Hitchin trust launches £20,000 support package to help town’s independent businesses through COVID-19

Hitchin's independent businesses are set to receive a £20,000 coronavirus boost. Picture: Peter Moul

Hitchin's independent businesses are set to receive a £20,000 coronavirus boost. Picture: Peter Moulton/Shutterstock. - Credit: Archant

70 Hitchin businesses have signed up to a £20,000 support scheme that aims to help them survive and thrive during the coronavirus crisis.

The initiative, created by Hitchin Property Trust Ltd, launched on Monday and offers professional advice to help businesses manage and grow in these extraordinary times.

The £20,000 support program has been developed to help those within retail, leisure and hospitality sectors by giving them direct access to some of the best advisors and consultants around.

Alexandra Robertson, director at the Trust, said: “Hitchin is famous for its independent businesses and boutiques and it’s what the local community and visitors love about it; it’s vibrancy, market-town feel and eclectic mix of shops.

“We’ve been landlords in Hitchin since 1937 and many of our tenants are independent businesses.

“It became clear to us in difficult times they suffer the most as they don’t have the resources or support the national chains do.

“We wanted to step up in our leadership role and offer additional support, to ensure that our tenants and other independent business owners not only survive COVID–19 but also learn how to thrive, both in the present and in the future.”

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The support program will be delivered via a mixture of interactive webinars and coaching sessions, covering key topics such as cash flow, HR, business development, social media and marketing.

It is intended to run for several weeks, however, if it proves to be successful, it is hoped it can be extended with further monies allocated to it.

Michelle Ovens, founder of Small Business Britain, the UK’s leading champion of small businesses, and Director at Small Business Saturday UK hosted Monday’s introductory webinar.

Michelle was joined by a panel of four guest speakers who provided their views on the key challenges for small businesses in the current market. These included, Nicolle and Naomi from Business Clan, Catherine from Future Retail, Minal from Marketing by Minal and Deasha from Social Treats.

For more information on Hitchin Property Trust Ltd, visit www.htpi.co.uk.