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Free business support for independent businesses in North Somerset

Local businesses are being offered access to a mix of one-to-one support sessions with expert advisers, group support sessions with other local business leaders, and be signposted to a range of online resources and information hubs.

Key business challenges to be addressed include:

  • staff recruitment and retention
  • attracting new and repeat business via marketing and digitalisation
  • business planning for resilience and long-term benefit
  • attracting new markets via enhanced sustainability and accessibility credentials

The ‘Welcome Back North Somerset’ initiative is designed to help independent businesses across the area bounce back from the challenges of the pandemic and national lockdowns .

The project is supported by the Welcome Back Fund financed by the European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.

“Your advice has been spot on. I have had a very good season and as a result of your support I have overshot our financial target and achieved more than I had planned”. (Ms L, business owner from Somerset )

You could also be in the running to win a prize draw: A 2 night stay for two in the Cotswolds, or a hamper from a local producer!

“I was really impressed with your input into where we are and where we would like to be. Your advice was totally on point and we have taken some really useful ideas away as a result. We really enjoyed your delivery and your ability to take on board our unique issues and work with them and provide useful feedback. Thank You!” (Ms H, business owner from Somerset )

About the Project

  1. What is the purpose of Welcome Back North Somerset?

Welcome Back North Somerset is a project to help the area’s wonderful independent businesses recover from the Covid-19 pandemic and become more successful in the future.

We know it’s been a challenging time for businesses like yours – for example digital technologies are more important than ever in attracting customers and servicing their purchases, the market for finding/retaining staff is competitive, and customer needs and behaviours are changing (especially among younger age groups).

We’re here to help you step back from your day-to-day operations and look at your business afresh, with practical advice from a team of experts who collectively have over 150 years’ experience in operating their own companies and supporting businesses like yours.

  1. Who is behind the project?

North Somerset Council is leading the project with support provided by Tomorrow’s Tourism. The scheme is funded by the Welcome Back Fund, financed by the European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.

  1. How long will Welcome Back North Somerset run for?

Support is available to you until March 2022 – but to give us enough time to provide you with the help you need, you need to sign up before 31st January 2022.

About Tomorrow’s Tourism

  1. Who are Tomorrow’s Tourism?

We provide support tools and expertise to help you achieve positive change. Whether moving your business towards net zero, business planning, development, or marketing (including digital), our team of experts is matched to your specific needs, to focus and prioritise what’s really important and why. To bring you access to the widest range of up to date knowledge, we work alongside colleagues at Avenue6, who specialise in sector specific marketing, digital services and sales.

Availability of Support

  1. Does my business qualify?
    Support is available to any independent business in the North Somerset Council area employing fewer than 250 people and with turnover less than £42M that depend on local footfall and visitors.

    If you’re unsure if you’re eligible for support please contact us at sarah.haynes@tomorrowstourism.com, or complete the sign up form: Welcome Back North Somerset – Click Here to Sign Up and we’ll confirm your eligibility.

  2. What support is available via the project?
    Key business challenges our experts will assist you with include:
    • Staff recruitment and retention
    • Attracting new and repeat business via marketing and digital
    • Business Planning to make your business resilient for the long-term future
    • Developing new products and experiences to meet changing customer demand
    • Attracting new markets with enhanced sustainability and accessibility options

    We’ll provide you with your own Action Plan, and up to 2 hours dedicated support.

  3. Is it free of charge?
    Yes!

  4. How do I apply for support?
    Simply complete the sign up form: Welcome Back North Somerset – Click Here to Sign Up

  5. What happens after I apply?
    We will do a quick eligibility check on your location, and then ask you to give us a little more detailed information about the challenges your business is facing, and the aspirations you have for growth.

    We’ll then assign you to one of our marvellous Expert Advisors – one whose expertise and experience is most closely matched to your needs. They will write a succinct Action Plan advising you on the best next steps – for example a 1-1 or group session on a specific topic such as improving your social media, the best booking system for your business, or how to attract new markets. This isn’t an exhaustive list – every business is unique and we will find the solutions you need!

  6. Is there a deadline for applying?
    Yes – 31st January 2022 – so don’t delay!

This scheme has been funded by the Welcome Back Fund financed by the European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020

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