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European Union European Structural and Investment Funds

WCC 1647 02/2018

Small Business : Big Impact

Being part of the City of Opportunity...


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INTRODUCTION “Throughout 2017 the City Council teamed up with over a hundred small businesses to help identify and provide access to a range of business support to help them grow. As part of the City Councils commitment to providing support to the SME business community, by the end of 2018 this number will rise to over 250. Quite often it’s the high profile projects such as Westside, the Interchange, and Canalside Quarter; and large companies such as JLR that get in the local press, and attract wider media attention. And whilst these are important so too are the thousands of small businesses in the City that employ less than 100 people; businesses that account for a staggering 97% of our business base, and businesses that we are keen to support. We are really pleased therefore to have the opportunity over the following pages to share with you some of the fantastic success stories of these businesses, the exciting things they are doing,

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products they are making, services they are providing, and markets they are supplying. We truly have a small business community to be proud of, one that drives our local economy but has a global reach, marries our traditional strengths with an innovative flair, and keeps growing and creating new jobs. Alongside this snapshot of some 40 of our local businesses that we have worked with, We are pleased to highlight the wide programme of support available, and the commitment of the City Council and its partners in the Black Country Growth Hub to support our “small” business community.

City of Wolverhampton Council Business Support Team Jay Patel - 07584 491216 jay.patel@wolverhampton.gov.uk

Glenn Watts - 07880 175082 glenn.watts@wolverhampton.gov.uk

Jeff Marlow - 07392 137481 jeff.marlow@wolverhampton.gov.uk

Gulsharan Anmol - 07387 241050 gulsharan.anmol2@wolverhampton.gov.uk

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WHAT WE DO The City of Wolverhampton Council, in partnership with the University of Wolverhampton and the Black Country Chamber of Commerce, has a team of Business Advisers employed to help any business realise their ambitions for growth and help address any barriers they may face. We offer an initial Business Review which can lead to a bespoke programme of Business Support delivered through the Black Country Growth Hub partnership, designed to ensure the support provided is shaped towards the individual business needs. In addition we can also help with any planning, environmental health, business rates, access to finance, recruitment, skills development, or supply chain issues. Our Business Advisor can act as a troubleshooter, in touch with your business on a regular basis but also available on the end of the phone as and when any particular issue or opportunity arises. Contact the team on business.development@wolverhampton.gov.uk

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“One-to-one sessions allowed both Glenn and Kulwant (Business Advisers from the Council) to pitch at a level that stretched and explored our thinking. We were able to develop our strategic learning further with our senior management team and build and expand on what was discussed. We were also sign-posted into directions we were unaware were available to us and their vast knowledge was invigorating keeping us engaged throughout” MD FlatworldWorks “Thanks to the outreach work of the Councils Business Support Team we have now got a much better engagement with the Councils procurement and regeneration team, greater awareness of the development activity in the City and therefore opportunities to bid for work. As one of the oldest companies in the City, employing over 50 local people, we are keen to develop our Wolverhampton portfolio and play a part in the further regeneration and growth of the city” Director AM Griffiths “We have found the support from the Black Country AIM Project valuable with the marketing and funding support to grow production operational capacity” MD Allens Crankshafts

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DID YOU KNOW? Dig a little and you will find that our City is full of fascinating stories of what our local businesses do, the amazing products they are making, services they are providing, and markets they are supplying...

Relocatable Structures, specialists in premium temporary structures employ 15 people, have been trading for over 20 years, and have worked with numerous celebrities, blue chip corporate companies including the BBC, and even royalty

FlatworldWorks Limited are a truly evolutionary digital services agency who offer robust testing services to organisations, wanting to ensure maximum digital engagement with the wider population, inclusive of those with a disability. Most recently they have worked with Government Departments providing accessibility and usability testing on various websites

3dnative are an award winning digital studio with expertise in serious games, AR, VR & online solutions - developing a bespoke CMS for Black Country Talent Match - VR Heart learning experience & online services for the NHS

Bimeco have a passion for buildings and are led by a Director who has over 25 years experience in the curtain walling industry passion and experience that led to them doing the facades for Istanbul Airport and several BBC Buildings in London Hair O Ltd manufactures and retailers of specialist healthy hair products, who currently supply into Superdrug, with the high likelihood of exports into other retailers and international markets.

