Coronavirus has created an unprecedented situation and will cause concern and disruption to businesses of all sizes in Oxfordshire for the foreseeable future and could continue for months and perhaps years to come.
As the Local Enterprise Partnership for the county, we continue to work very closely with the Government, our local authority partners – and indeed, other business support organisations – to ensure our business community are fully-aware of the support options available to them at this difficult time.
In terms of our own support – although our COVID-19 Business Resilience Fund closed at the beginning of this month – businesses can still access further support through our COVID-19 Business Support programme, which provides critical one-to-one, one-to-many or peer-to-peer support. This includes guidance on how companies can introduce greater levels of business resilience to their organisation, as well as helping them to develop new strategies around managing cash flow, cost reductions and business diversification.
We also have a number of existing support programmes too – designed with our small business community specifically in-mind – that can provide further practical help on skills needs, innovation and guidance on business growth potential. We very much encourage businesses to contact us to see if they can benefit from any of these programmes.
Here's a summary of our business support programmes you may wish to consider:
The eScalate programme supports growing businesses that have scale-up potential. It also supports SMEs that are social enterprise, social entrepreneurs, enterprising charities and other purposeful businesses committed to enabling positive social and environmental impact.
Innovation Support for Business (ISfB):
ISfB is a programme designed to drive and commercialise the innovative business ideas of Oxfordshire's SMEs and entrepreneurs.
Skills for Business:
Skills for Business provides practical support to small to medium-sized businesses to identify and evaluate their skills and learning needs including upskilling current staff.