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Winning team from Nailsea
Pelican Business Services triumph at the South West Contact Centre Awards
Nailsea based Pelican Business Services, who were established in 2001 to manage the end-to-end customer journey for 1.2 million Bristol Water and Wessex Water customers, were finalists in seven categories at the 13th annual South West Contact Centre Awards held at the begiinning of November 2021 at the Bristol Marriott Hotel.
Pelican, who in 2020 were named the 19th best company to work for in the UK by the Sunday Times, took home the gold for:
Outsourced Contact Centre of the Year;
Mental Health in the Workplace;
Best People Engagement; and
Best Employee Engagement.
This follows their win at the recent Business Leader Awards held at Ashton Gate Stadium, coming out on top in the Customer Excellence category.
The South West Contact Centre Awards is organised by the South West Contact Centre Forum, who deliver a series of events and initiatives providing its members with a support framework, an opportunity to share best practise and work collaboratively with businesses throughout the South West to ensure the industries long term success.
Hosted by comedian, writer and actor Tom Allen, the award ceremony was especially important this year to recognise the industry and all of the
amazing, often critical services that Contact Centre employees have provided to the UK throughout the ongoing pandemic.
Pelican Business Services managing director Charley Maher, said: “Everyone at Pelican is extremely proud of our success at the recent South West Contact Centre Awards.
"These awards really are a testament to our amazing people who have continued to work incredibly hard throughout the pandemic to support our customers.
“Our team have been a fantastic support to each other during the past 18 months, ensuring that our key team member networks, including Working Parents Network, People’s Council, Health and Wellbeing Committee and Mental Health First Aiders, were kept high on the agenda.
"I’m incredibly proud of everything that our people and our business have achieved, and we’re looking forward to what 2022 has in store for us”.
If you wish to know more about Pelican, or would like to join their award-winning team go to www.pelican.co.uk
Go to work on an E-bike
With COP26 just finished and lowering emissions high on everyone’s agenda, employers across North Somerset are invited to download the ‘Find Joy in the Journey’ digital toolkit.
It's packed with ideas to encourage staff to travel more actively, showing how cycling and walking can benefit your business and helping North Somerset move towards its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030.
North Somerset Council executive member for neighbourhoods and community services Mike Solomon is the Independent ward councillor for Hutton and Locking.
He said; Faced with huge global challenges, it’s easy to feel hopeless, yet there are plenty of simple things that businesses can do to lower their carbon emissions, benefit the environment and improve staff wellbeing and productivity.
“This toolkit offers tips and advice on topics like accessing grants to install bike shelters or showers, planning journeys on foot or by bike, and setting up a ‘cycle to work’ salary sacrifice scheme at work.
"Our active travel officers can support firms to install bike stands, promote free bike servicing or e-bike trials, stage active travel days or spark a bit of friendly rivalry with workplace active travel challenges like Love to Ride.”
Offers available to businesses in North Somerset include:
free electric pool bike fleet trials for staff
free electric cargo bike trials for delivery businesses
free access to nationally accredited travel plan software, ModeShift
free access to Love to Ride, the workplace active travel challenge
free bicycle stands for your site
free active travel roadshows
free on-site Dr Bike mechanic visits.
Access Your Care director Zak Aravantinos, a company that recently enjoyed a free electric bike trial, said: “Staff using the e-bike reported a significant improvement in their independence at work.
"They no longer needed support to travel to and from work from friends, family or work colleagues.
“E-bikes are very comfortable, safe and easy to operate.
"As a business, we’ve reduced the time spent making adjustments to work patterns, and have seen cost reductions in contributions towards travel, such as taxi costs.
"The e-bike brought further benefits to our internal ways of working while benefiting the environment.”
Bristol Port Company environment manager Anne Hayes said: “Ten Royal Portbury Dock employees clocked-up more than 1,100 miles during our recent e-bike trial.
"Two went on to buy their own e-bikes through the Port’s cycle to work scheme – one commuted over 540 miles in a month.
“An ops supervisor used the e-bike to ease himself back into the commute and has since bought a bike, and another employee got back into cycling after 40 years after trialling an e-bike on a Port social ride.”
The ‘Find Joy in the Journey’ business toolkit has been created by the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) and is promoted by the four local authorities in the West of England.
It can be downloaded HERE.
Kerry O’Neill is an active travel officer with North Somerset Council, focusing on business engagement.
To discuss any of the ideas in the toolkit, or for support in seeking solutions to your workplace’s own unique challenges, email Kerry on email@example.com or call 01275 884605.
Book new Driving Miss Daisy chauffeur/companion service
Driving Miss Daisy is a new fully vetted business offering a personal chauffeur/companion service for people living in North Somerset.
