To better understand the impact of COVID-19 on Dorset’s business community, Dorset LEP has launched a Business Impact Survey. The short survey is open to businesses of all sizes, the self-employed, and charities in Dorset. It aims to understand the impact COVID-19 is having on business operations across the county. To ensure we can provide the best support possible we need to better understand what businesses need.
In recent weeks, Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership’s business support function, Dorset Gateway – working with Dorset Chamber – has been handling a significant increase in the number of enquiries from businesses, business owners and the self-employed in Dorset in response to COVID-19.
On one day alone there were 1.5 times more enquiries than would usually be received in a month. Key challenges which businesses have been encountering include accessing financial support through government grants and loans, and supporting employees through measures such as the new Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and changes to statutory sick pay.
Finn Morgan, Dorset Gateway Manager, said: “This survey is important in allowing us to identify sectors in Dorset which may need specific support or assistance so that we can tailor it to best meet the needs of the region’s businesses. The results we gather will help us advise the government as they develop current, and future, COVID-19 business support measures. We’re also keen to hear from businesses that are adapting their products and services as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
This initiative is the next step in support for business, and follows the immediate action by Dorset LEP in mid-March to bolster the Dorset Gateway service. This investment ensures further resources for businesses at these difficult times. The team has also been sending regular reports to the government to help inform national and local responses to the changing situation.
Lorna Carver, Director of Dorset LEP said: “At this extremely difficult time we want to make sure that businesses, their employees and the self-employed, have access to the full range of information and support on offer to help them. The additional resources we have invested into the Dorset Gateway service is one of what may be a number of measures above and beyond those introduced by the government that we introduce to help Dorset’s businesses manage and recover from this current crisis.”
Businesses can complete the survey at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/COVID19DorsetImpact
Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership is working hard to support businesses across Dorset through the Covid-19 crisis. For free one to one support for your business please contact the Dorset Gateway on 01202 714800. We can help with understanding and accessing the different packages of government support for your business.
Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership is a business led private and public sector partnership, promoting local economic growth and prosperity. Dorset LEP deliver projects that support and develop infrastructure, housing, skills, enterprise and business growth to achieve long-term economic benefit for all in Dorset. For more information visit the Dorset LEP website http://www.dorsetlep.co.uk/