Falkirk

Business Gateway in Falkirk offers businesses practical help and guidance. Whether you're starting up or growing a business, we provide access to publicly-funded business support services. By supporting new and developing businesses across the Falkirk area, we contribute to Scotland's economic wellbeing.

Local and virtual support to help your business

Find out what support and webinars are available to you and your business.

Local support is available to help with a wide range of business matters during the Coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak. We know this may be a very challenging time for you. We can help with business contingency planning, digital marketing, managing cashflow, dealing with suppliers and a lot more.

Plus we will be delivering virtual services in the way of webinars and online 1:1 adviser sessions.

Get in touch with your local Business Gateway office and look through what we have available online to help you with a wide range of relevant business matters.

Redundancy support for people and businesses in Scotland

Your local Business Gateway office can offer free support to any business considering making redundancies.

Our advisers can help you look at your business challenges and then help you make the next practical steps. Along with that we can introduce you to PACE – Partnership Action for Continuing Employment.

Thinking of Starting a Business?

There are many ways we can help you, even if starting up still seems a way off.

Our website is a great place to begin: we offer a business plan guide to download when you’re ready, market reports as well as handy online guides and articles, video tutorials and podcasts. Take part in our webinars to hone your start-up skills – from how to handle the legal requirements to getting your market research right.

Plus use our Planning to Start tool to guide you through the essential steps of starting up. It takes just 10 minutes to complete and then we can then use the details you give us to create your action plan, complete with links to relevant information and support.

We’ll also recommend free webinars to help you hone your skills and may refer you to relevant support from our partners.

A business adviser from your local office will also get in touch to see how else we can help at this stage and signpost you to a wide range of other support across Scotland.

With our help, you could be in business sooner than you imagined.

Running a Business?

Maintaining a business or moving up a gear can be more daunting than starting up, so our support continues and grows with your business.

We know that your time is in short supply, so we offer 1:1 advice at a time and day to suit you. Together, you and your business adviser can tailor a strategic action plan to your ambitions. Need targeted advice on HR, Restructuring, Innovation, Exporting or Digital Marketing? Your adviser can help with that too. And if you need more specialist input, we can connect you with other sources of support.

Use our resources, support and tools to learn new skills, create opportunities and gain confidence.

We run around 3,500 events each year across Scotland, with webinars on topics from bookkeeping to social media.

  • For free, comprehensive business intelligence and market research, you can turn to our Information Service.
  • Browse our online A-Z of over 100 market reports or request a free report if your market sector isn’t covered.
  • Our handy guides explain how to create a business plan, digital marketing strategy, HR, intellectual property and other essentials that can help your business through these challenging times.

Get in touch with your local Business Gateway office today.

Digital Business Skills with DigitalBoost

Setting up a website is a great start, but DigitalBoost can help you to make the most of your online presence.

Tap into our free local webinars, 1:1 expert adviser support and online tools and tutorials to help you improve your digital performance. Our DigitalBoost guides have been downloaded 20,000 times and some 1,200 workshops have together attracted more than 14,000 business people.

A DigitalBoost HealthCheck can pinpoint your digital strengths, where you could do more and how we can help. Take five minutes now to fill in our form and discover how to give your business a real boost.

Local Support

We offer additional start-up, financial and procurement assistance as well as signposting and networking support across Falkirk:

Planning To Start

Find out what support and tools are available to you by answering a few simple questions with our Planning to Start tool. Then get contact from your local office to take your business idea forward.

Human Resources Support

Business Gateway Falkirk offers a professional HR Advisory Service providing information, advice and support in a broad range of employment matters.

Whether you already employ people, or are looking to hire someone for the first time, let us help you ensure you meet legislation and have the right staff for the job. With our dedicated HR Business Adviser, helpful guides, templates and workshops, you can select the method which suits you to ensure your staff are happy and your business can be a success.

Our expertise covers all areas of employment, from recruitment, working hours, training, legislation, health and safety and payroll.

Small Business Bonus Scheme

This scheme offers reduced non-domestic rates on qualifying business premises. More information is available on the Scottish Government website

COVID Working Capital Loans from Business Loans Scotland

The loan is available to existing businesses that were viable as at 31st December 2019 and have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Issued by Business Loans Scotland (BLS), under the Scottish Growth Scheme, it aims
to provide Scottish based small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) with a loan to help fund working capital and cashflow needs and is available until 31st December 2020. For more information download this leaflet or visit https://www.bls.scot/.

Business Restart Loan

The Business Restart Loan (previously the Falkirk Business Loan Fund) offers SME's in the Falkirk Council area with short term cash flow issues, interest free loans between £1,000 to £5,000.