Former Debenham store manager Clare Filer has swapped serving retail customers for one dedicated to helping those in the community who made need an extra bit of support.
Clare grew up in Backwell but has lived in Clevedon for many years is determined to turn her redundancy into an opportunity.
She said: “I am thrilled to be able to offer a new service to local residents living in Nailsea, Backwell and Clevedon.
“Following redundancy in May, I decided I wanted to work within my community, supporting others to get out and about, so I purchased a franchise from Driving Miss Daisy UK.
“I have been inspired to do this after recently caring for my mum, a Backwell resident, for the last years of her life.
“She was a fiercely proud and independent lady who wouldn’t let both cancer and kidney failure stop her from living independently.
”I have also been very involved in the care of my mother-in-law who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia at just 68 years old, a very sociable and fun lady who we have been determined to help continue live the best life possible.
“I would describe the service as a combination of a personal chauffeur and personal assistant, with my aim to make life easier for those requiring support either with transport, at home or to get out and enjoy life!”
The variety of services including:
Transport to visit family and friends;
Transport and companionship for attending social events / clubs;
Day trips and tours, for example trips to the seaside, visiting a garden centre or shopping trips;
Accompaniment to, from and during GP and hospital appointments (we can accompany clients into appointments to take notes if required);
Help to book and get to everyday appointments (hairdressers, banks, dentist, pets to vets); and
Home to holiday destinations, airport, seaport or train station drop-off and collection.
Clare added: “Every service booked is bespoke to the individual, some clients just require transportation, some require assistance pre and post
DRIVE TIME: The name Driving Miss Daisy comes from a 1989 American comedy-drama film directed by Bruce Beresford and written by Alfred Uhry, based on Uhry's 1987 play of the same name. The orginal film stars Jessica Tandy, Morgan Freeman, and Dan Aykroyd. Freeman reprised his role from the original Off-Broadway production. The story defines Daisy and her point of view through a network of relationships and emotions by focusing on her home life, synagogue, friends, family, fears, and concerns over a twenty-five-year period. Driving Miss Daisy was a critical and commercial success upon its release and at the 62nd Academy Awards received nine nominations, and won four: Best Picture, Best Actress (for Tandy), Best Makeup, and Best Adapted Screenplay.
journey, we can wait at a destination to provide a return journey, or provide companionship at home or on a trip out, so I find out exactly what will be needed prior to the booking and send a quote for each individual service requested.
“Quotes are competitive and all inclusive, so there are no hidden costs.
“Anyone interested in finding out more about the services I offer can visit my Facebook page @drivingmissdaisyclevedon, or website www.drivingmissdaisy.co.uk or give me a call for an informal chat on 0758 712 1661.”
Biking to LA shop
Nailsea cyclists are already finding their way over to nearby Long Ashton to visit a new bike shop.
If you’ve not heard yet, a bike shop called Bristol Bikesmiths opened earlier this year.
Situated on Lovelinch Gardens just off the main road, the bike shop is sandwiched perfectly between The Old Library restaurant and Parson’s Bakery and specialises in servicing and repair, though they also sell parts, tools, cycling goodies, bikes, scooters and more.
If you visit the shop you will usually find Timo and Matt twirling the spanners and Dan juggling the many duties of an owner.
In the image Matt is on the left, Dan in the middle and Timo on the right.
Bristol Bikesmiths established itself in Bedminister approximately four years ago but recently opened the second shop in Long Ashton where both Timo and Dan live.
Timo is the roadie while Matt, who lives in Nailsea, is the mountain biker, but they both love servicing whatever bikes come their way.
Bristol Bikesmiths prides itself on clear communication, servicing excellence and a 24-hour turnaround time. You normally don’t have to wait that long for an appointment either.
Shop manager Timo said “It's been great to see so many regular faces, plus many new faces from the village and further afield.
“We thank everyone for their support so far and hope to see many more faces in the coming months.
“We've seen quite a few people from Nailsea already.”
If you have any questions you can contact them via their website www.bristolbikesmiths.com, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling them on 01275 219464.
SHAUN IN NAILSEA: Shaun in the City model by Cath Kidston is happily taking up window space at the new premises of Squarebird a web and marketing agency based in Nailsea High Street. In 2015 Aardman’s classic character Shaun the Sheep starred in Shaun in the City, two unique arts trails across both Bristol and London raising funds for critically ill children across the country. A whole host of artists and designers from the worlds of art, fashion, film and animation came together to create 120 giant sculptures of Shaun which decorated iconic locations and green spaces in and around both Bristol and London, raising more than £1 million in just one night at auction. 100 per cent of proceeds benefit Bristol Children’s Hospital to help support sick children and babies. Squarebird was founded by brothers Nick and Jon Bird who head the team as managing partners. The businesshas moved this year from Kingshill and in April added Thatchers Cider to its portfolio of prestigious clients
A cracking charity day at the new Nailsea office was celebrated by Simpson Solicitors who moved across Crown Glass Place this summer.
