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Silver Premier Partner
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Gold Premier Partner
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Gold Premier Partner
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Gold Premier Partner
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Silver Premier Partner

Chamber Matters: Support for Success

Trudy Morris, chief executive of Caithness Chamber of Commerce, discusses the work the Chamber does as managing agent for the North Highland Regeneration Fund and the ways in which the Fund benefits the local area.

As some of you are aware, one of the many roles Caithness Chamber of Commerce has is that of managing agent for the North Highland Regeneration Fund (NHRF). As managing agent for the Fund, we are responsible for the day-to-day running of the Fund’s activities, which includes meeting with potential clients, assessing applications for funding, and offering support to existing clients.

In addition, we also help to promote the work the Fund does, put on events throughout the year and gather feedback from clients to assist the NHRF board in deciding on the Fund’s overall strategy.

The NHRF was established and is funded by the NDA as an important and successful element of its socio-economic contribution to the area over the last 10 years. The NDA has committed £1.9m to the loan Fund since its inception and there is over £500k currently available.

I’m delighted to announce that, at a recent meeting with the NHRF board, it was decided that the Chamber’s management contract would be extended for a further year and will now run until August 2016. This decision represents a real vote of confidence from the board for the work the Chamber has done for the Fund.

I’m hugely proud of the work that the Chamber has done to support NHRF clients over the years, and delighted that we’ll be able to continue to offer that support to local businesses.

The start of a new year is often a time when people think about following their dreams and going into business for themselves. However, lack of support from banks and other traditional lenders can sometimes make those dreams difficult to achieve.

The North Highland Regeneration Fund was designed to help those who have a great business idea but can’t get the support they need from traditional lending routes. Its successes include Claire and Martin Murray of Dunnet Bay Distillers, who were able to get their business off the ground thanks to support from NHRF, and who have since gone from strength to strength.

It doesn’t just work with new businesses either. Over the past few years, the Fund has offered support to a number of well-established businesses in Caithness and North Sutherland who needed a little help to boost their growth.

If you’ve got a dream you’d like to follow, a plan for a great business, but can’t get the support you need, come and talk to us. Not only does the Fund offer loans of up to £50,000, the Chamber team will work closely with you to offer advice and guidance to make sure your business is a success.

To find out more about the support your business can get from the North Highland Regeneration Fund, contact Caithness Chamber of Commerce on 01847 500103, email enquiries@nhrf.co.uk or visit www.nhrf.co.uk.