This funding forms part of the Humber LEP’s updated coronavirus recovery plan – which sets out how the LEP will prioritise existing resources to work with our partners to help the Humber’s businesses and people through the next phase of the Covid-19 economic impact.
Split across three new support services, the funding will help businesses in the Humber to plan and implement their strategies to revive their operations and then to thrive in the longer term.
This new delivery will augment the Growth Hub’s existing business support offer, which has supported more than 11,000 businesses since the start of the pandemic, awarded £490,000 of grant funding to support homeworking hardware and software, and has run 66 webinars with more than 1,500 attendees across all sessions.
The first new support service is the expansion of the Growth Hub’s team of adviser staff to work with businesses at each end of the spectrum. Four start up business advisers are to be recruited to help pre-start entrepreneurs to make their business idea a reality, while also guiding new business start-ups to survive their first year of trading.
At the other end of the scale, consultants to support medium and large-sized businesses will also be deployed to help some of the Humber’s biggest employers to recover from the pandemic and to also help prepare for end of the EU transition period. Furthermore, a workforce development business adviser will be appointed to provide bespoke support to business owners and managers looking to recruit, retain and development their staff, as well as assisting with apprenticeship and trainee recruitment.
Secondly, the Growth Hub has been allocated more than £500,000 of European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to deliver both SME Restart and Recovery grants and also Kickstarting Tourism Grants. Offering grants of between £1,000 to £3,000 on a 100% funded basis, the Growth Hub’s #GrowMySME Programme will oversee the administration of the grants, which are available to businesses that need to work with a consultant, adviser or specialist on a particular project to aid the business recovery from the pandemic. Applications for these grants are expected to open from September 7.
Finally, Peer Networks, powered by the Humber Business Growth Hub, is a national initiative and will be a programme of action learning delivery to cohorts of business owners and managers. With intimate cohort groups of 11 business owners and managers, the peer to peer sessions will be facilitated to help guide the discussion and learning, with the ultimate aim of enhancing leadership capabilities, knowledge and confidence of business owners to improve productivity in businesses. The scheme will start in October and will operate until March 2021.
Stephen Parnaby, chairman of the Humber LEP, said: “The Humber Business Growth Hub is extremely pleased to receive this new funding, which will help us to reach even more entrepreneurs and business than ever before.
“While in the early stages of the economic impact of Covid-19 we had to act quickly to support businesses in the short term, this funding will provide measures to back businesses in the long term, helping them to plan for the future and implement strategies and new ways of working that will ensure their future success.
“Not only can we now support start-up businesses, who are still keen to make their business dreams a reality, we’re also pleased to be able to support some of the region’s biggest employers as they navigate Brexit.”
Businesses are encouraged to sign up to the Growth Hub’s mailing list at humbergrowthhub.org/register to be kept abreast of the new business support products and to be notified when the new services and grant schemes go live.