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Asian Business Chamber to bridge gap in virus support

A campaign to provide free business advice and guidance to firms which have struggled to access coronavirus-related support due to language and technological barriers has been launched by Asian Business Chamber of Commerce (ABCC).

The ABCC Business Support Campaign, beginning today (9 July)  for  four weeks, will provide support specifically for businesses in Greater Birmingham and Solihull owned by  those who have limited or no English language skills and have limited access to the internet and mainstream media channels.

The project is being supported by Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP).

As part of the project, a hotline for inquiries will be managed by a multilingual business adviser, who will direct businesses to free legal, financial, property and accounting advice being offered by ABCC executive committee members.

Advice and guidance will be provided in a range of native languages, including, but not limited to, Urdu, Punjabi, Bengali and Bangla.

Qasim Majid, president of the ABCC, explained that certain areas of the Asian business community have been struggling to access virus-related support, and the Chamber aims to bridge the gap in the region.

He said:

Members of the ABCC executive committee have heard from all corners of the Asian business community that they have struggled in the last few months with gaining access to information on coronavirus support, due to language and technology barriers.

“This has resulted in some businesses misunderstanding the nature of support, such as believing that grants would have to be paid back or needing to pay an intermediary amount in order to complete applications and receive funds.

“We want to break down these barriers and are committed to ensuring every single business in Greater Birmingham and Solihull can gain crucial information, which may very well save a business from folding or making redundancies.

“This campaign targets those businesses specifically, and will be ran solely by volunteers and members of the ABCC’s executive committee.”

Tim Pile, chair of GBSLEP, said:

The Asian business community is a crucial part of the economic fabric of the region, with a huge role to play in our region’s recovery. It is imperative that any business owner who may be experiencing language or technology barriers is properly supported through this challenging period and that no business is left behind.

“GBSLEP is committed to reaching as many businesses as we can across the entire region with our recently launched package of recovery support. We are very pleased to be able to support the ABCC with this extremely important campaign as well as being able to draw on their expertise to ensure our support extends into all of our Asian communities.”

For further information please call – 0121 274 3280