Brewery support for Small Business Saturday

Campervan Brewery Tap Room is celebrating Small Business Saturday today, by attending two local events to highlight the importance of supporting local businesses.

Small Business Saturday UK, which is in its fifth year, is grassroots, non-commercial campaign, which highlights small business success and encourages consumers to ‘shop local’.

Paul Gibson, after years as an IT consultant, decided to follow his dreams and create his own business around his two favourite pastimes, campervans and brewing.

Founded in 2016 and enjoying exponential growth, he has received ongoing support from Business Gateway Edinburgh, resulting in being able to grow the business from his handcrafting small batches of beer in his garage and campervan which has a fully mobile brew kit, to his brewery and tap room in Leith where people can enjoy a beer whilst watching it being made.

The support, which has also allowed Paul to take on three members of staff over the last year, has included 121 mentoring, export and finance help, marketing and social media consultancy.

As a result, Paul, who now produces over 60 beers on site, has built his business to maximum capacity leading to a crowdfunding campaign just launched to raise £30k to help expand the business and build an event and exhibition space.

Paul said: ‘From the launch of the brewery in Leith almost two years ago I’ve been involved with Business Gateway Edinburgh. From the outset I was assigned an advisor and together we’ve worked through many of the challenges of starting a business and generating growth.

‘It’s been great knowing that there is someone at the other end of a phone or email to help find the solution to problems as the business has evolved.

‘After the lease was signed and the installation of the brewing equipment was taking place, I found that I had some down time to take advantage of even more of the many free Business Gateway resources. This included having access to export and business finance experts and marketing consultants. These resources have proven to be invaluable and I still refer back to the advice given at the time.

‘Once brewing commenced and the brewery started to grow, nothing could have prepared me for that first year of business – the usual but unknown to me stresses and uncertainty of so many aspects of running a business.

‘Employing staff for the first time, navigating the beer market, understanding cashflow and finding our identity – at times it all seemed undoable. However, I firmly believe that Business Gateway Edinburgh has helped to equip me with the tools to rise up to this challenge.’

To support other local businesses and promote his own, Paul is attending Flora Stevenson’s Christmas Fayre on Saturday which helps promote local businesses and an event at Appellation Wine in Stockbridge where producers are being invited along to talk about their company and produce.

Susan said: ‘Campervan Brewery is a great example of a small grassroots company, which started from Paul’s garage, that has managed to grow successfully and build a loyal fanbase with the right help and support along the way.

‘Small Business Saturday is a great way to showcase business like this and encourage people to shop local and support business in the community.’

Paul continued: ‘It’s really important for me to support other local businesses in the community, especially those who have also played a bit part in helping to get me to where I am today.

‘I’m delighted to be able spread the word about the importance of shopping local on Small Business Saturday and the support available out there to small businesses from places like Business Gateway Edinburgh and really looking forward to it.’

To find out how Business Gateway Edinburgh can help by clicking HERE or call 0131 516 5035.