Welcome from Strategic Director for Communities, Mark Ryder
Hello and welcome to the March edition of Warwickshire Means Business.
These remain challenging times for the business community with the increase in living and fuel costs adding to the pressures imposed by the pandemic and the well known challenges with many supply chains. As these pressures continue, so will Warwickshire County Council's commitment to supporting businesses in every way that we can.
During the last year, the County Council has awarded more than £2.28million in loans and grants to businesses across the county. We have made it our twin priorities to keep adapting our support to the evolving needs of businesses and to make the support available as swiftly as possible. I am proud to say, on both fronts, we have achieved that.
That support, in collaboration with our partners in the region, remains ongoing and, alongside a wide range of established programmes, new ones are coming on track all the time. In this edition of WMB we feature Warwickshire Brighter Futures, a programme which is giving young people the employability skills they need to start their careers, and at the same time helping employers find the talented young recruits they need.
We also report the launch of Business Futures, whereby Warwickshire entrepreneurs have a chance to receive £1,000 to help start their own business.
It is pleasing to report that the very successful Business Ready programme, which has stimulated so many start ups and small businesses, has been extended for another year. Meanwhile, our £140million Warwickshire Recovery Investment Fund (WRIF) is gathering momentum. The first project to be supported by the WRIF's Business Investment Growth strand will be announced soon, a very exciting development that we will cover in the April edition of WMB.
In this edition, we also preview the Foodie Awards which will showcase our county's wonderful food, drink and hospitality offer and we feature the inspiring community effort in Nuneaton, coordinated by Aneta, a tenant at the Centenary Business Centre, to gather support for the people Ukraine.
Finally from me, with the cricket season starting next week, we highlight the bond between the County Council and Warwickshire County Cricket Club (the reigning county champions). The Bears are keen to strengthen their links with our business community which is great news - as vividly shown throughout all the challenges of the last couple of years, working together is the best way forward.