Local business news – January & February 2017

eco-hub

Hub grows in size

Three new members of staff, including one of the leading international academics in the field of sustainability, have been taken on at an expanding ‘eco hub’ in Bridgnorth. The trio join sister companies Credibly Green and Frith Resource Management who are based at the hub in the High Street. Credibly Green provides environmental performance reports to customers throughout the UK and Frith Resource Management is a waste management consultancy working with clients ranging from international governments to local authorities.

Paul Frith, who founded both firms, says, “We welcome the three to our growing team – they bring a wealth of valuable experience from the environmental sector and will enable us to provide our specialist services to a wider range of clients in the Midlands, across the UK and worldwide.” he said. The new recruits are Dr Julieanna Powell-Turner who has been appointed as sustainability director, Leanne Trow, the new assistant environmental consultant, and Cath Edwards, who joins as sustainability consultant.

Boost business with an intern

Shropshire Council are currently looking for employers who might be interested in taking on an intern through Enable’s Supported Internship programme. Employing someone with a disability can have a positive impact on your business, creating a workforce that reflects the diverse range of its community, harnessing the morale-building attitude of many disabled employees, and supporting a positive image of your firm. According to figures published by Real Role, 77% of the public think more highly of companies that make extra effort to employ people with disabilities.
Internships last for a year and can be spread between two and four days a week. To find out more, call 01743 276900 or email enable@shropshire.gov.uk.

Care firm shows caring

November 13 marked the official celebration of World Kindness Day. First celebrated back in 1998, this special day is observed around the world to recognise and honour acts of generosity.
To mark the occasion, local firm Clarriots Care invited all their carers to the head office, for what was supposedly a simple office lunch. However, the firm’s employees were delighted when they were suddenly presented with surprise bouquets – and there was also a buffet lunch to share.
“It was a lovely day,” says carer Vanessa Kemp. “I’m very impressed as I don’t think many care agencies would do this. There’s such a great team here, everyone is very friendly and very welcoming.”
Clarriots Care MD James Carratt also gave the team one final surprise – an extra day off in 2017.

 

Sales team expands

Local car dealership Evans Halshaw of Worfield has recently strengthened its sales team with the appointment of two new sales executives. Local lad Drew Burley, 19, from Bridgnorth and William Gibb from Falkirk have recently joined the team and are already making a positive impact at the West Midlands retailer.

William brings with him seven years of sales experience, including three in the motor trade, while Drew joins the sales team after working as a service department driver. Both team members have already thrown themselves into their new roles and are enjoying every moment.
Drew says, “I’ve always had a love for all things automotive and a key interest in sales, so I’m thrilled to start my new role here at Evans Halshaw. The team’s passion for Vauxhall is evident from the moment you meet them and it’s great to be able to share that.”

Furniture makers return to county

From January, Holloways of Ludlow’s bespoke kitchens and furniture will be manufactured at their new workshop in Shrewsbury, where they’ll be employing more cabinetmakers, improving their facilities and tooling, and doubling their production capacity. The company had been based in London and will still have showrooms in the capital, but they’ve been preparing for a year to return to the county where they started life as an architectural salvage enterprise.

To celebrate this move, the 10-year-old firm have developed three new kitchen ranges for launch in February. The designs have been named after the places in Shropshire which inspired them, and they all exhibit the company’s distinctive style of combining authentic materials with contemporary design. The new kitchen ranges are called Ludlow, Broseley and Mortimer.

County company scoops national award

The Blue Lemon soap and skincare company’s Geranium and Lavender Body Wash has won the Janey Lee Grace Platinum Award for Best Natural Soap/Body Wash, beating a host of top competitors.

The awards recognise companies and products which take a more natural, ethical approach to skincare and the high profile judges included Carrie Grant, Jo Wood and Zoe Ball.
Jenny Muschner, who established the business with her husband Jorg, says, “I’m so excited to win, especially as it’s one of our new products, developed and made here in Shrewsbury. We’re sure our customers will love it too.”

The Blue Lemon has been making ethical, natural skincare with fair-traded ingredients for over six years. Formerly based at Maws Craft Centre in Jackfield, they moved to their Shrewsbury High Street premises in 2015, where they make, as well as sell, all their products. Blue Lemon liquids soaps and body washes are hand-made only from plant oils and contain no detergents or sulphates.

Lower your running costs

Telford & Wrekin Council is one of the partners in the Business Energy Efficiency Programme (BEEP), which has been awarded £1.45 million funding from the Department for Communities and Local Government’s European Regional Development Fund to help small and medium-sized businesses.

The programme will help lower running costs by reducing energy consumption and also help the environment by cutting carbon emissions.

Businesses will receive a free energy efficiency assessment review, which will help them understand their energy usage, and provide advice and recommendations on how to make improvements. Grants from £2,000 to £20,000 will also be available to help businesses undertake energy efficiency improvements such as lighting, variable speed drives and compressors, energy efficient equipment, refrigeration, renewable technologies, behavioural change programmes, feasibility studies and more. To find out if you are eligible, visit business-central.co.uk/beep.

Insurers to cover electric vehicles

A family-run Shropshire insurance broker is stepping into the 21st century by becoming one of just a handful of British companies to offer insurance policies for electric car owners. Nigel West, director of Newport’s Fiveways Insurance Consultants, is launching a new division – Greenways – to provide the specialist packages. The new division, which officially launched in October, operates from its Newport branch.

The move follows a significant rise in the popularity of electric/plug-in hybrid (PHEV) cars in recent years with more than 50,000 vehicles now on the road compared with just 3,500 in 2013. Nigel West says, “With such a limited insurance market available to electric car owners, Greenways would be able to offer customers a bespoke, tailored policy.

“I don’t think it will be long before electric cars are the norm on our roads. Many mainstream manufacturers including Nissan, Renault, Volvo, BMW, Audi and Mercedes all plan to have at least 25 per cent of their range powered by electric motors by 2020. The technology and battery capacity is improving all the time and they are undoubtedly cheaper to run.”

Photocopier warning

Companies across Shropshire are being conned out of tens of thousands of pounds a year by a clicking scam, according to a Telford-based copying business. Adrian Casey, director of Unique Copiers, is calling on businesses, schools and councils to be more vigilant about the so-called ‘triple click method’.

The method sees unsuspecting organisations pay three times over the odds for their colour copies. Mr Casey said there was a simple test that businesses and schools could do to make sure they were paying the right amount for one colour copy.

“All you have to do is print off a counter report that shows you the number of copies made,” he said. “Then run off one colour copy and then print off another counter report. If the number has increased by more than one colour copy you are being conned.”

Mr Casey says that many people who had been given the hard sell by sales reps or were complacent with existing suppliers thought they were now tied into a contract. But, he explains, “Fraudulent contracts are not enforceable so it’s possible to get out of the contract and recover the cash that you have been conned out of.”

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