Denise Fielding is Operations Director of business support organisation East Durham Business Service.

The organisation, based at Novus Business Centre in Peterlee, supports budding entrepreneurs to pursue a path into self-employment, and established micro businesses and SMEs to grow.

Here, Denise reflects on the first six months of 2019 which has seen the continued growth of SMEs in the area and an intake of new tenants at the Peterlee business hub.

“East Durham’s business community is thriving, with companies of all sizes, from sole traders right through to some of the area’s biggest employers, reporting growth.

Here at East Durham Business Service we’ve certainly seen evidence of that, with many of our tenants winning new contracts, adding to their workforce or moving to bigger office space.

SSK Recruitment has seen a real upsurge in growth in 2019

The company, which was launched by Adam Smith, Paul Kelly and Bradley Saunders in March 2018, has opened a second office at Bishop Auckland and has plans to open offices in Dubai and Iraq later this year.

Alongside this growth, the company, a recruiter which specialises in the offshore, construction, industrial, and engineering sectors, has moved into a bigger office within Novus after outgrowing its current space.

Just along the corridor in Novus, neighbouring tenants Shred Direct and LEC Communications and Design have undergone growth.

Graeme Carter, Shred Direct’s owner, has taken on an apprentice, Calum Summerill, and drivers to enable his continued growth providing shredding services to businesses across the region.

And LEC, which has been a Novus tenant since 2014, has won several new contracts, adding to its already impressive portfolio of regional and national clients with new business from Doddington Dairy, Imperial Claims Consultants and the Durham Food and Drink Network, to name just a few.

Another of our tenants reporting success is QuickRebates, which has doubled in size with further plans to expand.

QuickRebates was launched by husband and wife Glenn and Donna Cooper two years ago and has seen its portfolio of clients increase rapidly.

The company’s growth led to them taking on a tax agent, Ashleigh Williams, and apprentice Adam Turner, who is working as the company’s tax junior.

They’ve also recently launched an accounting division, Edgemark Accounting, to support expansion plans.

There’s a general feeling of positivity in the area and seeing our area go from strength to strength is fantastic.

And for those companies at the smaller end of the scale, or perhaps budding entrepreneurs thinking about starting their own business, our offices are the perfect environment from which to grow, while our business advisors are available to our advice and assistance on your entrepreneurial journey.