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Worcestershire businesses invited to apply for business support schemes

Businesses in Worcestershire are invited to apply for funding and support to help adapt working models in response to Covid-19 as part of new initiatives launched by the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP).

Businesses based within the Redditch, Bromsgrove and Wyre Forest local authority areas are eligible to apply for the £2 million Pivot and Prosper Grant Fund, which gives businesses the opportunity to apply for match funding up to £40,000. GBSLEP’s Step Forward schemes have been created to provide a mixture of training and support for businesses in several different sectors.

The funding is aimed at organisations who are seeking to accelerate their recovery from Covid-19 by embracing new business models, entering new markets or changing the way they work, leading to growth in productivity.

Amongst the newly launched Step Forward schemes is a Click and Drop service which includes the expansion of a digital platform enabling local businesses to promote their goods and services online and offer coordinated deliveries to customers. The platform will also be used to help safely drive footfall back into towns and local centres.

This is intended to respond to community needs while also encouraging organisations to adopt new working models to aid future growth and resilience. This is complemented by online training and one to one support for retailers to support them through their reopening.

Support to improve the digital capacities of businesses will also be delivered via an online course which combines training with one-to-one support from a digital mentor. It will be delivered alongside the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) digital panel and their volunteer network of digital ambassadors. This programme has recently been expanded to incorporate the arts and culture sector, providing tailored support in identifying and implementing digital revenue streams and improving audience engagement.

An apprenticeship triage programme has also been launched, which aims to work with employers and individuals to introduce solutions to retain apprentices on training programmes.

Redditch Borough Council Leader Matt Dormer said:

GBSLEP’s Step Forward Schemes and the Pivot and Prosper Grant Fund could provide key support for businesses within Worcestershire as they prepare for a very different working life as we continue adapt to the effects of Covid-19.

“This is extremely important support which is free for businesses to access and tailored specifically to the needs of small businesses in sectors which will be impacted by the pandemic. The schemes are not just about supporting business recovery, but also putting companies in the best position to succeed and prosper going forward.

“As a Redditch business owner myself, I know from speaking to colleagues that we are all trying to find a new way of working to recover losses and also to adapt to changes to how we will operate in the future.

“If help is available then it needs to be taken and I would urge any business who can benefit from this support to get in touch to see if they are eligible.”

Bromsgrove District Council Leader Karen May said:

GBSLEP’s Step Forward Schemes and the Pivot and Prosper Grant Fund could provide key support for businesses within Worcestershire as they prepare for a very different working life as we continue adapt to the effects of Covid-19.

“This is extremely important support which is free for businesses to access and tailored specifically to the needs of small businesses in sectors which will be impacted by the pandemic. The schemes are not just about supporting business recovery, but also putting companies in the best position to succeed and prosper going forward.

“Our independent businesses and traders across the District have been particularly hit by the pandemic and I would urge any business who can benefit from this to get in touch to see if they are eligible for support.”

To apply for the Pivot and Prosper Grant Scheme, businesses must work in either Advanced Manufacturing & Engineering, Business Professional & Financial Services, Creative Industries, Energy & Low Carbon, Life Sciences, Food & Drink manufacturing, and have between 10 -100 employees.

Businesses within the following local authority areas are also eligible for support: Birmingham, Solihull, East Staffordshire, Cannock Chase, Lichfield and Tamworth, Redditch, Wyre Forest and Bromsgrove.

To apply for funding via the Pivot and Prosper Grant Fund, or to find out more about GBSLEP’s Step Forward business support schemes, go to https://www.yourstepforward.co.uk/

ENDS

For further information, please contact Tom Silk at Core Marketing by calling 0121 232 5000, or emailing gbslep@core-marketing.co.uk.

Notes to editors

About the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP)

GBSLEP is a partnership of business, public sector and further and higher education.  Its mission is to drive sustainable economic growth across the city-region, creating jobs and improving the quality of life for everyone.

The GBSLEP area spans nine local authority areas: Birmingham, Solihull, East Staffordshire, Cannock Chase, Lichfield, Tamworth, Redditch, Bromsgrove and Wyre Forest. It is home to over two million people, an estimated 1,038,000 jobs, and an economy worth £46.8bn.

Since 2010, the government has awarded GBSLEP £433 million to invest in a range of projects to grow the local economy. These include transport infrastructure, skills development, business support, innovation, and cultural and creative assets. GBSLEP is on course to secure more than £300 million of additional public and private investments, which will create a further 29,000 jobs and 7,000 new homes.

Since 2010, more than 162,000 new private sector jobs have been created across Greater Birmingham and Solihull. Last year, the area generated a 2.9% increase in economic growth – making it the fastest growing core city LEP in area in the country. More than 7,000 businesses have been supported by the GBSLEP Growth Hub in the past two years.

For more information about GBSLEP, please visit the website, subscribe to its newsletter or follow on Twitter and LinkedIn.