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High Street booster celebrates first year of helping traders

PUBLISHED: 11:11 19 March 2015 | UPDATED: 11:15 19 March 2015

Sidcup & Co in Sidcup High Street

Sidcup & Co in Sidcup High Street

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Sidcup & Co gives helping hand to small businesses

Bexley’s own boost for small businesses - Sidcup & Co - is celebrating its first birthday as well as its many successes. Chris Murphy marks the anniversary by speaking to some of the firms that have taken advantage of what this business booster has to offer...

START-UP costs for every business can be a huge drain on their finances, especially in difficult economic times.

So having some low cost shop space to be able to showcase what your business offers is a major boost.

Bexley Council thought just that, and helped set up Sidcup & Co a year ago.

And it that time, it has helped many small businesses show locals and visitors exactly what they have to offer.

Situated in the High Street, passers-by are encouraged to walk in and get a taste of what a whole raft of different companies are doing – firms that otherwise could easily be missed.

Among the new businesses taking advantage of what Sidcup & Co has to offer are the Magnolia Cake House Tea Room and Sukhi Juices.

Entrepreneur, Rosie Bayne, opened the tea room last year, offering delicious treats served on vintage china.

And local Sukie Li launched Sukhi Juices in the store last month.

She said: “Already, the business is attracting significant interest from the local community.”

Sukhi Juices sell slow and cold-pressed juices and smoothies, made from fresh fruit and vegetables and aimed at health-conscious consumers.

And Susannah Henley, a designer who offers dressmaking services, is also one of its fan.

He said: “It’s a great to have the opportunity to collaborate with other bespoke services and designer makers and showcase the various talents who operate from Sidcup & Co.”

And Kimmie, of small business Kimicass, went on: “A year on, you can definitely see how the shop has developed and continues to do so. We have strived to create a relaxed, enjoyable experience for our customers with great personal service. This store has built up a reputation over the past year as a place you must visit on the high street.

“Sidcup really needed a shop like Sidcup & Co, not only to give small businesses the wonderful opportunity to dip their toes into the world of retail on the high street, but also to provide a variety of good value, quality and choice to its ever growing customer base.”

A host of events have recently been held to mark the store’s first anniversary.

The council said: “The multi-purpose business space has attracted a range of dynamic and ambitious entrepreneurs from the local area and surrounding towns in its first year.

“So far, over 40 different retailers have used the space to sell their products. It helps them reach new customers and raise the profile of their brand. An increasing number of businesses and community organisations are using its office space and events facilities.”

And Cllr Linda Bailey, cabinet member for regeneration and growth, added: “The store offers great opportunities for small businesses to flourish, developing new ventures with the benefit of support, advice and affordable facilities.

“All of the traders and entrepreneurs at Sidcup & Co have achieved a great deal in the past year, and I look forward to seeing more exciting businesses moving in and collaborating on special projects and events.”

Funding has come from a variety of places. It is part of the In Store for Sidcup programme, funded by the Mayor of London’s Outer London Fund and the London Borough of Bexley.

The Outer London Fund is helping increase the vibrancy and growth of high streets across London, so £1.2 million has been provided to Sidcup, with a further £600,000 of match funding from the London Borough of Bexley.

Sidcup & Co: How to get involved?

Space costs from as little as £25 a month with no long-term contract and the area can be set up as a client requires. For larger more prominent areas, the costs can reach £200 a month for a private concern, or £300 for commercial. This is for a 2m x 1m plinth.

Training packages are also available to help get small businesses onto the road to bigger success.

There are also costs for a desk space, workshop and meeting room.

Anyone interested in taking space at 9 High Street, they can email sidcup@bexley.gov.uk for more information or phone 020 8309 0176.

More information can be found at http://sidcupandco.com/holding.html

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