Retail recovery programme launched by Business Gateway Edinburgh

Supporting local businesses continues to be a focus for the City of Edinburgh Council’s Business Gateway service as a new Retail: Recover & Grow Programme is launched to support the Capital’s retail community as challenges continue to arise from the pandemic.

Retail recovery programme launched by Business Gateway Edinburgh

Looking to help local, independent retail business owners or directors survive and thrive following the pandemic, Business Gateway Edinburgh has developed a new pilot programme designed to assist skills development, knowledge, and foster confidence for businesses to recover and grow their operations.

Part funded through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), this three-day programme takes place over three months and will initially help six participants. Starting at the end of January and taking place virtually, the programme is free and will cover a variety of topics including sales, marketing, customer journey, customer service and PR resulting in a personalised retail strategy action plan.

Councillor Kate Campbell, fair work convener, said: “The last 21 months have been extremely difficult for retail businesses who have had to adapt rapidly to changing circumstances with absolutely no certainty about what the coming months, and often weeks, will look like.

“We’ve seen some amazing innovation with retailers quickly developing their digital presence and innovating in order to survive. But as the last few weeks have proven, there are many more challenges ahead. With this new pilot programme from Business Gateway Edinburgh we hope to help support businesses by equipping people with up-to-date knowledge, expertise and advice.

“Ultimately we want to see businesses thriving again. Through the Council’s wider services we have facilitated grant funding, provided rent assistance and extended outdoor seating arrangements. Our Forever Edinburgh campaign has also recently launched its Resident Rewards scheme which we hope will encourage people to shop locally, and support our small businesses.”

Councillor Mandy Watt, fair work vice convener, added: “This new programme adds another opportunity for small business leaders, this time in the retail sector, to come together and get up-to-date guidance and skills training to help them succeed in what are very difficult times. This adds to Business Gateway Edinburgh’s wider offering, including Women in Business and Gateway to Investment, and the ongoing one-to-one and on-call support offered by the team.

“We also hope that through this programme, as we’ve experienced with others, the business owners involved will build their own networks, benefit from each others experiences, and continue a new peer-to-peer support after the course is finished.”

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