It all adds up for chartered accountants, Ribchesters, as it pledges generous support to the not-for-profit, Open North Foundation, a private sector-led initiative committed to helping businesses in the North East recover from the ravages of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The firm is pledging a cash donation of £500 and financial support services worth £1,000s.

Open North Foundation will administer the package to eligible businesses from a wide variety of sectors, suffering as a result of the pandemic and who are considered would deliver long term, positive economic impact and also create high quality jobs, if they were supported.

With offices in Durham and Newcastle, Ribchesters specialises in audit and assurance, business accounting, taxation, payroll and company secretarial services and formations.

Rob Ribchester, partner, Ribchesters, said: “Open North Foundation, as a collective business initiative aimed at supporting the region and helping to protect its organisations, is a wonderful concept.

“Despite a difficult backdrop for many businesses in this region, Ribchesters is in a fortunate position to be able to offer support via a cash donation and pro bono business advisory services to companies who would benefit from financial guidance.

“If our contribution to Open North Foundation can make even a small difference to a business in need, then that will be a very positive outcome. What would be truly fantastic would be for us to see that company survive, grow and employ people.”

Open North Foundation is led by a range of business people from across the North East, each of whom are working pro-bono. They are chair, Richard Swart, global sales director, Berger Group Europe, vice chair, Colin Hewitt, partner, Ward Hadaway solicitors, Teesside entrepreneur, Claire Preston, area business manager for Barclays, David Foreman, director of Wessington Cryogenics, Gill Courtney, director, Stephenson-Mohl Group, Mark Stephenson and MHA Tait Walker, director, Paul Shields.

Richard Swart, chair said: “The very kind level of support from Ribchesters follows donations of cash and services from a growing number of companies. These are horrible times for so many businesses in our region, many of whom struggle for the right levels of funding or other assistance, so that is where we look to step in to make a positive difference by funding, service support, or both. We launched in July and the response from the private sector has been heart-warming. However, the challenge ahead is immense and we need as many companies as possible to join our campaign.

“No donation is too small and we welcome all offers of support whether that is a cash donation or support in kind.”