Local businesses supported in challenging economic times - Invest NI Credit Crunch events

The 7th Invest Northern Ireland, Navigating Successfully through Challenging Times seminar will be held in Templepatrick on 11 December.

Open to Invest NI clients, the series of events are being held across Northern Ireland to help local companies navigate through the current economic slowdown.

Specialist advisers will be on hand to provide practical advice for firms, highlighting ways to improve efficiencies in a range of areas such as internal operations, financial administration and supply chain management. One-to-one guidance on how best to reduce or remove barriers to securing new sales in export markets guidance will also be available.

Participants at the event will have the opportunity to discuss their individual business needs in detail and identify key projects to improve performance. This can result in the provision of up to five days of free specialist consultancy support for a diagnostic investigation to develop actions that can deliver significant benefits and help firms through the downturn.

Where a suitable project up to the value of £100,000 is identified and approved by Invest NI, clients can obtain 50% support from Invest NI’s Accelerated Support Fund.  This can help to progress initiatives in areas such as staff training, salaries and expenses of new and existing employees, as well as consultancy costs, contributing to the implementation of identified capability improvement projects.

Niall Casey, Invest NI’s Director of Business Improvement Services, said: “It is vital in the current economic slowdown that local businesses take steps to continuously develop better processes and operational efficiencies to cut costs and add value. The resulting improvements in competitiveness can also significantly enhance the export potential of local companies, where the current relative weakness of Sterling makes locally produced goods and services more internationally attractive.”

“The events held to date have been well received by our clients. But Invest NI recognises that the current economic conditions are presenting challenges to all businesses in Northern Ireland. We will therefore be holding the first in a series of specifically tailored events, open to all businesses, on 17 December in Omagh where, in conjunction with various enterprise partners, specialist advisory services will be available to the broader business base,” he said.

The series of seminars complements other Invest NI initiatives such as Innovation Vouchers, Introduction to Exporting and the Growth Accelerator Programme, through which easy to access, flexible support is being provided to support the growth of locally owned companies, particularly small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).