Jack Peilow – Beards of Whitstable

Jack Peilow (local photographer) and the Sheriff of Canterbury at his private viewing of his exhibition Beards of Whitstable. The private viewing was very successful and Jack received some great comments on his work.

Beards of Whitstable is a photographic series shot in 2013 that features portraiture of strangers I met and friends I knew while stood outside the studio I used to work at. The theme came half way through the weeks as I shot the series. Originally it was going to be just the interesting faces around Whitstable, however, as time went on the series gravitated mainly toward facial hair. The exhibition is open daily from 12 July until Tuesday 18 July at the Horsebridge in Whitstable.

Jack has been supported by StartMyBiz and this is his first exhibition.

To find out more about the exhibition or Jacks other work contact Jack@Jackpeilow.com or visit his website www.jackpeilow.com

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How start-ups can make the most of R&D Tax Credits

If you’re a UK start-up you may already have heard about R&D Tax Credits. But do you know exactly what they are? You’re not alone if the density of information and advice available to new companies has left you in the dark. So, in one sentence: research and development (R&D) tax credits are a form of tax benefit designed to reward UK companies for innovation.

Who can claim?

Any UK limited company which, at its own financial risk, is looking to resolve a ‘technical or scientific uncertainty’ can claim. So, if you’ve set up a company to create a brand-new product or process, or to significantly improve on existing ones, then there’s a good chance you’ll qualify. And it isn’t limited to a particular industry: whether you’re innovating in Nano-tech, software development, or food manufacture, you are equally eligible.

What costs qualify?

You can claim for expenditure that directly relates to the development activity, such as the salary and subcontractor costs of the people involved, materials used for prototyping, even certain software purchases.

What does it mean for your company?

An injection of cash can be a life saver for companies desperate to innovate and stay ahead of the competition. That’s the potential outcome of an R&D Tax Credits claim. It can come in the form of a refund of corporation tax; a tax credit that can be surrendered for cash; or tax relief to put against future tax bills. Understandably, there are qualifying criteria, but you could ultimately receive between 20-33% of your development spend.

‘But hold on, we’re not trading yet…’

Profit? What profit? As an innovative start-up, your profit may still seem like a distant dream. But R&D Tax Credits aren’t only for those companies already turning a profit. In fact, companies running at a significant loss are more likely to receive the most benefit from the scheme: a generous 33p for every £1 of qualifying costs. So, whether you are currently loss making, in profit, or at pre-revenue stage, you can claim for R&D Tax Credits.

Tips on maximising your claim

  • First things first, make sure that everything you pay out on development goes through your company accounts.
  • Include your accountant in R&D Tax Credit discussions. They are best positioned to advise you on how this can be used by your company moving forward. That said, keep in mind that your accountant may only have a rudimentary knowledge of the R&D scheme (you can’t expect them to be experts in every field of taxation).
  • Finally, if you’re looking to make a claim, the simplest and most headache-free way to do so is by engaging the services of an R&D specialist. Even if you think there’s only a slim chance you qualify, a short chat with them will set you straight. And most R&D specialists will be happy to provide this initial consultation without it costing you a penny.

Tax Credits

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Fly Free with FreeFly VR’s Mobile Gaming Headset!

Immersive Experiences

Inspired by his father’s entrepreneurial spirit and by being raised in an environment with great work-life balance, Mark Little started FreeFly VR in October 2013. The business enables customers to connect their mobile phone to the FreeFly VR headset to take sports, gaming, education and horror into a whole new level of immersive experience. It opens the door to hundreds of compatible experiences available on both iTunes and Google Play where you can share new realities with other virtual reality enthusiasts. Mark says the headset has full blackout casing and headphone access and can be used with apps like vTime, enabling you to meet, chat and interact with your friends and meet new people, in fabulous locations under the sea or, for example, in virtual Tuscany! It’s simple to set up with the GLIDE controller and is regularly updated with all the best GLIDE experiences.

Networking & Integrating

FreeFly VR is currently situated in London, but Mark is shortly moving the business to Birchington. In order to help him integrate with the Kent business community ahead of the move, Mark decided to attend the StartMyBiz and GrowMyBiz Kent UNconference this year. He says of the event “it was a great day for our growing business as we were able to meet face to face with our Kent partners, such as AM Marketing who run our Google Marketing and RIFT Accounting who we work with for our accountancy and R&D tax credit requirements. I also loved the talks by local business people and found some really inspiring, particularly the workshop led by Bradley from AM Marketing.”

Achieving Business Goals

As an entrepreneur, what Mark has found most fulfilling is building his team of employees. He delights in watching them innovate and explore the market to produce increasingly better products that have exceeded both his and his customers’ expectations. To help propel his team to success, Mark sets web traffic and sales targets so everyone knows exactly what they need to do to grow the business.  His client base is currently 55% in the USA, 20% in the UK and 25% around the globe.  You can find out more about FreeFly VR via the website www.freeflyvr.com and on Twitter @freeflyvr. Mark also offers customers a “Club Class” membership option through which they get notifications of upcoming Virtual Reality shows and new experiences.

