Cumbria Libraries - Business Information, Consumer Advice and Legal

Welcome to our Business Information page. You will find links to a range of useful websites covering topics such as starting up your own business, all aspects of running a business and guidance on health and safety issues, developing ideas and protecting intellectual copyright. Many of these websites are free to use, but the sites marked with £ do incur charges.

**Please note Cumbria County Council is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.**

GovGrant - This article from GovGrant covers the essential steps for how to patent an idea.

Cumbria County Council - Business - Need advice about setting up or running a business in Cumbria? You will find a range of links to useful information including Trading Standards and Europe Direct.

Law and Business summarises statutes and statutory instruments that relate to starting, growing and operating a business in England, Wales and Scotland. The legal regime is just part of understanding the business environment; funding, business support information and business regulation complete the picture.

If you are using this site from your device at home, you will be directed to the login page where you should select 'Cumbria Libraries' from the Library Authority drop-down menu and enter your library card number.

Enterprise Answers ( £) - is Cumbria's only Community Development Finance Institution (CDFI) and the only rural CDFI in the north of England. It is an independent organisation providing financial services across the region with the aim of creating social improvement and business development returns. As a not-for-profit Community Asset Reinvestment Trust, they provides loans and support to businesses that are unable to raise the finance they require from High Street banks.

Companies House ( £)  - Companies House stores company information which is delivered under the Companies Act and related legislation.

Federation of Small Businesses ( £)  - UK's largest campaigning pressure group promoting and protecting the interests of the self-employed and owners of small firms.

Gov.UK - businesses and self-employed  - The Government's online resource for starting up and running a business. Easy to download factsheets on a range of subjects such as planning and marketing.

Health and Safety Executive  - Information, advice and legal requirements regarding health and safety in the workplace.

Intellectual Property Office  - This government website gives advice and guidance to inventors, artists and entrepreneurs on protecting their ideas and designs.

Keynote ( £) - This site charges for UK Market reports, but gives free access to market executive summaries.

Kompass ( £) - This is a limited version of the full Kompass service. It enables businesses to source suppliers and offers some free searching.

Small Business  - Highlights key areas of interest to small and medium-sized businesses such as Start a Business, Small Business Finance, Franchise Information, Sales and Marketing and Legal Services.

Tenders Electronic Daily ( £) - A useful, comprehensive tenders alert service.

UK Trade and Investment - A Government initiative which helps UK businesses looking to export, and companies abroad wishing to invest in the UK.

Cumbria Chamber of Commerce ( £) - Membership fees apply to join the organisation, which offers businesses a wide range of support services, training opportunities and networking events.

The Chest - The North West's Local Authority Procurement Portal, with separate web pages for each of the North West's sub-regions and individual councils as well as other public sector bodies.

Department for Business Innovation and Skills - Offers tools and guidance for business, guidance on jobs and pensions, and  information on export control, business finance and grants.

Business is GREAT Britain  - The GREAT Britain campaign is a partnership between private enterprise and Government to highlight support for businesses, providing links to key business support tools, and highlighting top tools available from across Government and a whole range of providers.

AgeUK - Advice for anyone aged 50+ on starting a business and self employment.

Cumbria Rural Enterprise Agency (CREA) - Provides professional business support, training, managed office premises and meeting rooms. We provide business start up advice, help for those exploring self employment for the first time and support to those already trading.

The Digital Business Academy offers eleven FREE online courses designed by digital experts and delivered by established institutions including UCL, Cambridge Business School and Founder Centric.
Funded by the government, you don't need any qualifications to do the courses, and will gain insights into essential areas including how to start a digital business, develop digital products, marketing and branding and creating digital marketing campaigns.
On finishing these courses you can apply for a career enhancing rewards and opportunities offered by industry partners such as Microsoft, Tech City, Hootesuite and many more digital companies.

VAT Calculator - An online UK VAT calculator to calculate VAT inclusive and exclusive amounts based on UK VAT rates.

The Seven Steps of Basic Business Accounting - A guide to money management and basic business accounting to help you start or grow your small business.

