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BUSINESS

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Grand National is a sign of the times PAGES2&3

Start Survive Thrive

Illness inspiration for laser clinics PAGES4&5

Bean Coffee to grow at Princes BEAN Coffee has signed a deal to increase its trading space at Princes Dock. The independent coffee and catering business operates out of Brunswick Business Park and its mobile Bean Machine coffee shop and has been temporarily occupying an existing unit at Princes, where 2,500 people work. But it will move to bigger premises in

‘building 12’, which includes the multi-storey car park next to the Malmaison Hotel, when they are completed next month. Princes Dock property manager Liza Marco said: “The Bean Coffee shop will provide an excellent complimentary amenity for both the existing occupiers and visitors to Princes Dock.”

EXPANSION: Bean Coffee owners Vip Bhatt and Jon Whyte on site at their planned new Princes Dock site

HIGH RATES BLIGHT CITY HIGH STREET Walton suffering as retailers shut up shop – claim by NEIL HODGSON Industry Reporter UNREALISTIC business rate valuations are blighting main retail areas, claims a Walton cafe owner. Michael Mavris, 57, boss of Mike’s Kitchen in County Road, said he may have to axe staff as footfall dwindles due to business closures. He claims shops have shut rather than accept high valuations, and the once prime retail area is now in decline. Mr Mavris, who has worked in catering all his life, paid £10,900 in rent last year, but said his premises were valued at £12,250, which he added took him out of banding to qualify for small business rate relief. And he said his appeal against last

SHUTTING-UP: A cafe owner claims unrealistic business rate valuations are blighting retail areas, like County Road, Walton May’s valuation is still outstanding. “This part of County Road used to be a prime site six years ago, with Ethel Austin, Kwiksave and Burtons, but they

have all gone. “There’s 26 empty premises waiting to be let or rented. “If you stand on my front door, 500

yards in each direction you have 18 takeaways, six newsagents, four accident and claims shops and three pawnbrokers. “This is what they are turning the road into. They are driving the major shops away.” He argues that the rateable value of a premises is only what a retailer is prepared to pay. And he warned: “I employ six girls from the community. But it is hard to keep six girls in employment without having to cut one or two jobs if we are going to have to find these expenses.” He said he approached Liverpool City Council regarding his appeal. “I told them, we are going to come to a stage and close the doors, but the council said, ‘when you do that, inform us so we will stop taking the money from your bank’.” A council spokesman said: “While the city council collects business rates on behalf of the government, the actual level is set by the Valuation Office (VOA) and we have no control over it.” A VOA spokesman added: “We have received several formal proposals to alter the rating list for shops in Liverpool 4 postal district, including County Road, and are dealing with them.”

HSBC Bank has launched its Business Thinking competition which will choose six firms from nine UK regions to go on “thought exchange” trips before choosing a winner. Last year finalists were taken to Shanghai, Mexico and Istanbul and HSBC area commercial director Dean Bunning said he is looking for businesses from Liverpool to enter this year’s competition. Visit http://businessthinking. hsbc.co.uk for details.

BUSINESSES are ● being invited to an information event that

will help them make the most of the Labour Party’s first annual conference in Liverpool this September. The ‘how to get involved’ drop-in sessions at Liverpool’s Arena and Convention Centre take place tomorrow, April 7, from 1pm and will outline details of the conference, its hundreds of fringe events, and business opportunities. To register to attend phone 0870 043 5533 or register online at www. labour.org.uk/ac2011get involved

RYAN Redmond, 20, from Kirkdale, has won the Demolition Operative of the Year Award and a £1,000 prize at the National Federation of Demolition Contractors’ annual event in London. He joined Widnes firm J Bryan as a 16-year-old and completed an apprenticeship at the National Construction Training College in Norfolk.

