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What’s been the impact of COVID-19 on our local business community, and how is Growth Platform responding?

We take a look at what’s most important to regional businesses survival right now and share our quick links to support.

The Liverpool City Region’s business community – like so many others across the UK – is facing one of its most challenging times to date. The impact of COVID-19 has not only created uncertainty for business owners and their workforces, but seen them having to pivot on a daily basis to realign key priorities.

We have been working closely with Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor, Steve Rotheram and the Combined Authority to ensure Growth Platform can fully support the regional business community. To do so, we carried out a survey with local businesses to find out how they were being impacted and what support they needed to navigate these unprecedented times.

A picture of current business community challenges

Our survey results showed that as many as 95% of business operating in the Liverpool City Region are already feeling the negative impacts of disruption due to the COVID-19 outbreak, with 72% already seeing a decrease in demand for sales and bookings.

From an operational perspective, just over half (51%) of businesses in the region said they are seeking more information on the support available to them, with nearly a third (30%) saying they need financial advice. The data shows that there’s a need for short term working capital for 60% of businesses in the region with just over half (52%) saying they need longer term finance solutions. In addition, just over a quarter (26%) are experiences supply chain issues.

What are we doing to support the business community?

Given the picture, we’ve built up of the challenges facing the local business community in the last couple of weeks, there are a number of support packages and services that we’ve launched.

Professional & Business Services.

Growth Platform is co-ordinating a panel of accredited Professional & Business Services specialists willing to provide informed pro bono business advice and support to companies in the region.

Businesses will be given access to two professional advisors who can provide advice and guidance on the support available to them and how this can be best tailored to meet their business needs.

To find out more and read the T&Cs please click here.

Financial Support for cashflow

For businesses having cashflow issues, local authorities in Liverpool City Region are administering the following two grants for businesses:

  • Small business grant fund Businesses will be eligible to apply for a £10,000 grant if you have been receiving Small Business Rates Relief on 11th March 2020.
  • Retail, hospitality and leisure grant If your retail, hospitality or leisure sector business has a rateable value up to £15,000, your business may qualify for a £10,000 grant.

To find out more about the two grants in your borough, click the following: Halton, Sefton, St Helens, Liverpool, Wirral and Knowsley.

Support and guidance relating to supply chains

A robust supply chain is integral to the performance of many businesses, which is why we have developed an advice page on how to best manage your supply chain during this time.

Businesses will need to consider the risks that COVID-19 potentially poses and the contractual obligations they have with their supply chain and the rights they have.

We’ve developed a dedicated blog which looks at these issues and details the actions that your business can take to alleviate them.

You can read the full article here.