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Stevenage Borough Council has appointed Retail Revival, a Hertfordshire-based business training and support consultancy and High Street regeneration specialist to assist with a number of business support plans.

The projects are designed to build business resilience and help the High Street and other commercial neighbourhoods react and adapt to the economic impact of COVID-19. The council secured funding from the Reopening High Streets Safely Fund (RHSSF) to deliver additional business support and promote the High Street and commercial centres as a safe place to visit for staff and shoppers.

The council will also provide a specialised programme enabling businesses to use an array of tools and intelligence including mentoring and other forms of support at this difficult time.

Cllr Lloyd Briscoe, portfolio holder for Economy, Enterprise and Transport at Stevenage Borough Council, said: “We are delighted to have Retail Revival on board to support our High Street and neighbourhood businesses. Many companies have been severely impacted throughout the pandemic and as a council; we are committed to aiding their recovery.

“The programme aligns with a number of the aims of the Stevenage Economy Taskforce including the recovery of our local businesses and the wider economy.  This will ensure companies have opportunities to up-skill and have access to business growth guidance and advice resources to support recovery. We were impressed by Retail Revival’s track record in delivering recovery programmes in other areas. This included advice, guidance and help for businesses to promote safe working environments, moving them online to support wider consumer engagement, increasing turnover and building resilience tools.  It is this experience that we look forward to offering to Stevenage businesses to ensure their survival and growth, once the economy opens up.”

Sally Williams, Retail Revival managing director, added: “We are delighted to be working with Stevenage businesses to help them re-open safely. Maintaining high standards of cleanliness with robust social distancing measures until the full vaccination programme has taken effect. We have great empathy for businesses that have been adversely affected by Covid-19. We have worked with many to help them adapt to meet the current needs of shoppers and are excited to share this best practice to provide Stevenage businesses with the skills and resources they need to recover quickly and build resilience for the future. I urge people to support their local businesses to boost the local economy and keep the fund in the town.”

Businesses across Stevenage can access free advice and assistance on everything from finance to sales and marketing, through the Business & Technology Centre. The service is available via live chat, in-person, telephone and email. All advice is completely impartial and delivered by Wenta’s team of expert advisors.

Visit the Business and Technology Centre website to live chat with an advisor (Monday to Friday, 9am - 5pm).

The Hertfordshire Growth Hub, powered by Hertfordshire LEP, is on-hand to help businesses access the advice and guidance they need during these challenging times. The website brings together a network of local, regional and national support providers. Registration is free and provides immediate access to advice, resources, tailored content and events.