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Big business for small firms in D&G

A scheme set up to help small and medium businesses in Dumfries and Galloway isproving a big international success.

Access Six helps companies to compete in foreign markets. They do everything from giving advice on the demand for Scottish products abroad, to sharing contacts across the world.

Fiona McIlwraith went to two businesses in the region to find out more.

Small businesses find international success

Chris Harrison owns Waulkmill Cider near Langholm. He started the business in 2010, and now sells cider vinegars and perry as well. He's been trying to grow the company and now, with the help of Access Six, exports to Germany.

Access Six is a project run by Scotland Run and Drink. Small business who sign up are given a mentor to help them develop their company and look at exporting to foreign markets.

Chris Harrison now exports his product in Germany Credit: ITV Border

Chris said:** **"Any help that a small business can get, especially at the moment, is worth taking. If you can get on board with an organisation like this, people can assist you with making contacts, helping you with the paperwork and the red tape. It's an absolute wealth."

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Export advice for new routes to market

Small and medium businesses (SME's) across south west Scotland are eligible to apply for a new programme that will help them export their products.

Access Six is an initiative funded by the European Regional Development Fund that provides training and mentorship for food and drink SME's in the border regions in Scotland, Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Amanda Brown, from Scotland Food & Drink, explains what the programme is about.

Excellence Day of networking hosted for energy sector

Britain's Energy Coast will hosted the event in Workington Credit: ITV News

The first Excellence Day for businesses in the energy sector will be held in Cumbria today.

The event in Workington plans to showcase the success of both large and small businesses and create a network between them.

Smaller firms will display their products and services, whilst larger companies will demonstrate business opportunities for those companies to get involved with.

It is being hosted by Britain's Energy Coast who promote low-carbon energy in West Cumbria.

Full report: Businesses concerned over independence debate

Businesses in the south of Scotland say they are concerned that the debate about independence is causing uncertainty and could threaten jobs.

They were speaking as the Business Secretary Vince Cable set out what he says are the risks of a 'yes' vote in next year's referendum.

The First Minister has dismissed the analysis as "seriously flawed" and the SNP has called on Vince Cable to withdraw it.

However, he insists his paper is "positive and optimistic".

Matthew Taylor reports:

Bullough's building sold

The old Bullough's building which until recently has been used by Hoopers

The former Bullough's building in Carlisle has been sold at auction to an unknown buyer for more than a million pounds.

Retailer Hoopers left the city centre store in March after seven years.

The Bullough family had previously run a department store in the building for nearly a hundred years.

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How the Chancellor's Budget plans to help business

  • New Employment Allowance will take the first £2,000 off the employer National Insurance bill of every company in the country
  • Around 450,000 small businesses - one third of all employers - will pay no employer National Insurance at all after introduction of Employment Allowance in April next year
  • Small firms will be given help through Government procurement budgets, growth vouchers and controls on regulators' charges
  • The Capital Gains Tax holiday will be extended
  • Corporation tax to be reduced by a further 1% to 20% in April 2015
  • Small company and main rates of corporation tax merged at 20p

M6 Corridor to be 'an example for rural Britain'

An initiative by three Cumbrian Councils to agree to promote business and employment along the M6 corridor in the county has been praised.Rory Stewart, MP for Penrith and the Border said:

"The M6 corridor project is an excellent example of what we as MPs in Cumbria should be doing more of: working together for the greater good of our county, and putting party politics aside to highlight what we can do, in cooperation, to grow our economy, support our businesses and communities, and generate prosperity for all.

"The M6 is a symbolic road, stretching right through the heart of Cumbria, and is a lifeline to our businesses and industries. We want the M6 corridor to be an example for rural Britain, showing how we can attract investment and development that will power our economy as we move out of recession. I am delighted to be a part of this exciting project.”

– Rory Stewart MP

Councils work together to get Cumbria in fast lane

Three Cumbrian councils have agreed to work together to promote the economy in the county along the M6 from junctions 36 to 44.

The leaders of Carlisle City Council, Eden District Council and South Lakleand Council have each signed up to the 'M6 Corridor Initiative.'

The Initiative outlines that the councils will work collaboratively to:

  • Promote economic growth along the M6 corridor in East Cumbria
  • Provide employment sites within easy reach of main transport routes
  • Support development wherever it is most appropriate across the area
  • Improve infrastructure and communication networks along the corridor
  • Make it easier for businesses to relocate in the area
  • Seek to attract new and growing investment
  • Market the corridor as an area open for business
  • Work with partners such as the County Council and Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership to facilitate growth .
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