Micro businesses in Stafford Borough can benefit from free expert support to guide them through the pandemic recovery thanks to a new partnership.
Stafford Borough Council, Staffordshire County Council and the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) have joined forces to offer the new 12 months’ package of support to businesses with four or less employees.
Essential advice and guidance on areas such as legal and tax issues, employment legislation, health and safety advice, cyber protection and insurance is available through the free membership with the FSB. Stafford Borough Council and Staffordshire County Council have pooled resources to offer the membership places.
The membership offer adds to the package of support available by councils, Government and partner organisations in response to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Businesses must not be a current FSB member and the memberships will be awarded on a first-come-first-served basis for eligible applicants. Thirty successful applicants will have all the benefits of full membership straight away.
Applicants will need to contact Mary Timmis at email@example.com
Councillor Frances Beatty, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Planning at the Borough Council, said: “This is a great transformational opportunity for many of our micro businesses. This support will also bring confidence and give them the tools to help them grow and create jobs - and will provide a boost to our economy.
“During this pandemic we have distributed more than £35 million to local businesses who have been forced to close, or been badly affected, by restrictions that have been introduced as a result of the virus.
“We are committed to supporting our businesses at this challenging time but unfortunately not all have been able to access the Government grants available – that is why we are looking at different initiatives to help those that may have slipped through the net and I would encourage them to apply quickly so they do not miss out on this limited offer.”
More information about grants and other support available for borough businesses can be found at Business Support - Coronavirus | Stafford Borough Council (staffordbc.gov.uk)
Staffordshire County Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for economy and skills Philip White said: “Micro businesses have been greatly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic though many have shown incredible resilience through this period.
“By providing free expert advice on a wide range of business-related issues, from marketing to legal and finance, we can remove an additional burden and allow them to concentrate on their operations.
“This is a pioneering scheme in terms of the FSB working jointly with county, district and borough councils on a single programme. We’re pleased to be able to direct our businesses to industry advice that could make a critical difference as our economy recovers and that as a county, we have led the way with this initiative.
“Putting the right targeted support in place is most effective when organisations work together – serving our businesses and communities in the best way we can.”
Karen Woolley, Development Manager for FSB for Staffordshire and the West Midlands, said: “FSB is proud to be partnering with Staffordshire County Council and Stafford Borough Council on this crucial initiative to get robust, on-the-ground and immediate business support to local small businesses to help them not only survive this crises, but to go on to revive and then thrive.
“Both Staffordshire County Council and Stafford Borough Council have always had a real passion for identifying businesses in need of support, and this initiative will be pivotal to ensuring this aim is met.
“FSB membership provides vital support including 24/7 legal advice and a legal hub containing a wealth of fact sheets and documents which are oven-ready for use, a funding platform, medical care helpline, free debt recovery and cyber protection to name but a few of the benefits which our members are relying on most at this difficult time. We look forward to supporting more businesses across Staffordshire to weather this crisis.”
More information on the full suite of benefits offered to FSB members can be found at: https://www.fsb.org.uk/join-us/membership.html
Press Release No 5740