By ANISAH ARIF
Bradford Council is making use of Small Business Saturday to highlight the aid and support that gives to local small businesses.
The City Centre’s Growth Scheme, which is a scheme by the Council, celebrated it’s sixth birthday at the end of November. The District Growth Scheme was launched in April this year, have both been supporting small businesses across the district to either set up or to expand.
The local authority launched its City Centre’s Growth Scheme in November 2012 and has since supported over 235 small businesses, helping them to create 739 new jobs.
As well as assisting 49 new business start-ups, it has also followed to the reoccupation of 94 previously vacant premises.
Leisure, offices, food and beverage uses have been particularly encouraged to support the existing retail offer and have helped to re-purpose former retail space in the city centre.
In the legal services sector, the scheme has helped Switalskis Solicitors and Stafforce Recruitment to expand their businesses.
Restaurants and café businesses have all received assistance through the scheme such as: MyLahore, Guzelian Café, Bangok Thai Restaurant and Tiffin Coffee.
In addition to this, bars and music venues have also been added into the mix, such as: Bradford Underground, The Record Café, and the Wireless Bar.
The scheme has also supported the development of co-working and collaborative spaces to encourage new small enterprises, including Assembly Bradford, the Bread & Roses studios, Bevan Health Care and Sunbridge Wells.
Due to the success of the City Centre Growth Scheme the council launched its District Growth Scheme in April 2018.
The District Growth Scheme, like the city centre scheme, provides a range of reliefs to attract new investment, encourage people to bring empty properties back into use, build new developments and re-use listed and heritage buildings in town centres across the district.
The scheme has so far assisted two businesses including the Moin Moin Backerei, an independent bakery business, which has been helped to open a new shop in Ilkley.
Both the City Centre Growth and the District Growth Schemes are run by Bradford Council’s Invest in Bradford team.
The Invest in Bradford team offer small businesses across the district a wide package of support, including one-to-one consultations with experienced business advisers. It also offers support in all aspects of business planning, including start-up, sales and marketing, legal issues, cashflow management, employment practices, planning for growth as well as specialist access to finance advice.
To support Small Business Saturday and encourage customers to support local and independent businesses there will be an event at the Oastler Shopping Centre on Saturday 1 December.
Shoppers and visitors will be taken on a tour of the centre and will be able to meet the traders, taste the food on offer in the market and see for themselves the skills required to run a small business.
Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, Planning and Transport, said: “Independent businesses are vital to providing a unique and distinctive offer both in the city centre and in town centre’s across the district.
“Over the six years that it has been running, our City Centre Growth Scheme has supported lots of small businesses to thrive and expand and it is hoped that the district scheme will go on to have the same success.
“Small Business Saturday is all about people shopping local and I hope people from across the district take part and go out and support the wonderful small businesses that we have in the district by visiting them and buying from them.”