Entrepreneurial Advice

Mark’s excellent advice to other entrepreneurs is, “Speak to other business owners and listen to their stories, they’ve already learned a lot and could help you avoid the mistakes they have made.”

So, if you have ever wondered about Virtual Reality or you are already a loyal VR gamer, watch out for new promotions and experiences on the FreeFly website and be prepared for new “realities” that will blow your mind!

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Start Your Business Here and Succeed

Canterbury is the top location in the southeast for starting a business, according to research out today (Wednesday 26 April).
Domain registration company Nominet also places the city as 16th highest in the whole country in the survey, which identifies where the opportunities are for new owners to harness online interest in their trade.
In addition, the research picks out the best locations for specific services, and shows Canterbury as sixth best for starting a car valet business or a bakery. Cleaners, cafés, grocers and accountancy firms also do well in the city, featuring in the top 20.
Canterbury City Council’s Head of Business and Regeneration, Caroline Hicks, said: “This is brilliant news for Canterbury and the surrounding area. The research shows our economy is strong and that there is plenty of demand, both online and offline, for local products and services.”
The council works closely with the business community in the area and runs its Start-my-Biz and Grow-my-Biz programmes. This is a partnership of various organisations in the district aimed at supporting businesses to start, grow and invest.
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Canterbury City Council is delighted to bring you Expo 17

Canterbury City Council is delighted to bring you Expo 17, Herne Bay’s biggest business and community exhibition. Come along to the King’s Hall, right on the seafront, to find out what’s happening in the local area.

This popular event is celebrating its 10th year! Join more than 60 exhibitors as we bring together local businesses and community groups for an afternoon of networking, sharing ideas, promotion and updating on major projects, including our business support initiative ‘Buy in the Bay’.

  • Meet businesses with great products and services and knowledge to share
  • Expand your network with like-minded business experts
  • Find out more about ‘Buy in the Bay’ and how the council can help your business
  • Meet community groups and see how you can get involved in town life
  • Find out about local events including the air show, sci-fi and festivals

Expo 17 is free to attend. Come and celebrate our 10th birthday and make it our biggest event yet.

Free refreshments at the networking cafe for the first 100 people to visit.

Visit canterbury.gov.uk/expo17 for more details and remember to use #HBExpo17

Register now!

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Expo 17 – Expo is back!

Expo is back with Expo 17! One of the largest business and community exhibitions in Herne Bay takes place on Wednesday 3 May 2017 between 11am and 4pm at the impressive King’s Hall, right on the seafront.

Building on the success of last year’s event that hosted 65 exhibitors, over 600 visitors are expected to attend this year.

Join us at King’s Hall to showcase your business, take advantage of networking opportunities and see what else the district has to offer you.

You’ll also be able to find out how our Buy in the Bay shop local campaign is supporting local businesses.

Watch the video below to get a taste of last year’s event. Stay tuned for more updates on Expo 17.

Book your stand

To book your Expo stand at a cost of £50, please email angela.furlong@canterbury.gov.uk or call 01227 862 262.

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What is Better Business for All (BBfA) Kent & Medway?

BBfa – What is it?

A partnership designed to improve the way regulation is delivered to ease the burden on the local business community.

Who for?

All businesses, but especially SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises). All regulators working with the local business community.


By working together to remove real and perceived barriers to growth. By understanding each other’s perspectives we can adapt our approach, tackle obstacles and find solutions.


To create a safe and fair trading environment that:

  • Supports business growth
  • Encourages fair competition
  • Protects consumers


  • Consumer confidence
  • Public safety
  • Local economic growth (jobs and apprenticeships)
  • Safe, happy, thriving communities

Get Advice?

Businesses — find links to the right type of regulatory service support to get assured advice and find useful information on each type of regulatory service and a general downloadable guide for business.

Click here to visit the BBfa website and find out more

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Free guides to help your start up

There is so much to consider when starting a business so we thought we would help out with our free downloadable guides.

They’re packed full of practical tips, examples and ‘how-to’ information and, best of all, you can read them on your device or print them out. Whether it’s advice on conducting market research, analysing your strengths and weaknesses or optimising your website to find more customers online, we’ve got it covered. See our full menu below to find the right guide for your needs. Our 3 free guides are:

Start Up Toolkit 2017

  • A month-by-month guide to important business deadlines
  • Advice on self assessment and tax payments
  • Start up events and shows across the UK
  • Time management and planning techniques for the year ahead
  • Tips for reducing Corporation Tax liability

Marketing Toolkit

  • How to research your target market and test your business idea
  • Creating a marketing plan and setting goals effectively
  • Building a business website and attracting online customers
  • Low-cost options for on and offline advertising, affiliate marketing and PR.
  • Free and cheap ways to market your business on a shoestring budget

SEO Toolkit

  • Discovering keywords and how to use them
  • Content creation and how it can boost your website
  • How to structure your site with search engines in mind
  • Backlinks and how to get them
  • Registering with Google

Click here to find out more and get your free guides now!

