Business

 

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Leighton-Linslade is good for business. An increasing number of companies are moving into the town, attracted by its location and its amenities. Support for businesses is given by the Town Council and other local organisations.

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A town that means business

Leighton-Linslade has a vibrant and diverse business community including manufacturing, distribution, training and retail to name but a few areas of speciality. The town is increasing in population and more businesses are moving here to set up shop. Many businesses operate from our many business parks and industrial buildings around the town yet we have a host of home-based businesses and services with many working nationally and internationally as well as delivering locally.

The Town Council is very proud of its business community and seeks to support business people and start-up businesses however possible. We work together with Central Bedfordshire Council ensuring access to business support.

Business Networking Event 2019

“Best one yet,” was a comment heard as people left the 7th annual Business Networking Event on Wednesday 24 April. It truly had a great ‘buzz’ about the evening and the noise of talking just kept going on throughout the evening.

A total of 117 local business people chatted and made connections during the evening. 1,900 recorded connections were created using our technology partner for the event, Blendology, who provided electronic business cards that attendees tapped to record who they had met.

Sarah K, an Award-Winning Social Media expert at Etica, joined the evening for a short presentation on how to build a Powerful Community and Personal Social Media Brand, providing hints and tips for smaller businesses engaging with their customer base through social media platforms.

Initial feedback has been very positive with attendee feedback ranging from “very useful for start-ups’ to ‘the best Networking Group I’ve been too”.

Organisers of the event, Leighton-Linslade Town Council would like to thank key partners and sponsors Hascat Safety, LB Connect, Bee Local, The Federation of Small Businesses and Central Bedfordshire Council for their support. Through this partnership approach with the business community, the Business Networking Event was 1 of 3 finalists for Business Networking Group of the year at the Luton & Beds SME Business Awards (Small, Medium Enterprises). Whilst the Council did not receive a prize, the Council is proud to have made it to the finals and raising our profile for how we support our local businesses.


Useful business links

The Town Council also supports the Keep Trade Local campaign with the Federation of Small Businesses and supports Central Bedfordshire Council on their business opportunity projects including Timebank, Lets talk business for start ups and business clinics.

We also fund the Market Bursary scheme and market trader workshops, for more information visit our market page.

Velocity is the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership’s programme for growing businesses (usually have to be trading for at least 12 months).  Through Velocity, businesses can speak to an advisor, attend free workshops and potentially apply for grant funding, see www.velocitybusinesssupport.com

Wenta – all start ups and pre-start ups are signposted to Wenta, www.wenta.co.uk

Central Bedfordshire Council is also supporting two projects aimed at supporting the unemployed and economically inactive to potentially consider self-employment. These are TCHC, www.tchc.net/services/business-start-up-support/bedford and Exemplas:
www.exemplas.com/public-sector/EmploymentSolutions/Employment-through-Enterprise/ Building-Enterprising-Communities/

Business TimeBank – Through this scheme, local business experts have agreed to provide a free one hour advice session to other businesses.Topics covered include marketing, law, finance, business coaching, intellectual property etc
http://www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/local-business/business-information-and-advice/ grow-business/free-business-consultation/default.aspx

The National Apprenticeship Service website is the best place to look for further information relating to apprenticeships: www.apprenticeships.org.uk

Information on the grants available for SME’s taking on a 16-24 year old apprentice can be found on the site at http://www.apprenticeships.org.uk/employers/apprenticeships-for-small-business/what-support-is-available.aspx

FSB – Federation of Small Businesses
When your business needs expert support one membership covers all this..
Legal and Tax protection Insurance, Legal Documents, Legal Information Online, Legal Services, Legal and Tax Advice Line, Health and Safety Information, Commercial Insurance Helpline, FSB Care with access to more Members Benefits. www.fsb.org.uk/benefits 0808 20 20 888

Local business networking groups

Business Networking at Astral Park
Join local like-minded businesses at Astral Park every fortnight for a fun, friendly and relaxed business networking. The meetings are super friendly with three 10 minute guaranteed business appointments. Every other Tuesday 12pm – 2pm. For more info and to book your place, please visit: https://goo.gl/Af8gwH

The Bee’s Knees Business Club
An exclusive business and networking group for women who play a part in running a business or run their own business in Leighton Buzzard and surrounding areas. Supportive, fun and flexible networking for those striving for that work/life balance – we know it’s not always easy! The aim of our club is to support its members with handy tips, informative articles, business advice and information. If you’re in business we’d love to hear your story. We will also be hosting child friendly events throughout the year. For more info please visit: https://tinyurl.com/yxs3sktt or contact Emma: info@olivetreemarketingsolutions.co.uk or Chloe: chloe@jamontoast.co.uk

Buzzard Networking
Established in 2017 Buzzard Networking meet the 3rd Friday of each month at Astral Park 7am – 9am. The cost is £10 which includes breakfast. www.buzzardnetworking.co.ukRichard Latimer 0800 955 8041/ 07931 570 166 r.latimer@jamcrackers.co.ukwww.jamcrackers.co.uk

LB Connect
Established 2010. Meets every Friday morning 6.45am-8.30am at The Hare, Linslade. Truly local, not for profit organisation focussed on growing businesses while supporting local charities – £8,000+ donated in four years. Friendly and welcoming to all visitors; one member per business sector. Annual fee £75 plus £11 per week for breakfast (full English or Continental). Website: www.lbconnect.co.ukMore info: will@accalon.co.uk

LBBC Business Club
Welcoming a group of local business people, meeting weekly on Wednesday mornings with the aim of generating new business leads for ourselves & other members.Visitors are more than welcome to come along & see how the club runs, either as a one-off way to introduce themselves to other local businesses, or to see if they would like to join the club full time.
Visitors pay for breakfast (£12, for a full cooked breakfast), and there are no area business clashes – click here for a list of our current members http://www.lbbiz.co.uk/members-directory.

Women in Business Networking
The Women in Business Networking group is a membership organisation for women who wish to gain new business opportunities through word of mouth. We welcome new members and visitors alike. Please feel free to contact us for more information. The Leighton Buzzard Group meet the second Wednesday of every month 12:00 – 14:00 at The Dukes 7-9 Leighton Rd, Heath and Reach, Leighton Buzzard LU7 OAA. For more information please contact Deborah James on deborah@jameshr.co.uk or Frankie O’Neil on Frankie@frankiemanages.co.uk