Firms throughout Allerdale borough are to benefit from a support boost during the coronavirus pandemic.
Allerdale Borough Council is investing £10,000 to subsidise business memberships to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).
The offer is to the self-employed, micro and small businesses with 50 or fewer employees.
Applications are now live and are being offered on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. Up to 200 businesses will be able to access the subsidised FSB membership.
It means businesses will benefit from a range of services, covering everything from legal help and advice to cyber protection and assistance to access funding opportunities.
The FSB reports that demand for its services is higher than normal because of the current coronavirus situation.
It says it is receiving calls to its employment advice and protection, legal help, FSB care medical advice line, cyber protection, FSB funding platform and cash advance and insurance services.
FSB and Allerdale Borough Council recognise that not all businesses in the borough, particularly the smallest firms, can get help from the government’s support schemes.
It is hoped that the investment will help firms to navigate their way through the coming months and in doing so protect dozens of jobs which might otherwise be at risk.
Businesses can apply for the FSB membership offer by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Business owners should add the words ‘Allerdale Borough’ to the subject field of their email. Alternatively business owners can visit https://www.fsb.org.uk/allerdale.html
Councillor Mike Johnson, Deputy Leader of Allerdale Borough Council said: “Local councils like ours are at the forefront of supporting local businesses, especially during this crisis.
“I know that not all businesses across the borough can access the national support available so I am delighted we’ve been able to secure this local deal. The Federation of Small Businesses is a great resource for micro-businesses and self-employed traders and I encourage them to access this membership offer.
Paul Foster, Development Manager for Cumbria, Federation of Small Businesses, said: “We are seeing more demand than ever for our services as small businesses and the self-employed find themselves needing advice and guidance, financial support and a powerful collective voice with government.
“We are very grateful to Allerdale Borough Council for subsidising FSB memberships from its emergency funding. This will help us reach even more businesses with specialist 1-2-1 advice and support.
“The council has identified the importance of the smallest businesses to the local economy and we look forward to supporting these businesses by welcoming them to the FSB.”