From the Growth Hub and Skills Bank to establishing the COVID-19 Economy Response Group – James Muir, Chair of the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, tells unLTD about the steps being taken during the pandemic to ‘build a prosperous future for workers and businesses when the worst is over’

We find ourselves in the midst of the greatest public health crisis any of us have faced.

Our health service, our businesses and our economy are facing a real battle to survive and come through these most challenging of times.

Now, more than ever, we need to stick together, work together, and support each other in order to ensure that when things get back to whatever the new “normal” may bring, we are stronger for it.

We at the Sheffield City Region (SCR) have stepped up our efforts to help businesses across South Yorkshire, so large companies, SMEs and the self-employed can all access support during the Coronavirus pandemic.

The Growth Hub, which provides bespoke business support and advice, has been receiving increasing numbers of enquiries as people look for guidance on business support schemes the Government has announced.

We have set up a dedicated webpage which outlines all of the schemes announced, who is eligible for each, what the scheme is worth, how to apply, and who the scheme is operated by.

We have also written directly to more than 7,500 of the region’s businesses offering guidance during what is a mammoth challenge for our economy. Our Skills Bank programme has also launched two new strands of its programme to help businesses and training providers affected by the Coronavirus.

There will be difficult days ahead, but we are determined to build a prosperous future for our workers and businesses when the worst is over.

Firstly, a suite of online training programmes has been developed for businesses who want to access training quickly to support them through the challenges that Covid-19 is presenting, without the need for lengthy application process. Skills Bank has also opened a rapid response offer which is dedicated to securing training and support for businesses directly helping with the government’s Coronavirus strategy, such as producing protective personal equipment (PPE) or sanitisers.

Mayor Dan Jarvis, LEP Board members and I are working to protect jobs and businesses across South Yorkshire.

We’ve established the Covid-19 Economy Response Group, working with the region’s anchor institutions, to coordinate our economic response together, as well as working closely with partner organisations, the Local Resilience Forum, regional leaders and central Government.

There will be difficult days ahead, but we are determined to build a prosperous future for our workers and businesses when the worst is over.

The Coronavirus has brought about extraordinary upheaval and challenges for all businesses – from international manufacturers, to small limited companies, and the self-employed.

I would urge any business, no matter how big or how small, to visit our website, get in touch, and make sure they get the support they need through our Growth Hub or Skills Bank.

We are determined to get through the pandemic as strong as possible. We will get through this together. In the meantime, we are here to help.

For more information and to find out more about the schemes and support available visit scrgrowthhub.co.uk