Nearly 13,000 businesses in the West Midlands have been supported in the Covid-19 pandemic by Growth Hubs in the region.
Companies ranging from sole traders to multi-nationals in a range of industries have been in touch with their local Growth Hubs throughout the West Midlands cluster.
The figures show that in the first month of the Coronavirus lockdown, a staggering 3,163 businesses contacted The Marches.
This was followed by 2,581 in Coventry and Warwickshire, 2,050 in Worcestershire, 1,891 in Greater Birmingham & Solihull, 1,800 businesses in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Growth Hub and 1,428 businesses in the Black Country.
Businesses in sectors from manufacturing and retail to arts and entertainment have been asking for information ranging on topics from cash flow to supply chain issues.
Craig Humphrey, the managing director of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) Growth Hub, said there had never been as much demand for the services of each Growth Hub in the West Midlands which underlined their value to the business community and the economy.
“Every Growth Hub in the West Midlands – just like the others in England – is focused on helping their local businesses survive these challenging circumstances,” he said.
“The volume of telephone calls and emails emphasise the value of the work of the Growth Hubs and the great connectivity and contacts each organisation has in their area of the region to provide the reliable advice and information which is needed at this time.
“More enquiries are being received every day so the number of businesses asking for assistance is growing all the time which is reflected in the huge upturn in engagement compared to this time last year.
“There is no sector that will emerge unscathed from Covid-19 and everyone associated with the West Midlands Growth Hubs is working round-the-clock to provide up-to-date information which businesses need to make informed choices about their organisation and staff.
“Whether it is information on furlough, grants and loans or Human Resources issues as well as providing a sympathetic ear at the other end of a telephone line to worried business owners to assess the practical help we can offer, the Growth Hubs’ account managers have been passing on their expertise.
“The surveys we have carried out have highlighted the concerns and needs of businesses which all the West Midlands Growth Hubs have passed on to the Government to help form future policy and the help that is being offered.
“The intelligence we have gathered shows the importance of regional collaboration which is vital as we work towards guiding businesses in a post-Coronavirus world.
“As well as regional collaboration in our local area, we work extremely closely with the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce and our local authorities.”