The West of England Combined Authority and Local Enterprise Partnerships are committed to supporting the region’s residents and businesses through the COVID-19 crisis. Our focus is on rebuilding a strong and inclusive economy and enabling regional businesses to deliver sustainable clean and green measures to improve quality of life for all in the West of England.
We have introduced a range of support measures to help businesses adapt to the new economic landscape and improve resilience, as well as support for residents to develop new skills, training and employment opportunities.
We are actively helping businesses during the coronavirus outbreak through:
- Our dedicated business support service for SMEs, the West of England Growth Hub, provides the latest information and guidance on business support, as well as access to services and support programmes. Our team of Enterprise Executives offer up to 12 hours free one-to-one business support. Visit wearegrowth.co.uk for more.
- New business support initiatives such as our Business Innovation Fund, Trading Better Online and our Accountancy Support Programme, which aim to help businesses build their financial resilience, innovate and adopt best practice, and boost their productivity.
- Adapting our business support and skills programmes to reflect the changing needs of businesses during this unprecedented time. This includes Creative Scale Up, Mentoring for Growth and Workforce for the Future.
- Ensuring public transport is in place to support key workers and others who need to travel with a Coronavirus Travel Advice page. Our Key Workers Travel Advice page highlights bus services to main hospitals, free car parking and cycling offers for key workers.
We have set up a new taskforce to drive our region’s economic recovery. Led by Regional Mayor, Tim Bowles, this is a partnership between the West of England Combined Authority, the Local Enterprise Partnership, business, universities and the region’s councils.
The task force is:
- Putting together a recovery plan, which will include measures to help businesses adapt to the new economic landscape and improve resilience, as well as support for residents to develop new skills, training and employment opportunities.
- Looking at the impact of the government’s economic measures on businesses and communities, identifying where additional support is needed.
- Feeding back to government, lobbying to ensure the West of England has what it needs for economic recovery; advising and supporting a managed exit from lockdown arrangements, identifying the next stages of financial support needed.
- Making sure the West of England has the right public transport, physical and digital infrastructure. WECA is already working with bus and rail companies to ensure key workers can get to work. This work with public transport partners will continue, to ensure they continue to operate as we move into recovery.