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Additional programmes available to help businesses recover and grow

As part of the 2021 Budget, the Government announced a new ‘Help to Grow’ initiative to provide UK companies with additional digital and management skills.

This news follows Newark and Sherwood District Council’s own initiatives to help support local businesses develop during the pandemic.  The District Council’s High Street Diversification Fund, which is still open for local independent retailers and hospitality venues to apply, offers investment to those wanting to get their services online.  Secondly, the District Council will shortly be announcing its own Business Resilience Initiative aimed at supporting businesses in not only recovery from the impact of the pandemic, but to also help them grow and develop further.

The two new programmes announced by the Government, ‘Help to Grow: Management’ and ‘Help to Grow: Digital’ are designed to help small and medium businesses learn new skills, reach new customers and boost profits.

In June, as part of the ‘Help to Grow: Management’ programme, small business leaders will be able to develop their strategic skills via modules covering financial management, innovation and digital adoption. These modules will be delivered over 12 weeks by leading business schools.

UK businesses from any sector that have been operating for more than one year and have between 5 to 249 employees are eligible to participate. The participant should be a decision maker or member of the senior management team. Business leaders can register their interest in this programme on the Small Business Charter website: www.smallbusinesscharter.org/help-to-grow-management/

Additionally, businesses who are developing their online offer can take part in the ‘Help to Grow: Digital’ programme launching this summer. Small businesses will be able to receive free impartial advice on how technology can boost their performance through a new online platform.

Eligible businesses will also be able to receive a discount of up to 50% of the costs of approved software to help businesses build customer relations, increase sales, make the most of selling online and manage their accounts and finances digitally. Businesses that employ between 5 and 249 employees, are registered at Companies House, have been trading for more than 12 months and are purchasing the discounted software for the first time may be eligible for the 50% off voucher. Businesses can register their interest in the ‘Help to Grow: Digital’ programme on the government website: register-help-to-grow-scheme.service.gov.uk/

Councillor David Lloyd, Leader of Newark and Sherwood District Council, said: “Since the outbreak of the pandemic, the District Council has been committed to supporting our local businesses.  Not only processing over £14m worth of business grants quickly and efficiently, we have also created our own two schemes to help businesses diversify and grow.  We have had nearly 200 businesses apply, and be awarded grants, under our High Street Diversification Scheme and the scheme is still open for applications.  I am also delighted that shortly we will be able to share details on our Business Resilience Initiative which will help local businesses grow whilst recovering from the effects of the pandemic.

“The two new programmes announced by the Government as part of the 2021 Budget are yet other ways our local businesses can get further support. By utilising these programmes businesses will be able to learn new skills, potentially reach new customers and boost profits.

“I strongly encourage all businesses who are eligible for the ‘Help to Grow: Management’ and ‘Help to Grow: Digital’ programmes to register their interest as soon as possible.”

Eligible businesses can register their interest for the programmes on the government website: helptogrow.campaign.gov.uk

Further information on other grant schemes available to help local businesses is available at newark-sherwooddc.gov.uk/fsb  If any businesses would like specific advice or information on recovery or growth, then please contact the District Council’s Economic Growth team at customerservices@nsdc.info

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