Centre will help small businesses get off the ground

START-UPS From left, Maria Lampert of the British Library, Councillor Lee Hunt and Elizabeth Caush

START-UPS From left, Maria Lampert of the British Library, Councillor Lee Hunt and Elizabeth Caush

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A SERVICE has been launched to support anyone wanting to set up a business and to help owners once trading.

Following a bid to Arts Council England, Portsmouth City Council yesterday introduced the service to council members and businesses.

The bid has provided the council with funding to pay for an officer to run the business support service from the city’s central library.

It is free to use and allows anyone looking to start up a business, or anyone who has already set themselves up, to use software such as Mint – a database of UK company and business intelligence.

Elizabeth Caush, who has been employed to run the service, can also give advice on intellectual property including patents, designs, trademarks and copyright, and offer advice on networking, funding and courses.

At the event, Elizabeth said: ‘I feel privileged to be the business support officer. Portsmouth is a great place to live.

‘There are some fantastic people I am working with in the council. We have got a great opportunity

‘I am in Portsmouth and what better place than having somebody in the library when all of these resources are around us?

‘Being able to offer advice about intellectual property means people have got help on their doorstep.’

Among the guests were councillors, business leaders and representatives from other interested groups.

Intellectual property expert Maria Lampert from the British Library was one of those invited, which has been offering training to Elizabeth to help her in the role.

Councillor Lee Hunt, Portsmouth City Council’s cabinet member for culture, leisure & sport, said: ‘If people have got ideas that they want to bring to Elizabeth to get patented and checked out, this is the place to come to.’

To book a place or use any of the resources, businesses can visit the first floor of the library, call (023) 9283 4118 or e-mail elizabeth.caush@portsmouthcc.gov.uk

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