Blackpool council is urging people to follow their dream in the New Year and set up their own dream business as it celebrates its top five start-up firms who have gone on to great things.
The council has run its Get Started programme to support new businesses with advice andmentoring for eight years.
In that time with funding from the part of the Start Up Lancashire service supported by the European Regional Development Fund the scheme has helped more than 1,000 new businesses get off the ground.
The scheme has hailed its top five which include Charbrew, Baxter Life Care, Links Signs and Graphics, Hello Sailor and The Lancashire Cheesecake company.
Charbrew was founded by by Adam Soliman from Poulton at the age of 21, with the help of the Get Started service to renovate the UK tea market! Working closely with manufacturers in Sri Lanka Charbrew has expanded the boundaries of tea and infusions in the UK and Internationally with listings in over 3,000 stores globally.
Baxter Life Care has been running for just over two years The Bispham-based company, run by husband and wife duo Bev and Dean Baxter, employs 74. They now have two offices, one in Blackpool and one in Manchester.
Baxter Life Care won a contract this year to supply child care practitioners to ITV to look after any children whose parents are on shows such as Jeremy Kyle.
Link Signs and Graphics is now the largest designer and printer in Blackpool area with ten employees, 30 years’ experience in Leisure and Retail. Its strapline is “more than just a sign maker” and it has worked with Blackpool Council, Tussauds, Sea Life centre and Blackpool FC.
Hello Sailor was started in 2010 by Kat Wilson and Sean Powell to create a high class custom tattoo studio for Blackpool.
It was the last business to receive a local enterprise growth initiative grant. Superb, industry standard setting premises. Now employs seven members of staff,
Lancashire Cheesecakes was set up by Matt Watts with his wife Sharon. It is now supplying prestige catering outlets across the Fylde Coast and further afield with bespoke cheesecakes.
It has stockists as diverse as Selfridges, Barton Grange, Covent Garden. Selfridges buying 1,000 units per week.
In the past year, the team helped 90 people learn to become their own bosses, as well as giving them the expertise and tips to make sure that their company can thrive in Blackpool.
Coun Mark Smith, Blackpool Council’s Cabinet Member for Business and Economic Development, said: “It’s so encouraging to see so many new businesses setting up in Blackpool and I wish all our entrepreneurs the very best of luck.
“If you’ve got the ideas and passion to succeed, but are seeking professional guidance, Get Started offer one-to-one business support, advice and training on everything from bookkeeping to marketing. And we’ll continue to support you in those vital first months of trading.
“Many people are looking for fresh start or new challenge in the New Year and I would urge people who want to make it their new year’s resolution to start a business to come and see us.”
He added that Get Started was a friendly, professional and free service for Blackpool residents.
“Our advisors have a wealth of experience and are able to cover all the key issues you will face when setting up a business from scratch.
“You will get access to seminars and a dedicated business advisor who will work with you from day one to guide you through the do’s and don’ts of setting up in business.”
Adam Soliman of Charbrew said: “Working with Geoff Reeves and the team at Get Started helped me lay the solid foundations for Charbrew, Get Started helped turn a small vision into a true business reality”.
Matt Watts from the Lancashire Cheesecake company said: Matt, from South Shore, said: “I’ve been an employee and a manager before but this time, although I’m doing something I have a lot of knowledge about and passion for, it’s my own money and ultimately for my children’s future. It’s time to put my money where my mouth is.
“Thanks to the Council’s] Get Started team, I now have confidence that The Lancashire Cheesecake Company, and the best cheesecake you’ll ever taste, is on the right track.”