Belfast Telegraph

St George's stall plan to help get small business up and running

By Clare Weir

An innovative project to help small firms try out new products at St George's Market has been launched.

Belfast City Council's Market Start Up scheme will give support to people who wish to start up food or craft businesses and try out their products at the popular venue.

Successful applicants will get the chance to meet potential customers, visit established sellers and get a proper insight into the trade.

St George's Market is one of Belfast's oldest attractions. Built between 1890 and 1896, it is known as one of the best markets in the UK and Ireland and has picked up a number of local and national titles and awards. It holds a weekly Friday variety market, a city food and garden market on Saturdays and hosts a range of events throughout the year.

Councillor Conor Maskey, deputy chairman of the council's development committee, said in tough economic times, more and more people are turning to entrepreneurship.

"Just this week, the National Market Traders Federation revealed more and more people are turning to market trading as a way of doing business.

"Market stalls have low overheads and start-up costs and also help people bring their products directly to the people who want to buy them. So, what better testing ground for an aspiring business than one of our most successful markets?

"As with all of our programmes, the aspiring business owners will get all the help they need to develop their products and put together their business plans.

"They also will have the opportunity to meet buyers and visit successful business owners by working at St George's Market."

The 'Market Start Up' programme is open to residents of the Belfast City Council area, and further details can be found at www.belfastcity.gov.uk/marketprogramme.

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