The scale of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our businesses, residents and the wider community calls for collective local leadership to provide clear strategic direction to support our businesses during this global crisis and lead Hertfordshire’s post COVID-19 recovery.
Following the Chancellor’s announcement of a £330bn lifeline for the economy, we need to ensure the needs of our county’s businesses are understood by Government and that, in return, we ensure the right sort of support is made available.
Through our individual organisations, we stand ready to ensure we have locally tailored support to run alongside the national interventions being launched over the coming days.
We are committed to listening to business and are already working with our representative and partner organisations such as Visit Herts and Hertfordshire Growth Hub, via surveys, webinars and providing one-to-one support, to understand the significant and singular challenges our business community is facing.
Our immediate focus has been to get business support schemes up and running as quickly as possible and to signpost businesses and individuals to the right business support.
Our main referral point for local businesses is Hertfordshire Growth Hub, which has set up a dedicated COVID-19 Business Resource page, and its team of Growth Hub Advisers are on hand to provide one-to-one support via telephone: 01707 398168, email firstname.lastname@example.org and Live Chat from Monday-Friday, 8.30am-5.30pm. Hertfordshire Growth Hub is also running a survey to better understand the impact COVID-19 is having on the business community and how it can best prepare support.
Collectively, our next immediate task is to convene an Economic Resilience Leadership Group and an intelligence/delivery group to help feedback critical and timely COVID-19 business intelligence to Government on a weekly basis. This will require countywide input from our key private and public stakeholders and will be informed by regular economic briefings on COVID-19’s impact and corporate engagement around the unique challenges facing our key sectors and supply chain interfaces.
This group will report into a wider Strategic Co-ordinating Group (SCG) in operation that is co-ordinating all the strategic activities across the public sector and other agencies within the county in response to COVID-19. We will continue to update our stakeholders, partners and business community with its progress.
Our unique combined strengths lie in our knowledge of our local economy and granular understanding of our places and sectors. By speaking with one voice, at this time of global crisis, we can help ensure the most appropriate support packages are delivered to Hertfordshire businesses during the difficult months ahead and be best placed to secure Hertfordshire’s post COVID-19 recovery.
Cllr David Williams - Leader, Hertfordshire County Council
Mark Bretton - Chair, Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership
Briege Leahy - CEO, Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce