County remains Here 2 Help businesses emerge from pandemic

Published Wednesday, 16th September 2020

Worcestershire is doing all it can to help the economic recovery, and the county’s efforts have been boosted by a rise in manufacturing output since the pandemic.

The IHS Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers’ Index confirmed that combined output of the West Midlands’ manufacturing and service sectors has rose this summer as recovery continues from the coronavirus lockdown.

Overall, the index highlighted August as a particularly successful month. UK manufacturing output expanded at its fastest rate in more than six years.

The NatWest West Midlands Business Activity Index rose sharply from 50.4 in June to 61.9 in July.

The index is a seasonally adjusted guide that measures the month-on-month change in the combined output of the region’s manufacturing and service sectors.

Worcestershire County Council is working to further bolster the county’s economy through its Here 2 Help Business initiative.

More than 250 firms have already enquired about support through the scheme since its launch six weeks ago.

Councillor Ken Pollock, Worcestershire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy and Infrastructure, said: “It is great news that Here 2 Help Business has already been able to support Worcestershire firms.

“There are early signs of recovery for our region’s industries and, as Worcestershire County Council, we won’t stop in our bid to offer support. 

“I want to appeal to businesses feeling the impact of the pandemic to come forward and let us help you.”

Launched as a response to support firms through the difficulties of the pandemic, Here 2 Help Business aims to back companies in these unprecedented times.

It is a £3m programme designed to assist Worcestershire businesses to recover, adapt, develop and support future resilience as lockdown measures reduce.

There are grants available including for the agriculture and horticulture sector, to help sustain and grow capital and revenue support and there is direct access to funding in response to the impact of Covid-19.

Twenty-five applications for support have already been approved.

Here 2 Help Business is expanding with grant support available to Worcestershire’s SMEs to offer a 12-month graduate placement or internship.

And the County Council is backing the Kickstart scheme that provides funding to employers to create job placements for young people who are currently on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment.

Please check the to see if your business meets the eligibility criteria for support by visiting
www.worcestershire.gov.uk/info/20807/here2help_business