Additional workshops added to Covid 19 Business Support Programme
12 May 2020
Derry City and Strabane District Council have announced the second tranche of programmes to guide local businesses through the unprecedented challenges posed by the Covid 19 crisis.
The Business Support Team are delivering a specially designed Resilience Programme for local companies including a series of workshops and mentoring opportunities.
A total of 51 places are available for Tranche Two of the programme which has four separate sections, the Financial Management for Accountants Programme, the Business Reboot Programme, the Tourism, Hospitality and Retail Support Programme and the Get Your Business Online Programme.
The programmes are delivered remotely with the aid of communications technology to allow local businesses to participate fully whether working from home or from their work places.
The initiative is part-funded by Council, Invest NI and the European Regional Development Fund under the Investment for Jobs and Growth [2014 – 2020] Programme.
Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Councillor Michaela Boyle, encouraged local companies to avail of the support available.
“The current restrictions to reduce the spread of the Covid 19 virus have presented businesses with unprecedented challenges in connecting clients and continuing services, with many forced to temporarily cease trading,” she said.
“Social distancing is going to be with us for some time and, as the restrictions gradually lift in the coming months, businesses will have to tailor how they provide their services and find new and innovative ways to continue trading.
"There are ways to mitigate against the impacts and Council aim to help where possible in helping businesses navigate their way around these challenges and to rebuild and consolidate.
“It's critical that we work together to protect and sustain our local economy as best we can and prioritise the small local companies who may be struggling at this uncertain time."
The Financial Management for Non Accountants Programme is aimed at owners and managers who want to know how to analyse the financial performance of their business and how to plan for the future.
The Tourism Hospitality and Retail Programme is aimed at owners and managers of tourism focused SMEs and micro enterprises who are seeking ways to consolidate and rebuild their business in the coming months.
The one to one workshop delivered online will help assess the current position of businesses and help companies enhance their profile to prospective customers and plan for the future.
Business Reboot aims to challenge owners and managers to think outside the box and embrace innovative ideas and adapt their business model to reflect the new realities of life.
Finally the Get Your Business Online programme aims to help your business establish or increase their internet presence and is delivered through four workshops that will take you through each step of setting up your online channels and connecting with customers.
Council's Business Development Manager, Louise Breslin, added: "These are unprecedented times and over the coming weeks and months business owners will have to realign their operations to adapt.
"It is a daunting period for many and we want to give them the information that will allow them to make informed decisions with confidence.
“This period will demand emotional resolve, a willingness to think outside the box, and openness to re-invention, innovation and diversification.
“The changes you make now could be critical to the sustainability of your business and can hopefully help businesses to not only survive but to thrive as we emerge from this crisis.
"We are here to help in whatever way we can, and I would really encourage local enterprises to find out how they could benefit."
Eligible businesses must be based in the Derry City and Strabane District Council areas and employ less than 50 people.
The deadline for submission of expressions of interest for the programmes is Financial Management - Friday May 22nd, Business Reboot - Friday May 29th, Tourism, Retail and Hospitality - June 5th and Get Your Business Online - Friday June 12th.
Additionally, companies and individuals in the Derry and Strabane Council area now have free access to the Open 4 Business Funding Portal.
The portal can be accessed at idoxopen4business.co.uk/derryandstrabane and provides details on funding opportunities and supports available.
Users can create tailored searches to identify funding and support based on their business and the type of the project.