for two awards at the Blackpool Council Trader of the Year Awards 2012.