Growth Hub here to guide South Yorkshire businesses through lockdown

Sheffield City Region is reminding businesses that help and guidance is available through the Growth Hub to meet the challenges brought about by this latest Coronavirus lockdown.

James Muir, Chair of the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, explains: ”The latest lockdown is another major blow to businesses that have been struggling through local and national restrictions for months. The Growth Hub is here to provide essential advice to these businesses, helping them navigate the support available and find solutions to the key challenges they are facing.”

The Mayoral Combined Authority, Mayor Dan Jarvis and the Local Enterprise Partnership recently launched its ambitious £1.7bn Renewal Action Plan (RAP) clearly demonstrating how the Sheffield City Region is investing in and supporting the local economy. The Renewal Action Plan is designed to support businesses to adapt, survive and thrive in the new environment and to create a more productive and innovative economy.

At the moment, the Growth Hub is supporting and guiding hospitality, leisure and non-essential retail businesses that are affected by the national lockdown.  These businesses, including travel agents, caterers to events or celebrations, or companies supplying equipment or services to gym and leisure centres, are eligible to receive a one-off payment grant, based on their rateable or rental values, to help them whilst restrictions are in place.

Many businesses are also taking advantage of Sheffield City Region Growth Hub’s Re-Start to Growth initiative, which gives businesses access to experienced and skilled experts to help assess, plan and restart their business through an agreed programme of intensive support.

This free initiative comprises two full days with an experienced growth specialist, who can offer business leaders help and guidance in the following areas:

  • Strategic planning & Leadership support
    • Sales and Marketing
    • Operations
    • Financial advice
    • Skills, including Digital and IT

In addition to Re-Start to Growth, Peer Networks are being introduced in South Yorkshire with SME business leaders invited to work with others to address challenges and grow their businesses.

The programme, which is being delivered by the Sheffield City Region Growth Hub, will enable business leaders to build trusted connections to support them now and in the future, with a view to improving their long term personal and business performance. Many businesses impacted by the coronavirus lockdown are looking to use this time to network with other like-minded businesses, gain an important external perspective on their business challenges, as well as gaining knowledge of digital technology to help achieve growth in the future.

James Muir adds: “Peer Networks are a great way for local SME business leaders to work collaboratively with others to find solutions to common business problems in a non-competitive environment. In these unprecedented times, we believe this will enhance and strengthen the local business community so we can build back better for a stronger post-COVID recovery.”

To further enhance the support available to businesses, Sheffield City Region has recently expanded its team of expert advisers by appointing seven new Business Growth Specialists. Sheffield City Region Growth Hub’s advisors all have many years of industry experience; from manufacturing and service sector through to finance and international operations, and offer an independent, impartial perspective, which can make all the difference.

James Muir explains: “It is a critical time for many businesses in our region. What they are experiencing is totally unprecedented, which means it is important that we have a strong team of advisers in place to be able to guide South Yorkshire companies through the local and national growth schemes that are available to them.

“We are planning to recruit even more specialists and advisors in the coming months, in line with the Renewal Action Plan as it will help this region’s businesses to return to growth and prosperity – making our economy and society stronger, greener and fairer.”

Any business that is looking to re-establish or recover after making significant losses due to the Coronavirus lockdown or is facing challenges that put its long-term future in question, should speak to the Sheffield City Region Growth Hub team.