Starting a Business
Not only does Caithness and North Sutherland have a range of exciting job opportunities, it also offers a great environment and supportive community for those looking to go into business for themselves!
Starting up a business can be an exciting time, but it’s also when you are most likely to be in need of some extra support. For those looking to start a new business, Caithness and North Sutherland can offer access to some great resources, advice and information to help you succeed.
Caithness Chamber of Commerce is the lead voice of business in the area and is well placed to help businesses of any size as they start and grow. The Chamber offers access to a network of over 200 local businesses, and its range of events held throughout the year are a great opportunity to meet new contacts. Chamber membership also gives access to a range of member benefits – including 24/7 legal, HR, tax and health & safety advice – and promotional opportunities across the region. As part of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce network, the Chamber promotes the North Highlands nationally and internationally and is able to ensure that issues facing businesses in the region have access to a national voice.
Through a project funded by Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd, the Chamber can also offer to those looking to start up a new business, or who have started a business which is less than six months old.
Business Gateway Highland is your gateway to expert local business advice and practical guidance. Whichever sector your business is in, or whatever stage it is at, their one-to-one support, specialist advice, business skills workshops and networking events are here to help.
They have business advisers based in offices all over the Highland area, so you can easily get in touch with one of their experienced and friendly team on the phone, by email, or in person.
Access to finance is crucial for startup businesses, helping with initial capital expenditure and stabilising cashflow in those first crucial months. Startup businesses in Caithness and North Sutherland can access a range of grant and loan financing to help them get started.
The Caithness Business Fund is a private sector fund established to distribute grants to small businesses within the Caithness and North Sutherland area. The Fund’s mission is to promote the economic growth of Caithness and North Sutherland by supporting new and existing businesses and developing the skill base to meet new challenges. It can offer businesses grants of up to £5,000 towards startup costs.
The North Highland Regeneration Fund (NHRF) has been established by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority to provide loan funding complementing other existing sources of funding for small businesses. This initiative is designed to pump-prime both the start-up of new ventures and the growth of existing businesses. It can offer low-interest loans of between £5,000 and £50,000 to businesses towards startup costs.
Highlands & Islands Enterprise is the lead economic development agency for Caithness & North Sutherland, and is able to offer a range of investment and other support to businesses looking to set up in the region.
For more information on what is available in the region, take a look at the Support section of the website.