Sweet Sol – The World’s First Audio Interactive Sweet Shop in Herne Bay!

Sweet Sol is a brilliant new interactive, educational sweet shop with a magical recording booth and fun, healthy workshops with a visiting nutritionist in Herne Bay!

You can buy delicious gluten free, sugar free and normal sweets and healthy juices, record a personal greeting card, buy special toothbrushes and hold your children’s birthday party. We’re delighted to be supporting their Crowdfunding campaign to raise £10,000 by 30th May. Part of the funding is going to the charity Operation Smile UK helping underprivileged children smile again!

So please donate a little money to spread a lot of love, educate about nutrition and dental health and create some #SweetMemories. Your REWARD for donating will be to receive some free Sweet Sol treats and you can even get free sweets for a year and of course you’re helping bring people together, bridge the generation gap, educate kids about nutrition and dental care and support the Operation Smile charity!

The team behind Sweet Sol is musician and founder of Music Studio on the Pier Kris Searle and his business partner Chris. The ethos behind Sweet Sol is #BelieveinLove and create #SweetMemories

Please click the link below to make a crowdfunding donation. Even £10 will make a difference and put a smile on someone’s face!

Donate Now


You’re Hired Kent – Apprenticeship campaign

The purpose of this campaign is to challenge both local business and young people within Kent to pledge to take on an apprenticeship. The campaign will target 500 employers to pledge, 500 young people, 12 District/Boroughs in 3 months.

The National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) and Kent County Council (the lead partners) are going to work with colleges, training providers and the 12 District and Borough Councils within the County to run a promotional campaign to increase Apprenticeship numbers in line with Government aspirations.

NAS and Kent County Council is expected to lead and co-ordinate the campaign, bringing public and private business leaders, local training providers, the National Apprenticeship Service and local media to deliver a sustained campaign with the aim to influence the business community to contribute to driving up the number of apprenticeship opportunities.


  • Apprenticeships provide an injection of skills training into the future workforce and aid economic recovery
  • Apprenticeships give young people a recognised framework of qualifications and a basis for sustainable employment.
  • Apprenticeships help address skills shortages in key sector areas within the locality.
  • The ‘You’re Hired’ campaign will promote positive messages and high interest in apprenticeships to the local business community and provide employment opportunities to young people.
  • The campaign will positively promote the social / corporate responsibility of Kent County Council and partners involved.
  • The campaign will support businesses to grow their workforce and increase productivity.


The launch of this initiative will be on the 11th May at the Kent 2020 Live event, with supporting launch events to take place during the next three months. A closing event to take place in July 2016.

Click HERE for more information

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Photographer Tim Stubbings Sponsors StartMyBiz & GrowMyBiz

We are delighted to announce that respected Canterbury photographer Tim Stubbings is sponsoring the StartMyBiz and GrowMyBiz projects to support local entrepreneurs and show his appreciation for the area that has given him so much inspiration for his work.

Tim told Canterbury City Council that what he loves most about photographing the local area is that, “combined with my natural curiosity, we live in a place that’s rich in material – from the arts, to heritage and of course retail. Despite living here for 20 years, the streets and towns that I think I know well always bring up something new.” This passion for the District shines through Tim’s work and makes him one of its most interesting and relevant Commercial photographers.

Tim was keen to sponsor StartMyBiz and GrowMyBiz because as he observes “It’s common for new graduates and aspiring entrepreneurs to not have the confidence to take early risks and instead move straight into mainstream employment. By providing access to local knowledge and resources the GrowMyBiz and StartMyBiz projects could make all the difference turning an idea into something that sells.”

If you’re a local entrepreneur and would like to find out more about the benefits of sponsoring StartMyBiz and GrowMyBiz, then please email Natalia Sukhram Economic Development Officer MIED on  Natalia.Sukhram@canterbury.gov.uk or call  01227 862 053.

You can see Tim Stubbing’s stunning images spanning Editorial and PR, Brochures and Publications, Corporate Portraits, School Prospectuses, and Real Estate and Architecture on his website.



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Canterbury Photographers Capture the Essence of Local Business

Photographers in the Canterbury District have been capturing the area’s entrepreneurism, tourism and community spirit for Canterbury Council’s “Picture This” project.

The Council is using the images to market business support projects StartMyBiz and GrowMyBiz, highlight the talent of the photographers, and promote the businesses and local entrepreneurs in the photos.