Save the Children representative Mark Allwood presented a certificate as across all its offices the legal eagles have helped to raise £16,625 for the charities under the Will Aid scheme, the sixth highest in the country.
Associate director Michelle Baden-Daintree said: "It was lovely catching up with so many familiar faces today who popped on Tuesday, August 3, in for a coffee and cake.
"A huge thanks to the Nailsea team for putting on a splendid spread and welcome to all those involved.
"We wish to thank all of our friends and clients in Nailsea and the surrounding areas for their continued support.
"I even received some of my favourite homemade flapjack."
Simpsons is at 15 Crown Glass Place, Crown Glass Shopping Centre, Nailsea BS48 1RE.
Call 01275 857122 to book an appointment.
Where there is a will...
Fit our AntiCat System
A Nailsea car mechanic has invented a security device to stop thieves stealing catalytic converters.
And Nailsea Auto Electrical boss Rick Hand has applied for a UK patent for his AntiCat System.
Rick said: “Our AntiCat System attaches to the catalytic converter and to an audible alarm to deter the thief from stealing the part of a vehicle’s exhaust which contains precious metals.
“Damage caused by thieves trying to strip a catalytic converter can caused insurance claims of between £2-3,000 according to the AA and in the worst-case scenarios have seen motors written off entirely.
“With so many North Somerset victims we have taken it upon ourselves to come up with a solution.”
A catalytic converter is an exhaust emission control device that reduces toxic gases and pollutants in exhaust gas from an internal combustion engine into less-toxic pollutants by catalyzing a redox reaction.
The brazen thieves appear to target cars parked on driveways and favour Honda, Toyota and Lexus models.
There have been reports of thefts of this type in Ashton Vale, Backwell, Long Ashton, Nailsea, Yatton, Weston-super-Mare and beyond.
Rick added: “For £169 we can fit our anti-theft device.”
But it isn't all dash cams and batteries for this motor business which offers a door-to-door service.
With the best in diagnostics, knowledge and lots of patience there isn't much mechanical they can't tackle.
Nailsea Auto Electrical can be contacted by phone on 01275 261005 or via by Facebook messenger.
Figure it out with new Nailsea accountants
With almost 20 years of experience as an accountant and tax adviser, local accountant Sarah Yi has decided the time is right to set up her own accountancy practice, Chime Accountants.
Sarah’s vision is to create an accountancy business that puts the needs of its clients at the heart of the business, providing high quality accountancy and tax advice in a rapidly changing world based on her years of experience and up to date tax and accounting knowledge.
Conveniently based in The Old Vicarage Business Centre, in the heart of Nailsea, Chime Accountants can provide a complete suite of accountancy and tax services for local businesses, as well as providing tax services and advice to individuals and landlords.
Sarah started her working life in Manchester at a top 20 firm of accountants before moving to Nailsea, where she has worked for a number of local accountancy firms.
She is a Chartered Tax Adviser and also a member of the Association of Taxation Technicians, dealing with all aspects of business accountancy and tax, from annual accounts, corporation tax and VAT to bookkeeping, payroll and CIS. She is equally happy dealing with personal tax, and helping landlords navigate the ever more complex waters of property taxation.
For a competitive quote, or to find out how she can help you and your business, contact Sarah by phone 01275 750011, by email email@example.com, or visit her website for further information http://ChimeAccountants.co.uk .
Spring budget 2021 summary
North Somerset Council economic development officer Josyanne Clarke has circulated a budget summary which has been emailed to members of Nailsea Chamber of Trade & Commerce by Matt Hanley.
Matt can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At this time there are no more details of business grants but details will be given here when available https://innorthsomerset.co.uk/covid-19-support/small-business-grants-information/.
This response has been put together by Creative Industries Federation to Spring Budget Statement 2021 entitled Business Support For A Post Pandemic Recovery.
Here is the statement:
The Chancellor has outlined further economic support to protect jobs and businesses across the UK in what is widely acknowledged as the most crucial Budget for businesses in a generation.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has delivered his latest Budget to Parliament, setting out the Government's tax and spending plans against his forecasts for the UK economy. Taking place against an unprecedented economic background caused by Covid-19's unrelenting grip on the nation, this year's Budget is titled Protecting the Jobs and Livelihoods of the British People.
