Milton Keynes Council is providing £20,000 to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) who will in return give 100 local firms access to free legal, tax and employment support.
As part of its £2.25m support package to help businesses respond to challenges presented by COVID-19, the council is fully funding the cost of a year’s membership of the FSB for up to 100 local businesses.
Businesses that make successful applications will get free access to legal, tax and employment law support as well as financial and general business advice. MK businesses with fewer than 250 employees are eligible to join the FSB which will give them access to unrivalled support at a time they need it most. Applications from smaller businesses are particularly encouraged.
The FSB is not-for-profit organisation with a long history in helping small businesses. Its members have access to a package of support services, including legal and HR advice, as well as local networking groups and business banking.
Leader of MK Council, Cllr Pete Marland, said: “Small businesses need this additional support now more than ever. We hope this added level of help gives MK businesses the confidence they need to respond to the challenges COVID-19 continues to present. I’d particularly encourage smaller companies to take advantage of all the great resources and support the FSB has to offer.”
Yvette Lamidey of the FSB added: “In these uncertain times businesses are needing support and the FSB 24/7 legal, employment and tax helpline support can provide this alongside a range of legal documents and help sheets that cover everything from employment contracts, service agreements, B2B contracts, information for landlords and tenants. And for those who are just starting out in business access to this knowledge and the resources that are available can save a new business time and thousands in legal fees.
"We know that many businesses are and have been struggling and our helpline support has been invaluable to members over the last six months. Having access to that support will help up to 100 businesses in very practical ways and give them access to a wider range of benefits including debt recovery and support with cyber crime.”
Businesses interested in taking up the offer should contact membership advisor, Charles Smith, on Charles.Smith@fsb.org.uk or 07801 333480.
Generating opportunities for small business and start-ups is at the heart of the MK Council’s Economic Recovery Plan, which also includes funding a “Wonder Lab” for tech entrepreneurs, and the MK Artificial Intelligence Development programme to develop local skills in the industries of the future.