Greater Manchester’s 10 councils have launched a new combined Business Compliance Support service to offer guidance to small and medium sized firms (SMEs) across the city-region.

The new service focuses on support for the foundational economy, which includes retail and hospitality businesses, and will offer guidance and signposting around environmental health, trading standards and licensing regulatory functions.

The new service launched in December 2023, and will be trialled over the coming two years with funding from the Regulators’ Pioneer Fund – the project is one of 24 being trialled around the UK by local authorities to explore how regulatory systems can help support business growth. Initial guidance is already available from the Business Compliance Support website, and the service will be contacting businesses across the city-region over the coming months to highlight and offer support available.

Julian Jackson, Director of Place at Tameside Metropolitan Council said:  

“We are thrilled to see this investment and support for businesses across the region. The foundational economy accounts for over 42 per cent of jobs in the Greater Manchester city-region and it is made up of more than 60,000 businesses.

“The new service will ensure businesses can get compliance right first time and free up their time so they can innovate and grow. The service will also support businesses to reduce the risk of future enforcement action that could be financially and reputationally damaging.

“We are creating a reactive and proactive business regulatory support service that operates across Greater Manchester to ensure that businesses can access consistent compliance support regardless of the local authority in which they are based.”


Science, Research and Innovation Minister, Andrew Griffith, said of the Regulators’ Pioneer Fund projects:                                

“From AI in healthcare to drone delivery to nutraceuticals – the rapid development of technology has created a huge opportunity for the UK to be a global leader in testing new technologies and taking new regulatory approaches which ensure investor and customer confidence.

“Our funding is supporting 24 pioneering projects to experiment and innovate, while helping businesses to introduce game-changing products and services to market – which in turn creates new jobs and grows our economy.”

The creation of the new Greater Manchester-wide service has been welcomed by business groups in the city-region;

Robert Downes, Development Manager at Federation of Small Businesses – Manchester said:

“It’s really great news for small businesses in GM that all councils in the city region area have come together to embrace a new way of working. This will help some of the smallest private sector firms make sense of regulations and compliance, and take the stress out of something many business owners see as complicated and difficult, ultimately saving them time and money.”