Ipswich businesses to benefit from British Bankers Association recognition

29th February 2016
Catherine Vickery

Firms in Ipswich now have access to first class business support and mentoring thanks to the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce being fully endorsed by the British Bankers Association (BBA).

The BBA is the leading trade association for the UK Banking sector and at the back end of 2015 it commended the Suffolk Chamber for the support it provides to local start-up and entrepreneurial businesses. The high standards that the Suffolk Chamber had to achieve mean that it is now listed on the BBA’s mentorsme scheme, where local businesses can get access to mentoring, advice and guidance.

This accolade means that businesses in Ipswich now have a recognised and trusted panel of experts to turn towards whenever they need business advice, with a particular focus on financial matters. With poor financial management being one of the core reasons why a good number of businesses fail, having access to an accredited mentoring scheme can be invaluable.

Creating a profitable business model is something that is often developed based on experience and unfortunately for many, that experience can sometimes come too late. The mentorsme scheme, which the Suffolk Chamber is now a member of, is made of experienced and highly trained business professionals who are willing to pass on the knowledge they gained from their own experiences.

While they will not provide business recommendations around the specifics of the business i.e. submit tax returns on the business’ behalf, they will provide impartial advice and direction. They can help with decision making and come up with alternative funding options that the business owner may not have thought of.

Any start-up business should expect to pay for financial advice and services but knowing who to pay that money too is often based on who is the cheapest, but not who can provide the greatest value. With guidance from the Suffolk Chamber, businesses in Ipswich now know who they can turn to for honest direction.

But it is not just start-ups that can benefit from this BBA recognised scheme. Owners who have a business at a different life stage can also benefit from the services on offer. Whether it be they are looking to expand their operation or restructure their workforce, the networking opportunities and the honest appraisal of an outside perspective can help focus the business owner’s attention in the right direction.

This latest recognition from the BBA comes on top of the Suffolk Chamber being given academy status by the Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs. This allows the chamber to provide nationally accredited qualifications in business support. In addition, the New Anglia Growth Hub’s advisers are working their way towards diplomas in Business and Enterprise Support.

The benefit for Ipswich of all this expertise is that the more people that have access to highly skilled business support personnel, the greater the impact it will have on the local economy. In a country where, according to Government data 99% of business are SMEs, the importance of having access to the right sort of guidance and mentorship should not be underestimated.