BARCLAYS Bank is ● holding a free seminar at Liverpool’s

Anfield stadium on April 13 to help entrepreneurs and existing businesses boost online trading. International digital expert Josh Spear and Matt Brittin, managing director of Google UK and Ireland, will be joined by local digitalsavvy entrepreneurs to offer advice and support. Visit www.barclays.co.uk/ boostingbusiness to attend.


2 NEWS

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

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BUSINESS MARITIME GROUP IN SMALL FIRMS PLEA

MERSEY Maritime, the ports-related business group, is targeting the small firms sector with a new membership deal. Communications manager Annette Parker said the new package will offer businesses an increased range of events, improved business development opportunities and a lobbying facility. She said: “We have always enjoyed strong support from Liverpool’s best known maritime companies, for example, Bibby, Peel, Cammell Laird, Maersk and Atlantic Container Line, as well as many smaller, but equally wellrespected companies such as Brookes Bell, Salvesen and Denholm Handling. “Now, more than ever, other companies are realising the value of building their networks and are coming to us to help make that happen. “ We would urge any firm keen to grow in the maritime sector on Merseyside to come and join us.” The region’s maritime sector employs 26,000 people in 1,000 firms, with a turnover of £2.5bn. Ms Parker said prospects for the sector are encouraging, including plans for a SuperPort which it is estimated could lead to the creation of 21,000 new jobs by 2020, rising to 30,000 by 2030. Visit www.mersey maritime.co.uk

TRIBUTE TO ‘GENT’ PAUL

FAMILY and colleagues of Total Glass managing director Paul Ierston are mourning his passing after a twoand-a-half year battle with cancer. Mr Ierston, 40, joined the Knowsley firm as an office junior from school and was appointed managing director in 2008. He leaves a wife, Vicky, and two children, Alfie (7), and four-year-old Ava. Founder Frank Deary said: “Paul was a pure gentleman.”

SMALL

BUSINESS of the Week

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OMORROW’S Grand National Liverpool Day marks the start of three days of excitement, joy, and, yes, even disappointment for punters whose “dead cert” tips will have drifted across the famous Aintree course in a confetti of torn-up betting slips. But for Aintree-born Paul Gardner it will be another rendezvous with a welcome constant throughout his working life. Paul, 59, first set foot on the National course in 1982, though not as a wide-eyed racegoer. He was working for a London-based firm providing signage for the entire course. And he has returned to the National in a working capacity each year since then – though the industry and technology have raced ahead in the intervening years. However, things looked bleak back in the 80s when Paul’s employer, which was one of the first to provide signage and advertising hoardings at football and sporting venues, went bust, leading to a period working at the now defunct BICC factory in Melling. “Times were hard and I had a young family to support, so I did 12 hour nights at the old BICC factory.” Fortunately, he was able to find work with a Southport firm working in the same field that had secured the Grand National contract. Eighteen months later they, too, had collapsed. But it opened the door to a job with TVF Promotions in 1986 which had the Aintree contract and has worked it ever since. Now, with Paul one of two sole directors, it has diversified into other arenas on the global sporting stage. Paul runs contracts for sponsors of the National and other horseracing courses as well as several major sporting events, including rugby union’s showcase Five, then Six Nations tournament, and local clubs Waterloo and Orrell. He heads TVF’s Heysham Industrial Estate base in Netherton, while co-director Lynn Wall heads a London office. He said: “By the time I became a director we were doing a lot of racecourses. I have always done the Grand National.” Much of the work TVF was awarded was through word of mouth: “We started slowly, but by the late 80s and early 90s, one of the London agencies we worked for got the Coca Cola Cup.” The first domestic final of the English football season at the prestigious Wembley stadium was a significant stepping stone for the business, and preceded further

Life’s Grand as Paul signs up for another National

SIGN OF THE TIMES: Paul Gardner, operations director for TVF Promotions, with the John Smith's signs for this years Grand National

