Business Advice

Calderdale Council provides a variety of services to all types of business, from start-ups to large established enterprises.

The Business Development Team can also help with issues such as funding, advice, research and premises. From trading standards and business premises, to how to do business with the council, find out more about business in Calderdale.

  • Username Business development team
  • Email businessgrowth@calderdale.gov.uk
  • Telephone 01422 392220
  • Address
    Business and Economy Section
    Economy and Environment Directorate
    Town Hall
    PO Box 51
    Halifax

Business continuity

Business premises with collapsed wall.

Business Continuity . . . identifying the essential functions within your organisation and considering how these functions would continue to operate during an emergency incident.

Ask yourself:

  • How long could we cope if there was a power cut or the phones went dead?
  • What if an incident prevented delivery to a key customer?
    • Would they give us another chance or would they go elsewhere?
  • Is the business at risk of flooding?
  • How would a major incident affect staff's morale?
    • Would they stand by the business or look to move on?
    • What impact would their departure have on the business?
  • How would serious damage to my premises affect the business?
    • How easy would it be to contact regular customers to let them know the situation?
    • How long would we be able to fulfil orders?
    • How would this affect our reputation?
Sandbags to protect a business from flooding.

Business continuity may involve making contingency plans for the sudden loss or unavailability of:

  • work sites;
  • staff and skills;
  • suppliers and partners;
  • specialist equipment;
  • technology and communications;
  • data and information;
  • and utilities.

This list is not exhaustive and there may be some risks which are specific to your organisation.

Benefits of advanced planning.

Advanced planning helps your business to:

  • reduce the potential for financial loss
  • maintain a good reputation
  • improve staff confidence
  • avoid negative publicity.

Creating a business continuity plan

Consider Business Continuity before an emergency occurs! Your organisation will be better able to provide customers with goods and services, if an emergency happens.

This simple to do, PDFten minute survey [PDF 82KB], will assist you in your business continuity planning process.

When creating a Business Continuity Plan, there are five stages to consider:

1. Understand your organisation

Carrying out a Business Impact Analysis will identify the essential functions of your organisation and the resources required to carry these out.

  • Which functions enable you to deliver goods and services to your customers?
  • What resources are required to ensure the delivery of goods and services?

It may also be useful to carry out a risk assessment to identify potential threats to your organisation and the likelihood of them occurring.

The Community risk register , was developed jointly by West Yorkshire Local Authorities and key partners. It details the main risks for the West Yorkshire area and may assist you in identifying risks for your organisation.

2. Develop a plan

There are a number of key factors that should be included in your plan:

  • Record key personnel contact details and backups. Which personnel carry out critical functions within the organisation and who else can assume that role in their absence.
  • Identify critical staff. Are they able to work from home, or from a different site?
  • Document key external contacts. This includes suppliers, customers and utility companies.
  • Document critical equipment including software. What equipment do you need for your organisation to continue to function? If the equipment was not available, how could it be replaced?
  • Identify critical documents. E.g. bank and insurance details.
  • Identify a relocation site. Where could your organisation operate from, if your usual site became unavailable?
  • Identify roles and duties within your business continuity plan and assign these to employees. Create a checklist for each role and identify actions required if your Business Continuity Plan is activated.
  • Large organisations might create departmental, team or service plans.
  • When complete, keep a copy of the plan on-site and off-site. Ensure key personnel receive a copy.

For further information about creating a Business Continuity Plan visit:

3. Train key personnel

When your Business Continuity Plan is complete, train all staff, whether they have a role or not. They will then be aware of actions to take, if there is an emergency.

4. Test the plan

It is important to test the plan to ensure it would work should an incident occur. Once all employees have been trained on the content of the Plan, run a test and following a review of how it worked, amending details where necessary.

5. Review and maintain

Review your Plan once a year to ensure it is up-to-date. If something changes in the meantime, amend it. Make sure you update all copies of the Plan.

