Ballymena Doing Better Business

Local businesses were given an insight by several organisations of how they are helping local companies do better business at the latest ‘BID for Business’ breakfast, organised by Ballymena Borough Chamber of Commerce and Industry on behalf of Ballymena BID, which took place last week in the Adair Arms Hotel.

Melanie Christie Boyle from Ballymena Business Centre and Clare O’Neill from the Northern Regional College (NRC) talked about the various programmes and courses that are available to assist SMEs in the surrounding area.

Offering free, as well as subsidised courses from ‘Growing a micro business’ to ‘Co-Innovate’ and ‘Business planning’ from Ballymena Business Centre and business support initiatives from NRC, those present heard of many opportunities that could help their businesses.

Clare O’Neill, Head of Business Development and External Engagement at Northern Regional College, informed those present of the InnovateUs programme which is 100% funded.

Clare said, “Northern Regional College supports the economy by providing a wide range of services to the business community including consultancy, training and upskilling. Advice on funding and tailored solutions are developed and delivered by our Business Development team and Industry specific technical and academic staff.

 “There is also a skills focus programme which is 75% funded by the Department for the Economy, which allows for the training and upskilling of your staff, which in turn will help your business growth and efficiency.”

Speakers on the day included, Stephen Glasgow, Financial Director from Camerons Ballymena; Gary Tinsdale, owner of Tinsdale Furniture and William McKeown, McKeown PAT Testing.

Pictured at the ‘BID for Business’ breakfast event that was held recently in the Adair Arms, which focused on ‘Doing Better Business’ are Gary Tinsdale, owner of Tinsdale Furniture, Melanie Christie Boyle from Ballymena Business Centre, Ronan McCann, Ballymena Chamber of Commerce and Industry President and Alison Moore, BID Manager.
The Ballymena BID and the Ballymena Borough Chamber of Commerce and Industry recently held the new series of their successful ‘BID for Business’ breakfast event on ‘Doing Better Business’. Pictured at the event in the Adair Arms are William McKeown, PAT Testing, Clare O’Neill, keynote speaker from Northern Regional College, Ronan McCann, Ballymena Chamber of Commerce and Industry President, Alison Moore, BID Manager and Stephen Glasgow, Financial Director for Camerons Ballymena.

Each speaker told of how either the NRC or the Ballymena Business Centre has helped their business. William McKeown of PAT Testing has gone on to be an innovation finalist and has seen continued growth and success via the assistance of NRC, where Gary Tinsdale of Tinsdale Furniture has seen his company grow exponentially with continued export to GB and Ireland, advocating the benefits of working with the Ballymena Business Centre.

Alison Moore, BID Manager said, “This event was very valuable to many businesses within the BID area, and offered them many ideas and learning points on how they can gain assistance for their organisations. It was also a pleasure to hear of the many success stories and of how these two organisations are able to offer practical advice to many of our local businesses.”

Ballymena Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s President, Ronan McCann said, “I’d like to thank both Melanie (Christie Boyle) of Ballymena Business Centre and Clare (O’Neill) from the NRC for their time and informative presentation. I’m sure most attendees have left with some food for thought.”

There will be a ‘Starting or growing a business’ event on Saturday 18th November in Ballymena Business Centre’s Church Street building.

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Ballymena Borough Chamber of Commerce and Industry, 4 Wellington Court, Ballymena, BT43 6EQ


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