Celebrating 30 years of St Albans business advice

STANTA Executive Director Mel Hilbrown, St Albans Mayor Annie Brewster, Harpenden Town Mayor Mary Ma

STANTA Executive Director Mel Hilbrown, St Albans Mayor Annie Brewster, Harpenden Town Mayor Mary Maynard and Ginny Cooper, STANTA Administration Manager - Credit: Archant

A not-for-profit company which has been providing free business advice to start-ups and small businesses in the district for 30 years has celebrated this milestone with a party and rebranding.

STANTA (St Albans Enterprise Agency) has helped more than 6,000 people set up a vast array of businesses from cake-making to coaching consultants, as well as plenty of shops and café owners.

Possibly their most high profile client is smallcarBIGCity, owned by St Albans graduate Rob Welch, which offers tours of London in classic Minis and is now No1 on TripAdvisor for the best things to do in the capital.

The company’s birthday was marked with a special event at OAs Sports Club, where St Albans MP Anne Main joined St Albans Mayor Annie Brewster and new Harpenden Mayor Mary Maynard to cut a cake featuring STANTA’s new logo, designed by director, Aarti Parmar of AP – Design, Branding and Marketing.

Chairman Ian Dunn thanked the event sponsors and the district council and St Albans Chamber of Commerce for their co-operation over the years.

He also thanked his fellow non-executive directors, who are all unpaid volunteers and especially paid tribute to Peter Burton, a founding director, who is still sitting on the STANTA board.

Particular thanks were expressed to the project team, Sophie Burnett of PA Business Support, Cathy Phillips and Aarti Parmar, who created the new branding and Fl1 Digital Media for the website www.stanta.co.uk.

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Mel Hilbrown, executive director for the last nine years revealed 85 per cent of their clients said it would have been more difficult to start without STANTA’s advice and 67 per cent said that it had given them the confidence to succeed.

The new website has information on the free and low cost advice service, workshops/seminars and office premises STANTA offers, and a new feature in the Resource Centre, which provides free access to a wealth of information and advice for start-ups and developing businesses, and a portal to most of the business networking in the district.