Small business? Big assistance, at no charge

SMALL Business Britain has launched a support programme, in partnership with Lloyds Banking Group, to help small businesses survive a challenging economic period.

With SMEs facing rising costs, reduced consumer spending and a looming recession, the Small Business Help programme will give immediate support via mentoring.

“There are a concerning number who now need urgent help,” said founder Michelle Ovens. The programme will focus in the short term on building confidence and agility.

Over the course of six weeks, small businesses can join their peers in an online “surgery style” format to pose questions to a panel of experts. The programme will also pair businesses with a mentor for one-to-one mentoring — at no charge.

“We have designed this programme to provide direct, targeted support,” said Ovens. “Having someone to turn to and help figure out problems can often be the most effective way to navigate issues and develop resilience.”

British Craft House founder Susan Bonnar agrees. “Having help and guidance has been invaluable over the last couple of years,” she said. “It’s reassuring, especially when you work on your own, to know that you have someone that will listen to you and be happy to share their opinions.”

Experts in the programme include specialists from financial, strategy, marketing, wellbeing and HR backgrounds, along with professionals from the Lloyds Banking Group.

Lloyds customer-inclusion director, Catherine Rutter, said the bank had “a unique ability and responsibility” to stand beside SMEs navigating changes and developing resilience.

The Small Business Help programme is taking place this month and is free to attend. To sign-up: