It’s now fast-approaching six weeks since the Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced lockdown measures for the UK, aimed at combating the spread of the Coronavirus outbreak.
Much has happened since 23 March and – as the Local Enterprise Partnership for Oxfordshire – we have seen the pandemic impact almost every business of every size and sector, and this will likely continue for months and perhaps sadly, years to come.
However, we are home to some of the world’s most-innovative companies, respected academics, passionate entrepreneurs and small business communuty. Our goal is to accelerate the county’s economic recovery for the benefit of both our residents and businesses, as well as ‘UK PLC’ too.
There are a number of resources that have been made available by Government and we will continue to signpost our business community to these, helping you to make positive decisions during this time. That said, we are also determined to play our role in ensuring that the county’s businesses are able to run as efficiently as possible and remain productive during this time.
Here’s a round up of some of the support we can offer our businesses community:
Critical COVID-19 support programme:
Our main aim is to support businesses who are facing unprecedented challenges brought about by Coronavirus, with our OxLEP Business team moving quickly to provide critical one-to-one; one-to-many and peer-to-peer support that complements existing national offers and government Coronavirus advice.
By signing-up to our support programme, businesses will be able to receive guidance on:
- Business resilience measures
- A better management of cash flow
- Implement cost reductions
- Looking at ways to diversify your business
Businesses can find out more on the available support by contacting: firstname.lastname@example.org
Regional redeployment service:
Working with Adviza, OxLEP Skills is promoting the Oxfordshire Redeployment Service. This service matches those recently made redundant with new work in sectors who are experiencing a surge in employment demand. Sectors include:
- Food retail
- Social care
- Logistics and distribution
The service also engages with employers needing to make redundancies to ensure a smooth transition for employees into new work.
Existing OxLEP programmes:
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.
We encourage all businesses in Oxfordshire to look into our programmes and contact us if you feel you can benefit from them – we want to ensure all businesses can claim the grants and reliefs they are entitled to at this time.
Finally, the first in our series of digital Q&As: ‘Supporting businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic’ will be available to stream via our YouTube channel from 12noon this Thursday.