The Start Up Loans Company was established in September 2012, with a mission to help new and early stage UK businesses access affordable finance and mentoring support.

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Enamellist Kate Samuels Can Brighten Up Your Home and Your Day (Local Business)

It’s clear from talking to talented enamel artist Kate Samuels, that she is truly passionate about her art. She gets her inspiration she says, from her children, the sea and “my surroundings, life adventures and sunshine moments; I like things that make me smile.” This happy, upbeat attitude is wonderfully apparent in her brightly coloured, bold, artworks, sculptures, mugs, bowls and plates all bearing uplifting words to brighten your day.

Kate’s process is evolutionary, every piece of work beginning with a moment or several images she has collected from her own experiences on day trips in and around the Kent area and sometimes further field. The beauty of her work and the reason for its popularity with both locals and visitors, is that every piece is a handmade, signed original and every collection reflects a local story. They are created with British steel and enamel from China. Enamel is a great medium for customers as all Kate’s creations are hygiene standard tested, durable and dishwasher proof.

As we so often hear, particularly with successful creative entrepreneurs, enamelling was Kate’s hobby for many years. Once she had children she decided to turn her love for enamelled art into a business so she could create a better work-life balance while also doing a job she loves.

The converted Victorian coach house where she lives with her family houses Kate’s studio and her kiln so she can conveniently work from home. To reach out to the local community Kate runs an open studio once a year, during which people can come to her house and watch her work, enamelling and hand-firing in her kiln. As the Director of Made in Herne Bay she also brings local artists together giving them a platform to discuss their lives and their work and how to market and sell it.  

Below is a video that shows what Made in Herne Bay is all about:

Big trade shows in venues like Olympia have proved a very successful way for Kate raise brand awareness and sell her creations. She has made some great connections through networking and you can find her designs in 20 galleries and shops in the UK and Australia and in many local Kent galleries. Next she is set to conquer New York.  

Kate says she is looking forward to the StartMyBiz, GrowMyBiz and Herne Bay Shop Local projects helping her grow by managing her time more effectively, planning for the future, and finding the funds to take on a new employee. Her advice to entrepreneurs is to stay true to your individuality, as this has always worked so well for her. To see Kate’s designs visit her website at: http://www.katesamuelsdesign.co.uk/

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Get Back to Nature with Khoa Contemporary Jewellery (Local Business)

Back to Nature

Khoa Mahon’s stunning fine silver jewellery is lovingly hand-crafted and incorporates gorgeous freshwater pearls and semi-precious stones. You can see Khoa’s passion for her work as she describes how each piece reflects a different occasion when she has felt connected to the earth’s natural environment. Some items are reminiscent of a leaf or a pebble, others the look of moonlight reflecting in the water or the texture of a seashell. In addition to her talent, what sets Khoa apart as an artist is her careful attention to detail, high quality craftsmanship and determination that every creation is unique and makes the wearer feel special.

Khoa’s love of crafts harks back to when she was a little girl. Knowing from a young age that she wanted to be a jewellery designer, she studied goldsmithing, silversmithing and jewellery design at the Kent Institute of Art and Design (KIAD). She then went on to do her MA in Three Dimensional Design at the University for the Creative Arts (UCA). A desire to be in control of how her very personal designs were marketed and sold, led to the decision to become an entrepreneur and run her own business.

A Passion for Craft

You can find Khoa’s beautiful creations at local craft fairs and exhibitions in the Canterbury District or, if you have an idea for a piece for yourself or a loved one, you can commission her to make a piece to order. To help promote and showcase her own work and that of other talented local artists, Khoa created “Passion for Craft”, an organisation that puts on exhibitions and pop-up craft fairs in local galleries and popular venues like the Horsebridge Arts and Community Centre.  The events which provide a lovely way to while indulging yourselves with gorgeous designs, you can meet the artists to learn more about their work and purchase presents for family, friends or adding to your own accessory collection! Khoa always goes the extra mile to ensure that these events are a great experience for artists and customers alike.

Khoa and StartMyBiz Canterbury

A member of Canterbury City Council’s StartMyBiz Canterbury Project, Khoa says the Project has helped her develop her business in several different ways. A dynamic talk by Emma Jones of Enterprise Nation, at an SMB Bootcamp, gave Khoa a great overview of what she needed to do to set up her business. StartMyBiz then introduced her to a friendly local accounting firm who provided her with free advice. A workshop on how to engage with potential partners and investors also proved invaluable and Khoa says she appreciates the way in which StartMyBiz and GrowMyBiz raise her business profile through their social media channels.

Get Your Own Unique Piece

There is something very special about Khoa’s jewellery and you won’t see anything like it anywhere else. So visit her website or go to a Passion for Craft event or you can find some of Khoa’s jewellery displayed for sale at The Conquest House Gallery in Canterbury and buy a unique piece that will never go out of style.

Website: http://khoa.co.uk/

Twitter: @KhoaMahon

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/passionforcraft

The Conquest House Gallery: https://www.artincanterbury.co.uk