The training has been made available thanks to a joint project between all the district and borough councils in West Sussex, and is being led by Horsham District Council. The training has been developed by the company Digital Islands under the West Sussex Retail Hub banner, and has been paid for thanks to a joint bid to the West Sussex Business Rates Pool.

In the past, Chichester District Council has organised face-to-face training for independent retailers, but as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, this has had to be changed and delivered remotely instead.

Independent retailers will be able to access the following pre-recorded modules, each presented by a specialist expert:

  • Measuring sales, tracking profitability
  • Key steps for creating a marketing plan
  • The importance of business planning
  • Employing staff: an introduction to HR for small businesses
  • Using social media for business outcomes
  • Card payments and electronic point of sale
  • Understanding today's customer
  • Creating an exceptional customer experience
  • Developing a quality customer experience for the modern independent retailer; and
  • Developing new business models that work effectively and efficiently.

Businesses will be able to access the training from Monday 12 July at their own convenience through the West Sussex Retail Hub and completing the required registration details. Businesses will be free to pick and choose the modules of most use to them. The modules will be available for the next two years and there will also be downloads and useful resources for businesses to keep.

An online launch event using Zoom will also be taking place on Monday 12 July at 6pm which businesses are welcome to attend. There will be the opportunity to hear from Mark Smith, Operations Director of sportswear company Sweaty Betty as well as an overview of the different training modules from each of the experts.  There will also be a question and answer session for businesses to take part in.

Businesses can attend the launch event  by using the following details: meeting ID: 849 3904 7888 and passcode:138701.

"This training is being provided as part of our council's ongoing support for our district's independent retailers and has been made available following extremely positive feedback from those who have completed similar face-to-face training that we have organised in the past," explains Councillor Tony Dignum, Cabinet Member for Business, Growth and Regeneration at Chichester District Council.

"Collectively, independent businesses are a major employer and are vital to the economy and to our high streets. We are keen to keep supporting businesses following the pandemic, and we hope that businesses will find this high-quality training package extremely relevant and valuable. We hope it will give businesses lots of practical information which they can use to enhance and boost their business for the future.

"As well as providing access to training opportunities our council also offers a range of support for independent businesses in the district including information and advice about grants and networking opportunities."

People can find out more about Chichester District Council's business support

Date of Release: 6 July 2021

Reference: 4017