Neil Hodgson talks to Paul Gardner of signage specialist TVF Promotions contract wins with the English Football Association and its key sponsors Green Flag and Nationwide. TVF was then invited by the FA to pitch for the contract for the European Football Championships which England was to host in 1996. The tournament took place at Wembley and several other stadiums around the country including Newcastle, Aston Villa in Birmingham, Manchester United’s Old Trafford and Liverpool’s Anfield, which, as a committed Red,

was a dream for Paul. He said: “I support Liverpool and always have done, so Euro 96 was a big buzz for me.” The football tournament was the biggest contract TVF had worked on, and its seamless delivery provided the platform for the company to kick on, said Paul. “It was a massive job and took two years to plan, but we got some really big spin offs from that, including Lloyds TSB for the Five Nations and

the European Speedway Grand Prix in 2000.” He said he believes the quality of their work on the Euro 96 tournament elevated TVF’s standing in the industry: “At the time it was probably the second or third biggest sporting event in the world.” TVF works closely with major sponsors such as Guinness and Aviva and recent contract wins include the Great North Run sponsor BUPA and the Manchester 10k race. It has also pitched for this year’s revived Liverpool marathon in October. Preparations are also in full swing for May’s Heineken rugby union final at Cardiff ’s Millennium stadium. The company employs just over 30 staff, evenly split between Liverpool and London, working on their sporting contracts and some hotel conference work. Paul says the industry has changed dramatically since he began in the

LT Print extends capacity with £120,000 digital press WIRRAL printer LT Print Group has invested £120,000 in a new digital press that will add extra production capacity. The business, which employs 41 staff at offices in Wallasey and Birkenhead, has bought a Xerox 7002 digital press, one of the most advanced in the UK. Managing director Bob

McWilliams said the new press would lead to a “sea change” in productivity and quality available to customers. “Digital is the future and a great avenue for growth,” he said. He said the new press will streamline the business and expand its customer offer. “By upgrading we can meet

the high quality and fast turnaround demanded by consumers, while improving our services to business clients,” he said. “£120,000 is a lot of money to invest at the moment, but despite the economic conditions we are maintaining growth and this is a further example of our commitment

to offer our clients the best possible services.” The £2.7m-turnover company works extensively with public sector clients, including the NHS and a range of Merseyside schools and universities, as well as private sector organisations such as Liverpool Law Society and the Bank of Scotland.

The business also specialises in printing for the hospitality sector, with a range of clients including top London hotels Claridge’s, the Hyatt Regency and Mandarin Oriental and the UK spa hotel chain Shire Hotels. LT Print merged in 2009 with Prescot-based firm Stephenson Print.


★★★★

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

NEWS 3

FPB CALL TO TEST NEW APPEALS

A SMALL business support group is urging members to put a new bank lending appeals process to the test. The British Bankers’ Association announced the creation of the new process this week which, it is claimed, will allow small firms to request a second opinion if they believe loan applications have been declined unfairly by one of the UK’s main banks. The Forum of Private Business (FPB) believes the creation of the appeals process is a welcome step which should, if applied correctly, help to restore some trust in bank lending among small firms. FPB chief executive Phil Orford said: “If business owners do not pursue the appeals avenue when their loan applications are denied, it will effectively let the banks off the hook and allow them to say that small firms are happy with their lending decisions.”

Do you want to be our Business of the Week? Contact Neil Hodgson 0151 472 2451 or email neil.hodgson @liverpool.com

early 1980s. “When I first came in, all the signs were hand written or stencilled. “Now , almost 100% are done on digital printers.” Technology is also shifting away from printed signage and advertising to sophisticated LED displays around pitch perimeters and 3-D logos actually painted on the pitch which are placed in specific relation to the location of TV cameras. “They look like they are standing on the pitch, until someone runs over them,” said Paul. “They’re quite distorted up close, but they are applied at a measured distance from the TV cameras so they appear properly on the screen.” Another aspect of the modern industry is specialist abseilers on the staff who can work high on stadium roofing to place signs as advertisers seek more and more outlets for their products. Paul admitted the business felt the pinch when the downturn hit advertising: “We were alright at first, but after six to nine months, then it started happening. “I think we have bottomed out now and, with a lot of help and understanding of the staff to get us through, we’re picking up work again and things are on the up. “Our turnover of almost £1m is slightly down on the previous year due to the downturn, but we have taken on a new salesman who is trying to pick up new things for us.”