Starting a New Business - A guide on how to reduce admin costs and have more time to grow your business. 

GDPR Legislation - A guide and support for the new GDPR Legislation.

Invoice Cheat Sheet - What you need to include on your invoices.

Funding for Your Business   - Selecting the best source of funding for your business

Compare the Market - Request information for free from Compare the Market's 11 year bank of data for unique insights into finance, vehicles, pets, business lifestyle and more. As used by the Independent and the Guardian, this tool could be perfect for essays, dissertations or articles.

Making Tax Digital Checklist - What do HMRC's updates mean for you?

Visual Identities - How to build yours

TechRound - Startups and technology news in London and the UK 

Supply2Gov - Offers information which is aimed at suppliers who are getting started in public sector procurement.

Welcome to our Moneywise page. On this page you will find a selection of links to external websites, chosen by our library staff, which give advice on how to make your money go further, and useful information on how to access help if you are in financial difficulty.

**Please note Cumbria County Council is not responsible for the content of external websites.**

Money Saving Expert - Useful advice and money-saving tips that cover a range of themes, from shopping to utility bills.

Unbiased Financial Advice - This site helps you find free, unbiased financial advice in your area from a list of regulated Financial Advisers.

Love Food Hate Waste - Recipes to help you use up leftover food, plus lots of helpful tips on meal planning and food storage.

GovUK - The Government's online resource page with information about managing debt

StepChange Debt Charity (formerly the Consumer Credit Counselling Service) - Free online confidential and tailored debt advice, debt solutions and action plans.

One Space - The parenting site for single parents, delivered by the Single Parent Action Network (SPAN).   The Citizens Advice service have teamed up with One Space to help single parents resolve any money or debt issues by providing free, independent and confidential advice.

Money Advice Service (Ma) - A free and impartial service, set up by the government to help people make the most of their money.

National Debt Advice - Debt Support Trust is a not-for-profit debt advice charity with trained, friendly debt advisors who can advise you on suitable debt solutions. We are a national debt advice charity helping people across the UK. Whether you live in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, we can help you with debt advice.

Learn My Way - An online course which shows people the simple steps they can take immediately to make the most of your money and plan for the future. It covers: How to create a simple budget; When to review your financial plans; How to choose the right savings or investment options; How to control your borrowing; How to plan for the future.

See also their online banking course - which covers: getting started with online banking; keeping track of your money; making payments and staying safe when banking online.

Credit Unions - Credit unions are not-for-profit organisations which operate as financial co-operatives and offer services such as saving accounts and affordable loans to their members. This site explains more about them and where you can find a Credit Union in Cumbria.

IVA - is a non-fee charging, 'not-for-profit' organisation which specialises in providing confidential, free and impartial advice to anyone experiencing problems with their unsecured debts. Our consultants will help you find the best solution to suit your personal circumstances. We will provide you with the guidance needed to make an informed decision on the best way forward to become debt free.

Groupon - Although it can sometimes seem like a shop window just for beauty treatments, there is lots to choose from including a broad selection of holidays and meals.

My Voucher Codes  - The biggest voucher site in Britain with over 2,000 codes. There are tabs for category, top listing (the most used) and printable vouchers.

Voucher Codes - This is exactly what the name implies, a site full of vouchers, exclusive and otherwise, which are presented in "top twenty" lists, as well as alphabetically.

Voucherbin - Another voucher site with different categories to select

Vouchers4U - Coupon code site, providing codes for more than 2,000 UK online stores.

Carersmart -  A new club from Carers Trust, the UK's largest carers charity, and is open to carers, people with care needs etc. Once people have joined they can benefit from a wide range of offers.

Dealsland - Save money on everyday items with discount codes

Vouchercloud - A source for saving money across a wide range of areas.

Netvouchers  - More ways to save money with different categories to select.

Deals Daddy - Discount codes for students to save money on online shopping.

Welcome to Cumbria Libraries Finding a Job page where you will find a selection of external websites selected by our library staff to help answer your queries.

**Please note Cumbria County Council is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.**

Cumbria County Council - finding a job

CV Writing - Monster's tips on writing an effective and targeted CV that will appeal to potential employers.