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Steelway were selected to manufacture and install a £1.4m access metalwork package to the Reading Viaduct project. Balfour Beatty were the main contractor on the project and chose Steelway as they had previously successfully completed a £2.5m access metalwork package at Heathrow T5 & Piccadilly Extension line. And Actor Steven Seagal once performed at our very own local rock venue The Robin2 in Bilston

RETAINING THE LOCAL POUND It is great when our local SME’s secure work with some of our larger businesses, and this is something we are keen to encourage and support. Examples of where the local pound is retained and recycled include the Grand Theatre has looked to local designer Grant Bushell at Urban Britannia Interiors its recent interior design makeover, and stocks refreshments courtesy of local retailer Zuri Coffee who offer world class Indian street food, plus did you know they invented the dish called the Prontini have you tried yours?

RECRUITING LOCAL Working in partnership with DWP the Councils Wolves@Work (W@W) team provide support to local companies looking to recruit from and provide apprenticeships to any resident of the City. In 2017 over 1825 residents were supported back into work with over 150 small businesses signing up to recruit locally with the support of W@W. Amongst the numerous SME’s taking on local residents with the support of W@W were Atlas Refurb and Repair, (established 5 years ago the team have over 40 years experience in both the repair and refurbishment of all large and small home and garden appliances) and Kalsun Aluminium Doors & Windows Ltd (a fabricator, supplier and installer of Aluminium products - who recently supplied the specialist noise reducing windows to the City’s landmark Sunbeam building)

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ADVANCED MANUFACTURING Based on our tradition of quality manufacturing and our skilled engineering workforce, there are a growing number of small businesses securing valuable contracts in the automotive, aerospace and rail supply chain. Over the past 20 years Hart Design has grown its design facility to accommodate the ever increasing demand from its automotive industry clients, including a tool making facility which is put to good use to make tools for pressings for companies supplying JLR, Bentley and Aston Martin. Accura Engineering is a private equity owned Wolverhampton based engineering company employing just under 100. A supply chain specialist they produce end to end precision engineered products to meet the needs of major customers including UTC Aerospace.

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Established over 50 years ago Ramsay Rubber and Plastics Ltd is a leading UK manufacturer of die cut gaskets, adhesive tapes and thermoformed parts, in technical cellular lightweight materials – and their products can be found in most UK manufactured cars, and are supplied to customers across a further 20 countries worldwide Hi Tech Finishing employing 13 people, are a 2nd tier provider in the JCB, Bentley and Jaguar Land Rover supply chain, they carry out metal polishing, finishing, specialist coating and painting. Parker Precision have been established for over 60 years, and have over 50 years experience of working with aerospace sector where they have invested in equipment to manufacture and measure aircraft-related parts. Other specialist sectors include oil and gas, medical, motorsport and even racing yachts

NDT Midlands have grown rapidly over the 12 years since they were set up, providing inspection services for companies across a number of key sectors including Oil/Petrochemical, Power & Energy, Automotive, Aerospace, Marine and Defence. Mako Precision have experienced and highly skilled CNC engineers both milling & turning which complements the manual side, working in a wide range of industries including, automotive, motor sport, toolmaking & hydraulics to name a few Allens Crankshafts Ltd specialise in producing crankshafts machined from solid steel billet, cast or forged material using the latest Mori Seiki multi axis CNC machines - ensuring all our products are manufactured to the highest customer requirement.

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CLASSIC, MOTORSPORT AND HAND BUILT CARS A number of our local companies have found a niche position within the automotive sector. Whilst their knowledge and skills are applied across the wider automotive sector, some specialist knowledge and skills have secured work in some really exciting markets. Orson Equipment has developed a global reputation for the quality of its automotive components, but especially the wire wheel hub adapters designed and manufactured for the classic car refurbishment market. They also regularly undertake the design and manufacture of one-off, specialist pieces for the rarest of vehicles, like Hispano Suizas and 300SL Gullwing Mercedes

Industrial Brakes reline every kind of brake imaginable, including a vast range of vintage & classic brakes. More commonly they see Bentley, Rolls Royce, Jaguar, Daimler, Alvis and Lagonda brake shoes; and recently relined a set of brakes for a rare 1957 Volvo Sugga “and many of the owners of these classic and hand built cars will use specialist refinishing products from local supplier Starchem”

