Start-ups need clearer advice on support

Clearer and simpler advice for entrepreneurs and start-up businesses needs to be made available, according to Chichester business leaders.

Friday, 27th April 2018, 4:49 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 12:44 am
MP Gillian Keegan speaking at a Chichester Chamber of Commerce and Industry event at the Harbour Hotel

Chichester Chamber of Commerce and Industry hosted MP Gillian Keegan at a networking event sponsored by Rathbones and held at the Chichester Harbour Hotel earlier this month.

She answered questions about apprenticeships, the impact of Brexit on business, infrastructure investment in the area, such as upgrades to the A27, and the living wage, as well as describing her business career before entering Parliament last year.

However, one of the longest discussions was on the need for clear advice on where entrepreneurs, start-ups and independent businesses should go for support.

Attendees were told there was no shortage of material available, but it was a ‘minefield’ of information, with a lack of clarity over impartiality and eligibility.

Mrs Keegan said: “I think there’s too much noise in this area, drowning out advice to the point where you can’t see the wood from the trees.”

She described how the vision for the newly-opened Enterprise Centre was to offer a space for business start-ups looking to grow, with mentoring available and networking areas.

It was suggested Chichester could lead in this area, simplifying advice as it looked to attract innovative new companies.

Mrs Keegan was also asked about training costs rising since the apprenticeship levy was introduced.

As someone who started her career as an apprentice aged 16, she described them as a ‘brilliant route to get to the top of a career ladder’.

But she argued the delivery model was ‘relatively new and would need to evolve’.

She acknowledged the effect uncertainty around Brexit was having on businesses, but expected greater detail to emerge between October and December.

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