Businesses in Torbay which are led by people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds are being invited to take part in a focus group event to find out their views later this week.

Representatives from Diversity Business Incubator (DBI) will be at Sima Spice in Torwood Street, Torquay, this Friday 6 May from 5.30pm to 7.30pm and local business owners from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds are encouraged to attend by signing up via Eventbrite. It is hoped this will lead to the start of a new regular support network in Torbay.

The event, which will support the existing survey that DBI is carrying out (which closes on 24 May) will also be attended by some business representatives from Plymouth who are also visiting Paignton and Torquay. The aim is to find out the issues that face black and minority ethnic owned businesses and also people from those communities who aspire to start their own businesses.

Feedback from the focus group and survey will:

  • Identify the potential for the establishment of a network group to bring together business owners and leaders from these communities for peer support
  • Encourage more people from these communities to participate in the Torbay Business Forum and the forthcoming Torbay Champions Programme.
  • Complement the work being done on the development of a new economic plan for Torbay

The focus group and survey will also help inform the ongoing Torbay Racism Review, as well as raising awareness of existing support from TDA to businesses from a Black and Minority Ethnic background, and the project will then aim to design a dedicated network platform.

Councillor Jermaine Atiya-Alla who heads up the Torbay Racism Review, said: “We would love to hear from you if you have a business in Torbay and are interested in being part of a support network for Black and minority ethnic business owners or if you are from one of these backgrounds and are thinking of starting your own business. It will be an informal event, a great opportunity to network and meet other businesses and give us your feedback. We are hoping this first event will be a great success and lead to regular meetings in Torbay.”

Leader of Torbay Council Steve Darling said: “The research being undertaken by DBI on behalf of Torbay Council and TDA is incredibly important in understanding the needs of the BAME community and will help inform the council’s economic strategy in supporting BAME businesses to thrive in Torbay.

“Please do book on for the event if you can, or if not then please take a few minutes to complete the survey – we really value your feedback and it does make a difference.”  

Deputy Leader Darren Cowell said: “We are committed to supporting diverse communities here in Torbay and this survey and focus group is a great opportunity for the Council and TDA to engage with local communities and improve how we all work together going forward.”

Jabo Butera from Diversity Business Incubator, said: “Both of our organisations feel a deep sense of responsibility to serve our local communities where so many of our employees, family, friends and ourselves work and live.”

Sign up for the focus group

Sign up via Eventbrite

Complete the survey

The survey is open until 24 May.  

Background information:

About Diversity Business Indicator (DBI): DBI is carrying out the survey on behalf of TDA group and Torbay Council. DBI is a community interest company (CIC) passionate about elevating business success in the Black, Asian and other Minority Ethnicity (BAME) entrepreneurs and businesses in the south west offering comprehensive and sustainable business support to help them thrive in business and integrate effectively into their wider community.

About Torbay Racism Review: This Review was launched in September 2020 following protests which started around the world in May 2020 after George Floyd died at the hands of a police officer in Minneapolis, USA, including mass demonstrations in London and Bristol. During that time the Review Panel has spoken to representatives from a range of organisations from the local NHS and police to local businesses and schools and voluntary groups.

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