BLOG: Meet our Advisers – Joanna Moore23 April 2021
Here Jo looks back at how Covid has impacted her clients and changed the type of support provided by the Growth Hub, highlighting the difference a Business Adviser can make by listening and supporting, as well as advising and signposting, especially valuable through the difficult times of the lockdown.
“Like everyone, Covid changed the way we worked as advisers, and how we offered support to businesses. Pre-pandemic, we had been mainly working with companies looking to grow, but then overnight, the volume of businesses wanting support increased massively, and we had to rapidly switch our approach to help as many businesses to survive as we could.
As a team, that meant having to quickly identify and understand all the new support out there and share it with the businesses of Leicester and Leicestershire. Many of the enquires coming through to us as Advisers involved helping business owners to navigate the government Covid grants and secure funds to help them recover, such as the Small Business Growth Hub grant and Leicestershire Business Recovery Grant.
Now, 12 months on, we’re starting to see more of the clients we were previously supporting as they emerge from lockdown. Fortunately, they are now in a position to start to think about recovery and growth. We are also seeing more enquiries from start-up businesses and we’ve responded by referring them to the Accelerator programme as well as NBV (www.nbv.co.uk) and Start Up Finance options. We had anticipated this as it is very common after a slowdown in business for there to be a surge in people wanting to start up their own. Some of those ideas can be genuinely innovative and really exciting but whatever the business idea, it’s great as an Adviser to have the opportunity to be able to support someone on their journey and contribute in some way, towards the bounce back of the local economy.
The last 12 months have been so tough for many of us, in so many ways. Covid has certainly impacted on the way we work and, in all honesty, the change in the type and volume of support we have provided to our local business community has been a real challenge at times. But it has also been incredibly rewarding and helped us to demonstrate the breadth and depth of support available to businesses via their Growth Hub. As Business Advisers we can help businesses to secure finance and grants but also be a sounding board, a critical friend, a coach, a mentor, a problem solver.
We can help with a wide range of questions or issues that all sorts of businesses might come across on an ongoing basis. That can be everything and anything from helping them to navigate and apply for Covid related government grants, to developing a fit for purpose marketing strategy to launch a new business with. If I can’t personally provide businesses with the knowledge or advice they need, I can draw on the knowledge and skills of my fellow advisers, wider business support network and other Growth Hub clients, or signpost them to our extensive webinar programme.
In short, as a Business Adviser, before, during and after the pandemic, we do everything we can to find a way to help you to overcome whatever challenge or problem you are experiencing at the time. We are here to help, and happy to do so in any way we can.