Thursday 9 July 2020 6:31 am

Small business advisers, your country needs you

Emma Jones is founder of small business support network Enterprise Nation

Like a rallying cry in 1940s war-time Britain, thousands of the UK’s business advisers have been called up to do their bit for Britain’s small businesses as part of a timely initiative we are launching today. 

The national effort is asking accredited advisers to sign up and lend their expertise for an hour a month to a small business that needs a guiding light and a safe pair of hands to help protect their livelihood and spur growth in the next six months.  

World War II analogies apart, the reality for hundreds of thousands of small and micro firms is that the pandemic has left them facing a set of completely new challenges. There has never been a more important time for SMEs to turn to the trusted advice of a professional and start on a path to recovery. 

Based on the simple fact that businesses which take advice do better than those that don’t, the Recovery Advice for Business scheme, supported by the Department for Business (BEIS) and hosted on the Enterprise Nation website, will give small firms access to free one-to-one advice with an expert adviser to help them through the coronavirus pandemic and enable them to prepare for long-term recovery. 

Professionals from organisations including the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD), the Institute of Chartered Accountants England & Wales (ICAEW) the Advertising Association, the Law Society and the Management Consultancies Association (MCA) are all signed up and small businesses can access this advice from today.  

Running a business can be isolating at the best of times, but this initiative will mean that the UK’s 5.9m SMEs will not have to face the future alone.  

These firms are vital to our economy, accounting for 99 per cent of all businesses and employing around 17m people. We must all focus efforts on supporting them. That includes using our collective spending power to buy a pint, order a takeaway, book a holiday, or invest in new technologies.  

Just as we have seen hundreds of thousands of individuals volunteer their time to support the NHS throughout the crisis, in working closely with the business community, it’s been striking to see the enormous contributions that UK firms have made to support their communities, frontline workers, and their fellow businesses.  

We are very grateful to the courageous adviser community for stepping forward to support their fellow businesses in such numbers at this time, despite the fact that they have undoubtedly been impacted themselves. 

We salute them.

The scheme can be accessed via gov.uk and enterprisenation.com/freesupport

Main image credit: Getty

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