New help programme launched for struggling small businesses

Small Business Britain has launched a new support programme, in partnership with Lloyds Banking Group,  aimed at helping small businesses in difficulty survive the challenging economic period.

With small businesses facing unprecedented struggles over the winter from the impact of rising costs, reduced consumer spending and a looming recession, the Small Business Help programme will give immediate support to small businesses through mentoring and targeted sessions with experts.

“Britain’s small businesses have had so many challenges piled on them over the last few years and there are a concerning number who now need urgent help,” said Michelle Ovens CBE, founder of Small Business Britain. 

The programme will help business owners gain the skills required to build confidence and agility in the short term, as well as assisting in signposting to other potential sources of assistance.

Set over the course of six weeks, small businesses can join other members of the small business community in an online ‘surgery style’ format to pose questions and gain insight directly from a panel of business experts. The free programme will also pair small businesses with a mentor for two hours of free one-to-one mentoring as a follow up.

“We have designed this programme to provide direct, targeted support to help small firms who are struggling in this climate,” said Michelle Ovens.

“Having someone to turn to and help figure out problems - whether that is a mentor, business expert or other small businesses who have had similar experiences - can often be the most effective way to navigate issues and develop resilience. All three of these elements are incorporated into this programme to ensure it is as helpful as possible for small firms facing the toughest of times.”

Susan Bonnar, founder of The British Craft House said: "Having help and guidance has been invaluable over the last couple of years. It is 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. Undoubtedly this year is going to be a tricky one to navigate, so having a network like Small Business Britain that you can turn to is so important."

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

Catherine Rutter, Customer Inclusion Director at Lloyds Banking Group said: “It’s a tough environment right now, and we have a unique ability and responsibility, to be by the side of small businesses as they navigate these challenges and increase their resilience. Lloyds Bank Academy are pleased to offer the Small Business Help Programme, building on our existing online business hub which has a wealth of learning resources. This, alongside our ongoing collaboration with Small Business Britain will make a real difference to business owners.”

The Small Business Help programme is taking place this March and is completely free for business owners to attend.