There are a number of agencies providing business support services in Somerset. We work with these external agencies to ensure that guidance is available for new and existing businesses.
For businesses looking to locate in Somerset the inward investment agency Into Somerset provides a first point of contact for help and advice about moving into the county.
This service is provided to secure economic growth for the county. We aim to signpost you to specialist agencies that should provide Somerset businesses with quality advice and support.
What the agencies can do for you
Typical advice and support on offer includes
- How to grow a business
- Securing loans, capital and finance
- Keeping staff and creating new jobs
- Meeting tax and regulatory requirements
- Export planning
- Planning for long term sustainable growth
- Debt management
- Legal issues
This is not a definitive list and simply highlights examples of advice and support on offer. If you can’t find the information you are looking for on this page, please contact us and we will do our best to provide it for you. The agencies we recommend are national, regional and local.
In addition, the Government has developed the ‘Great Business’ website www.greatbusiness.gov.uk and launched the Business Support Helpline.
If you need business help, get in touch with the Helpline where trained advisors can point you to national and local advice, grants and schemes.
Advisors are available by phone or online between 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.
Phone 0300 456 3565
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC)
HMRC has an excellent range of freely available learning resources to save businesses time and money in managing their tax affairs.
E-learning – No registration and no time limits. All content maintained by HMRC.
Webinars (online presentations) – Available across multiple platforms (PC, mobile, tablet)
Live: Interactive with the opportunity to ask questions.
Recorded: No registration required and can be accessed at any time.
As an alternative to the public webinars listed above, we are also able to run exclusive live webinars just for our partners and associates.
Record keeping applications (Apps) and making payments
Take the hassle out of record keeping and managing paperwork – let one of these Apps do the hard work for you.
Similarly, this simple but highly effective ready reckoner tool can help with budgeting for tax and national insurance payments.
Short tutorials, guides and information to help with all your tax needs. No registration or account needed. Simply follow this link or search for our YouTube channel – hmrcgovuk.
Follow us on Twitter to keep up to date with hints, tips, guidance, webinar schedule and more. Follow the link @HMRCdigital to find out more.
Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) – Business Advice Service
The ICAWU Business Advice Service offers free advice sessions on how to overcome challenges facing small and medium size enterprises with qualified ICAEW Chartered Accountants. For more information visit find.icaew.com/pages/bas.
Federation of Small Business – Somerset and Wiltshire promote and protect the interests of the self-employed and the owners of small firms. For more information visit the Somerset Business Agency link.
South West Manufacturing Advisory Service (SWMAS)
SWMAS helps manufacturing businesses develop their strategy, capability and capacity to improve and grow. Through their team of experienced manufacturing and supply chain specialists, they bring together a broad range of industrial experience, expertise and resources so that businesses can get the right advice and support and take the necessary actions to fulfil their growth potential.
The current SWMAS offer includes support for strategy mapping, coaching, workshops and best practice visits, supply chain engagement and improvement and signposting to funding for consultancy and capital equipment. The SWMAS manufacturing specialists work closely with growth hubs and other local, regional and national support schemes to ensure manufacturers can access relevant support at the right time.
The Growth Hub is the first point of contact for any Somerset business, operating in any sector, that wishes to discover what business support opportunities and services are available to them. Business Advisors are armed with information about local and national business support schemes, services and events. Advisors can also inform you if the Growth Hub can deliver the business support service you require through a grant-funded scheme.
To find out more you can contact the Growth Hub on, 03456 047 047 or on www.heartofswgrowthhub.co.uk. The website has been recently refreshed to provide users with an engaging knowledge hub and self-help tool for business support.
GAIN Business Engagement Service
The GAIN Business Engagement Service helps businesses across the south west find the business support they need to grow and flourish. This free service will cut through the complex range of business support, marrying the customers’ needs and the criteria of the various support programmes to direct businesses to the most appropriate services, providers and investment support.
If you are looking for business funding or finance, you can search the Gain in Business’ Grant Finder tool – this is free (but you will need to register first).
Although it is mainly aimed at attracting potential investors, the Into Somerset website provides key information about the business resources available to support existing businesses in Somerset.
Somerset Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Supports Somerset businesses through its promotion and lobbying for business development in Somerset. For more information visit the Somerset Chamber of Commerce website.
Somerset Business Agency
Offers help and mentoring to small businesses. For more information visit the Somerset Business Agency website.
Promoting tourism in Somerset. For more information visit the Visit Somerset website.
Somerset County Council has a portfolio of Enterprise Centres across the county which aim to promote business growth and economic development. The five centres are based at Keyford Court in Frome, Barle near Dulverton, Wheddon Cross, Minehead, and Highbridge.
All the centres are owned by Somerset County Council and managed by South West Business Centres. Benefits of renting an office or industrial unit at one of the Enterprise Centres include flexible and easy tenure agreements, competitive rent prices, access to business support services and advisors, start up and growth planning support, and regular business breakfasts and informal networking opportunities with other tenants.
Somerset Energy Innovation Centre, Bridgwater
The Somerset Energy Innovation Centre is a catalyst for collaboration and innovation, providing dynamic space and expert support to the businesses at the heart of the growing low carbon energy supply chain.
The Centre is a 2 storey building with a lettable floor space of approximately 2400 square metres. It provides a flexible range of high quality office and meeting spaces, along with a café and networking area.
They work directly with businesses moving into or already working in the low carbon market and seeking to supply into energy projects. Using their expertise, they advise and support companies to develop capability, innovate and form new partnerships.
All the businesses at the Somerset Energy Innovation Centre share the core value of openness to collaboration and innovation. Their ambition is to create a sustainable economic legacy through the growth of a South West low carbon energy cluster.
The Centre is 5 minutes from junction 23 of the M5, and just 12 miles from Europe’s largest construction project, Hinkley Point C, which represents a lifetime £40 billion investment and will supply up to 7% of the UK’s electricity demand.