New programme brings North East businesses together for economic recovery

Businesses in the North East are being invited to join a new business network programme which aims to help companies recover from the impact of COVID-19.

The Peer Networks programme will bring small cohorts of businesses together to support each other, work through common issues, and benefit from one-to-one coaching on a range of topics.

The programme is part of the government’s national COVID-19 response and up to 34 sector-specific networks will be formed in the North East, catering for businesses in a range of areas, from leisure and hospitality to advanced manufacturing.

Colin Bell, Director of Business Growth at the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), explains: “We know that many businesses in our region continue to be hit hard by the pandemic and this is a way for us to support businesses to develop a robust recovery plan.

“Whether it’s finding new ways of attracting and selling to customers, supporting staff, or learning how to use digital technology in new ways, businesses will be able to learn from others who have faced that same problem and make sure that they’re in the best possible position as our economy starts to recover from the effects of the pandemic.”

Members of each Peer Network will be able to put forward questions or issues that they are facing and support each other to develop practical solutions through a series of workshops.

Businesses will also receive one-to-one support and will be guided through the latest information on government support available to them as part of the COVID-19 recovery package.

“Being part of a Peer Network will not only provide a network of other business owners who can help you to steer your business through any issues you’re facing, it’s also about supporting each other’s wellbeing and mental health,” added Colin Bell.

“It can be lonely being the founder or a leader of a business of any size or sector, and a Peer Network can provide a sounding board and support network at one of the most challenging times many businesses have faced.”

Peer Networks are open to businesses that have been operating for at least a year, and had two or more employees, and a turnover of £100,000 or more prior to the pandemic.

Businesses can apply to join a North East Peer Network through the North East Growth Hub

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