Unit 1, Wakefield Road, Heysham Industrial Estate, Netherton, Liverpool, L30 6TZ, UK

29 Years’ proud association with the Grand National ■ Venue Dressing ■ Large Format Digital Printing ■ Commercial Signage ■ PVC Banners ■ Window Graphics ■ Building Wraps ■ Vehicle Livery ■ Pop Ups ■ A-Boards ■ Flags, Pennants & Bunting

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ORDERS OVER £100 QUOTE REF ECHO1 FOR 10% DISCOUNT CALL NOW 0151 521 7636 SPORTING CHANCE: Paul Gardner’s TVF Promotions makes signs for many major events


4 NEWS

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

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BUSINESS

BIG Turning kidney F failure into a business success story INTERVIEW Alex Turner talks to Jan Williams, whose illness led to setting up Pro.Med Laser Clinics

OR lots of would-be businesspeople, the desire to be an entrepreneur comes before the idea. But Jan Williams’ inspiration for Pro.Med Laser Clinics came from her own experiences following kidney failure. One side-effect of thje medication was she suffered very badly with facial hair and bodily hair – and her frustrations at the lack of suitable treatments were the catalyst for setting up in business. It was one of many medical appointments that sparked the idea. “I had gone in for a consultation but I came out with a lot of ideas,” she said. “At this point I was quite skint. I thought it was a dream, but I decided it was something I really wanted to do.” Her mother had run her own businesses, including a hairdressers at 55 Goodison Road when Jan was very young and more recently a pub in North Wales, which Jan had helped run when her medical appointments and illnesses made it difficult to hold down a full-time job. But she was determined to help people who are afflicted by unwanted hair. She said: “When I ask people how they heard about us, some have kept hold of something they read about us two or three years ago. “It’s the hardest thing for someone to walk through the door and say ‘hi, I have got a problem’. It’s amazing how people will hide things.” The taboo nature of the subject had an impact on the business when Jan opened her first clinic in January, 2008. “Building up in the early days was very, very hard,” she said. “It was overcoming barriers, I was going everywhere trying to get people to have a free treatment.” The business, then called Frodsham Laser Clinic, slowly established itself before Jan started looking further afield. Jan said: “I ran on my own for two years but by the end of 2009 I wanted more. I started looking for the next location, which happened to be St Helens. We called it North West Laser and Aesthetic Clinic because I thought we wouldn’t get out of the North West. “Then I got bored again and have just opened in Mold, Wales, so it was time to rebrand, this time to Pro.Med Lasers. We are really trying to idenitfy ourselves as professional rather than beauticians.” The company offers more than just hair removal, with its services including scar reduction, vein removal, tattoo removal, acne treatment and body contouring.

GROWTH PLANS: Jan intends to open two more clinics in the coming months

Buoyed by the success so far, Jan is now developing plans that will see her business grow geographically and deepen its involvement in the sector and the community. “The plan is to take over the

world by laser,” she said, laughing, although having opened two clinics in less than a year the business is fast approaching a tipping point. “We have got plans to open in Bolton within the next few months and then a site in Troon, Ayrshire –

‘Building up in the early days was very very hard’

then we’ll be in England, Wales and Scotland. “I have been approached by potential investor and I am looking at whether I want it to go that way or not. “I’ve also got to decide whether I grow the business as a chain or a franchise, although my worry about franchises is you can lose focus.” In the meantime, there is still a lot going on for Jan to focus on. “We are just opening our own laser training school. From GPs to

the novice who doesn’t know whether they want to go into laser treatments,” she said. “I am running some pro-bono pilot schemes with HM Prisons to help remove marks that will stop people getting on and getting a job when they are released. “We also do a few clients each year pro bono that have come through their GP or dermatologist where people are genuinely suffering but can’t afford treatment.”


