Present : Cllr. A
Hill, Cllr. A Murray, Bob Reid (Scottish Ent. Ayrshire), E Hawkes (May-Tag Ltd),
Bryce Weir (South Ayrshire Council), Jill Baillie (SEA), Ruth Dannan & Fiona
Reid (Fringe Benefits), Joy Love (SEA), Christine Fox (SEA), June Dunlop (J
Dunlop), Jim Cooper ( Electro Installab), J Jamieson (Jamieson Plant), W.
Torbett (Cairn School of Motoring), S. Michael (Flower Power), Pearl Barton
(Community Council), Alice Abbott (The Carrick), John Thorburn (SAC), Helen
Whitefield (Community Council), John Campbell ( Campbell Exe Travel), A J W Kidd
(The Ranch), Peter Mason (Community Council), David Kiltie (Community Council, J
Dunabie ( J D Cameron's and D) Ian Campbell ( Mitchell and Struthers), Peter
Walker (Maybole Community Development Group)
Cllr Hill welcomed
everyone to the meeting and gave a brief introduction covering the last meeting.
Christine Fox and
her colleagues from Scottish Enterprise Ayrshire then gave presentations about
how small businesses can be helped through Small Business Gateway. 98% of the
300,000 enterprises in Scotland are small. The aim of Small Business Gateway is
to focus on the customer, further improve the service they offer, implement a
cohesive strategy, improve efficiency, capitalise on e-commerce and assist
marketing. The project works with "Alert" which will promote roadshows
to communities and offer specific support where identified. The web site of the
project is www.sbgateway.com
The project has a
database offering a range of services on products, services and markets. Up to
date business information is available e.g. property and patent searches.
up can be supported with free access to information and business skills training
to produce a Business Plan. E-commerce assistance is available with funding up
to £500. Aftercare services are also offered. Specific help is available to
women to start up to help them start up. It is important for any business forum
or group to :- a) set out common objectives b) have a committed steering group
with a clear role c) have regular (monthly) meetings in a regular venue d) allow
members freedom to share experiences and to speak out e) be welcoming to new
members f) review objectives regularly
Business growth is
also supported and the nature of assistance depends on the need. The project
works in partnership with South Ayrshire Council, the Tourist Board, and
Auchencruive College to help create and sustain jobs.
Cllr Hill expressed
thanks to Scottish Enterprise Ayrshire and invited Bryce Weir from South
Ayrshire Council to say how the Council can help.
The Council have
their own Business Development support for small to medium businesses -
"Businesses into Computing". Businesses must be less than 11 people
with no computer. Funding which results in the business paying only 15% of the
cost of computer software and hardware. Larger businesses can be supported with
Business Health Check software to analyse planning, finance, products and
people. An action plan can be developed to progress the business.
John Thorburn from
South Ayrshire Council also spoke about support available from the Rural Affairs
Committee of the Council. The Business Association, if formed, would be a
voluntary group and could apply for funding for shop front assistance of up to
£500. John also mentioned the Leader + application being made to Europe, of
which May-Tag is a partner, and which would seek to provide funding for
innovative business generation. This might open up new opportunities for
businesses or Associations to access the internet and market local products.
Finance may be able
to be arranged to start up the Association, either from the Council or Scottish
Enterprise Ayrshire, or jointly. Need to be requested.
The meeting then
responded to any questions from the floor.
There was general
agreement that Maybole needs to be promoted and the internet was suggested as
one way of doing so, especially for tourism. E-commerce needs to be used to
promote our businesses.
The development of
the High Street and the entrances to the town were agreed to be crucial so that
they are attractive to tourists to stop.
would need to work together with the support of the Councillors. It was felt
that there was little community activity especially for the young in the town.
Job prospects and training, especially for Literacy and Numeracy, were
identified by businesses as needing attention.
Cllr. Hill spoke of
recently funded initiatives in the town e.g. library, Cluden houses. A by-pass
would help the present "stagnation" of the town because traffic
congestion prevented people stopping. CCTV would also benefit the town.
Association could cost renovation of the High St. and seek funding.
It was suggested
that someone from a flourishing Business Association e.g. Troon may be of
assistance in setting up a similar forum here. (funding available) Mr Kiltie
asked if it was the general consensus of the meeting to form a Business
Association and it was unanimously agreed. Mr Peter Walker will send out letters
to all businesses to agree support and will prepare a draft constitution for
consideration. The Community Council will call the next meeting for 4th April
when office bearers will be elected.