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 The Humber LEP’s Business Growth Hub has been allocated almost £850,000 of new funding to help support the economic recovery of businesses in the Humber.

This funding forms part of the Humber LEP’s updated Coronavirus delivery plan – which sets out how the LEP will prioritise existing resources to work with our partners to help the Humber’s businesses and people through the next phase of the COVID-19 economic impact.

Split across three new support services, the funding will help businesses in the Humber to plan and implement their strategies to revive their operations and then to thrive in the longer term.

This new delivery will augment the Growth Hub’s existing business support offer, which has supported over 11,000 businesses since the start of the pandemic, awarded £490,000 of grant funding to support homeworking hardware and software, and has run 66 webinars with over 1,500 attendees across all sessions.

The first new support service is the expansion of the Growth Hub’s team of advisor staff to work with businesses at each end of the spectrum. Four start up business advisors are to be recruited to help pre-start entrepreneurs to make their business idea a reality, whilst also guiding new business start-ups through their first year of trading.

At the other end of the scale, consultants to support medium and large sized businesses will also be deployed to help some of the Humber’s biggest employers to recover from the pandemic and to help prepare for end of the EU transition period. Furthermore, a Workforce Development Business Advisor will be appointed to provide bespoke support to business owners and managers looking to recruit, retain and developtheir staff, as well as assisting with apprenticeship and trainee recruitment.

Secondly, the Growth Hub has been allocated more than £500,000 of European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to deliver both SME Restart and Recovery grants and Kickstarting Tourism Grants. Offering grants of between £1,000 to £3,000 on a 100% funded basis, the Growth Hub’s #GrowMySME Programme will oversee the administration of the grants, which are available to businesses that need to work with a consultant, advisor or specialist on a particular project to aid the business recovery from the pandemic. Applications for these grant are expected to open next month.

Finally, Peer Networks, powered by the Humber Business Growth Hub, is a national initiative and will be a programme of action learning delivery to cohorts of business owners and managers. With intimate cohort groups of 11 business owners and managers, the peer to peer sessions will be facilitated to help guide the discussion and learning, with the ultimate aim of enhancing leadership capabilities, knowledge and confidence of business owners to improve productivity in businesses. The scheme will commence in October and will operate until March 2021.

Stephen Parnaby OBE, Chair of the Humber LEP, said: “We are pleased to receive this new funding for the Humber Business Growth Hub, which will help us to reach even more entrepreneurs and business than ever before.

“While in the early stages of the economic impact of COVID-19 we had to act quickly to support businesses in the short term, this funding will provide measures to back businesses for the long term, helping them to plan for the future and implement strategies and new ways of working that will ensure their future success.

“Not only can we now support start-up businesses, who are still keen to make their business dreams a reality, we’re also pleased to be able to support some of the region’s biggest employers as they navigate Brexit.”

Businesses can register now at humbergrowthhub.org/register to be notified when the new services and grant schemes go live.