Business Support Unlocked (BSU) continues to help businesses across North Somerset realise its potential.

Since launching in April last year, the service has granted free access to information and guidance.

It has been helping businesses conquer early growth challenges, prioritise key areas, and future proof via sustainable business practices.

BSU is delivered through The Hive, a not-for-profit organisation which boasts 35 years of experience championing start-up, micro and small businesses across the region.

The scheme is funded by North Somerset Council’s allocation of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF).

This assures businesses within North Somerset receive flexible and accessible support, setting them up for long-term success.

With a full year of funding remaining, there are substantial opportunities for businesses to still benefit from advice and support.

North Somerset Times: Since launching in April last year, the service has granted entirely free access to information and

The provision of UKSPF backed support programme includes a variety of services.

It offers a Starting in Business Course to equip start-ups with important initial insights.

1-2-1 advice sessions are available either in person, by phone, or online for easy access.

Other support includes workshops that focus on the key priorities for a business’s success, and access to the latest market intelligence information through COBRA and Confederation of British Industry (CBI) databases.

Customers of the service were full of praise.

BSU's participant Patty said: "The next generation experience has been transformative for me in sales, confidence-building, finding my voice, and utilising social media effectively.

"This support has not only enabled my professional development but also empowered me to navigate new opportunities and challenges with resilience and creativity."

Another participant, Laura, added: "It has helped me focus on activities that promote my business and win work.

"I've definitely been braver and have had three sales conversations as a result of some of the support I have received.

"It's now just finding the right balance of working in and on my business."

BSU’s achievements to date include support for 428 businesses, establishing 55 new businesses, and creating 59 new jobs.

This is in line with North Somerset Council’s commitment to fostering growth, promoting fairness and driving sustainable development.

Councillor Mark Canniford, North Somerset Council’s executive member for spatial planning, placemaking and economy, said: "We want to lead our communities to protect and enhance our region and drive sustainable development.

"Through initiatives like BSU, we aim to reduce inequalities and promote fairness and opportunity for everyone.

"Supporting businesses across North Somerset is a vital part of developing the region’s economy and improving quality of life for North Somerset residents."

The BSU network is set to strengthen the economic landscape by furnishing businesses with knowledge and tools necessary to flourish in today's competitive market.

They aspire for businesses in North Somerset to not only survive, but to excel in their ventures, thereby contributing effectively to their communities and the economy.