This was an informal survey of home-based businesses in and around Shefford & Clifton, Bedfordshire. The aims were to gauge the level of interest and activity; and actually to ask what home-based business people really would find helpful. With such a wide range of local businesses, it is very hard to guess what people would like and would use.
The questions were meant to be relevant and useful. People were asked, to provide only information that they were happy to make public & to have shared with the Councils in order to improve Council policies & services.
Much has changed since 2013. Organisations have come and gone. These webpages have been moved from the now obsolete Curlew.eu domain. They are being kept online to retain useful information.
Changing patterns of employment and increased local housebuilding, mean that local businesses and particularly home-based business are becoming ever more important. More people need to work at home, or from home, without the support services or companionship provided at larger companies. People now have to do many of the tasks that they used to hand to others.
We have seen how problems, closures, & changes at Clifton Post Office have removed some services we used to take for granted, and perhaps added others.
The 2020 COVID-19 crisis has brought further changes and pressures; with many more people working from home, perhaps for the first time.
The idea of this 2013 informal online survey was actually to ask local business people what extra services they would like, find useful, actually use, and perhaps pay for? Which aspects of our villages, such as our Post Offices, (now lost) Barclays Bank, and library are vital to people working from home? What should be built into the Councils' future plans & policies?
For whatever reason, very few people responded to this survey. So it did not produce useful results.
However, there was a request for spaces where home-based business people could meet clients; particularly when it was not possible, appropriate or perhaps even safe to meet clients at home. So here is a list of some local meeting places:
There are many sources of help and advice, including those provided by local authorities:
Here are some links to UK national sources of business help and advice:
Three special initiatives, which are also open to business people in surrounding areas.
Actions included setting up an online directory of local businesses.
Shefford Library provides access to a range of business information, PCs & WiFi, and a bookable meeting room.
I have created a free "group" on LinkedIn, called Shefford Open 4 Business aiming to provide a "virtual" space, in between "physical" meetings at Shefford Library. Anyone is welcome to join: No cost to join or to use. (Note. Formerly called: Shefford in Business.)
Now changed to "open," this group can now be seen by non members and by search engines.
©2013–21. Curlew Communications Ltd