01727 837760

What does it take to cut a 30th birthday cake?

The answer, in the case of STANTA is an MP and two Mayors!

Cake cutting

Last month at OAs Sports Club, St Albans MP Anne Main joined St Albans City and District Mayor, Annie Brewster and new Harpenden Mayor, Mary Maynard to cut the cake, which featured STANTA’s new logo, designed by STANTA Director, Aarti Parmar of AP Design Brand and Marketing.

STANTA (St Albans Enterprise Agency) is a not-for-profit company which has been providing free business advice to start-ups and small businesses in the St Albans District and surrounding areas for 30 years – and has helped over 6,000 people in that time to set up a vast array of businesses:  from cake making, to consultants offering coaching through to lawyers  and lots of shops and café owners   Possibly the most high profile – smallcarBIGCity (owned by Rob Welch a graduate from St Albans)  which offers tours of London in classic minis and is now No 1 on Trip Advisor of the best things to do in London!

Ian Dunn, Chairman, thanked sponsors Barclays Bank, Mercer & Hole Accountants, St Albans City & District Council and Allied Irish Bank (GB) for their support for the event and the Council, represented by leader, Julian Daly, and St Albans Chamber of Commerce for their co-operation over the years.  He also thanked his fellow non-Executive Directors, who are all unpaid volunteers and especially paid tribute to Peter Burton,  a founding director –  who is still sitting on the STANTA Board.   Particular thanks were expressed to the project team, Sophie Burnett of PA Business Support, Cathy Phillips and Aarti Parmar, who had given very generously of their time to create the new branding and website.  The website, created by STANTA Business Centre tenant FL1 Digital Media, was very well received: “I love the new logo and website– it reflects STANTA’S straight forward yet progressive way of helping businesses and the bright colours make it very memorable” commented Vicky La Trobe, a Chamber of Commerce member.

Mel Hilbrown, Executive Director for the last 9 years explained that research shows that 85% of clients said it would have been more difficult to start without STANTA’s  advice and 67% said that it had given them the confidence to succeed,

Recent clients and those from years ago were welcomed. Louise Wynne first visited STANTA 7½ years ago wanting advice on setting up her recruitment business.  Red Door Recruitment in Chequer Street, St Albans is now a highly respected, successful agency employing  4 consultants and placing people in positions all around Hertfordshire.

Sharon Robinson from Seymour Styles came for a business advice session last year said: “I just had to come along tonight as I will never forget the help that Mel and Ginny gave me when I attended to discuss my prom dress business.  It is now a successful business and I am going to expand into dresses for Ascot and other such events, aimed at a broader age group.  I can’t thank them enough”.

The new website has information on the free and low cost advice service, workshops/seminars and office premises STANTA offers.  A new feature is the Resource Centre, which provides free access to a wealth of information and advice for start-ups and developing businesses, and a portal to most of the business networking in the district. The new brand and links on Twitter (@StantaAdvice) , Facebook (STANTA)  and Linkedin  (STANTA) should mean that STANTA will no longer be “St Albans best kept secret” !