Touted as 'post-pandemic, post-Brexit, and jobs-led’, the Budget outlines the Chancellor's planned interventions to take the country through the remainder of lockdown and beyond, with ongoing financial support.
Despite extraordinary levels of borrowing and spending over the past year, Rishi Sunak has vowed to continue doing 'whatever it takes' to support the UK throughout the pandemic, promising to deploy the full fiscal firepower of the Treasury through the challenging months ahead.
There follows a summary of the main financial initiatives announced in Budget 2021 specifically targeting businesses and entrepreneurs.
The Coronavirus Job Retention 'Furlough' scheme has been extended until the end of September. Employers will be expected to pay 10% towards the hours their staff do not work in July, increasing to 20% in August and September, as the economy reopens.
There will be an extension of the UK-wide Self Employment Income Support scheme to September, with 600,000 more people who filed a tax return in 2019-20 now able to claim for the first time. The fifth and final grant will open from late July.
£5 billion for new Restart Grants from April – a one off cash grant of up to £18,000 for hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym businesses in England. This takes direct government grant support for businesses over the pandemic to £25 billion.
A new UK-wide Recovery Loan Scheme to make available loans between £25,001 and £10 million, and asset and invoice finance between £1,000 and £10 million, to help businesses of all sizes through the next stage of recovery.
Extension of the Film & TV Production Restart scheme in the UK, coupled with an additional £300 million to support theatres, museums and other cultural organisations in England through the Culture Recovery Fund.
Extension to the VAT cut to 5% for hospitality, accommodation and attractions across the UK until the end of September, followed by a 12.5% rate for a further six months until 31 March 2022.
The business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure sectors in England will continue until end of June. It will then be discounted for the remainder of the year by two thirds.
Extension of the apprenticeship hiring incentive in England to September 2021 and an increase of payments to £3,000 per hire.
£7 million for a new 'flexi-job' apprenticeship programme in England, that will enable apprentices to work with a number of employers in one sector.
An additional £126 million for 40,000 more traineeships in England, funding high quality work placements and training for 16-24 year olds in 2021/22 academic year.
Small and medium-sized employers in the UK will continue to be able to reclaim up to two weeks' of eligible Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) costs per employee from the Government.
A £375 million UK-wide 'Future Fund: Breakthrough' will invest in highly innovative companies such as those working in life sciences, quantum computing, or clean tech, that are aiming to raise at least £20 million of funding.
A new Help to Grow scheme will offer up to 130,000 companies across the UK a digital and management boost with the Government contributing 90% of the costs. The scheme will offer free training and a 50% discount on software with vouchers of up to £5,000. The scheme will be open to those with between 5 and 249 employees, trading for more than 12 months.
Green energy innovation schemes from the Government's £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio will support the development of new solutions to cut carbon emissions and accelerate near-to-market low-carbon energy innovation, including:
£20 million to fund a UK-wide competition to develop floating offshore wind demonstrators and help support the Government's aim to generate enough electricity from offshore wind to power every home by 2030.
£68 million to fund a UK-wide competition to deliver first-of-a-kind long-duration energy storage prototypes that will reduce the cost of net zero by storing excess low carbon energy over longer periods.
£4 million for a biomass feedstocks programme in the UK to identify ways to increase the production of green energy crops and forest products that can be used for energy.
A new UK Infrastructure Bank, based in Leeds, to work with the private sector on environmental projects and schemes to 'level up' the country.
The bank, which will launch in the spring, will receive an initial £12 billion of equity and debt capital and a further £10 billion of government guarantees. It will offer a range of products including loans, equity and guarantees.
Announcing his Budget in the House of Commons, Rishi Sunak said: "Protecting, creating and supporting jobs remains my highest priority through the remaining phase of this crisis.
"We will continue doing whatever it takes to support the British people and businesses through this moment of crisis.
"GRANTfinder will report in more detail on the individual competitive funding schemes mentioned in the Budget in due course."
Government has announced new funding will be provided to councils in England to improve access for people who cannot use standard toilets.
Government has today announced (4 March) a new £30 million fund to increase the number of Changing Places toilet facilities across existing buildings in England.
Changing Places toilets are larger accessible toilets for people who cannot use standard disabled toilets, with equipment such as hoists, curtains, adult-sized changing benches and space for carers.
These facilities are a lifeline for more than a quarter of a million disabled people across the UK.
This investment in existing buildings will allow thousands of people with complex needs greater access to public places.
Announced by Regional Growth Minister Luke Hall, the new funding follows laws that came into effect from January 2021 that made the provision of Changing Places toilets compulsory in certain new buildings, for example leisure and sports, cinemas, and arts and tourism venues.
