Chamber News

‘Blue flag’ for Suffolk & Norfolk business advisors

The New Anglia Growth Hub, managed by Suffolk Chamber of Commerce on behalf of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, has become the first and to date the only organisation in the country to have secured a coveted business advisor accreditation – the equivalent of a blue flag in this sector. 

The Level 7 Diploma in Professional Business and Enterprise Support is the equivalent of a Master’s degree on the qualification and credit framework scale and it means business owners in the county can feel safe in the knowledge that the support they are receiving has been rigorously examined and is of the highest quality available. 

The award is governed by the Small Firms Enterprise Development Initiative (SFEDI), which sets the standard for business support services and is the exemplar standard for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. 

John Stenhouse who fronts the New Anglia Growth Hub explained how the fact that every single one of his business advisers had achieved Level 7 “was clear proof not only of their nine months of study and dedication, but their total commitment to always providing the best approach to advising Suffolk businesses”. 

“The Growth Hub will continue to have a major influence in helping our growing businesses access the right kind of financial and practical support”. 

Across both Suffolk and Norfolk, over 1200 businesses have taken advantage of more than 12 hours’ each of free professional advice and thanks to the Hub’s advisors nearly £13m in grants has been successfully secured. 

Charlie Dalton, Managing Director of Ipswich-based Smart Garden Offices, who has used the advisory services of the New Anglia Growth Hub said: “The support we received was invaluable and since our meetings with Richard Glinn at the Growth Hub, we’ve received grant support to assist our capital expenditure projects and created new jobs, we’ve taken on two apprentices with further opportunities for more and we’re engaging in a company-wide training programme. The Growth Hub has provided an objective view throughout and pointed towards sources of support we were previously unaware of.” 

John Dugmore, Chief Executive of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, which manages the New Anglia Growth Hub added: “This is another first for Suffolk PLC.  We know that most firms that use business advisers are more likely to succeed than those who don’t. So this latest accolade is yet another reason that businesses can feel particularly confident of the quality and consistency of the New Anglia Growth Hub service. I’m really proud of the team and it’s great to see Chamber employees developing their skills”. 

Chris Starkie, Managing Director of New Anglia Local Enterprise, said: “The quantity of support offered by the New Anglia Growth Hub is there in black and white - over 20,000 hours of face to face advice to more than 5,000 businesses speaks for itself. This accreditation tells businesses in Suffolk they can also rely on the quality of support, and is testament to the hard work and dedication of the entire team.” 

A free appointment can be booked with a local Growth Hub advisor by calling 0300 333 6536 or email:

Article by Suffolk Chamber