★★★★

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

NEWS 5

ASK THE

EXPERT with KAREN TATE, business start up advisor at Stepclever

B

LASER FOCUS: Jan’s clinics offer a range of services that involve laser treatments

TEAMWORK: The Pro.Med staff are Marcus Williams, Helen Miles, Jan Williams and Karen Robertson

USINESS leaders are being asked to share their expertise with budding entrepreneurs – could you be one of them? If you’ve got a business idea or are already working for yourself, you may need that extra push to get your business moving. This is where a Stepclever mentor can come in. Stepclever Mentors work with individuals to shape their business ideas and test it out with potential investors, customers and suppliers so they are ready to launch their business. They will also help to secure the required investment and give advice on how to maintain a successful company. Essential support is given to the new entrepreneurs throughout the process, with mentors using their existing contacts to help make the business a success. The project offers: ● Group Mentoring Course: Allow yourself to learn from others, as you are provided with a set of innovative tools to take your business forward in ways you never thought possible. ● Mentoring Web Space: Gain exclusive access to an online mentoring facility, giving you access to a wide range of business professionals who will be on hand to help you every step of the way. ● Free Laptop: Everybody who attends and completes the group mentoring course will receive their own laptop to help them in their business. ● E-Commerce

Training: Learn how to use the powers of the world wide web to market you business, increase your sales, and improve your efficiency. A group of mentees and mentors have already taken part in the first phase of the project, and this is what some of them had to say: “I have learnt to look at different business ideas and think about how if will help me succeed.” “The course has made me question myself and think about the things I want to do in the future and how to go about it.” “The sessions have allowed us to think and define our ideas for business.” The Stepclever team are looking for mentors who can offer advice on areas such as ICT, marketing, counselling, HR, law and procure- ment and self employ- ment. But if you have a business idea and think you would benefit from speaking with someone who’s gone through the same process then contact us today. Call Carly Phillips on 07581 569835 or e-mail her at carly.phillips@ neighbourhoodinvestor. com.

STARTING a new business is exciting and rewarding, but it is also full of challenges. Stepclever has a range of services to help you on your way from turning an idea into a real life business. To find out more visit us at Stepclever.co.uk


6 NEWS

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

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BUSINESS

ONEBRICKAT

Tony McDonough takes a look at how the construction sector is faring

FOCUS F . . . on builders

EW business sectors will have been hit harder than the construction sector during the recession. However, the latest data from the Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) survey for the UK construction sector indicates the sector put in a good performance in March, see panel. Peter Linford, director of north Liverpool-based Nobles Construction, insists his business is weathering the storm but admits others have not been so fortunate. At present the company, which employs 58 people, has 19 live building jobs ranging in value from £200,000 to £6m. Current projects include the £750,000 refurbishment of Liverpool’s Neptune Theatre, work on the Slavery Museum at the Albert Dock and some work for Liverpool Football Club. Nobles is also on site at Aintree Hospital, Christie’s Hospital in Manchester and Arrowe Park Hospital in Wirral as well as numerous school projects including St Margaret Church of England in Warrington, where they are carrying out £2.1m worth of work. “At the moment the market is extremely tight and extremely competitive,” he said. “We have seen a number of local contractors go under in the past couple of years and that is not good.” Along with the rest of the UK, Merseyside has seen private sector property development virtually grind to a halt post credit-crunch. Bank lending remains tight and even if they do start to slowly loosen the purse strings, many are unlikely to touch property projects with a bargepole. Consequently, Nobles has had to rely much more heavily on public sector contracts than Peter would like. Despite the cutback on large capital projects Peter, who owns the business with two other directors, says the lower level refurbishment and building work has continued. He added: “In an ideal world the split between public and private sector jobs would be fifty-fifty. But at the moment the majority of our work is public sector because the private isn’t building and the banks aren’t lending. “The public sector procurement process is becoming increasingly

