Intensive COVID-recovery support for businesses in Luton

1 November 2021

From today [1 November 2021], in-depth business support, including grant funding is available to SMEs recovering from Covid-19 in the Luton area, delivered by SEMLEP’s Growth Hub on behalf of Luton Borough Council.

Starting immediately, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) within Luton who have been trading for at least 1 year and have been impacted by the pandemic will be able to receive in-depth support over a six-month period to aid their recovery and give them access to specialist expertise.

SMEs who join the programme can expect to receive three in-depth sessions with a SEMLEP’s Growth Hub Business Adviser. These will consist of:

  • An in-depth assessment of the business’s current health at the start of the programme, their challenges and their aspirations, formulating an action plan to be monitored and achieved over the six-month programme
  • A mid-point assessment to review the action plan and achievements so far and to identify priority actions for the remaining part of the programme.
  • A final review, identifying ongoing support opportunities and an action plan for the next twelve months.

In addition, the business will be invited to apply for a grant of between £1,000 – £2,400 for use on specialist professional support from the local business community. Participants will also be invited to attend three exclusive workshops covering key business recovery and growth topics.

Nicola Monk Corporate Director Inclusive Economy at Luton Council said, “The council has awarded 10,789 Government business grants totalling almost £55m to local impacted businesses since the start of the pandemic. By deciding to use some of the additional ARG funding for specific programmes we are able to really target support to a range of businesses in Luton.

“As part of our longer term plan to deliver on our inclusive economy ambitions, we are using a proportion of our ARG funding to deliver, along with a range of partners, business support activities to assist the business community in recovery, resilience, growth and ultimately prosperity. The Intensive Business Support programme run by SEMLEP’s Growth Hub is really useful for small and medium sized businesses who might need help to get back on their feet and plan for the future. Not only will they have access to the Hub’s expert advisors but also a chance to apply for some financial support.”

Hilary Chipping, SEMLEP’s Chief Executive, added: “Everyone knows how tough it’s been for business over the last eighteen months, and this is a wonderful opportunity for us to provide even more support to businesses in Luton. I believe that this programme will be a huge help, and not just to the individual businesses that participate. By encouraging spending with other local businesses this programme will help the local and regional economies to thrive.”

The Intensive Business Support Programme is being delivered by SEMLEP’s Growth Hub on behalf of Luton Borough Council and funded by the Government’s Additional Restrictions Grants (ARG) scheme.

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