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Government announces small business support through £20 million package

Written by Latifa Yedroudj on Wednesday, 05 August 2020. Posted in Politics, Analysis

Businesses will have access to expert advice on unprecedented issues to cope with challenges faced during the pandemic

Government announces small business support through £20 million package

Businesses will have access to expert advice on unprecedented issues to cope with challenges faced during the pandemic 

As lockdown measures begin to ease, thousands of businesses across the UK are preparing to return to normal operations after shutting down due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, many businesses may find it difficult to bounce back. The government has announced a new £20 million package to support the recovery of small businesses following the coronavirus pandemic, set to include a specialised programme rolled out in business schools across the country. 

The government has partnered with the Small Business Charter to provide a specialised programme for leaders of small businesses, giving them the tools to survive and thrive in a post-coronavirus world. This new scheme comes as part of a £20million package the government is providing to help small businesses in the long term. The Small Business Leadership Programme will be held by some of the top business schools around the country, who will create peer groups in order to develop stronger leadership, innovation, operational efficiency, marketing and finance to encourage future growth and resilience in today’s climate. 

All business schools delivering the programme have been accredited by the Small Business Charter (SBC), a national accreditation awarded by small businesses to business schools who excel in supporting SMEs and the local economy. Business leaders will be granted access to small business and management experts at some of the UK’s leading business schools. The Small Business Leadership Programme is free and fully funded by the Government to enhance small business resilience and recovery from the impact of COVID-19 and develop the potential for future growth and productivity. 

The programme will be delivered online through a course of eight 90-minute webinars over 10 weeks. Business leaders will learn how to effectively tackle the current crises and the programme will also allow businesses to strengthen their business network. Participants will develop strategic leadership skills and the confidence to make informed decisions and learn tips on how to boost business performance for the future. The programme will begin in September 2020 and end in January 2021. 

This programme comes at a time of mass uncertainty amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has put a dent on the UK’s economy. Now, directors and CEOs of small companies are facing immense pressure as they navigate unchartered waters. According to a recent McKinsey online survey of UK SMEs, 80 per cent of small businesses reported their revenues were declining in June 2020.  

“The effects of COVID-19 have been particularly damaging for small businesses and providing their leaders with the experience and knowledge to survive and thrive will be essential for the future success of the country,” Anne Kiem OBE, Executive Director of the Small Business Charter and CEO of Chartered Association of Business Schools. “While cash injections are important, for the long-term, business leaders need the skills to ensure they and their businesses are resilient and can grow throughout this period and beyond. Accessing experts from the world-leading business schools we have in this country will be an essential resource for businesses in the months and years to come.”  

“Half of small businesses in the UK expect revenues to drop by more than a half following the coronavirus pandemic,” Michelle Ovens MBE, Chair of the Small Business Charter said. “Small businesses are finding themselves under a huge amount of pressure from the complexities of opening up again, social distancing, protecting staff and customers, drop in footfall and spend across the board. This new programme is a fantastic opportunity with the greatest business minds to ensure business leaders can get the expertise and knowledge they need to recover and thrive.” 

The coronavirus pandemic has brought a series of challenges for SMEs as they navigate through the uncertainty of the pandemic. With the tools and support in place, small businesses can access resources and advice to help them bounce back from this difficult time.

About the Author

Latifa Yedroudj

Latifa Yedroudj

Latifa Yedroudj has joined the Elite team to fully immerse herself in the business side of journalism, a strong passion of hers cultivated from young having co-run her mother's start up business since she was 18. Her interests lie in a wide range of subjects, including start ups, business, travel, and anything entrepreneurial she can get her hands on. She has worked for some of the biggest names in journalism including The Guardian and The Mirror. Follow her on @latifayed on Twitter for her latest journo rants.

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