West Berkshire Council

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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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West Berkshire Council joins COVID-19 task force

West Berkshire Council has joined a task force established by Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (TVBLEP) to support businesses in Berkshire who are struggling with the impact of the Coronavirus.

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TVBLEP and its partners have established the Task Force in recognition of the significant concern and disruption being caused to businesses of all sizes now and for the foreseeable future as a result of the COVID-19 emergency. The Task Force includes key stakeholders including the Thames Valley Berkshire Business Growth Hub, Thames Valley Chambers of Commerce, Federation of Small Businesses, Institute of Directors, Confederation of British Industry and the six Berkshire Local Authorities. It will be used to ensure businesses in Berkshire are kept up to date with developments, have access to finance available and are provided with as much support as possible.

TVBLEP is also working with the Southern LEPs and London LEP in sharing best practice and intelligence. The Business Growth Hub will also continue to work with partners across the LEP area to provide guidance and support via a daily updated service on its website.

Alison Webster, CEO for Thames Valley Berkshire LEP, said:

"At a time where difficult decisions are having to be made, it is more important than ever to work together and be a collective voice. As a business-led partnership, which brings together both private and public sector organisations, we want to work with you to help our area respond.

"Businesses are hearing from government about the help available to them, but we want to ensure, at a local level, that everyone has access to the information which applies to them and that the process of acquiring that help is as straightforward and streamlined as possible. To feedback your businesses needs and give your views please email the Business Growth Hub at info@berkshirebusinesshub.co.uk 

"We have launched our Business in Berkshire 2019 report which provides a comprehensive evidence base for all those involved in supporting local businesses. It will provide us with a good baseline of our local economy before we entered uncharted territory; help us revive the Berkshire economy; identify how it has recovered; and give us insights as to what we can do to ensure we remain the most productive sub region (outside of London)."

Lynne Doherty, Leader of West Berkshire Council, said:

"We are pleased to be contributing to this Task Force as we seek to minimise the impact of COVID-19 on the local economy.

"Now more than ever, working together is going to be important as we put support in place to help our businesses. Our relationship with the LEP and the Growth Hub has always been part of the reason why West Berkshire continues to punch above its weight.

"West Berkshire's local economy has long been recognised as one of the strongest and most resilient in the UK. The Business in Berkshire report and our own Economic Development Strategy, which will go to Executive later this month, capture this success well and will be a strong foundation on which to build as we help our businesses to recover from this difficult time. We look forward to contributing to this vital work throughout this period and beyond on behalf of every one of West Berkshire's 9000 businesses."

Martin Hall, Growth Hub manager said:

"We want businesses to know that whatever sector they are in and regardless of whether they are a sole trader, an SME or scale up company, that there is support available. Before making any decisions about your business please visit the Berkshire Business Growth Hub website which continues to be updated with the latest government advice as well as information on the local and national support available. In addition, our business advisers can provide further advice via email, telephone or video conferencing - details of which can be found on our website."