BIG PLANS: Peter Linford, director of Nobles Construction, left, discusses the £750,000 refurbishment of the Neptune Theatre with Joe Anderson, leader of Liverpool City Council, one of several jobs the firm has on the go difficult. Both price and quality are important and it is getting more difficult to get even onto the pre-qualification lists. “You now have to be really innovative and show what you can do. Added to that, because of the cutbacks on the bigger projects, we are now finding ourselves competing against the bigger contractors who are stepping down into our market. “A lot of the public sector work we do is at the sub-£2m level and generally that work still has to be done, despite the cutbacks in public sector spending.” Despite the increased competition, Nobles’ reputation means it is continuing to win work and remains on an upward growth curve. Latest turnover has come in at £15m and the firm is aiming to grow that to around £25m over the next two to three years. Peter said: “That would take us to a manageable level and once we reach there then we may want to go a bit higher. “We have been going now for 16

years and we have had people who have worked for us since those days – there is a lot of loyalty there and we want to make sure we keep people in a job. “We always endeavour to keep things as local as possible. “As well as employing local people, we try as much as possible to always use Liverpool sub-contractors. We are a Liverpool firm and we want to keep the money in Liverpool.” Finding a niche is clearly a good strategy for surviving and thriving and that is the approch adopted by Run Services. With two Liverpool offices, as well as one in Manchester, the firm specialises in community and regeneration projects and has worked on projects both in Liverpool and Manchester. It usually works as a sub-contractor for bigger contruction firms on large-scale regeneration schemes. Run has worked on some of Liverpool’s most well known schemes from the regeneration of Liverpool Gateway at Lime Street

Station, to work at Aintree University Hospital’s Bluebell House. Design director Nigel Ward said: “Our main focus has always been on regeneration. We work within existing communities and bring them back to life. “It is still very challenging out there at the moment and we have to go out and fight for our fair share. “Luckily our main contractors have carried us along with them.” Run Services’ managing director, Anthony Woods, says the firm now has ambitions to grow further beyond the North West. He said: “The company aims to be the leading regeneration company in the UK.” “Much of our operations will now be directed from our Speke office, with the Rodney Street office giving us a further city centre presence. “We are pursuing a number of projects in Liverpool and see the city as one of the most promising locations for our kind of community regeneration work.” “Our name reflects our roots – RUN stands for regenerating the urban North.”

Signs of life in sector A ROBUST performance from the construction sector in March was overshadowed by further warnings over the spiralling cost of fuel, oil and steel. The latest Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) survey for the construction sector – where a reading above 50 indicates growth – fell to 56.4 in March, slightly down on the eight-month high of 56.5 in the previous month. Economists had forecast that the rate would fall to 54.8, but each of the three sub-sectors of the industry – civil, residential and commercial – recorded continued growth in March.


ATIME

AMBITION: Nigel Ward of Run Services says the firm is looking for more regeneration work

ON THE UP: Latest figures show the UK building sector weathering the storm There were further signs of inflationary pressure after the industry said input prices rose to a 31-month high. Other signs about the sector’s future health have also emerged, as confidence was dented by the

Government’s austerity cuts and growth in new orders slowed to below its historical average. David Noble, chief executive of CIPS, said: “On the surface there wasn’t much of a change in the

construction sector in March, but there is plenty to put businesses on edge about their future prospects. “The spectre of government spending cuts is causing the greatest concern.”

