SME Expert Explains Brand New Government Initiative Designed to Help Your Business

Navigating the often complex and rarely straightforward path to a successful business is filled with potential pitfalls, and with no training on some of the basics, it’s easy to see why 20% of businesses fail in their first year.

So this month, the government refreshed and relaunched its Help to Grow campaign. In addition, it announced it would form a new Small Business Council, launching next month, “reaffirming its commitment to all of the UK’s 5.5 million small businesses.”

Kyle Eaton, money.co.uk business loans expert, has shared his thoughts on these two initiatives, alongside other helpful tips on where you can find practical help and advice for your business. 

Help to Grow

“The government has relaunched its campaign for SMEs – but what exactly is it?

Designed as a hub to remove barriers and make it easier to do business, the campaign website is a handy resource to show what support and advice is available to help you start, grow and succeed in business. 

Whether you’re starting out, looking to grow, seeking finance or looking for advice on selling your goods internationally – Help to Grow contains links to insights and advice wherever your business is.”

Federation of Small Businesses (FSB)

“The FSB has been around for over 45 years. It’s membership-led, which means it’s non-profit and non-political, and it strives to help its members achieve in business. 

While the FSB provides blogs and general information on its website for non-members, the real value is offered through its membership scheme. By joining the FSB, you’ll get access to services and tools designed to help your business thrive. These benefits include: 

  • 24/7 legal and employment advice
  • An online library of 1,400 legal documents and templates
  • Tax investigation and insurance
  • Financial expertise
  • Debt recovery support
  • Local support and networking opportunities 

To join, you need to be the owner, partner, or director of a business (or businesses). If you’re involved in more than one business, the total number of employees for all businesses combined must not exceed 249.”

British Business Bank

“The British Business Bank is owned by the Department for Business and Trade. It was set up in 2014 as a way to help small businesses survive, prosper and grow. 

To shine a light on the financial options available to small businesses, the British Business Bank has been at the forefront of various schemes to help, such as Start Up Loans and the Recovery Loan scheme. They’re also central to delivery when the landscape changes, with Covid support schemes being a recent example of their agility. 

You can find out what finance is available for your business and access support and tools to help get (or keep) your business running smoothly.”

Networking

“Networking events can feel intimidating – especially if you’re more introverted or dislike talking to strangers. But with so many networking events, each with their own guest speakers, opportunities and socials, you’re bound to find one that suits your interests (and geographical location). 

You can hear from successful business owners, attend seminars on a range of sticky topics (tax, I’m looking at you) and chat over a drink with people in the same boat as you.

I’ll be attending a few this year too, so be sure to sign up for my newsletter below to both see which events I’ll be attending while never missing out on a potential networking event at the same time. “

Small Business Council

“The Small Business Council is due to launch in March 2024 and aims to bring together SME leaders from across the country, allowing SMEs voices to be represented within government. 

We’ll find out more in March when the Council launches – but the additional initiatives will be welcomed by businesses as we see how the government plans to roll out its proposal that they’re making “2024 the year of the SME.”

I’ll continue to bring you my insights as the government seeks to make changes this year so you’re never in the dark on what help is available.”