A leading regional business organisation has doubled the number of companies it has helped over the last two years.
Members of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) SME Supergroup heard the Growth Hub has dealt with just under 6,000 businesses, ranging from micro-SMEs to multi-nationals, in the last 24 months.
The Growth Hub, which helped to launch the region’s free job search and job advertisement portal, CW Employment Solutions, last year with support from the CWLEP, Warwickshire County Council, Coventry City Council, the District & Borough Councils, the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce and the Federation of Small Businesses, reported there are currently 3,000 vacancies for a wide range of jobs in the area on the website.
The organisation, in partnership with the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, also launched FinditinCW last year to increase access to opportunities to businesses across Coventry and Warwickshire. The procurement and B2B services platform now has 2,500 registered companies and 2,300 suppliers, and has promoted over £20 billion of contract and tender opportunities to local businesses since April 2020.
The CWLEP Growth Hub is also presently engaged with more than 100 businesses on the Peer Networks programme in Coventry and Warwickshire, which is funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), to help them to grow and develop their firms for future success.
The CWLEP Growth Hub is also working with colleagues at other Growth Hubs in the West Midlands to provide expert advice and support to businesses following the end of the transition period and the UK’s exit from the EU.
Sean Farnell, board director and chair of the CWLEP SME Supergroup Business Group, said the figures highlighted the importance of the work of the Growth Hub, along with other business support organisations, in these difficult times.
“The thousands of businesses who have turned to the CWLEP Growth Hub for advice and information during the last two years emphasises the value of having independent, experienced advisers to help companies in good and bad times,” he said.
“Covid-19 and Brexit have meant difficulties for companies of all sizes and in all sectors and the Growth Hub has been able to sign-post businesses to a wealth of information and act as a sounding board which is often just as important.
“The speed in which the CW Employment Solutions website was set up was an ideal example of responding to a specific need to provide one place where jobseekers and employers could post vacancies and the fact that over 26,000 people have visited it in just three months means the support which is needed is reaching the right people.”
Craig Humphrey, managing director of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) Growth Hub, said the increase in engagement had never been higher since it was established in 2014.
“No-one could have predicted the events of the last year and the wide range of support we have offered will continue,” he said.
“The team at the Growth Hub has responded magnificently and the partnership working with other business support organisations, local authorities, district and borough councils has meant we have been able to help companies, often at a time when they needed it the most.
“It is not going to be easy to regain economic stability but we will remain engaged with our business community to provide the advice and support they need to rebuild their livelihoods and provide employment.”