With a steep unemployment and redundancy peak following Covid-19, we unpack how a business support programme can not only help individual businesses but create economic prosperity for the region.

  1. Creating jobs when businesses grow

Business support programmes ultimately help SMEs in your region to grow, supporting them with everything from marketing to finances and HR to logistics. SMEs will be empowered to scale up and as they take on more orders and sign more contracts and grow their business, they will look to employ more people.

Small businesses can grow fast. Unlike large and established organisations, start-ups or micro-businesses who hit on an opportunity scale up exponentially. As an example, a South Yorkshire printing business that secured a contract with the NHS to make facemasks is suddenly looking to recruit 400 people. Supporting small businesses could lead to a flurry of new roles, boosting employment figures in your region as a small business becomes a larger business.

When small business owners attend workshops and receive one-to-one guidance from business coaches, they learn to spot realistic opportunities, and with the addition of funding initiatives, they are able to go for it, grow and employ.

Meet our team (https://www.cdialliance.co.uk/associates-2/) who are ready to coach SMEs in your region.

  1. Upskilling people in small businesses

Among small business owners and their employees, there will be a lot of knowledge, skills and a potential to develop further but may not have the specific expertise internally they need to develop their business. A business support programme will help plug the gaps in their knowledge and skills of the individuals to achieve the business’s true growth potential and so increase their contribute to the local economy.

Helping people to progress in their careers is key motivational factor in retaining staff and if they become an integral member of the team, where a company has invested in upskilling them, will probably make their job role more secure.

Skill development also improves employees’ feelings of contentment and gives them the credentials and confidence to progress. Staff are much more likely to remain in their job if they feel satisfied by acknowledgement of achievements or are rewarded with promotions. By providing that development for the employee, a business protects its investment and boosts employment in the region.

  1. Helping businesses work more efficiently

When the purse strings are tightened in crisis, it can be tempting for businesses to cut salaries, employee benefits or even jobs. All this threatens employment in the local region. By helping firms to become more efficient through a business support programme, they are likely to maximise the utilisation of their resources i.e. machinery and people to achieve increased productivity for them and the local economy.

COVID-19 has made businesses review their working practices as working from home has become the new normal. Many managers were scared of their staff working from home, as they thought not being able to see them would lead to less efficiency. The reality is quite the reverse. Efficiency has improved, sickness has decreased and commitment to the job has increased as employees have adjusted to flexible working.

This situated has increased loyalty towards the company, as employees feel happier that they have some control over their work and life.

Previously, a long commute or childcare issues may have forced people to resign from their jobs. However, the rise of remote working removes that pressure. Additionally, employers do not need to go through the costly recruitment process when they already have talented people in their team.

During our local authority workshops and webinars at CDI Alliance, we share how to use digital tools to improve teams’ processes and make SMEs more profitable. Find out more on our activities page https://www.cdialliance.co.uk/cdi-alliance-business-programmes/

  1. Attracting talent to promote further growth

If there are universities or colleges in your region, then there will be a pool of potential talent being nurtured nearby. It makes sense to keep bright minds in your locale once they graduate so that they can see great opportunities, build a career, and contribute to the local economy.

Growing businesses need great people but you need to create opportunities for them to stay and it is a highly competitive market:

1) A highly innovative science and technology start-up that would be perfect for engineering graduate.

2) A video agency which would be the ideal fit for a creative – graphic designer, journalist, photographer.

Only SMEs who have reached a certain size can think about taking on staff. Through the coaching and mentoring provided through a business support programmes, they will identify the right time for expansion and create a plan for scale up. Once achieved, the businesses will see exponential growth with new talented team members driving it forward.

To summarise, a business support programme can increase employment in your region by helping SMEs grow so they create employment opportunities. It can also protect existing jobs by upskilling the work force. It can attract talented people by generating higher-level opportunities and through the business growth, contribute to the prosperity of the local economy.

At CDI Alliance, we design and deliver business support programmes for local authorities across the north. If you would like to talk to us about our expertise, or how this can work for you, please call 0113 394 4650 or email enquiries@cdialliance.co.uk.