This March sees twelve months since the pandemic took a grip of the UK. Over the last twelve months, thanks to three lockdowns, tier systems, and life-saving rules and regulations, the UK economy has taken a battering. Fortunately, the government has stepped in time and time again with lifelines for workers and small businesses. The latest action is the ‘Help to Grow’ scheme which aims to help small businesses learn new skills, reach new customers, and boost profits.
A bleak economic situation
Three lockdowns over the last twelve months has taken its toll on small businesses throughout the UK. Hairdressers have been shut for the better half of twelve months and the hospitality industry has suffered greatly, with pubs in the North West having been closed since the end of September.
The situation is, quite frankly, taking its toll on the economy, but thanks to the government, the situation is not as bleak as it possibly could have been. A generous furlough scheme has seen employees be able to claim 80% of their salary while their workplaces are closed and self employed business owners have been able to claim grants through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.
However, the government needs small business to bounce back – and fast! With Boris Johnson recently announcing the roadmap out of lockdown and brighter days on the horizon, small businesses need all the help they can get in order to be ready to reopen. Enter the Help to Grow scheme.
What is Help to Grow?
Help to Grow is a programme funded by the government that aims to help small and medium sized businesses across the UK learn new skills, reach new customers, and boost profits. The twelve week programme which will start this June will be delivered by business schools who have all the knowledge required to support small business leaders to develop their strategic skills.
Designed to be manageable alongside full-time work, the Help to Grow programme will combine a practical curriculum, with 1:1 support from a business mentor, peer-learning sessions, and an alumni network.
How much does Help to Grow cost?
If you think Help to Grow will be a great way for your business to increase productivity, improve performance, and cut costs, you can simply register online to sign up. The scheme is subsidised by 90% by the government, so Help to Grow costs only £750 to attend.
Who can attend Help to Grow sessions?
Help to Grow has been designed with business leaders in mind, therefore participants should be a decision maker or member of the senior management team within the business. For example, you could send your Chief Executive or Finance Director.
Sadly, charities are not able to register for Help to Grow. However, there are other initiatives available for businesses such as these.
Who can attend Help to Grow sessions?
Suitable for UK businesses from any sector that have been operating for more than one year, Help to Grow can help your small business in a number of different ways.
- Improve business performance
With key modules covering financial management, innovation, and digital adoption, by the end of the programme participants will develop a tailored business growth plan to lead their business to its full potential. This in turn should help your small business improve its performance, increasing profitability!
- Help you save time
Help to Grow will advise you on all things digital, including digital accounting software which can help you save time in the day to day running of your business. More time saved means more time to grow your business and profits – which can only be a good thing!
- Cut costs
With staff costs, rent and business insurance rates, one thing is certain: running a small business is costly. The Help to Grow scheme will help advise you on areas where costs can be cut, giving you the opportunity to grow in other ways, perhaps by expanding your team or putting money into developing new products.
Find out more about Help to Grow
Find out more about the Help to Grow scheme, including whether your small business is eligible and how to register by visiting the Help to Grow campaign page on the government website.