A ResumeLab guide to how to write a CV

Writing an academic CV

Skills based CV and functional CV - writing guide

Gov.UK: finding a job  - This comprehensive government website offers a wide range of advice if you are looking for a job, from apprenticeship to the transition between coming off benefits and moving into employment.

Gov.UK: Universal Jobmatch  - Search for a job on this Government site.

Guardian Careers   - This site offers information on jobs and careers and other advice to support job searching.

Jobted - Find jobs and job vacancies from all career sites in the UK

National Careers Service  - A useful site offering information and advice on learning, training and employment opportunities.

Preparing for interviews - If you want to perfect your interview technique, this site has helpful hints including do's and dont's

Prospects  - Prospects is the UK's biggest and busiest graduate careers website, with more than one million unique browsers every month. It is also home to UK higher education's official postgraduate study database. They work closely with UCAS; the NUS; the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills; University for Industry (UFI) and LearnDirect.

Cumbria CVS - Volunteering is a good way to get work experience whilst job hunting. Cumbria CVS Volunteer Centre can support individuals who wish to volunteer, by advising on the types of voluntary work available in local voluntary, community or statutory organisations around the county.

AgeUK  - Advice on how and where to look for work, how to change jobs and the support available to job hunters aged 50+.

Learn My Way - A short online course on how to find and apply for jobs online for people who feel they need to improve the computer skills and confidence.  It covers: Search and apply for jobs online; Save your search results and sign up for job alerts; Develop and send your CV online; Use Universal Job Match and Complete application forms.

See also their Jobs and Interviews course which covers: How to access online resources for information on benefits; What a CV is and the internet resources available to help you write one; How you should prepare for an interview and how the internet can help.

Adzuna - A job search site that aims to list every job vacancy found online. The listings are so comprehensive that the government uses the data. 

Free articles and guides from Zety to help with finding a job:

Welcome to our Welfare Advice page. On this page you will find a selection of links to external websites, chosen by our library staff, which give useful information on benefits.

**Please note Cumbria County Council is not responsible for the content of external websites.** 

Cumbria County Council - Welfare - If you find yourself facing financial difficulties, this site has advice and links to information on getting the help you need including debt advice, food banks, credit unions and other forms of welfare support.

Street Link  - This government site allows people to alert Local Authorities about rough sleepers in their area, and to help them access the local services and support which is available to them.

Citizens Advice  - Information on benefits and tax credits, council tax and housing costs, national insurance, payment of benefits and problems with benefits.

Entitledto - an online independent benefits calculator which you can use to find out what benefits you could get and how to claim.

(If you have used the DirectGov online Benefits Adviser in the past, please note that this will be shut down after 30 March 2014.)

Gov.UK - The Government's online resource with information about eligibility, tax credits and appeals.

Advicenow  - An independent, not-for-profit website providing information on rights and legal issues for the general public. There is an extensive section of the website devoted to benefits.

Gingerbread - The charity, Gingerbread, offers advice and support for single parents. Their website contains information and downloadable factsheets on topics such as the benefit cap and changes to the benefit system.

Cumbria Law Centre - A community organisation offering free legal advice and representation to people who live or work in the county.They prioritise those on the lowest incomes, focusing on Housing, Debt, Employment and Welfare Benefit matters. Their website shows which Law Centre services are available locally, by district.

Disability Rights UK - Disability Rights UK is the leading charity of its kind in the UK. It is run by and is for people with experience of disability or health conditions. Their website has factsheets giving information on benefits, tax credits, independent living and other help available, as well as a number of other useful tools.

AgeUK - Age UK's comprehensive benefits webpage includes extensive information about entitlements and benefits for anyone aged 50+.

Benefits and Grants Available for OAPs - In depth article on assistance available to older people. 

Cumbria Libraries provides access to digital media from a range of providers. Use of these services are subject to the provider's terms and conditions.  

Cumbria Libraries accepts no responsibility for materials accessed from the provider. 

Parents or guardians are responsible for guiding young people in their use of these services whether these are accessed on the internet or apps.