The COVID-specific business support programme will involve a series of workshops and mentoring opportunities for Nottingham’s retail, hospitality, leisure and personal services businesses in the lead-up to Christmas…
The Creative Quarter is set to deliver a business support programme to assist small-to-medium sized businesses in the run up to Christmas. Funded by the Reopening High Streets Safely Fund, which is provided by the European Regional Development Fund and the Government, the programme will take place as a series of online workshops, events and mentoring opportunities for Nottingham businesses in the retail, hospitality, personal services and leisure sectors.
“The project is about the swift, safe and successful re-opening of the high street,” Tamily Cookson, Programme and Event Manager for Creative Quarter Nottingham, says, “We displayed banners around Sneinton Market in August as part of the place-making initiative, which were all about creating a feeling of safety and welcoming people back. This was then followed by an advertising campaign, and the next stage is business support and mentoring.”
The events are open to public-facing, small-to-medium sized businesses who operate alongside public spaces (i.e. not in privately owned shopping centres). Participating businesses must also be on a high street within Nottingham City Centre or a surrounding neighbourhood centre, and active and trading to its customers. “There is an enrolment process, but essentially anyone is welcome to the workshops,” Tamily explains, “If we can enrol you, we will, and you’ll get tailored business support. But if a business isn’t quite right for the enrolment form, for whatever reason, they’ll still be welcome at the events.
Businesses can’t wait for the Government or the likes of Marks and Spencer’s to announce what Christmas will look like – they need to have their own plan
The project covers everything from employer and organizational resilience through to how to collaborate with your community and high street neighbours more effectively, and also aim to keep businesses up-to-date with the latest guideline information. “Going from the Furlough Scheme to the Job Support Scheme, which is now set to change again, means that having one point of contact for businesses to go to and get all the information they need is vital right now,” Tamily says.
With one eye on the near future and Christmas that, for many businesses, would normally be their busiest time of year, the High Street Recovery Scheme aims to help businesses be pro-active. “We want to allow businesses to understand that, even though they might only be thinking of the next week ahead, Christmas is still coming. However it will look this year, it is still going to happen, and they need to still be preparing for it,” Tamily explains, “Businesses can’t wait for the Government or the likes of Marks and Spencer to announce what Christmas will look like – they need to have their own plan. Working collaboratively within their own neighbourhood and creating those micro-networks is important. So if we can bring some of those businesses together to have those key conversations it will hugely beneficial.”
The first event, which takes place on Tuesday 27 October at 9.30am via Zoom, will give participating businesses an opportunity to meet the mentors who are involved. These include multi-award winning inventor and businessman Assim Ishaque, who established The Entrepreneurs Trust, business development partner Chris Hayes, business adviser Emma Torrance, entrepreneur and businesswoman Jeanne Booth, facilitator and executive coach Steve Hobbs and creative marketer Suzy Rai.
The full list of events are:
Reopening the High Streets Safely Launch: Meet the Mentors
Tuesday 27 October, 9.30am - 12.30pm
Building Organisational Resilience
Thursday 5 November, 9.30am - 12.30pm
Growth for High Street Businesses
Monday 9 November, 9.30am - 12.30pm
The Emotionally Intelligent Organisation
Thursday 12 November, 9.30am - 12.30pm
COVID-19 Operating Guidelines and Guidance
Monday 16 November, 5pm - 6.30pm
Working with others for survival and success: Collaboration & Co-operation
Thursday 17 November, 9.30am - 12.30pm
Change agility: How to create and lead a change agile organisation
Thursday 19 November, 9.30am - 12.30pm
Act, Adapt, Collaborate. What high street businesses can do now
Thursday 26 November, 5pm - 8pm
For more information or to register your interest as a business, visit the Creative Quarter website