For any information regarding emergency planning issues, please contact the emergency planning team, who can also give general advice and support towards achieving business continuity.

Business Growth Calderdale

We are the business and skills team at Calderdale Council, we work with businesses across the Borough, from start-ups to growing businesses to the largest businesses in the area. Our aim is to have strong and resilient economy in Calderdale. We support this by working with businesses to help remove barriers to growth and also working to identify and address skills gaps in the Borough.

We provide support and guidance to local businesses and those looking to move into the area. The help we offer covers: starting a business, business rates, funding, flood resilience, exporting and business growth. We want Calderdale to be the most vibrant economy in the North, providing quality jobs and the skills and people to enable this.

Business rates

For information on whether you may be entitled to help with your business rates, phone: (01422) 393699, or visit: Business Rates .

Grants and finance

For further information on grant and finance opportunities, speak to one of our business advisers, search our website at:  Business Growth Calderdale Homepage  , or see the 'Useful Organisations' section, at the bottom of this page.

Get free business advice

An online business start-up and advice service brought to you by Mi Ventures, on our behalf.

Live chat with qualified business advisors, weekdays from 9am to 7pm. Outside these hours you can leave a ticket for an advisor to contact you the next morning.

  • Download business guides and templates.
  • Get Companies House and HMRC documentation directly.
  • Find out about local and national business events.
  • The latest business news.
  • Join online discussion groups or set up your own network.

Note: Free to use for Calderdale residents and businesses.

 

Live chat with a qualified business advisors now: Mi Ventures: live chat .

Always open first panel: 

 

Useful Organisations

Local:

  • Business Networking International (BNI): Weekly networking meetings held at Elsie Whiteley Innovation Centre.
  • Business For Calderdale : Business for Calderdale is a not-for-profit association for local businesses within the Calderdale area. The objective is to provide the local business community for networking opportunities.
  • Calderdale College : Local provider of further and higher education and training.
  • Community Foundation for Calderdale : The Community Foundation for Calderdale is a registered charity. It manages and distributes funds on behalf of individuals, companies, charitable trusts and statutory bodies. This is to help meet the needs of people living in the Calderdale area.
  • Elsie Whiteley Innovation Centre : Office space for new businesses particularly for innovative, creative, digital and design industries. Conferencing facilities available.
  • Halifax Careers Centre : Recruitment and advice service on apprenticeships and employing young people from Calderdale and Kirklees Careers.
  • Halifax Opportunities Trust : This is a charitable organisation set up to fly the flag for community based regeneration and renewal in Calderdale. It works to help create a vibrant, multi-cultural and self-sustaining community.
  • Mid-Yorkshire chamber of commerce : Based at The Elsie Whiteley Innovation Centre, The Mid Yorkshire Chamber offers membership services to support and connect your business. From networking events, International Trade support, marketing and PR opportunities, training, free legal advice and more the Chamber provides the support your business needs. The Chamber of Commerce also provides an important voice for the business community, lobbying hard on the issues that really matter.
  • Visit Calderdale : Calderdale is real Yorkshire updated. From the birth of the Industrial Revolution to the '4th funkiest town in Europe'. Old mixes with new in splendid towns and villages, surrounded by stunning scenery.
  • Wire Uk (Women In Rural Enterprise) : Regular local networking meetings for self employed women. Phone Sharon Mackle on: 01422 242129.

National:

  • Carbon Trust : Provides information, guidance and promotional materials on carbon emissions and energy efficiency within businesses. Financial incentives include interest free loans and enhanced capital allowances.
  • Energy saving trust : Provides advice for businesses on vehicle fleets, greener vehicles and efficient driving.
  • Green Business Network : An award winning not for profit business support organisation delivering environmental advice and projects.
  • The Office Providers.com : A free service to help you find that office space or meeting place you need. Regulated by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
  • WRAP : Helps businesses to reduce waste and recycle more, making better use of resources.