Mr Hall said: “For too long, the lack of suitable toilet facilities has meant disabled people have faced major difficulties when they shop, go out, or travel and this should not be the case.
“This programme is a significant investment from government that will help bring major, life enhancing freedoms to those people who have specific needs.”
The programme will be delivered in partnership with the charity Muscular Dystrophy UK, co-chairs of the Changing Places Consortium, who will provide advice to support councils in their delivery.
District and unitary authorities will soon receive full details of how they can access this funding soon.
Authorities will be invited to complete a short “opt in” expression of interest to receive a proportion of this funding.
Local authorities are encouraged to consider where Changing Places toilets are most needed in their communities, and are encouraged to work in partnership with other organisations to deliver these facilities, including securing match funding wherever possible.
Organisations interested in installing Changing Places toilets are advised to get in touch with their relevant local authority to register your interest in working in partnership with them to deliver a Changing Places toilet in their venue/ building.
Visit www.innorthsomerset.co.uk – providing a portal of information to help inward investors and local businesses. Here you will find links to available business resources, local business news and events.
Sunday, March 21
The next census is planned for Sunday, March 21, 2021.
North Somerset census engagement manager Lisa Wareham is working on behalf of the Office for National Statistics.
Her role is to engage with communities within the area to make them aware that Census 2021 is coming.
She said: "Census day is 21st March and it is important that everyone participates to enable a snap-shot of what our communities look like in 2021 and how Covid has affected these communities.
"As you are aware, data from the census shapes local policy, helping to fund public services and helps charities to bid for funding within North Somerset."
Any questions and Lisa can be contacted by email at email@example.com.
Census 2021 will be the first digital-first census.
We are told it is easy to do and can be done on any device.
People will get an access code from the Office for National Statistics.
Then they simply go online and enter the code into its secure website to get started.
The aim is for everyone to take part in Census 2021 and they'll be online help by phone, webchat, email, social media or text message for those who need it but for our area the first post of call is LIsa.
The census is a survey that happens every 10 years and gives a picture of all the people and households in England and Wales.
The census helps us understand what our society needs now and what it’s likely to need in the future.
The information it collects helps plan and fund services in your area.
This could include transport, education and healthcare.Charities also use census information to help get the funding they need.
Businesses use it to decide where to set up, which creates job opportunities.
Census 2021 will help give the best picture of the needs of everyone living in England and Wales.
A total of 94 per cent of people took part in the last census, helping each area receive its share of public funding.
Without the census, it would be much more difficult to provide the services you and your community need.
You must complete the census by law.
If you do not, or if you supply false information, you could be fined up to £1,000. Some questions are clearly labelled as voluntary. It is not an offence if you do not answer these.
The first census was in 1801 and the most recent in 2011.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) runs the census in England Wales.
Nailsea bank to close
HSBC is to close 82 branches in the UK between April and September this year including the branch at Crown Glass Shopping Centre, Nailsea.
It said the move is because more customers are turning to digital banking.
The company will have 511 branches across the country following the closure programme.
Managers said they did not expect to make any redundancies, with staff moved to nearby branches instead.
The Nailsea branch moved from its old premises now a café called Greens in November 2012 to larger premises on Colliers Walk.
The Colliers Walk bank is to shut at 2pm on Friday, June 25, and a notice on the door informs customers its nearest branch will be in Portishead as the Clevedon branch is also closing this summer.
This leaves just Lloyds at Crown Glass Place and Barclays in the High Street in Nailsea although the Post Office and Tesco offer some banking services.
NatWest in Nailsea was the last bank to close in Nailsea.
The Somerset Square branch went in the summer of 2018 although several building societies shut up shop in Nailsea in the past decade.
Where to go for help and advice
North Somerset Council is holding a webinar for all businesses to discuss the business grants and wider longer term business support. .
This is on Thursday, January 28, 4–5pm by clicking on the YouTube video top.
You can ask questions via Slido at www.slido.com #NSCbusiness.
If you have any direct questions or you're looking for support regarding any new initiative, especially if it's about encouraging business generally send an email to head of economy Jane Harrison on firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is a newsletter which provides updates from the economy team at North Somerset Council.
Meanwhile Matt Hanley, of One2one Design Group, is trying to keep Nailsea Trade & Commerce members up-to-date with the latest information.
To make sure you are on the mailing list email email@example.com.
And the independent North Somerset councillor Mike Bird whose Yeo Nailsea ward covers the town centre and also serves on Nailsea Town Council is happy to help.
Mike organised a series of successful breakfast meetings before the coronavirus restrictions at Coates House.