Eligible businesses must be able to demonstrate:

  • That they have been adversely affected by COVID-19
  • That they have the ability to grow and create employment
  • That they have been trading for a minimum of 6 months

The interest rate is fixed at 0% and loans will be repayable by monthly direct debit instalments from an established business bank account for a period of up to 3 years. A repayment holiday may be granted at the absolute discretion of DSL. There is no administration fee.

To apply, contact DSL:

Sandra McLean

info@dsl-businessfinance.co.uk

Business Adaptation Fund

Maximum grant available £2,500. Please note, the applicant must cover the cost of the first £1,000 of spend.

We recognise that some businesses will incur considerable additional costs to reopen their business and keep staff and public safe through the COVID-19 pandemic. This new fund is available to support those small and medium sized businesses where the costs of adaptations, social distancing and safety measures amounts to over £1,000.

The fund can provide up to 50% of eligible costs where the first £1,000 is paid by the business to a maximum contribution of £2,500 and can support items such as property adaptations, the purchase of screens, PPE equipment, signage, street furniture and other social distancing measures.

Please note this grant is for new spend that your business has to incur and can't be used for items already purchased.

Eligibility criteria

The business must have a dedicated business bank account (you will be required to provide the account details as part of the application process and this is the account your grant will be paid into if successful).

  • The business has not breached wider coronavirus (COVID-19) regulations/requirements
  • The business is not connected to a tax haven, as set out in the Coronavirus (Scotland) (No. 2) Act 2020
  • Business must be classified as an Small Medium Enterprise (SME) – Less than 250 employees and turnover less than £45 million
  • Business must not be in any debt to the council eg Business rate arrears
  • The business must be operated on a full time basis
  • The business must operate from commercial premises within the Falkirk Council area, for which there is a signed lease/rental/licence agreement in place
  • At the time of submitting the application, the business cannot be in bankruptcy, liquidation or similar.
  • The business has not previously been awarded from the Business Adaptation Fund or the Business Resilience Fund. Businesses can only be awarded one grant from each of the funds.
  • The business is not a community groups, not for profit organisations, voluntary or charitable organisations (except social enterprises).

Business - Apply for an Adaptation grant - My Falkirk

For any queries in relation to this fund - please email:

BSGrant@falkirk.gov.uk

Business Resilience Fund

We aim to support business change and development following the COVID-19 pandemic. The recent period of lockdown has forced many businesses to rethink their model of delivery or to focus on certain elements of their business which could help to sustain or grow the business over time.

This fund provides financial assistance to help businesses meet their new business objectives. It can support plant, equipment and machinery expenditure (including IT), property expansion/improvements, exhibiting at a national trade show or the costs of developing innovative products or processes.

Grants of between £1,000 and £10,000 are available to support 50% of eligible expenditure (minimum project spend is £2,000).

Please note this grant is for new spend that your business has to incur and can't be used for items already purchased.

Eligibility criteria

The business must have a dedicated business bank account (you will be required to provide the account details as part of the application process and this is the account your grant will be paid into if successful).

  • The business has not breached wider coronavirus (COVID-19) regulations/requirements
  • The business is not connected to a tax haven, as set out in the Coronavirus (Scotland) (No. 2) Act 2020
  • Business must be classified as an Small Medium Enterprise (SME) – Less than 250 employees and turnover less than £45 million
  • Business must not be in any debt to the council eg Business rate arrears
  • The business must be operated on a full time basis
  • The business must operate from commercial premises within the Falkirk Council area, for which there is a signed lease/rental /licence agreement in place
  • At the time of submitting the application, the business cannot be in bankruptcy, liquidation or similar
  • The business has not previously been awarded from the Business Adaptation Fund or the Business Resilience Fund. Businesses can only be awarded one grant from each of the funds.
  • The business is not a community groups, not for profit organisations, voluntary or charitable organisations (except social enterprises).

Business - Apply for a Resilience grant - My Falkirk

For any queries in relation to this fund, please email:

BSGrant@falkirk.gov.uk

Procurement Support through the Supplier Development Programme

The Supplier Development Programme delivers a range of specialist business support activities including advice, training and information. The aim is to assist businesses to become more capable of accessing and competing for contracts. The annual Meet the Buyer event can help businesses make contact with public sector buyers. The popular workshops provide in-depth advice on helping companies to compile winning tenders. Read more about the programme on the Supplier Development Programme website.

