Orkney Islands Council
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Business Gateway Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is Business Gateway part of the Council and if so why is it based at Queen Street?

A: Yes, Business Gateway is a Council run service.  It forms part of Development and Infrastructure, which includes the Economic Development Function.  Both Business Gateway and the Council’s Economic Development function are based at the office in Queen Street alongside our partner development agency, Highlands & Islands Enterprise (HIE) Orkney.  This forms a one-stop business development centre.

Q: What type of businesses can use the service?

A:  Primarily the service is aimed at small businesses at start up (or pre-start) or in the early years as they grow.  However, any business in Orkney in any sector can access the Business Gateway resources.

Q: How do I use the service?

A: There are 3 ways you can access Business Gateway support: via the website (see related sites), via the local office in Kirkwall or via the National Enquiry Service.  You can contact the local office by telephoning 01856 886666, by email or in person at 14 Queen Street, Kirkwall.  You can contact the National Enquiry Service by telephoning 0845 609 6611.  Your enquiry will be assessed and you will be informed of workshops and may be allocated a business adviser.

Q: Do you offer courses?

A: Yes, we do run regular free training courses (see BG Workshop related link) on various subjects as well as offering one to one adviser support where required.  See details of upcoming workshops.

Q: What kind of business advice can you provide?

A:  The type of advice really depends on what stage you are at.  Business Gateway offers a wide range of advice that can be tailored to suit your needs.  For instance if you are looking to start up in business we can offer advice on everything from financial planning to researching potential markets.  Whatever stage you are at with your business plan – even if you don’t have one yet – you can speak to us, in confidence.  Similarly we can offer ongoing support to help your business survive and grow.  You can meet with one of our Business Advisers if this is appropriate.

Q: Where will I meet an adviser?

A:  The adviser can meet you at a mutually convenient venue and time.  There are meeting rooms available at Business Gateway in Kirkwall if required.

Q: Will my enquiry be treated in a confidential manner?

A: All enquiries to Business Gateway are treated confidentially.  Client details are not passed to any other agencies without prior consent.

Q: Do you offer funding?

A: Business Gateway is primarily an advisory service and can signpost and give advice on a wide range of grant and loan funding available.  Business Gateway in Orkney (from April 2011 to March 2013) will provide a small discretionary new business start up grant of up to £1,500 to assist with start up costs.

If your question is not answered above, please email your enquiry to the local office.