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Staff numbers double as Warwickshire accountancy firm uses investment fund to move into state of the art office space

A Coventry accountancy firm doubled its staffing levels just a month after receiving a grant which allowed them to move from a home-run business into a state-of-the-art office.

Manny Rai had worked for numerous prestigious blue-chip firms such as Goldman Sachs, KPMG and National Audit Office before going it alone and starting Cheylesmore Chartered Accountants from his Coventry home in July 2020.

Focusing primarily on SMEs with turnovers of over £100,000 or more, Manny quickly attracted new clients that saw his business quickly outgrow the 3x3m space he was operating the business from to become one of Coventry leading accountancy firms.

“When I hired my first member of staff, I could fit one or two employees in another little room I had,” he said.

“It grew from there. Most of my employees were working from home but we really needed business premises to allow us to continue to grow.”

In December 2022, Cheylesmore Chartered Accountants moved into a stand-alone office at Edison Buildings in Electric Wharf, Coventry.

This huge move was made possible after Linda Savitri from the Coventry and Warwickshire Growth Hub introduced Manny to the Coventry and Warwickshire Investment Fund Programme, which is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund and is being delivered by Coventry City Council.

He was awarded a £50,000 grant that went towards the £280,000 cost of securing the two-storey 320 square foot office space for Cheylesmore Chartered Accountants to move into its new home.

Manny added: “The number one reason we couldn’t push on is because we didn’t have anywhere to put new members of staff. I’ve gone from a small business with four or five people that I could manage directly to needing a middle manager for us to get to 10.

“I wasn’t going to get someone of real quality working from my home! You’ve got to have a place where they feel proud to come in. Since moving into the Edison Buildings, we’ve taken on five new recruits.

“We were told recently by a specialist that we did a presentation for that we’ve achieved five years’ worth of growth in one year.

“Gaining the grant has helped massively and fast tracked this by at least two years. It’s a multiplier effect, it’s going to lead to a lot more jobs coming out.

“That’s what this grant has done, without it we wouldn’t have anywhere to put all our staff. We’ve repaid the investment already in terms of the amount of people we have hired since moving in.

“Before when you Google mapped the business you saw my house, now you Google map us, you see this amazing office. With the pandemic over and people now wanting to meet face-to-face, we want to see people and have them come into the office.”

Linda Savitri, account manager at the CWLEP Growth Hub, said: “The impact the grant had on Cheylesmore Chartered Accountants is a perfect example of the importance the Coventry and Warwickshire Investment Fund Programme can have on a growing business.

“By being able to move into a larger premises a year ahead of schedule after they were successful with their grant application, the business was able to double its workforce within a matter of weeks which is fantastic.”

Cllr Jim O’Boyle, Cabinet Member for Jobs, Regeneration and Climate Change at Coventry City Council, said: “It’s wonderful to see Manny grow his business from a start-up that was based at his home to one that is now in a new office and is employing increasing numbers of local people.

“I’m pleased we’ve been able to help Manny to accelerate his growth plans for Cheylesmore Chartered Accountants and I am delighted to see the business go from strength to strength.”

The Growth Hub is supported by funders including Coventry City Council, Warwickshire County Council and Warwickshire’s District and Borough Councils.

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Photo caption: Manny Rai (Cheylesmore Chartered Accountants), Kierandeep Bal (Coventry City Council), Laura Delahunty (Growth Hub).

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