Commercial photographer, Tim Stubbings, generously submitted over 40 images that capture his love for the area and the diversity of the business community. The charm of Whitstable Lobster Shack and quirky creativity of RIFT Accountants are brilliantly captured in Catherine Hill’s photos and amateur photographer Julie Foreman submitted a glorious image of Canterbury Cathedral taken through the window of the Marlowe Theatre.

International award winning photographer Jack Peilow summed up the ethos of the Picture This project perfectly saying “My aim is always to use my photography to promote the businesses and people of the unique Canterbury District to a greater audience.”

You can see all the photographs online in the coming weeks if you follow @GrowMy_Biz and @StartMy_Biz on Twitter and  StartMyBiz Canterbury and GrowMyBiz Canterbury on Facebook. See three of the images below:

The-Lobster-Shack-Wedding-Catherine Hill

Image: The Lobster Shack Wedding by Catherine Hill

Tim Stubbings Canterbury

Image: Canterbury by Tim Stubbings

Room With A View by Julie Foreman showing Canterbury Cathedral through the Marlowe Theatre

Image: Room With A View by Julie Foreman (showing Canterbury Cathedral through the Marlowe Theatre)

Boosting Local Business in Herne Bay


As consumers the Herne Bay community are doubtless excited about the plans to open a new Sainsbury’s and, certainly, the employment opportunities that the store will create are also a huge positive. However, established local business owners, burgeoning start-ups and budding entrepreneurs, may have conflicting emotions as they wonder how to differentiate themselves, attract the best talent and retain a competitive advantage in their market sector.

Local Business Support Programme

Canterbury City Council is developing a dynamic and comprehensive Business Support Programme to help local entrepreneurs offering similar goods and services to Sainsbury’s. The overriding goal is to show local customers and visitors to Herne Bay the many benefits of buying from the local businesses that make Herne Bay unique and secure their loyalty and desire to ‘shop local’.

The programme is part of a wider initiative to create an exciting new campaign to capture Herne Bay’s unique commercial, event and tourism offering and ensure it is firmly on the map as a great UK destination for day trips, holidays, home buyers and new businesses.

Could Your Business Be Affected?

The sectors that are most likely to require support from the Programme are:

  • Retail stores offering Food, Homeware, Fashion, Books and Music.
  • Cafés
  • Pharmacies
  • Opticians
  • Post Offices
  • Dry Cleaners/Key Cutting/Shoe Repairs
  • Travel Agents
  • Petrol Stations
  • Newsagents/Convenience Stores
  • Baby Care/Toy Shops
  • Photography/Printing
  • Electrical/White Goods
  • Stationers
  • Mobile Phones/Mobile Services Providers

How Will the Business Support Programme Help You?

Seminars & Workshops

All businesses in the Herne Bay area are invited to participate in seminars and workshops that will be tailored to address the unique character of the Herne Bay area; the shopping behaviour of your particular customers and prospects; and the concerns that you, as members of the local business community, have specifically asked us to help you overcome. The workshops will help you:

  • Market and promote your business with innovative, integrated, seasonal and event based online and offline website and social media campaigns
  • Optimise your supply chain and reduce operating costs
  • Go digital to optimise your business operations and processes
  • Optimise your finances and gain access to grants and funding
  • Understand relevant specialist areas such as employment and Trading Standards
  • Utilise the new Herne Bay marketing campaign to your advantage
  • Train your staff to give you a competitive advantage and attract the best talent

1-2-1 Support

Business owners within the area shown on the map below will also be eligible for additional 1-2-1 support and potentially for financial support in the form of match funded grants. The Council will appoint business support professionals who will work closely with you to gain an even greater depth and breadth of understanding of the current state of local business, the probable impact of the arrival of Sainsbury’s and your concerns as local entrepreneurs. Your business advisor will then create a programme of specially tailored support to help you:

The 121s will cover:

  • Business Planning
  • Market research
  • Financial Records and Forecasting
  • Strategic Business Reviews
  • Supply Chain and Shared Costs
  • Business Growth

Map: HB Town Cent MAP

We would like to use local experts where possible, so if you are interested in working as a consultant to deliver a workshop please see this blog post for details on how to apply: Seeking Business Experts

This programme is designed to help you as local business owners, pre/start-ups and entrepreneurs and the more you are involved in the creation and execution of the programme the more successful we will be in putting Herne Bay on the map as a desirable destination and ensuring that residents and visitors shop local.

We will be updating the www.growmybiz-canterbury.com and www.startmybiz-canterbury.com websites with more details shortly and creating social media pages for the project where you can join in the conversation, so be sure to keep visiting the sites for more info.

