14/03/2019

Council Initiative Helps NI Business Achieve 50% Growth

A business programme designed to support and grow local micro and small sized enterprises by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough council has seen significant success, particularly for one local enterprise.

The Business Engagement Programme (BEP) engaged with over 500 local companies during the last four years and successfully helped create over 100 jobs across the Borough by providing tailored business mentoring.

NI Climbing Frames availed of this assistance and has since reaped the rewards.

Based in Banbridge, the firm manufactures and installs climbing frames for both the private and commercial market. They made contact with the BEP for expert help on how to grow their business by expanding into the Republic of Ireland's market.

The company received 20 hours of one-to-one mentoring aimed at helping to create a marketing strategy, specifically targeting sales growth in RoI. The mentor spent several months working closely with the business to produce this specific plan. As a direct result, NI Climbing Frames has seen sales increase in the RoI by a massive 50%. On top of this, due to additional support through the programme, a new business development position was created and is part funded by the InterTradeIreland Acumen programme.

The mentor also advised the company to pro-actively seek out Research and Development tax claim relief, which has helped the firm invest further and contributed to this growth.
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Ricardo Manso, Managing Director of NI Climbing Frames said: "The Business Engagement Programme was brilliant as it allowed us to get expert advice on issues relevant to NI Climbing Frames. Time was set aside to look at a variety of matters including things that were working well for us and things that could be improved. Then, with the help of the programme, we were given some brilliant advice and goals to work towards. We have now increased our production, sales and hired more staff and much of this is due to the programme."

"It is fantastic to see the direct impact that the Business Engagement Programme has had on so many of our local businesses, to ensure that they can continue to grow and thrive in what can often be a difficult economic climate," commented Councillor Paul Greenfield, Chair of Economic Development and Regeneration Committee.

"Council is committed to supporting our local businesses and this ground breaking programme ensures practical support where it is most needed. I was delighted to meet with Ricardo at NI Climbing Frames and to see first-hand how this programme has benefited the growth of his business and opened up a whole new range of opportunities for the future."

The Business Engagement Programme is part funded by Invest NI and the European Regional Development Fund under the Investment for Growth and Jobs Northern Ireland (2014-2020) Programme.

To be eligible for assistance from this programme, your business must be located in the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council area, employ less than 50 people, be actively trading and not currently receiving similar support from elsewhere.



(JG/CM)

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