I’ve spent the early hours this morning looking for help in promoting a small business in the Northeast. Of course I don’t REALLY expect help from the public sector – I’ve been around long enough to know they are self-serving (I’ve dealt with One-Northeast since they first promised us the earth, screwed it up, changed personnel around and started all over again)… but I had not really realised just how bad things have become.
To explain: regular viewers will know that Maureen and I have a new holiday cottage accommodation in Bellingham called Hollyberry Cottage. I’ve done the website of course and we’re starting to get business – but it would be nice to fill up the calendar for the coming months so we have a definite income from the cottage – always a good way to run a business.
To start the ball rolling I started to Google “tourism help in the northeast”. I came across the “Northumberland – an Independent Spirit” site and went from there. No matter where I turned they were after money. Indeed due to recent cuts no doubt, the whole thrust of the site seems to be about how to get YOU as a small business to pay THEM to promote Northumberland, though I may just be an old cynic.
I noticed the one FREE thing you could get was an entry in their website – that’s a good start I thought – but they ONLY take “accredited businesses” – so off I went in search of how to get accreditation. Guess what – it’s ANOTHER attempt to get money out of you.
In order to get accreditation so you can get the free listing, you can fill in some tick boxes to find out how much it will cost. So along I went, ticked the absolute minimum necessary and… I’m thinking …. NO !!!!!
Is this where nearly 40 years of paying taxes and getting absolutely ZILCH back gets me? Is this how Northumberland County Council helps start-up businesses? I’ve written to the various contacts on the site and elsewhere to ask the question. No doubt a later blog will provide answers if and when I get responses.
I started off utterly cynical of the public sector – I remain utterly cynical.