Supporting the smallest businesses

“We recognise that the future prosperity of Frome is going to depend quite substantially on attracting and retaining very small businesses”, said Town Councillor Jean Boulton at the recent Frome Business Breakfast. The focus was on what micro-enterprises (organisations with less than 10 employees) need to help them succeed and grow. “In a town such as Frome, far away from large-scale manufacturing and engineering businesses, we need to ‘grow our own’ in order to ward off becoming a dormitory town”, she said.

Peter Wheelhouse, Economic Development Manager for Frome Town Council, explained that research shows small businesses need opportunities to network, access to business advice, support from the media, and entrepreneurial public servants. “It is really interesting’, he said, ‘that a lively arts and music scene is also a great help in establishing a community of small businesses, presumably because it encourages entrepreneurs to move here in the first place”.

Group discussions following the presentation pointed up some further ideas, such as the importance of all levels of government working well together, the possibility of larger businesses mentoring smaller ones as well as the importance of being able to share information via an online notice board to list events, services, and highlight new businesses. The desire for sole-traders to meet and share experiences was also discussed which has resulted in the establishment of a new initiative, ‘Soul Traders’. Information on this will be released soon.

The next Frome Business Breakfast on 4th April at 7:00am will be held at Shaker & May in Commerce Park and will pick up the theme of premises and workspaces. This session will look at past surveys that have illustrated the vital need for new investment in premises in Frome and will identify practical solutions to respond to the strong market demand. Tickets available now via http://buytickets.at/frometowncouncil/89523.