The level of support available to local businesses in Doncaster has been bolstered with the appointment by the Sheffield City Region Growth Hub of more Business Support Advisors hired to work closely with SMEs across the town.
The new Advisors, who will work across Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield, have been hired as part of the ambitious £1.7bn Renewal Action Plan (RAP) developed by the Mayoral Combined Authority, Mayor Dan Jarvis and the Local Enterprise Partnerships.
The RAP has been developed in response to the impacts of COVID-19 and sets out a roadmap for how South Yorkshire can put itself on the path to recovering from the massive economic disruption the pandemic has caused. As well as supporting businesses to thrive after lockdown, the RAP will also create wide-ranging benefits for the South Yorkshire region including getting 55,000 people into work or training, helping 25,000 businesses to adapt and innovate, and accelerating key strategic objectives like decarbonisation.
The new team of Business Support Advisors will work on the ground in each of their appointed areas to identify SME businesses adversely effected by these current economic challenges and support them to restart and recover after lockdown.
Once identified, the team of advisors will work closely with each company to carry out a full diagnostic, pinpoint areas of improvement and proactively work to understand their challenges. Individual Advisors will then focus on their specific area of expertise to broker solutions and strategies for the business to help overcome barriers and identify other support schemes or funding opportunities available to help the company achieve its full growth potential.
Chris Dungworth, Head of Service said: “The Business Advisors will be working alongside the Business Doncaster team who have been working hard to help businesses across the borough to survive and thrive, especially throughout the past year. Hundreds of businesses have already benefited from the support and these new advisors are a welcome addition to the team as we reach out and support even more businesses in Doncaster.”
James Muir, Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Chairman, explains: “These new appointments are a clear demonstration of how the Mayoral Combined Authority is working to support SME’s and start-ups across South Yorkshire and how we are already meeting the steps laid out as part of our Renewal Action Plan. There are still so many businesses, who are unaware that there is this level of support available to them, especially during these unprecedented times. We would encourage any business owners that are struggling, or even if they just need advice on moving their company forward, recovering after lockdown or taking the next steps towards growth, to get in touch and make the most of this free, one to one service.”
One business that has already benefited from dedicated support is Friday at Five, based in Doncaster, which works with companies to deliver individual and team performance improvements.
Anita Newton, Managing Director of Friday at Five, explains: “I contacted the Growth Hub back in April after we lost a number of clients during the first UK lockdown. I knew we needed to refocus and to come up with a strong strategic plan for the future. I also wanted a mentor to guide me through the unprecedented challenges we were facing and that’s what the Growth Hub provided – and more.”
Sheffield City Region Growth Hub put Anita in touch with Darren Buxton, one of its Business Growth Specialists and the company embarked on the Re-Start to Growth Programme. This offers business leaders help and guidance in the areas of strategic planning, leadership support, sales and marketing, operations, financial advice and digital/IT skills in a bid to help businesses to recover and return to growth following the impact of Covid-19.
Darren Buxton, Business Growth Specialist at the Sheffield City Region Growth Hub, said: “Anita was looking to grow the company’s client base and to find new markets. Most of their clients were marketing agencies but they needed to reduce their reliance on one sector and extend their expertise to new areas. I carried out a business diagnostic and looked at where Friday at Five could target new markets and how they could develop their offer.”
Anita Newton, Managing Director of Friday at Five adds: “Darren has really challenged me and everything we do, which I have found hugely beneficial, and it has helped me grow in confidence when targeting new market sectors. He helped me to formalise our business planning and to develop a pipeline to work to, with a visual dashboard which gives an overview of what we need to do to get to where we want to be. I now feel that I am using my time more productively and this more focused approach is having a really positive benefit in securing appointments with new clients.”
The team of business advisors offer guidance in the fields of business development and industry support, including innovation, growth, logistics, trade and exporting and accessing finance or training.
Any business that is looking to re-establish or recover after making significant losses due to the Coronavirus lockdown or is facing challenges that put its long-term future in question, should speak to the Business Doncaster team today by calling 01302 735555 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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