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Berkshire: LEP establishes COVID-19 task force of key stakeholders

By Dan Teuton
3 April 2020
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Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership recognises that Coronavirus is causing significant concern and disruption to businesses of all sizes and will do for the foreseeable future. The LEP is determined to play a role in ensuring that businesses in Berkshire are able to run as efficiently as possible and remain productive.

In response to Government’s series of economic measures to help businesses, the LEP has established a Covid-19 Task & Finish Group of key stakeholders including the Thames Valley Berkshire Business Growth Hub, Thames Valley Chambers of Commerce, FSB, IoD, CBI and Local Authorities to work collaboratively to ensure businesses in Berkshire are kept up to date with developments, have access to finance available and are provided with as much support as we are able to. The LEP is also working with the Southern LEPs and London LEP in sharing best practice and intelligence.

The Business Growth Hub - berkshirebusinesshub.co.uk - is working with these partners across the LEP area to provide guidance and support via a daily updated service on its website. Martin Hall, Growth Hub manager said: “We want businesses to know that whatever sector they are in and regardless of whether they are a sole trader, an SME or scale up company, that there is support available. Before making any decisions about your business please visit the Berkshire Business Growth Hub website which continues to be updated with the latest government advice as well as information on the local and national support available. In addition, our business advisers can provide further advice via email, telephone or video conferencing – details of which can be found on our website.”

Alison Webster, CEO for Thames Valley Berkshire LEP, said: “At a time where difficult decisions are having to be made, it is more important than ever to work together and be a collective voice. As a business-led partnership, which brings together both private and public sector organisations, we want to work with you to help our area respond. Businesses are hearing from Government about the help available to them, but we want to ensure, at a local level, that everyone has access to the information which applies to them and that the process of acquiring that help is as straightforward and streamlined as possible. To feedback your businesses needs and give your views please email the Business Growth Hub at [email protected]

“We have launched our Business in Berkshire 2019 report which provides a comprehensive evidence base for all those involved in supporting local businesses. It will provide us with a good baseline of our local economy before we entered uncharted territory; help us revive the Berkshire economy; identify how it has recovered; and give us insights as to what we can do to ensure we remain the most productive sub region (outside of London).”