Independent travel agency flying high

Independent travel agency flying high

Go Ben - Independent Travel Agency

L-R: Ben Hughes, Susan Picton

An independent travel agent has supported three people into employment thanks to a cash boost that helped him to grow his business.

Ben Hughes received £2,000 from Wigan Council’s Business Booster fund, which has assisted him to create the jobs, train staff and buy IT equipment.

Having built up his career working in the travel industry, Ben set up his business, Go Ben Travel in Ashton, in 2017.

Two years later, thanks to his hard-work ethic and support from the town hall, Ben has three members of staff on his payroll and has re-located to a larger building, which will be officially opened by the Mayor of Wigan Borough tomorrow (Saturday 30th November).

Becca Heron, director of economy and skills said: “Supporting local people make their entrepreneurial ambitions a reality is something we’re really proud of and is something made possible through The Deal for Business. 

“By investing money and resource in those who want to create their own business opportunities, we can instil confidence and upskill local people. Not only does this benefit the individual but it inspires other people and boosts our local economy.”

Wigan Council also connected Ben to other organisations who supported him with digital and marketing skills, which has helped him to secure a spot at a travel exhibition where he will network with tour operators from across the country.

He said: “I engaged with the council because I’d heard about the financial help they can provide. I would definitely recommend speaking with the council because they have really helped my business to grow. If I’d done this completely on my own, it would have taken me much longer to reach the position I’m in now.”

“Receiving guidance across a range of topics has really helped my business develop. I’m still in touch with the council two years later for regular check ins.”

Go Ben Travel is also signed up to the council’s Deal for Business, which encourages companies to support the local community. Now established, Ben is looking into the range of opportunities of how he can get involved.

He continued: “I really am passionate about travel and want as many people as possible to experience the world. I’m also an advocate for carers and their inspiring work, which is why I’m in the early stages of looking into a discount scheme on holiday packages for carers in the borough.”

Following feedback from the Big Listening Project, Wigan Council reopened their Business Booster pot earlier for small, independent business and new start-ups located in Wigan and Leigh town centres. 

Grants of up to £2,000 are available for start-ups and small businesses. Loans of up to £10,000 are available for existing businesses trading for more than 2 years. 

The money can be used by businesses to help with their advertising, training, equipment and employment costs.

Find more information about the Deal for Business or the Business Booster.

Posted on Friday 29th November 2019
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