Business Promotion Grant helps companies reach new audiences

Business Promotion Grant recipients

Posted on: 16 September 2016

A group of 10 Devon businesses have been awarded funding to help them reach new audiences.

The latest round of Devon County Council’s Business Promotion Grant has been announced – providing up to £1,000 to cover exhibiting costs of attending trade shows or events.

The grant scheme, which is organised through the County Council’s Devon Delivers programme, aims to enable businesses to gain valuable exposure at high-profile industry events across the country, promoting them to national and international audiences.

The businesses receiving the grant are:

Agricamera, based in Harracott near Barnstaple, will attend LAMMA, the UK’s largest agricultural and machinery show, in Peterborough in January to promote its internet-based wireless CCTV security system for livestock monitoring.

Ben Thompson, Commercial Manager of Agricamera, said: “We’ve not attended LAMMA before. It’s the biggest show in the UK for agriculture and it’s extremely popular, so it will be fantastic for us to showcase to an international audience. We’ll be aiming to build our distribution networks. Coming from Devon, an area known for its agriculture, is key when selling to farmers – it helps them buy into you.”

Care Control Systems, based in Tavistock, will show at the Caring UK Elderly Care Conference in Cheltenham next month. The company offers comprehensive management software for Care Homes that enables all care staff to record the quality care being provided and managers to easily view the status of their home.

Graham Coiley, Co-Director of Care Control Systems, said: “We’re a Devon-based business and very grateful to receive this grant to attend the exhibition. While the majority of our customer base is in the south west we’re getting interest in Care Control from across the whole of the UK. The show will enable us to interact with new customers and to fly the flag for Devon-based business.”

CQC, based in Barnstaple, manufactures military personal equipment as well as a range of maritime and swift water rescue products and training aids. The company will attend the Emergency Services Show in Birmingham later this month.

David Taylor, of CQC, said: “The Business Promotion Grant has made a big difference to us in order to attend the show. These exhibitions are about people discovering you and we’ll be launching our new training mannequin, BOB, at the show. Getting people back onto a boat is a big issue and we’ll be showing BOB to first responders at the show.”

Ebb Tides, based in Sidmouth, is licensed by The Crown Estate and Natural England to harvest seaweed to make versatile seaweed products for everyday cooking. The company was established in May after a couple of years of research and it has more products in the pipeline.

Tony Coulson, Owner of Ebb Tides, will attend the BBC Good Food Show in Birmingham in November. He said: “We’re quite a niche product. We’re attending shows most weekends, although mostly in Devon, which helps raise brand awareness. Around 80,000 people go to the Good Food Show so it will be great to get our name out there, and the grant goes a long way to making the show affordable.”

Letter Box Hamper, based in Exeter, produces the UK’s smallest hamper, containing luxury food and drink items. They will attend the Taste of London event in November.

Jonathan Winfield, Owner of Letter Box Hamper, said: “Being an online business we never really get to show the hamper in person or discuss the produce, the majority of which is local. There’s so much quality local produce to choose from, it would be foolish not to use it, and our hampers are sent everywhere – Australia and the USA. We probably wouldn’t be bold enough to attend without the grant so hopefully the show will be a huge boost to business and it’s an opportunity to shout about the best the South West has to offer.”

Martha and Hepsie, based in Barnstaple, designs and sells homeware, stationery and gifts. The business will show at Top Drawer and Spring Fair trade shows in January and February next year.

Co-owner Hepsie Goddin said: “Being a small business we usually attend one show a year. Trade shows are expensive but they’re a necessity as people want to be able to see you face to face, especially as there is a huge rise in popularity of British made products. Having the grant is helping us to attend more.”

Otter Vale Products, which recently moved from Budleigh Salterton to new premises in Cullompton, specialises in hand made, gluten free chutneys, preserves and other traditional food. The company will attend the International Food and Drink event in London in March.

Ben Laxon, Managing Director of Otter Vale Products, said: “We’ve been established for 35 years and being based in Devon is a selling point – it’s who we are. We’re very Devon-centric and market direct to retailers in Devon, Dorset and Somerset. Attending this show is a toe in the water. The funding has been a helping hand. It makes sense to go to a show that’s not on our doorstep and see what comes out of it. We haven’t tried before and we don’t know unless we try. We’re expanding, we’ve invested in new premises and we’re taking a step in the right direction.”

Woodbury Salterton-based craft beer microbrewery, Powderkeg Brewery, will show at Craft Beer Rising in London in February.

Jessica Magill, Co-owner of Powderkeg Brewery, said: “It took us 18 months to set up the brewery and we’ve been selling our beer for 14 months to local pubs, restaurants, wine shops and wholesalers. As a relatively new business we probably wouldn’t have taken the financial risk of going to a trade show at this point without the grant. This is THE industry show – it will provide a good platform to reach new customers and get our name known outside the West Country. Devon produce has a good reputation and we look forward to representing the county in a national forum.”

Westaway Sausages, based in Kingsteignton, attended the Speciality and Fine Food Fair in London last month.

Charles Baughan, Owner and Managing Director of Westaway Sausages, said: “This was a new show for us and we displayed the Devon banner prominently at the event, which gave us a good way to start a conversation. I’m never going to be able to sell our produce sat behind a desk so it’s vital that we talk to customers as well as seeing others in our sector. We’re fiercely proud of Devon and of what we do. Devon is a fantastic place to have a food and drink business and it’s a huge selling point which is why we feature it on our packaging.”

Witty Doodle, based in Tiverton, produces stimulating nursery wall art for babies and toddler. The company will attend the Harrogate International Nursery Fair next March.

Aggie Szpinda, Founder of Witty Doodle, said: “Last year was a great success – it gave us new clients, and because of that we’re launching products in Mothercare and Kiddicare this year. The Nursery Fair is a great opportunity to reach potential new partners and at the same time we’ll be promoting Devon to show that small start-up businesses from Devon can achieve success.”

Councillor Andrew Leadbetter

Councillor Andrew Leadbetter

Councillor Andrew Leadbetter, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Economy and Growth, said: “The Business Promotion Grant proved to be a huge success when we launched it earlier this year. I’m pleased that with some additional funding we have been able to support even more businesses with a second round of the grant. Trade events can provide important exposure for businesses, and the 10 successful Devon companies will now be able to promote their products and services, as well as the county, to a much wider audience.”

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