NEWS 7

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

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MONEY MATTERS MORTGAGES were paid down at a record rate in the final quarter of last year, figures revealed, as homeowners moved to improve their personal balance sheets. Borrowers reduced their outstanding mortgage debt by £7bn during the three months to the end of December, the Bank of England said. It was the 11th consecutive quarter during which the amount of money people unlocked from their homes was negative and the highest net injection of housing equity since records began in 1970. The recent trend among homeowners to pay down their mortgages contrasts with their behaviour during the housing boom. Homeowners have now collectively injected £57.4bn into their housing equity since the trend began in the second quarter of 2008. The rate at which people are reducing their mortgages accelerated for the fourth quarter in a row during the three months to the end of December, with the latest figure up on the £6.6bn injected in the third

quarter of the year. Howard Archer, chief UK and European economist at IHS Global Insight, said the figures highlighted “the strong desire and perceived need” of many people to improve their personal balance sheets given high debt levels and serious concerns and uncertainties over the economic situation. He added: “Extremely low savings rates have made it much more attractive for

with JAMIE GRIERSON, personal finance correspondent

many people to use any spare funds that they have to reduce their mortgages.” Equity withdrawal enables homeowners to cash in on rising house prices by increasing their mortgages to convert some of the rise in the value of their home into cash. The money is typically used to fund big purchases such as cars or home improvements, or for debt consolidation. But while people feel confident about increasing the size of their mortgage debt when house prices are booming, they are far less inclined to do so when the outlook for the property market and employment is uncertain. The housing market downturn has also left many people with insufficient equity in their homes to withdraw money, while the credit crunch has made it harder for people to increase the size of their mortgage due to the tighter lending criteria banks and building societies now apply to applications.


8 NEWS

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

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Business to Business

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STYLISH: Chelsea Draper, from the Debenhams visual team, who achieved the Retail Skills Award, pictured at Academy One

by NEIL HODGSON Industry Reporter MORE than 30 staff at the Liverpool One branch of Debenhams have achieved their Retail Skills Level 2 certificate. Their training was part of a pioneering deal with Academy One, a partnership between retail centre Liverpool One, the National Skills Academy for Retail, and Birkenhead training provider Scientiam. Debenhams is one of several major retail brands, including Asda and TK Maxx, to commit to training with Academy One. Thirty three Debenhams staff took part in 14 weeks of training to improve their retail and customer service skills. Following on from

Academy One graduates on learning curve their success, 25 have now signed up to study for Level 2 and 3 Apprenticeships. Debenhams store trainer Maureen Scollins said the learners came from a broad range of departments. “We had learners aged 18 upwards and from departments such as lingerie, children’s wear, food services, stock replacement and the loading bay. “We wanted to open the training up to all and were very

pleased that so many staff wanted to learn and gain qualifications.” She added: “Debenhams Liverpool One now has a much more skilled workforce and this cascades across the business and to the customers.

“There is tangible value to the retail skills training with Academy One and on the back of this success we will now be committing to apprenticeships.”

Scientiam managing director Jayne Worthington said: “The partnership with Debenhams has been a big success and we are very pleased to see their commitment to investing time and support in their workforce. “They recognise that staff development is key to their success and I must congratulate everyone who has achieved the

Retail Skills certificate. I hope our partnership will continue to flourish and we can further develop the skills of Debenhams employees.” Academy One is based within the £1bn Liverpool One centre and offers a range of training programmes to suit learners and employers across the Liverpool region. Sara Carthy, Liverpool One HR director, said: “During these challenging economic times the focus on customer service training and the up-skilling of staff is not always given the priority it deserves. “The investment and fantastic results that Debenhams Liverpool One has achieved in partnership with Academy One are a credit to the team.”

