Whatever it takes

Whatever it takes is a phrase we’re all hearing right now. It’s right. We must all do whatever it takes.

On Monday 23rd March, the Chancellor announced an unprecedented suite of support packages to support the livelihoods of millions of people across the country. Things continue to move rapidly, and more announcements are expected.

The government has published guidance for employers and businesses on all financial and support measures they are putting in place, from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, through to the deferral of VAT payments and Income Tax payments for people under the self-assessment system.

Micro-firms make up around 91% of our local business population and these businesses have specific concerns. Over 80% of the calls and emails we received during our weekend business support service were from people who are self-employed. The Growth Hub is the government-funded local business support service and we are pushing all concerns of local businesses through to government directly to help inform them of what needs to happen next.

We must do whatever it takes to support local businesses through this storm.

What is your Local Enterprise Partnership doing for your business?

Direct support, information and advice

Business advisers in our Growth Hub service are on the front line, talking to business owners and directors about the critical areas of their business affected by COVID-19. There are some very practical things we can assist you with now on these matters.

We have a team of business advisers supporting business owners to focus in on the areas that matter most to the resilience of your business.

Our advisers are keeping track of the different finance and funding announcements from government, local councils, banks and others, identifying who is eligible, who isn’t, how to apply and, what the other options are. Whilst its clear details are still being worked up in some cases, we will keep you informed and connect you to the right people when these products are launched.

We are working with specialists to create a COVID-19 business webinar series covering key themes for business continuity – the first one on the Business Interruption Loan, with others going live very soon.

Gathering and sharing intelligence

In such a fast-moving situation, it’s vital that we keep a close watch on the impact on, and responses of, the business community and wider support network. I cannot underestimate how import this is as it informs what we do next. We are sharing information with government and local authorities to help them direct resources towards the areas where business needs it most. Keep talking to us.

Coordination

As guardians of the local economy, we are fully behind the government’s message of ‘whatever it takes’. In times of crisis, it’s essential to keep the lines of communication open. We are working with many different agencies to help coordinate action and use our experience to guide the mechanisms that need to be in place to get resources deployed swiftly to protect people’s livelihoods. We will do whatever it takes.


We have set up a business support line, which is available at

0300 01234 35. If we don’t pick up immediately, leave a message and we will return your call. Alternatively, email us on growthhub@semlep.com. We are keeping our website updated with latest Government advice for business. semlepgrowthhub.com