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New Economy offers small business a green makeover

David McCourt

ecoSMARTER, a free service funded by the European Regional Development Fund, is designed to help tackle rising energy costs.

Manchester's policy think-tank designed the scheme, worth more than £1,000 to each recipient, to help businesses reduce energy bills by 16% and lower carbon emissions.

Those that sign up will have a free electricity monitor installed which lets them measure energy consumption online. They will also receive support from a sustainability expert to produce an environmental policy, and will be awarded with environmental certification.

New Economy will deliver a series of ecoSMARTER workshops in the region over the coming weeks, aimed at businesses that are interested in participating.

The next event will take place on Wednesday 5 December at Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, 12 Princes Parade, from 9am until 1pm.

This will be followed by a Manchester workshop on Wednesday 12 at New Economy's offices, Churchgate House, Oxford Street.

There will also be two workshops in January on Wednesday 16 January and Wednesday 23 January at venues to be announced soon.

Alison Gordon, director of project development at New Economy, said: "ecoSMARTER is one of the many ways in which we're ensuring that our regional economy contributes towards achieving national targets to reduce UK carbon emissions by 2020.

"Not only does the scheme help to cut costs, it is also a simple and hassle-free way to contribute towards reducing global carbon emissions."

George Bingham, general manager of Car Care Express in Salford, a business that is now saving £3,000 per year with the scheme, said: "ecoSMARTER has made a real difference to our bottom line. In times like these, every little helps and the savings we are making could not come at a better time.

"For us, ecoSMARTER has helped us cut costs, become more sustainable, and through the green certificate will also help us improve our marketing."

• To attend any of the upcoming events, please contact Jennifer Williams on 0161 237 4630 or e-mail

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