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Welcome to the March 2023 edition of Business Beat.

This is your regular update from South Ayrshire Council’s Economy and Regeneration team on support and current grants available for your business.

Achievement starts with AMBITION

Our AMBITION programme supports job creation in South Ayrshire. It’s for anyone with the ambition to employ or become self-employed and is for every type of business.

Through Business Gateway, our Business Advisors can help you whatever stage you’re at on your business journey, whether you’ve got an idea to start something new, are in the early stages of setting up or are already well established. We can also advise you on grants available to help you start or grow your business.

Whatever your ambition, we’ll share it with you and help you achieve success.

So, if you're thinking about starting a business, visit

Or if you’re looking to employ staff, see our AMBITION programme website.

See our case study below on how the AMBITION programme helped a local couple set up a multi award winning Indian food business, employing over 40 staff.

Selling to the public sector

Have you ever thought about selling your products or services to the public sector, like councils or the NHS, but don’t know where to start? Procurement and the public sector might seem like unknown territory, but it could be a valuable new revenue stream for your business. The Supplier Development Programme (SDP) offers free support to businesses and also run regular in-person and on-line events to help you navigate your way through public sector procurement. Register now for these webinars in March/April to help get you on your way!
  • Thursday 23rd March  (2.00pm – 3.30pm)
    How to Write Outstanding Tenders
  • Wednesday 29th March (10.30am – 11.45am)
    Using Public Contract Scotland – How to Find and Bid for Opportunities
  • Tuesday 4th April  (10.30am – 12 noon)
    Getting Your Business Tender Ready – The Checklist
  • Wednesday 5th April (2.00pm – 3.30pm)
    Talking Tenders with Scottish Enterprise
  • Thursday 6th April (2.00pm – 3.30pm)
    Using PCS & PCS-T – Minor Works Framework Agreement – South Ayrshire Council

Fair Work Support Programme

Fair Work is an investment in everyone, for everyone. It can improve productivity, innovation, organisational reputation and recruitment. It can also reduce staff turnover and help create inclusive workplaces with a richness of talent and a diversity of ideas.

Scottish Enterprise is running a free online Fair Work workshop on Wednesday 22nd March, 9.30am-12.30pm, to help you fully understand the benefits of fair work and to implement fair work in your business.

For more information and to register go to Fair Work workshops | Eventbrite

South Ayrshire Gift Card

The South Ayrshire Loves Local Gift Card aims to support local businesses, strengthen South Ayrshire high streets and protect local jobs. It’s a pre- paid MasterCard which can only be spent in registered businesses within South Ayrshire.
Currently, over 180 South Ayrshire businesses have registered to accept the card including retail, health and beauty, hospitality, sport and leisure, accommodation and a range of other services.
If you would like to register your business to receive the card, please visit  Scotland Loves Local campaign


Business Gateway Networking
Tuesday 28th March, 1pm - 3pm
The Quay Zone, Knockcushan Street, KA26 9AG
This informal event is for all local businesses in and around Girvan and South Carrick. A chance to chat to Business Advisors about support for your business and meet other local business owners.To book go to Business Gateway Networking


Grow your business online - Meet the experts
Thursday 30th March, 9.30am - 4.00pm
Scottish Enterprise, 50 Waterloo Street,
Glasgow G2 6HQ

This event is for anyone looking to grow their ecommerce presence and expand into international markets. For more information and to book your space go to:
Grow your business online


Ayrshire Food & Drink Conference
Wednesday 12th April, 9.45am - 3.30pm
Ayrshire College, Kilmarnock Campus, Hill Street, KA1 3HY
This conference is for all food, drink and hospitality businesses. Find out what support is available for your business and meet other businesses in the sector.
For more information and to register go to:
Ayrshire Food & Drink Conference Tickets,
Wed 12 Apr 2023 at 09:45 | Eventbrite
To see the full range of support available from South Ayrshire Council to start or grow your business, visit our Business Support webpage.

You can also go to the Find Business Support website which provides an overview of all funding and services offered by public sector organisations across Scotland.

Kushal and Vinita Duggal first started selling Punjabi snacks from their fish and chip shop in Ayr. With Kushal a highly trained Indian chef, their ambition was to set up a new business to provide authentic Indian cuisine to retail customers.

The AMBITION programme helped the couple establish and grow Punjab Pakora, which now supplies a wide range of products to supermarkets across the country, employing 42 people in their factory in Ayr’s Crown Street.

Vinita explains how the AMBITION programme helped:

“Without the good advice and mentoring from our Business Advisor we wouldn’t have managed to get our business started. We were awarded an AMBITION Start-Up grant which we used for branding, packaging design and advertising. From there things really took off. Initially supplying local companies, we then achieved the SALSA certification required for major supermarkets."

“We were awarded a second AMBITION grant, this time for Growth, which we used mainly for consultancy to help us expand and market the business. We’ve grown from a small team producing a handful of pakora products, to become the leading Scottish supplier of authentic Indian cuisine, snacks and savouries.”

Since starting in 2013, Punjab Pakora has won several local and national business awards. “All these awards go to the Business Gateway team at South Ayrshire Council,” says Vinita. “They have been on a journey with us. We never imagined our business could reach this level, and it’s thanks to them that it has. We’re looking to expand our business offering which will require moving to new premises, but we will stay in Ayr so we can continue working with the Business Gateway team.”

Thanks for reading. If you have questions or feedback, please just email and one of our team will get back to you as soon as possible. See you next issue.
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