Launched on January 25, 2021, #TogetherWestofEngland is a new initiative to help businesses and residents on the road to recovery from Covid-19.
The campaign is being led by the West of England Combined Authority in partnership with businesses from the Regional Recovery Taskforce, which has put together a plan for long-term recovery.
Together West of England is connecting businesses with the support and guidance they need to adapt, build resilience and prepare for the future, as well as helping residents to access new skills, training and employment opportunities.
To mark the launch, the West of England Combined Authority has released a new Business Support Guide, which could help businesses navigate the wide range of support on offer through the West of England’s dedicated business support service, the Growth Hub. The guide, which shared with small and medium-sized enterprises and is also available to download, contains guidance on everything from business grants to the extensive range of support programmes.
The West of England Growth Hub provides SMEs with tailored one-to-one advice and access to finance, support programmes and expert guidance, under the following areas:
- Financial & business support
- Leadership & management
- Workforce development
- Technology & innovation
The range of programmes available and detailed in the Business Support Guide include:
- Trading Better Online, helping businesses improve digital presence
- Thrive at Work West of England, a free tool to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) support staff with mental health issues.
- Productivity through People, leadership development programme, designed by Bath University School of Management and Be the business.
- Intellectual Property support – helping businesses understand the basics of IP and how best to protect it.
- Accountancy Support, provides SMEs with a free financial check-up and bespoke guidance on effective financial management.
- Creative Scale Up, helping creative businesses access finance through regional and national investment, also providing intensive business support.
- Universal Business Support, provides start-ups, small businesses and aspiring business owners with the support, training and resources they need to get set for success.
Workforce for the Future, an £8m programme providing free support, training, and tools to help SMEs stabilise or strengthen their businesses.
- Mentoring for Growth, Rapid Response Mentoring Programme helping SMEs benefit from the expertise and experience found in larger firms.
- Business Innovation Fund, providing SMEs with tailored support and funding to bring new products, services and processes to market. This includes:
- Grants between £20-000 – £50,000 to invest in innovation
- Support and guidance to move from concept to production
- Collaborate with the region’s leading search institutions
- Advice on intellectual property, testing and research and development roadmaps