Business Angels’ support no small Beer THE “acceptable face” of business investment will come to Liverpool when a national business angel network visits the city. Beer & Partners has 1,700 registered angels with funds to invest in promising ventures. More than 500 live in the north and Beer regional director Steve

McEwen is organising three events in Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds to introduce prospective investors to viable businesses. He said: “It’s Dragons’ Den, but without the humiliation.” Instead of intimidating figures grilling nervous entrepreneurs, as

depicted in the BBC TV series, he said Beer investment evenings take place in a warm and friendly environment, so that investors “can relax, present confidently, and do themselves justice”. Each event attracts around 30 high net worth investors who see presentations from three

fund-seeking companies. Steve said the events aim to give entrepreneurs the best chance of securing funding. In contrast, he believes Dragons’ Den often deliberately presents entrepreneurs who haven’t a hope of securing the investment so they can be picked apart by

the dragons for the viewers’ entertainment. “In the real world there is no audience apart from the investors, so it is in nobody’s best interest to present companies which are not up to scratch.” In the past two years Beer has raised more than £18m for around 100 companies.

WELLINGTON RD L15 Variety of Industrial units available now 0151 227 2875 L21, L4 Secure Units/offices fr £40pw 0792O 461551

Taxis/Cab & Plate ACORN CARS LIVERPOOL New drivers wanted. Low settles, incentives, company cars. Tel 0151 546 2701

N I G H T C O L L A R C/o Kensington £200. T: 0777 5777900 LIVERPOOL CABS & PLATES for sale 0151 922 3626 TX 54 REG TX1 engine, man/ white, excellent cab £6,950 07768 622517 BLUE LINE TAXISNew drivers wanted urgently. Earn £500 − £800pw. Tel 0151 709 0101 LIVERPOOL DAY/NIGHT Collars available 0151 922 3626

KNOWSLEY CAB & PLATE 52 reg, 07904 455970 TX1 OR TX2 CAB WANTED Call 07702 754740 PRIVATE HIRE Lpool Plate £140pw Inc ins 07523 976108 CITY DAY NIGHT OR LONG Collar 07789 884399

Accountancy / Bookkeeping BOOKKEEPING & ADMIN Bookkeeping and administration services available on an hourly rate or fixed price basis.

07895247737

BOOKS IN A MESS? GIVE US A RING

Professional Bookkeeping, VAT and Payroll services at competitive prices by qualified accountants

Call 07778 270 818

Industrial Property UNITS TO LET Bootle Area 5,000−15,000 sqft. Flexible terms 0151 486 0004

Business For Sale L22 BUSY POPULAR WINE BAR 2 BARS, kitchen, beer garden, 2am license, 10yr lease (re newable) significantly reduce 07977 998330

O F F L I C E N C E Newsagent Lottery & Paypoint. Best offers. 07787 174948/ 07810 634254.

HAIR & BEAUTY SALON Eqpd & 2 bed flat above. Freehold, Walton. 07551 608925

Business For Rent SUNBED/NAILBAR SALON Molyneux Rd L6, with treatment room, all fully equipped. £100pw rent. 0151 260 4411

Building Trade

NIGHTS Mon−fri £110pw. C/o Gateacre 07801 564776 BOTANIC CARS Requires owner drivers 0151 220 2020 DAYS NIGHTS L/COLLAR (Days with c/o) 07957 636549 MID WK LG COLLAR compet rates 07873 200893 W TX1 CAB & PLATE Offers 07597 679433

Business Opportunities

FRAMELINE TRADE SUPPLY COMPOSITE DOORS UPVC

WINDOWS, DOORS, CONSERVATORIES. 5 Day Turnaround Tel 0151 546 5577 Fax 0151 546 5588 ACCREDITED WITH BS7412 & BS7950

BETTING SHOP TO LET Waterloo area, low rent, excellent location, requires council licence. 0151 924 4565 or 07891 861358

KITCHEN & BEDROOM FITTINGS from a hinge to a full kitchen/bedroom. 3D plans now available. Showroom & Trade Counter at 3 Rockley Street, Kirkdale, L4 0151−207 0008. www.brosna.co.uk

FULLY FURNISHED MAKE− UP STUDIO For rent in busy hair & beauty salon. L4 area, more info call 07984 540825

STAIRCASES Made to order 0151 933 3191/8181 www.ehjoinery.com

Echo Business 06.04.11  

Weekly business supplement from the Liverpool Echo