Islands’ Partnership Planning First Scilly Business Week

islands partnership logoThe Islands’ Partnership has announced plans for Scilly’s first Business Week.

The event, from the 9th to the 13th March, will bring experts over from the mainland to offer advice on topics including merchandising, marketing and making the most of social media and superfast broadband.

The IP has previously arranged advice sessions on how tourism-related businesses can manage their online reputation and use Google ads.

This is their first weeklong programme of workshops.

IP Executive Director David Jackson says that the sessions will be highly practical and supplemented by useful ‘one-to-ones’ where businesses can seek specific advice regarding their own particular needs.

And Carolyn Garman from the Partnership promises, “something for everyone including retailers, restaurateurs, artists, manufacturers and cottage industries, guesthouses and service providers.”

The Council is supporting the IP initiative. Recently the Town Hall launched their Ash Futures economic strategy, which recommended a move away from reliance on tourism.

One of the aims was to build up to 120 homes to offer places for entrepreneurs to live. It is hoped that business people will want to move from the mainland to Scilly to start businesses because we now have fast internet access.

Cllr Gaz O’Neill, who chairs the Council’s Planning and Development Committee, says that this event, “provides an opportunity for budding entrepreneurs to think creatively about Scilly’s overall offering.”

He says: “As a community it is important that we seek a more diversified economic strategy and this is a valuable stepping stone for anyone looking to gain a greater understanding and confidence in operating a viable business on the islands.”

Next Tuesday and Wednesday, the Islands’ Partnership is also hosting a 2-day visit by the Chief Executive of the Cornwall Chamber of Commerce, Kim Conchie.

Back in September 2013, Kim met with the IP to discuss how the two organisations could work more closely.

At the time, he told us that his body helped small and medium sized companies in the region to network and learn from each other.

He said research has shown that is more important that grant funding in helping businesses to develop.

Kim is keen to hear about islanders’ businesses experiences so that his body can represent the views of Scilly’s traders across the region.

You can arrange a meeting with Kim and learn more about the events by calling the IP office on 424036. The full programme can be viewed at the IP website here.