SMALL businesses threw open their doors at an open day with a difference.
The event, held at Chester Enterprise Centre, one of Cheshire’s largest business generation centres, included a ‘taste of India’ for enterprises looking to do business with the sub continent.
The centre, opposite Chester Station at Hoole Bridge, is one of a county-wide network, dating back to the early 1980s.
Launched by Cheshire County Council, they provide accommodation for small businesses alongside business advice and training services provided on site by companies such as Cheshire and Warrington Business Venture which manages the centre on a day-to- day basis.
The six centres, from Ellesmere Port to Congleton, provide accommodation for 160 businesses, two thirds of which have been formed in the last five years.
The Chester centre, the largest in the County’s network, is home to almost 100 small business units varying in size from 100sq ft to 2,000sq ft.
On offer are consultancies in renewable energy, health and safety, archaeology, planning and graphic design to solicitors and financial advisers.
Two workshops house precision engineering and toolmaking and fitted furniture manufacture.
Cheshire and Warrington Business Venture is on hand to ensure resident businesses have access to advice and training, giving them support in their early years of inception and development.
The open day included a workshop for those keen to explore possible trade links with India.
Run on behalf of UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) and the North West Development Agency, the workshop explored the significance of the growing numbers of Indian corporate companies buying into North West businesses and discussed if this presented a unique opportunity or a major threat to businesses in the region.
The one-hour event focused attention on how companies can prepare to meet the challenges posed by new and expanding markets and offered guidance on how to access the help on offer from organisations such as UKTI.