If you would like to receive help from the Business Support Programme please contact us by email on info@growmybiz-canterbury.com or call 01227 862 262.

Operation Stack delays: small businesses call for alternative to M20 queue system

Small-business leaders have called for an alternative to Operation Stack – the system for letting lorries queue on the M20 in Kent when cross-Channel traffic is disrupted – saying it is hurting the economy.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) appealed to the government as Kent police kept the coastbound M20 closed between junctions 8 and 9 to accommodate lorries delayed by disruption caused by migrants trying to enter the Channel tunnel from France.

The FSB said Stack, which occupies varying amounts of one or both carriageways, depending on the volume of queuing traffic, had now been in force for five of the past six weeks, amid strikes by French workers and incursions from migrants seeking to reach Britain.

John Allan, the FSB’s chairman, said the disruption from Stack had seen meetings cancelled, deliveries hampered, and staff delayed going to and from work.

“Businesses have run out of patience, with the sense of exasperation and the strength of feeling among small firms at an all-time high,” he said. “We appreciate that not all events, such as strike action in France, are within the government’s direct control. But these extreme traffic delays have been a persistent issue for some years with little progress at either local or national level to deliver a fit-for-purpose, permanent solution.”

The organisation, which has about 200,000 members, has written to the government seeking a more permanent solution for what to do about freight traffic amid such disruption. Operation Stack, it said, began as a temporary solution in 1988. “It is simply unacceptable that a workable solution has not been planned and implemented in the intervening years,” the group said in a statement.

The FSB said it did not propose a particular solution to the issue but would be happy to liaise with ministers to find one.

In the meantime, the group is backing plans by Highways England to introduce a contraflow system, allowing traffic to stay moving in both directions on the M20, even when Stack is in place.

Allan said: “In the longer term, we simply cannot afford or allow such a major piece of our transport infrastructure to be continually disrupted for long periods of time.”

The FSB’s comments came as Eurotunnel services returned to normal after long delays left British holidaymakers seething on one of the busiest travel weekends of the year. The Channel tunnel operator apologised to passengers on Saturday after thousands waited for up to five hours when migrants disrupted services in Calais.

The company said it has cleared all of its backlog and that services from both the English and French sides are now running normally, with up to four departures an hour.

John Keefe, a spokesman for Eurotunnel, said “migrant activity” on Saturday night was minimal because of less freight traffic travelling from France – allowing services to return to normal.

Speaking on Sunday, he said: “Everything is going fine. Our services are running normally and to time, so we are getting through the traffic. We had delays yesterday morning, but managed to get all the traffic away despite the migrant activity in France.

“Now we have got no problems and our services are running well. We found a way of managing the migrant crisis and have got all the holiday traffic away on time for the beginning of the holidays.”

Keefe said Eurotunnel has spent €150m (£106m) since 2000 on security, an average of €10m (£7m) a year. But the company has already spent €13m (£9.2m) on security in the first six months of this year, he added.


2 Local Businesses See Their Products Placed On The Shelves In Selfridges!

Fudge Kitchen and Cheesemakers of Canterbury with help from StartMyBiz-Canterbury have successfully seen their goods placed in Selfridges.

When Selfidges were looking for a selection of Kent and South East products to sell in their food halls in the flagship store in London, StartMyBiz co-ordinator Natalia Sukhram believed strongly that these Canterbury based businesses had the winning criteria. Several months down the line they are both selling strong and the success continues.

Cheesemakers of Canterbury have seen two of their products Canterbury Cobble and Kellys Canterbury Goat Cheese doing very well and look forward to being included in the forthcoming Christmas promotions.

Fudge Kitchen, also, now a regular supplier to Selfridges have just developed five different products to be sold under the Selfridges own label and to be placed in the stores nationwide.

They are both extremely grateful to the StartMyBiz-Canterbury who initially introduced these local businesses to the buyer.
Here’s what they have to say;
George Ward of Cheesemakers of Canterbury if Natalia hadn’t initially taken us to the trade show in France, then continued with her hard work this wouldn’t have happened. We were effectively delivered, free of stress to their door. We are extremely thankful of her hard work

Sian Holt of The Fudge Kitchen underestimate the value of one introduction. Natalias commercial introduction has led to our branded products being placed in all Selfridges stores across the UK. This has in-turn led to the opportunity to produce their own brand products in conjunction with the confectionary re-launch in October