Covid-19 response - Planning for Gloucestershire’s business recovery

Since this Covid-19 pandemic began, the main priority for GFirst LEP, Gloucestershire’s Local Enterprise Partnership, has been to communicate the very latest information on support available from central Government to businesses in Gloucestershire. But what are the LEP’s plans for the coming weeks and months?

CEO David Owen, says, “Our approach to the Covid-19 situation is in four phases:

1) Communicate Emergency Support – to deal with the immediate economic implications and provide support and guidance to businesses through our Growth Hub network.

2) Analyse the economic shock – working with our partners in the public, private and voluntary sectors, build an understanding of the potential impact on Gloucestershire’s economy.

3) Create an Economic Recovery Plan – develop a strategy and actions that deal with the short to medium term economic shock.

4) Build Economic Resilience – to review and update long-term strategies, including our Local Industrial Strategy, to build resilience in the economy and to deliver to the ‘new normal’.” 

“Our LEP business survey has produced invaluable data on the impact on Gloucestershire’s businesses and my team have embarked on a campaign to directly contact some of the largest businesses in the county to gain further market intelligence.”

“In response to the recruitment challenges being faced by businesses in these difficult times, and to support individuals who may find themselves being made redundant during the Coronavirus pandemic, alongside our Growth Hub network, we have launched a partnership with GlosJobs to set up a ‘one stop shop’ so the county can gather together all things recruitment in Gloucestershire.”

“As you would expect we are liaising with colleagues across the LEP Network to plan the network-wide strategic approach. The LEP’s Chair, Dr Diane Savory and I join fortnightly meetings with Government Ministers Simon Clarke and Nadheem Zahawi. Diane also sits on the National Economic Recovery Task Force, chaired by Minister Simon Clarke - a small group that also includes Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London), Andy Burnham (Mayor of Greater Manchester) and Andy Street (Mayor of the West Midlands).”

“We have set up a taskforce from right across the county that includes all of our local authorities, the voluntary sector and leading membership organisations the FSB, NFU, CyNam and Circle2Success, who will work with the GFirst LEP team on recovery planning and implementation.”

“The LEP board will strategically oversee the development and implementation of an Economic Recovery Strategy for Gloucestershire.  We have appointed Nick Holyoake to lead on development of the recovery plan and are currently commissioning further work to analyse the impact of the economic shock on Gloucestershire.”

“We know that businesses in Gloucestershire are having to adapt quickly in order to survive and none of us know right now what the full impact of Covid-19 will have on the County’s workplace landscape.”

GFirst LEP are rapidly developing our plans and actions for a recovery that will help as many businesses and individuals as possible right across the county.” 

GFirst LEP Chair, Dr Diane Savory said, “We have a huge challenge and an opportunity and I’d like to thank the enormous efforts made by the GFirst LEP and Growth Hub teams to get us to this point.  Now, more than ever it is vital that we have joined-up thinking and a coherent approach to recovery for Gloucestershire, its businesses and its residents”.

If you’d like to help us in strengthening the economy of Gloucestershire, please get in touch, we’d love to hear from you.

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