Aldridge Trimming was founded in the 1930’s initially to provide a general trimming service for cars of the 20’s and 30’s, more recently has gained a world wide reputation for quality made British trim to original standards for classic cars

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INNOVATION Our local business community is constantly innovating - developing new products and services, refining existing ones to secure new market opportunities, and regularly investing in their workforce and in new machinery. A-Stat Office Technology are really putting into practice their commitment to reducing the nations carbon footprint by investing in and distributing carbon neutral printers which take print off paper allowing it be re-used up to 10 times - supplying into schools and offices AM Griffiths has been working with its IT partner in the development of a smartphone app to assist in the management of its construction sites, and is currently the only construction company in the West Midlands to use this. The bespoke app allows site managers to manage on site quality assurance and health and safety issues in real time Genee World’s Learn Hub software was shortlisted in the BETT Awards 2018 (recognising the UKs most outstanding ICT education

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products). Learn Hub is specifically designed for Early Years and Primary School teaching, combining collaborative and game led learning to maximise the time a teacher can devote to teaching. Atmos VR Ltd, using the most up to date technologies available, are committed to innovating new ways for VR and AR to be delivered, all of which go against traditional industry ‘norms’ reinventing the ways in which consumers currently engage with the technology. Collaborating with its sister company, ‘Dark Realities’, AtmosVR recently produced the world’s largest free roaming VR experience in Birmingham, which will be rolled out across other cities over a 12-month period. One recent project led by Midland Cold Rolled Sections (MCRS) involved working closely with a leading European industrial flooring business, to design and manufacture innovative parts that will increase the durability of concrete floors. Products that include items manufactured by MCRS can also be found in locations as diverse as Cathedrals, retail stores, holiday homes, power stations and hospitals. Product supplied by MCRS is manufactured using 100% renewable energy. We work closely with the University to encourage companies to access products and support such as the Smart Concept Fund, the Innovative Product Support Service, and Innovation Vouchers. Last year we supported 18 companies to access at least one of these products.

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SMALL COMPANY BIG INFLUENCE You don’t have to be a big company to have influence in the local community, Maria Posiwnycz and Charlotte Pook co-own The Accountancy Firm, a small business which employs 4 staff. Maria is an active member of the Wolverhampton Economic Growth Board (which influences the Council business activity), sitting alongside the owners of Carvers and the Liberty Group; Maria and Charlotte also run a Business Networking group in Wolverhampton West Midland Media is on the Board of Black Country Smart City, a programme geared towards making better use of digital technology for the local community. They have worked with local businesses of all sizes; delivering branding, websites and digital systems

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SMALL AND LOCAL, BUT GOING GLOBAL Our companies may recruit locally but they think globally... Royal Canadian Navy Patrol Submarines are fitted with filters from Airguard Filters, a company established in 1985 specializing in the manufacture of permanent cleanable air filters for power generation and industry Euro Stock Traders Ltd, designers and producers of Baby Car Seats with 3 Industry Gold Award Wins and the owners of ‘Cozy N Safe’ IP supplying 70 - 80% of all high street chains in the UK, now selling to China and South East Asia markets in order to support their Global market/brand growth’. Established 20 years ago and employing 12 staff Complete Windows and Doors Ltd have recently produced security aluminium doors and windows for a prestige building project in Abu Dhabi.

GOLD GRANT The Council successfully secured funding from the EU to run a small grants programme supporting local companies who were wanting to make relatively small but transformational investments in their business. To date 29 local companies have had grant support agreed averaging 30% of their investment costs. Projects ranging from the purchase of bespoke CRM systems through to new steel rolling, bending and cutting machines have been supported totalling over £1M in value securing £427,000 in grant support. Successful applicants have included Plascolour Masterbatch Ltd who make granular concentrates for colouring polymers used in many different fields including the automotive and medical equipment sector); Meji Media who are an event management company with a portfolio including client hospitality, product launches and team building; and organise the "Award winning Moonlight & Mistletoe Christmas parties" at the Diamond Banqueting suite; B2B Quote established in 2006 after an opportunity was identified for a low cost, high quality, innovative, easy to use 'business to business' Tendering website

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Small Business, Big Impact  
Small Business, Big Impact  
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