Get your business into better shape with the FIT Programme

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Moyle District Council and Newtownabbey Borough Council have come together to launch an exciting new programme for small businesses, which is part funded by Invest Northern Ireland and the European Regional Development Fund under the Sustainable Competitiveness Programme for Northern Ireland.

The FIT Programme, which is now open for applications, aims to assist owner-managers of small businesses to survive, consolidate and grow.

Announcing the start of the recruitment phase of the Programme, Invest NI’s Eastern Regional Manager, Gren Armstrong declared: “We are looking for owner-managers of businesses in the two council areas of Newtownabbey and Moyle who want a helping hand to make changes to their businesses, to identify opportunities and to really gear up to grow.”

Participants on the FIT programme will benefit from tailored mentoring support, with each business being allocated a highly experienced mentor. The mentor will work with each participant on a one to one basis to identify key areas for business development and exploit new business opportunities.

In addition to the one to one mentoring, participants will have the opportunity to attend a series of group mentoring sessions, focusing on applying best practice principles to small businesses.

The new programme highlights the on-going commitment of both councils to provide practical support to the small business sector. Commenting on the recent FIT Programme launch, The Mayor of Newtownabbey, Alderman Fraser Agnew said: “It is well known that the small business sector has come through a particularly tough time over the last few years as a result of the economic downturn. We believe that one of our key roles as a council is to provide practical support to small business owner-managers and enable them to take the next step towards business growth. The whole purpose of the FIT Programme is to give participants both the skills and the confidence to really move their businesses forward and make positive changes”.

Councillor Cara McShane, Chairperson of Moyle District Council also noted: “This is a great opportunity for small businesses to benefit and grow in a time of economic uncertainty. The FIT programme will enable small businesses to access highly skilled mentors and use their experience to improve their business and give positive direction for the future. It is important that councils support the needs of the small business sector and by doing so we are providing much needed opportunities for local businesses to flourish.”

For further information on the FIT Programme, please contact Stephen Jackson at 02890 691027 or email The deadline for submission of completed applications is 12:00 on Friday 31st January 2014.