Newsletter for Smart Village - Strathyre, Balquhidder and Lochearnhead from GrowBiz.

The spread of the Coronavirus COVID-19 and the uncertainty of how it is going to develop here and across Scotland has led to understandable concern.

This is a challenging time for small and micro-businesses in rural Scotland. The impact of COVID-19 is becoming evident for many people, with fewer customers and cancelled bookings.

GrowBiz is increasing its support for rural enterprises by offering phone or online advice sessions, and a range of online learning and networking opportunities – open to any small or micro-business in Perthshire or other parts of rural Scotland.

We can help you to think through alternative strategies and different ways to reach your markets and provide information on funding and other sources of assistance. Our aim is to help anyone who is self-employed or running a small or micro-business in a rural area to get through the next few months.

And if you just need someone to talk to, get in touch and we’ll arrange for one of our enterprise facilitators to call you. Read on to find out more about:

Events updateBusiness newsPerthshire news

Events update

In the interest of everybody’s health and wellbeing we have taken to the decision to hold our learning sessions and networking events for the rest of this month and into April as online events and would encourage as many people to participate as possible. Still to come this month, we have a number of learning sessions:

Friday, March 20, 2pm to 4pm, Using Twitter for Business. This session will get you started on Twitter, covering how to create your account and profile, what to tweet and when, and how to use @ and # to engage your audience. It is important to continue to communicate with your customers at this time and Twitter is one of the platforms that enables you to do this. This session will help you to think about what to say and when to say it. You can book here

Monday, March 23, 10am to noon, Trading on the High Street - is it for you? This will be an interactive group session looking at the challenges and opportunities of trading on the High Street and how to incorporate online marketing or selling to complement a traditional shop. We will also take some time to discuss ways you can continue to run your business in uncertain times. Book here

Tuesday, March 24, 10am to 11am, Marketing Strategy. This will be a practical session to help you to get clear about who your ideal customer is, where they are located and how to communicate with them. It will also give you some clarity about what your overall marketing objectives might be for your product or service business. Book your place here

Tuesday, March 24, 2pm to 4pm, Working Effectively with Others. At this session, we will explore how to share goals, communicate well with others, delegate and outsource effectively and review your team skills. You might well be considering how to do this in innovative way given the current climate, perhaps thinking about how technology can help you to interact with others. You can book here.

We are also hosting our Women's Enterprise Network meeting, originally planned to take place in Kinross, online on Monday, March 16, from noon to 2pm. Our speaker is Abigail Shepherd, editor of The Perthshire Magazine. Launched in 2018, the monthly online publication receives around 30,000 hits each edition and Abigail will be talking about how she used social media to build an audience for the magazine. Come ready to ask your social media questions of an expert. Everyone is welcome to join us and you can book your place here. Once you've registered for any of our online events, you'll be sent an email containing the link you need to join us along with instructions so that you know what to expect.  If you have not joined us for an online learning session before, please join us ten minutes early for a quick demo and to make sure everything works.

All our events are free, informal, interactive and open to anyone thinking about, starting or growing a business or enterprise in rural Perth and Kinross.

Business news

Support and advice The GrowBiz team of experienced enterprise facilitators is providing additional phone and online support to individual clients as needed. As part of our Scotland-wide service, we are also offering support to anyone running a small or micro-business in rural Scotland. So no matter where you are, or what sector you’re in, we can organise a personal phone call or online session to help you address any challenges, or identify new opportunities, in these uncertain times. Get in touch here.

Shop Local During these uncertain times for everyone, please continue to support the local businesses in your community. They are doing their best to keep their premises open and as clean as possible so we can shop with them. If you run a business in the community and have any concerns then please get in touch.

Tay Cities Regional Tourism Conference cancelled Organisers announced on Friday afternoon last week that due to the ongoing Coronavirus situation the Tay Cities Regional Tourism Conference at Perth Concert Hall has been cancelled. The event was due to take place on Thursday, March 26. Those behind the event have said that they are looking to hold the conference at a later date in the year. Scottish Rural Awards Dinner postponed  The Scottish Rural Awards dinner, due to be held on April 2, has been postponed due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. The decision was taken by organisers shortly after the Scottish Government advised last week that all events with people of 500 or more should be cancelled. Ticket holders for the dinner, which will now be held on Wednesday, November 25, at the Hilton in Glasgow, are advised that their tickets will remain valid for the new date.

Perthshire news

Dung and Dusted!  A Perthshire-based entrepreneur has launched an appeal for a local community to pilot an innovative project to dispose of dog poo in an environmentally-friendly way. Lucy Proctor, whose business is called The Dog Poo Fairy – Dung and Dusted, is working with a pioneering inventor, Brian Harper in Malvern, Worcester, who has designed a lamppost that turns dog poo into biomethane via anaerobic digestion. And if they can find a community willing to pilot the idea, then a K9 Lantern could be installed in a Perthshire park near you, with a view to the initiative being rolled out across the rest of the Perth and Kinross Council area.

The Dog Poo Fairy is a dog poo clearance company. Founder Lucy travels to customers’ houses or businesses and clears up the dog waste from their outside spaces, sanitising the fouled areas with a bio, pet safe sanitiser. The service is aimed at anyone with a dog and a garden who is unable to manage the job themselves for any number of reasons such as physical or mental ill health, a busy lifestyle or pregnancy. More information on the The Dog Poo Fairy - Dung and Dusted and the campaign to find a willing community to trial the K9 Lantern can be found on Facebook. Jam-tastic news for Bourtree Jams! Bourtree Jams and Preserves are celebrating well-deserved success at the 15th World Marmalade Awards. The awards, which were founded in 2005 by Jane Hasell-McCosh with the initial idea of preserving, growing and widening the making of marmalade, were announced on Saturday, March 14. Entries were received from throughout the UK as well as far afield as Japan and Australia, and Bourtree Jams, run by Jackie McIntyre, won two golds, two silvers, one bronze and two commendeds. Amongst the award-winning flavours were Jackie's three fruit marmalade, Seville and vintage port marmalade, whisky marmalade, dark rum marmalade and lime and lemon marmalade. You can read about how Jackie became an award-winning marmalade maker on the GrowBiz website here.

Thanks for reading.

For further information on any of our events and services, please see our website at All of our services are free and confidential.  And remember that we can share your news to a wide audience through our newsletters, which go out every fortnight. Please email if you have anything you would like us to include.

You can also follow us on social media - Facebook @GrowBizPerthshire, Twitter @Grow_Biz, Instagram @growbizperthshire and LinkedIn @GrowBiz Scotland - please feel free to like and share our posts and we can do the same for you.  We're looking forward to reading all about what you are up to! The GrowBiz team

GrowBiz is funded by Perth & Kinross Council, Scottish Enterprise and The Scottish Government, and the Making Rural Business Digital project is supported by the Rural Perth and Kinross LEADER Programme 2014-2020: The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe investing in rural areas. For more on LEADER go to

This newsletter is kindly sponsored by the Red House Hotel in Coupar Angus

Copyright © 2020 GrowBiz, All rights reserved.

31 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All