You may contact Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New business support initiative
A new free business advice scheme has opened in North Somerset to help established businesses, start-ups and companies wanting to grow.
The scheme will be operated by North Somerset Enterprise Agency and will form part of the wider West of England Universal Business Support (UBS) programme funded through the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy, the West of England Combined Authority and North Somerset Council.
North Somerset Council executive member whose portfolio includes business Mark Canniford said it was vital for fledgling businesses to have access to quality advice and information.
Mr Canniford who is the Liberal Democrat councillors for Weston Hillside said: "The support on offer will provide impartial advice to those considering starting up a business and early stage businesses as a way of improving their survival chances. It will also provide support to improve resilience post Covid-19; much of this advice would normally be a cost to business but this scheme provides the help free of charge.
"Experience has shown that business survival improves when start up support has been accessed. In some cases, businesses are able to achieve objectives and targets faster when they have been helped through initial development."
A range of workshops will be available together with a guaranteed minimum of three hours face to face support which will be delivered in business convenient and socially inclusive settings. At the moment workshops are fully available online to ensure continuity of delivery and a safe learning environment.
All residents and small and medium sized enterprises can access the support.
The next three-day business start-up courses will run on the following dates:
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday October 20, 21 and 22
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, November 17, 18 and 19
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, December 15, 16 and 17
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, January 12, 13 and 14
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, February 16, 17 and 18
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, March 16, 17 and 18
As well as online resources a range of 'pop up services at locations across the area will be available providing drop-in sessions and workshops in the council's libraries and office buildings.
Support will also be available through other Universal Business Support partners in the West of England such as for social enterprises, women’s enterprises and innovation. The service will also link to sector specific support such as that offered by The Food WorksSW food and drink innovation centre.
The programme will run until the end of March 2023.
For more information and to book your place on a course contact North Somerset Enterprise Agency by clicking HERE.
People to live in green houses
Householders in North Somerset are set to benefit from a new energy-saving scheme.
The government Green Homes Grant can pay at least two-thirds of the cost of home improvements that save energy with a maximum cut-off of £5,000.
North Somerset Council executive member whose portfolio includes climate change Bridget Petty said: “This grant is a good opportunity for residents to access funding to improve the thermal comfort of their homes, save money and reduce carbon emissions.
"I would urge residents to act now as the work has to be completed by March 2021; do let family, friends and neighbours know about the scheme and what a great way to contribute to the climate emergency challenge."
Homeowners and landlords can apply for a voucher towards the cost of installing energy efficient and low-carbon heating improvements to their homes, which could help save up to £600 a year on energy bills.
A higher level of subsidy (£10,000) is available for households in receipt of a qualifying benefits and can cover 100 per cent of the cost of the improvements.
The scheme is administered online through the Simple Energy Advice service at https://www.simpleenergyadvice.org.uk/pages/green-homes-grant and residents are encouraged to find out about the scheme and the eligibility criteria.
Not all types of work are eligible, so it's really important for residents to check before committing to any work or paying a deposit or other costs.
Work can only be carried out by accredited suppliers through the Trustmark scheme and the council is warning people to be on their guard against rogue traders who may try to capitalise on the scheme. This could take many forms including making false or exaggerated statements about the value of the subsidy, quality and extent of work covered and say the council will fund the balance.
Mrs Petty, who is the Backwell ward councillor, added: "Don’t agree to work from cold-callers.
“Rogue traders will try to convince you that they operate within the Green Homes scheme.
“They will rush you into a decision and may ask for initial payments up front, perhaps even falsely claiming that they are working for the council or a government agency.
“Don’t let rogue traders mislead you!"
As part of the genuine scheme you will need to obtain your own tradesman from an approved list.
You also need to apply for a voucher and get approval first before getting any work done. The Simple Energy Advice Service is there to provide help and guidance on this process.
A Nailsea man with more than 15 years’ experience in the plumbing and heating industry, has made the most of his time on furlough and started his own business.
Barry Maxted has launched MAXFlush to offer a professional powerflushing service to heating engineers and homeowners.
Powerflushing is the process of cleaning a central heating system. The aim is to remove dirt, sludge, debris, and rust from the water, which runs inside the pipes and radiators. Over time, this debris builds up, collects at the bottom of radiators (cold spots) which makes the heating system less efficient and can cause damage to the boiler.
A system will generally require a powerflush when there are cold areas on radiators, poor circulation or a new boiler is being fitted on to an existing system.
Homeowners either book a powerflush themselves, or more commonly, their heating engineer will recommend one, so MAXFlush will work both with the engineers and directly with homeowners.
