The success of independent businesses in Leeds continues to grow. Leeds has been a great place for small and original outlets for many years – with its selection of arcades and splendid Corn Exchange. Over time, there has been strong student and community support for established independents such as the much loved Hyde Park Picture House. Now opportunities are never better for independent outlets, with social media connections, the Little Black Book, and Leeds’s Welcome App all contributing to a thriving community.
There are however particular challenges for independent businesses. Business costs still need to be paid with no economies of scale, but the concepts of advertising and planning for profit don’t fit neatly with the independent community scene. Nor do the abundance of regulations for business!
There’s the free government Business Support Helpline (Tel: 0300 456 3565 Mon to Fri 9am to 6pm, email@example.com) which replaced Business Link.
And the Business and IP Centre- Leeds Central Library firstname.lastname@example.org. Tel: 0113 2478266
Some Info on using Posters and Flyers in the Leeds Area
We wondered whether you might find this information we’ve gathered useful:-
For displaying posters on poster drums around the city: email@example.com, 0113 231 0330
For distributing flyers in a public area, a permit is needed from the Leeds City Council Entertainment and Licensing section. These can be monthly or annually. Also badges have to be worn by the person handing the flyers out. There is a right of appeal to the Magistrate’s Court if a license is not granted or if there is a dispute about the terms of the licence.
http://www.leeds.gov.uk/Business/Pages/Flyer-consents.aspx Tel: 0113 222 4444
It’s generally deemed OK to post a leaflet though an individual letter box. The council are keen, however, to fine businesses for littering of leaflets in gardens or the street – particularly in the Headingley area. Fines can be up to £2,500!
Face to face Business Networking and Support for Independents
Compared to the Chamber of Commerce, more contemporary groups in the mix include the Yorkshire Mafia, Leeds Enterprise Network and Leeds Entrepreneurs and Small Business Meet Up Group. Do these meet the needs of independent businesses, though?
There’s link4growth including link4coffee networking opportunities with an emphasis on holistic business support and contribution to the community. They say all SME’s are welcome as well as other professionals, artists and musicians. They have regular free to attend events across Leeds.
And there’s Leeds BIZnet club Meet Up offering free advice, information, support, inspiration and motivation with networking opportunities. http://www.meetup.com/The-Leeds-BIZNET-Club/
We would be really interested to hear any of your comments about your experiences of networking, advice and support for independent businesses in Leeds. Any other suggestions are welcome.