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Message from our Chief Executive: The Coronavirus Pandemic

27 March 2020

Anne-Marie Mountifield our Chief Executive has sent a message to the Solent about how the LEP Intends to support businesses through the current situation.

Dear colleagues,

Solent businesses are facing challenges of unprecedented scale as they respond to the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic. We are under no illusion that, for many, the ability to rise to meet these challenges will be existential and the potential economic impact on our economy cannot be underestimated.

As the outbreak continues to escalate, we are fully committed to helping our business communities in their efforts to meet these challenges head-on and are putting in place a range of support for Solent businesses to access.

The Solent LEP Growth Hub remains open for business to provide a business support service to any business seeking assistance and we have taken steps to ensure that the service will continue to operate throughout this challenging period. You can contact the team using this contact form, get in touch via email or phone on 023 9268 8055.

We have established a Coronavirus Support Hub to provide free, easy to access information for businesses on support available across the Solent area from a range of sources including HM Government, our Local Authority partners and the private sector.

We have established a Business Resilience Programme in partnership with BDO to help companies build their resilience through one-to-one support from a team of experts.

Alongside this support available now, we are working with partners across the area, including banks, local authorities and businesses to put in place a number of additional support mechanisms, including;

• Support to provide businesses with the infrastructure to continue business remotely
• A free online diagnostic tool to review the current business position and identify tactics for building greater resilience
• Online masterclasses and resources in relation to access to finance, developing e-commerce offers and actions to support responses in relation to Covid-19.

Further information on this support will be published shortly and businesses can receive regular updates by signing up to our e-newsletters or by emailing us at enquiries@solentlep.org.uk

Whilst the current situation is extremely challenging, the Solent has a history of rising to such challenges and we have weathered storms in the past and we will navigate our way through this. Our economy has faced adversity before and on each occasion, through innovation and entrepreneurialism, our businesses have not only survived but have gone on to thrive and establish the area as a powerful £31bn economy with a significance that extends far beyond our own boundaries.

In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, whilst we have been in dialogue with many businesses experiencing significant challenges, we have also been overwhelmed with offers of support from our local business community and are working to mobilise the support of a partnership that is truly greater than the sum of its parts.

There has never been a more important time for us to remember that we are together stronger and we look forward to working with you as we help support our businesses to deliver a prosperous future for the Solent.

Anne-Marie Mountifield
Chief Executive
Solent LEP


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