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A THRIVING business support group has reported excellent growth for its members this year.
The Blackdown Hills Business Association, which was formed around 30 years ago, supports a range of companies, including new business start-ups, sole traders and SMEs, right up to large corporations all providing key services, based in the area on the Devon/Somerset border.
Claire Stepney, BHBA Coordinator, said: ‘The Blackdown Hills are well connected on the borders of East Devon, West Dorset and South Somerset. Local companies recognise the importance of supporting one another, networking and engaging with communities and promoting the excellence within the Blackdown Hills and beyond, and the BHBA plays a vital leadership role with that.
‘We talk to our members about how their businesses are developing and we have had very positive feedback this year. We have around 200 members and it is a privilege to offer this support. What continues to impress me is the support the businesses give each other in these rural communities.’
And there is a broad range of businesses within the BHBA, browse through its website and you’ll find accommodation providers, health practitioners, hospitality and event venues, artisan food and drink producers, traditional crafts, designers, IT consultants, property agents and furniture restorers.
William Young, of William Young Piano Tuning Restoration and Repair, said: ‘Being part of the BHBA has effectively given me a way of reaching new customers. I’ve also met so many other businesses through my membership, and it gives us all a great opportunity to discuss what’s working for us and what’s not.’
Devon angora goat farmer, Steve Whitley, has had a particularly good year, primarily thanks to some national press coverage that told the world about his handmade mohair socks – that don’t smell!
‘We are now having our busiest Christmas ever,’ said Steve, who has recently been able to expand his range of socks and mohair accessories.
If you’re located in, or provide services within the Blackdown Hills, find out about becoming a member of the Blackdown Hills Business Association at www.bhba.org.uk.