Falkirk Business Panel

Its aim is to enable all businesses both large and small to work collectively to create a strong, business-focused environment for the benefit of the local and regional economy. Core objectives are to improve communications between businesses across the sectors, raise the profile of the business community both within and outside their areas, and to engage the business community in the economic regeneration activities taking place.

All businesses in the Falkirk area are eligible to receive regular e-zines. They will also be invited to participate proactively in key business events taking place throughout the year. You can find more business support information on the Falkirk Council website.

Local Expert Help

Funded by the European Regional Development Fund, our Expert Help programme allows businesses to access support from a specialist to sustain and develop their business.

Use of the Support

  • Marketing
  • Information Technology
  • Finance
  • Procurement
  • Leadership and Organisational Development
  • Digital Media Solutions
  • Environmental
  • Innovation/ IP
  • Internationalisation/ Exporting/ Brexit

What is Available

  • Up to 3 days fully funded support
  • Advice from experienced, qualified, professional experts
  • Wide range of sectors and industries covered

Who can Apply

  • Typically, businesses with fewer than 50 employees targeting increased sales approaching £200,000 or more over a 3 year period.

How to Apply

  • If your business could benefit from any part of this suite of support which businesses can access completely free of charge, contact Business Gateway Falkirk on 01324 808 266 or at falkirk@bgateway.com
Falkirk Business Clinics

Falkirk Business Clinics have been launched to provide access to specialist advice on topics such as HR, legal, digital, procurement and funding. Local professional experts on these topics are available for appointments at various clinics – contact Business Gateway Falkirk to book an appointment:

Lending Clinics

An opportunity to meet and discuss your potential business lending requirements with a business lending specialist. Find out what process and information is required to progress a lending application. Hear more on The Falkirk Loan Fund and other sources of funding.

To book e-mail business@falkirk.gov.uk

Digital Clinic

Need some more advice on Digital Matters?

Topics covered are websites; digital marketing & social media; IT infrastructure and E-commerce.

To book e-mail business@falkirk.gov.uk

Legal Clinic

An opportunity to access legal advice from a local lawyer, providing expertise in many matters:

  • Company Law
  • Corporate Law
  • Commercial Contracts
  • Intellectual Property
  • Data Protection

To book e-mail business@falkirk.gov.uk

Falkirk Council Procurement Clinics

Wanting to discover the best way to sell to Falkirk Council?

The Procurement and Commissioning Unit provide a support service to Falkirk Based Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) who are interested in doing business with the Council and are looking for procurement guidance and advice.

Procurement clinic spaces are free and can be booked by e-mailing pcu@falkirk.gov.uk

HR Clinic

As organisations open up again and employees return to work after furlough leave or after a long period of working from home there are likely to be some HR related issues employers will need to consider.

Some of the key areas employers are dealing with at the moment are:

  • How to introduce COVID workplace testing
  • The implications of gathering health data such as vaccination status
  • How to deal with employees who are concerned about returning to the workplace
  • Managing situations where social distancing rules are breached in the workplace
  • The steps employers can take if workload is reduced or will take time to build up

This HR Clinic is open to all Falkirk based businesses and can be used for any HR related questions employers may have not just issues related to the pandemic. General HR issues which may be covered are:

  • The steps an employer should take when they recruit their first employee
  • The differences between employees and self-employed and the implications
  • The documentation an employer should have in place with employees
  • Questions in relation to sickness absence, holidays and performance management

The HR clinic will be held virtually either by phone call or video call. To arrange a time please e-email business@falkirk.gov.uk

Accountancy Clinic

Need some advice on accountancy matters?

Topics covered are bookkeeping, accountancy software packages, compliance advice, tax returns, working remotely , business advice , annual accounting and invoice processing .

To book an appointment email business@falkirk.gov.uk

The Women's Business Centre

The Women’s Business Centre is a digital platform designed to support women at the pre start-up and start up stages of their business journey. Operated by Women’s Enterprise Scotland, the website is free to access and offers dedicated, needs-based content on starting and growing a business, including stories, encouragement and top tips from leading business owners across Scotland.

Supplier Development Programme (SDP)

SDP is a public sector partnership which delivers a variety of FREE tender training, via classroom style workshops working in conjunction with Local Authorities across Scotland, digitally via webinar and also provides a range of online resources connecting businesses with the Scottish public sector. Registration for SDP events is free for Scottish SMEs, and will connect your business with your local authority’s SDP Rep who can offer your business additional support.

Find your nearest office

Business Gateway Falkirk

Falkirk Stadium
4 Stadium Way
Falkirk
FK2 9EE
Get directions
01324 590 960

Opening hours:

Monday to Friday

09:00 to 17:00