Barry’s previous role was with Norstrom Proflush, and he will be using their Proflush Professional range of machines, one of the best powerflushing machines on the market - to provide a thorough system clean.
MAXFlush are also able to offer heating system upgrades including installing deaerators to remove or reduce oxygen in the system water, this helps to prevent further corrosion. We also offer system water analysis and testing as well as the installation of system filters and TRVs.
Barry, who started up the business after being made redundant as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, says MAXFlush offers a vital service, both for homeowners directly and heating engineers who are not able to offer powerflushing services themselves.
“Powerflushing is absolutely vital for the long-term preservation of heating systems and boilers, and with manufacturers selling their products with longer and longer warranties, the condition and maintenance of the system water is more crucial than ever,” explained Barry.
“However, powerflushing requires specialist equipment and can take hours to perform correctly, so many heating engineers simply don’t have the time, equipment or expertise to do it themselves, so there is a need for a specialist to offer that service - and that is where MAXFlush comes in.
"I aim to utilize the latest equipment to provide a professional, friendly and reliable service, building up strong relationships with customers across the region.”
Energy bills @ 2016 rate
It’s four years since the Brexit vote was held on June 23, 2016 and while a huge amount has changed across Britain since then, household gas and electricity prices are now back at the same level, say industry experts.
While the price of shopping has risen by an average of 11 per cent, house prices by nine per cent, and rail fares by 10 per cent, the cost of the best value household fuel bills - which had risen until November 2018 – are now back at summer 2016 prices.
The trend means people who last changed their gas and electricity deal in 2018 are now missing out on huge savings due to the recent plunge in energy prices.
Flipper boss Mark Gutteride said: “Many people believe that energy costs just go up and up, but that hasn’t been the case over the last six-12 months."
The auto-switching service which seeks out the cheapest deals for its members is based at 1 Clevedon Road, Crown Glass Shopping Centre, Nailsea.
Mark added: "The price of the cheapest duel fuel deal increased by 30 per cent between Summer 2016 and November 2018 adding more than £200 per year to bills, but since then energy prices have been falling, and following a big drop over the past few months, the best deals available now cost the same as four years ago.
“We’re seeing suppliers launching new tariffs offering the lowest prices in years and anyone who has not changed their energy provider this year needs to check immediately to see if they can save money.
“Even people on a fixed tariff may find it is more cost effective to pay any exit fees and move to a cheaper tariff while prices are low.
“Anyone who has recently switched will be enjoying much lower bills, but those households who are still on the same deal they were 12 months ago, are now paying hundreds of pounds more than they should be.
"The average household can save nearly £370 by moving from a supplier’s standard tariff to one of the best deals currently available.”
Flipper is the UK’s first auto-energy switcher and prides itself on being truly independent as it does not take commission-based referrals from any of the energy providers.
The site offers a subscription service and manages bills on behalf of its members using an algorithm to scan the market to find energy deals. Members join for free and only pay a set fee if savings of more than £50 can be found.
Visit www.flipper.co.uk for more information.
Third book & still counting
An award-winning author who has published her third book is calling for people to try new things and embrace failure– after overcoming challenges to take up writing.
Accountant and business advisor Della Hudson, who has been named among 20 businesswomen to watch, had found writing difficult at school.
But her first book The Numbers Business, has been named best specialist book at the Business Book Awards.
And her latest – Growing by Numbers, which looks at scaling up a business - has been praised by industry experts as a practical must-have book.
Mum-of-two Della, fof Backwell, said: “I would advise young people and business owners not only to play to their strengths but also to work on their weaknesses.
“I think it’s good to try a little bit of everything and know that there is nothing wrong with failing. Just see it as experience.”
“I never thought I would have become an author. I spent most of my English lessons staring out of the window. It didn’t hold much interest and I was very slow to get my ideas down in writing.
“But I’ve found my own style and incentive to write. I’ve enjoyed sharing ideas in a succinct way, which will help business owners develop their skills and grow.”
Della, who has been a chartered accountant for more than 20 years, set up her own business from her kitchen table in 2009.
She set up her firm after having children and being unable to find a company which would offer flexitime.
Della, who sold one profitable business and now heads Minerva Accountants, which operates remotely, wrote her latest book to help business owners grow their business.
She said: “I have a real passion to help business owners to achieve their dreams.
"Everyone needs a bit of a leg-up and I wanted to create a practical guide that would reach even more people.”
Della has since been named among 20 businesswomen to watch in 2020 by business banking app Tide - and as one of the top 50 women in finance by Accountancy Age news.
She is also listed as a top online influencer by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW).
