Forward-thinking businesses are rushing to sign up to a scheme aimed at helping them take their firms to the next level of growth.

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More than 500 businesses from Norfolk and Suffolk have already been in contact with the New Anglia Growth Hub since it was launched in June.

The free service offers advice and assistance to businesses, ranging from established enterprises to potential start-ups.

It was created by the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (Lep), with the help of money from the government’s regional growth fund and aims to ensure that the two counties’ entrepreneurs are able to make the most of the support available.

Business advisers have said they have been impressed by the diversity of businesses which have come forward. “I’ve met niche manufacturers, cutting edge technology firms, innovative service companies and small businesses providing the products and services we all rely on daily,” said James West, adviser for Norwich and North Norfolk.

“Reaction to the Growth Hub has been very positive. People are a little mystified by the support that may be available and welcome a friendly face to help them find what’s right for them.”

The hub is managed by Suffolk Chamber of Commerce on behalf of the Lep and aims to support 3,000 businesses before June 2015.

Its team of Norfolk-based business growth advisers includes Mr West, Stella Rice and Glen Moore.

Within the first two months, the advisers have helped businesses access funding from New Anglia’s Growing Business Fund and Grants 4 Growth and signposted them to practical support including from Growth Accelerator and Norfolk and Waveney Enterprise Services.

Stella Rice, adviser for North Suffolk and South Norfolk said: “I have been privileged to meet so many aspirational, innovative and focused individuals who are looking to either create a new business, drive an established one forward, or rejuvenate a recognised brand.

“Our aim at the Growth Hub is to work locally, with local individuals and local businesses, in order to support them to realise their potential, to help the local economy and to create jobs. I have met with bespoke furniture makers, industrial manufacturers and owners of tourist ‘hot spots’, to name a few and the one thing that they all have in common is their passion for what they do and the value that they want to add. They are amazing.”

To find out more about the New Anglia Growth Hub, go to www.newangliagrowthhub.co.uk or call 0300 333 6536.

Are you helping Norfolk businesses on their pathway to success? Email kate.scotter@archant.co.uk

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