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Lica Scientific – agility has helped them through

Turnover in 2019 was healthy and projections for 2020 were too. We were having regular conversations with new clients and continuing our UK and European expansion. The 2020 plan included a conference in Cologne, Germany and likely trips to Belgium and Switzerland where we have clients as well as growing the United States client base. Then COVID 19 hit……

Whyatt Accountancy – supporting clients during COVID 19

Paul set up his business, Whyatt Accountancy in late 2018. He had qualified as a Chartered Accountant with EY and spent 20 years with EY and various other large businesses.

Whilst he had a great time working for these organisations, he always harboured a desire to work for himself.

He realised he was doing very nicely in his career, perhaps too nicely! So, giving it up had always seemed very daunting.


Paul told us, “Towards the end of 2018 I decided it was now or never and I set up my accountancy and consulting firm, Whyatt Accountancy.

Focusing on small businesses, be they start-ups looking to get off the ground or established ventures planning for growth, I started with zero clients and no premises! I worked from home initially but soon realised that wasn’t for me.

After looking around I was drawn to SBIC and moved into the shared office space. This worked well for me. Terms are flexible and the team who run the centre really do understand small businesses.

With low fixed costs and a great ‘buzz’ it not only helped me maintain productivity, but it gave me the chance to engage with other small business owners and increase my visibility.

The Centre has a nice feel to it and I like the fact that it has an industrial history. It’s been furnished well with great meeting facilities, but it’s not too “flashy” – you’re not paying for expensive facilities you hardly use.

Since then, my client base has grown steadily. In July 2020, I decided to move into a dedicated office giving me the additional space my growing business needed.

The Centre has remained open during the pandemic, but with strict safeguards in place. That’s really helped me maintain a routine. Many clients have also welcomed the opportunity for a catch up meeting to discuss their concerns and plans.

When lockdown was imposed, many clients were upset and deeply worried. Many saw their incomes fall dramatically or disappear completely.

Wind the clock on, so far, all my clients have survived. Indeed, several have moved their business forward, particularly those who have fully invested in their on-line offering. It’s amazing how resilient and enterprising people can be.

Looking back, getting my business off the ground from a standing start has been one of the hardest but most rewarding experiences. When a new client comes on board and is starting a business, I know exactly what they are about to go through – good and bad!

My focus now is on growing my business in a sustainable way, without compromising quality. It’s about doing great work for clients, helping them change their lives for the better, and living an independent life.

After that, let’s see where the journey takes me!”

Read more

West Belfast firm Fiontar to set up new Stockport base


The Fiontar Group, based at the Innovation Factory in the west of the city, has grown from a one person operation in 2012 to a business working with the likes of Google, are now expanding their offices into Stockport and Business Innovation Centre

FORESIGHT Mobile Ltd based at our Merchants House Centre

Gareth Reese, founder of FORESIGHT Mobile Ltd saw that there was a lot of demand for technical co-founders with real-world experience, so decided to take the plunge and set up his company to provide CTO services and software development for new tech companies.

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