Lewisham and Southwark Councils have announced the launch of a new advice and support service for small businesses in the boroughs.
The new service is run by Greater London Enterprise and is a shared service for the two south London boroughs located at:
The Lewisham and Southwark Business Advisory Service
10-12 Queen Elizabeth Street
London, SE1 2JN
Telephone: 0800 032 0946
Many services will be provided free of charge and the GLE is tasked with taking a proactive approach to helping local businesses through the current economic climate.Workshops, seminars and surgeries will be on offer in a range of business-development areas including marketing, cash flow management, procurement readiness and lease advocacy.
In Brockley there are signs of a growing enterprise culture and with new live / work units opening in Martins Yard next year, the creation of a new service is timely.
The move is another example of Lewisham Council seeking to share services to reduce costs, as it has already done with its website and street lighting. In this case, while the move means that small businesses will have to travel outside the borough to visit their offices, the benefits of pooled resources and expertise should outweigh the inconvenience. The quality of advice offered to start-ups in Lewisham has been criticised in the past by the Brockley business community.
Cllr Vicky Foxcroft says:
"Extra support for local business is vital in the current economic climate. We don't want our area to only have big corporations who are well placed to survive the economic crisis.
"Most people in the area love the fact we have so many independent bars, restaurants and shops in the area. It is only right that the council provides them with extra support and advice."