Business Durham is helping companies across County Durham manage and deal with the current economic challenges by signposting them to the help they need in order to adapt and thrive.

The COVID-19 crisis will continue to affect businesses in different ways and at different times, so Business Durham is working closely with companies to help them address the challenges arising from the pandemic and support them in the months ahead.

To help companies survive the impact of the pandemic Business Durham, the economic development arm of Durham County Council, has created a new COVID-19 Business Support Brochure to highlight the wide-ranging support available to firms across the county to help safeguard jobs and retain businesses in County Durham.

This easily accessible guide brings together key information for businesses who are looking for help to navigate the opportunities on offer.

The brochure focuses on eight key categories of assistance including grants, loans and equity; business support; digital support; innovation; sector support; skills, recruitment and training; business start-up and employee welfare.

Through its network of business support organisations Business Durham and its delivery partners are highlighting 42 programmes providing help for companies to build their resilience and get back on track.  Programmes include Business Durham’s Digital Drive County Durham and Durham Business Opportunities Programme, help to trade internationally from the Department for International Trade, support for starting up a business from the North East Enterprise Agency Ltd, and targeted sector programme, Supply Chain North East.

Working jointly with Durham County Council and the County Durham Economic Partnership, the directory is part of ongoing efforts to assist companies across County Durham.

Sarah Slaven, Interim Managing Director of Business Durham, said: “We know how busy companies are, so we decided to create a Business Support Brochure to highlight that there’s a range of programmes businesses can access for support. Our guide brings together key information, resources and advice for companies and we hope it will play an important role in helping County Durham’s businesses and economy to recover.

“We recognise that the months ahead are going to continue to be challenging, and it is vital that we continue to offer the help for businesses to adapt and enable them to take advantage of the opportunities that do and will exist to build a stronger, more resilient economy.”

Cllr Carl Marshall Durham County Council’s cabinet member for economic regeneration, said: “The effects of the coronavirus pandemic can be felt far and wide across many areas and it is a particularly difficult time for our county’s businesses.

“Our long-term ambition is to create and preserve a thriving environment in which businesses and investors can grow, while creating and safeguarding more and better jobs.  We are keen to support business owners during this rapidly-changing time, ensuring the economy is sustained and resilient in a period of uncertainty to prepare for the future.”

For the latest advice and information from the Government, visit www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses.