A helping hand for new business bosses

A RAFT raft of measures have been drawn up designed to create new businessmen and women.

The council is looking at setting aside £30,000 for a project to encourage self-employment in the more deprived areas of Calderdale.

Other schemes which have been given the backing of the council’s economic taskforce include a “Silver Enterpreneurs” project, worth £35,000, to help residents aged 50 and over who are either out of work or facing redundancy to consider self-employment or set up a new business.

So far, 130 such people have chosen this path after attending special training courses. The task force has also recommended Calderdale Council Cabinet set up a “Young Apprentice” scheme which would give young people the opportunity to develop business ideas by using market stalls.

It would also raise awareness and encourage those aged 14-16 to learn more about the practicalities of marketing and business start-ups and cost about £4,000.

A previous project to support 50 apprenticeships among small businesses in the borough has already been successful, with all of the posts filled or close to being filled.

It is proposed that the scheme should be extended at a cost £50,000 with 20 places eligible for funding of £2,000 each and 10 places at £1,000.

The number of independent businesses in the Piece Hall could be increased from 29 with the help of a £5,000 council grant and if the cabinet gives the goahead on Monday, Hebden Bridge Arts Festival and the Halifax Festival will each receive £7,000.

Together they generate about £800,000 a year for the local economy.

The council’s economy and environment spokesman, Barry Collins, said the proposals are designed to counteract the worst effects of the economic downturn. “By investing this money wisely we are able to create opportunities for new enterprises and support existing businesses.

“The enterprise programme has a great track record of helping people set up their own businesses.”

Council leader, Janet Battye, said the funding offered great opportunities to develop enterprises and support the local economy.

“I’m really keen that we help young people to get started with working and acquiring the skills that local businesses need,” she said.