Steve Pipe, a best-selling author, dynamic speaker and founder of Accountants Changing the World, said the book was ‘extremely practical’ and a ‘great addition to any business owner’s bookshelf’.
Alison Edgar, a motivational speaker, author and award-winning businesswoman known as the Entrepreneur’s Godmother, said: “It’s a must for anyone looking to scale up their business’.
Growing by Numbers - How to scale up your small business with confidence is aimed at business owners in various fields and common areas of concern while growing.
It includes real- life examples, a guide on managing finances and knowing when to bring in professionals.
The book is written for accountants to give to their clients. Business owners can work through it on their own, with their accountant or directly with Della.
Della also offers free money matters seminars where entrepreneurs can get advice and ideas on how to grow their businesses.
A book launch for Growing by Numbers - How to scale up your small business with confidence is on Tuesday, June 30 at 5pm.
It will involve a live interview with Della.
To pre order a signed copy click HERE.
A £1.3 million money pot for creatives has been launced by the government and North Somerset people are urged to bid.
Funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the programme called Creative Scale Up helps creative businesses to overcome specific barriers to growth such as marketing, strategy planning or improving their digital footprint.
Coaches and mentors are available for businesses and specialist help on hand to identify appropriate sources of finance through the British Business Bank.
The programme is open to growing enterprises with approximately eight employees in any of the following sectors:
advertising and marketing
arts and culture
createch (tech that is immersive or enables creativity, for example music software)
TV and film.
North Somerset Council executive member for business, economy and employment and ward councillor for Weston Hillside Mark Canniford said: “This is great news and a great opportunity for the creative sector in North Somerset and I really hope we get good take-up from businesses in our area.”
There is no financial cost for businesses taking part in the programme, just an expectation that business leaders will commit their time to engage with the activities on offer.
The deadline for expressions of interest is Tuesday, March 31.
Creative Scale Up is a new programme designed to support creative businesses in the West of England to grow and access finance.
This is a £1.3 million Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) funded pilot programme which will explore how best to support businesses in the creative industries sector to grow whilst encouraging investment into the sector.
Money pot for creatives
Gossip magazines given short shift by Nailsea beauty salons
Three Nailsea beauty salons are taking a stand against gossip magazines.
The first to join others nationwide in banning critical celeb publications was the SP Hair Company.
A post on the Nailsea High Street salon Facebook page said:
‘Recently we have seen FB posts about salons BANNING magazines that slate and put people down, after hearing the devastating news of Caroline Flack we have decided to follow this and will no longer have these in our salon. Instead we’ll be offering you a selection which will encourage growth and change and thought for the mind. All of our team have been effected by mental health at some point in our lives whether it be personally or through family/friends and are very understanding of this. So please if you ever feel the need to talk to us and be that set of ears you need to just listen to you than feel confident that you can and we will not judge. Be KIND 🖤 We are also open to suggestions of what you would like to read/do in the salon so please feel free to comment your ideas.’
They were quickly followed by the upstairs Beauty Loft and further down the High Street Reflections. When Nailsea People shared the posting on its Facebook page it reached more than 4,000 with a comment urging readers to sign this:
THIRSTY FIRST THURSDAY MARCH
For its next Thirsty First Thursday Nailsea Chamber of Trade & Commerce is venturing to Backwell.
Spokesman Luke Hewitt, of Ward soliciltors, said: "Firstly, a big thank you to the Nailsea MicroPub for hosting our last event and supplying very well received nibbles.
"The next Thirsty First Thursday drinks event, is Backwell House, Farleigh Road, from 5.30pm on Thursday, March 5.
"As usual the first drink will be provided by the Chamber and Backwell House have kindly offered to provide some nibbles.
"The last couple of events have been well attended.
"It would be great to see another good turnout."
Luke reminds the business community that the consultation is now open about the introduction of parking charges for Nailsea and Clevedon.
He added: "I know many are opposed to this proposal. If you would like to have your say, please click HERE."
New faces are welcome, for an indication of numbers email Luke.Hewitt@wards.uk.com
PHOTOS: The 20 team members from Pelican pose for a celebratory photo at the Sunday Times award evening and metering manager Graham Smith and head of credit management Tamsyn Dorrington with Glenn Dimelow, of Best Companies
Nailsea company in Top 20 of Sunday Times business awards
Nailsea based Pelican Business Services has been placed 19th in the Sunday Times Best Companies awards improving on its previous position of 20th in 2018
On Thursday. February 21, 20 team members from Pelican Business Services, travelled to London Evolution, for the annual Sunday Times Best Companies Awards for the 100 best mid-sized companies to work for in the UK.
Pelican Business Services was created in 2001, originally known as Bristol Wessex Billing