Written by Ruth Cozens

As the UK entered 2020 no-one could have imagined that on top of the uncertainty surrounding the UK’s departure from the EU that the severe economic shock from Coronavirus would all but cripple our economy from March 2020 onwards.

Operating on the front line for business support in the South East Midlands (covering Bedfordshire Milton Keynes and Northamptonshire, through the Local Enterprise Partnership Growth Hub), the day to day impact on businesses, especially in the Small, Medium Enterprise (SME) sector has been all too real.

Our economy has not seen such a drastic economic disruption in my lifetime, and when my team and I started riding the tsunami of  enquiries from businesses it was dealing with the emotional impact as much as economic impact to the business owners in the region that was most challenging.

However, amongst the anguish there has been hope, positivity, business diversification and business opportunities.  My team has helped and continues to help hundreds of businesses navigate the UK government financial support packages, provide free and impartial advice on many aspects of business survival and are now entering a phase of support focusing on business recovery.

There are many ways in which myself and my team of Business Advisers at SEMLEP’s Growth Hub can support business through the tumultuous times we are in and through to recovery into what we may term the new norm.

  1. Help you navigate the myriad of government support measures in place for COVID19 and answer questions you may have in relation to these measures.
  2. Assist with understanding the financial impact of COVID19, the financial support measures in place and how you can prepare your business to understand what is needed to ride the financial wave being experienced.
  3. Discuss your business, its resilience and ability to diversify and take advantage of opportunities by using a toolkit created in conjunction with Grant Thornton. Helping you to explore and understand the new norm for your business.
  4. Connecting you to the correct support in the wider business support ecosystem.
  5. Impartial and free advice from trained business advisers.

Now is the time to really focus on business, on what aspects are important and what are not in the creation of the new norm and how to diversify to succeed. We are here to help business on the road down which COVID19 has sent us and to support the recovery process as much as we can.

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