It's been a tough time, but there's hope
Like any city (or country for that matter), MK has felt the impact of the pandemic and the related restrictions. For one of the fastest growing towns in Europe, it unfortunately has seen a rise in unemployment by over 100%, increased business closures and an overall decline in economic wealth.
However its not all doom and gloom, especially as we can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.
With this in mind, I thought I’d highlight some useful resources that if you didn’t know about already, might help you better navigate this challenging time.
There’s been a number of grants released for businesses to take advantage of. The Milton Keynes Council site highlights the main grants available, including (but I’m sure not limited to:
- Restart Grants — primarily to support businesses that offer in-person services, where the main service and activity takes place in a fixed rate-paying premises, in the relevant sectors.
- Business Support Scheme — with the goal to help meet the immediate financial needs of local MK businesses who have been so hard-hit over this last year.
- Business Support Package — although the deadline has recently passed on this, there is a possibility for a retroactive acceptance application depending on the circumstances.
SEMLEP are also releasing information of the Recovery and Resilience Grants available with funding available between £5,000-£50,000.
The grants are designed to build resilience for businesses that have been affected by Covid-19 by supporting investment projects that will create a significant, positive impact on the business’s future. You can find more resources and information from SEMLEP on their Business Advice and Support page.
It’s not all about business either, real people that don’t run their own businesses have also struggled through this time. But fear not, again there is more local support to help individuals feeling the effects of prolonged restrictions and lockdown.
As part of the ‘Restart, Restore, Renew MK’ initiative, young people, working parents and the environment will apparently benefit from the local Council’s £2.2million COVID-19 economic recovery package.
This package is designed to facilitate the following:
- Create new jobs including apprenticeships for more young people to break into creative and green industries.
- Help young and marginalised people find work by offering personalised long-term practical support to people who need the greatest help to get back into the workplace – such as young people, mums retuning to work, and the recently furloughed - via a ‘Restart Network’ run by Milton Keynes College.
- Creating a 12-month programme for young people not in employment, education or training that would increase opportunities for further study, traineeships, apprenticeships and employment.
As well as many more objectives which all genuinely sound very promising for the local community.
Other Opportunities worth noting.
If you haven’t read our article on Business in Milton Keynes already, now is the time. We’ve highlighted some of MK’s strongest selling points for starting or moving your business to the city of dreams.
Another strong recommendation and something we personally have benefited from was participating in an Incubator programme. We were accepted on the NatWest Accelerator Programme back in 2019.
The NatWest Accelerator supports and empowers UK entrepreneurs to scale their businesses to the next level. Their fully funded Accelerator programmes specialise in High Growth, Climate, FinTech and Purpose-led with the goal of providing:
- One-to-one coaching with experienced Acceleration Managers
- A programme of thought leadership and events
- Access to a network of like-minded peers, supported by Ecosystem Managers
- Focused support with access to experts from across your specialism
- Use of modern co-working spaces in one of the nationwide hubs (restrictions permitting of course)
Needless to say, this support is invaluable for young growing businesses, and just to highlight the fact that this is fully funded (free), there is really nothing to lose and so much to gain.
I hope the information above gives you some hope and optimism for the future of business in Milton Keynes. We certainly see a bright future and hope when you’re ready to start your business journey, you’ll think of FULLTIME.digital for your digital needs.
FULLTIME.digital build and optimise websites specific to your needs and your business. Want to get serious about your website?
Get in touch and talk to the team.