Businesses wanting to grow or scale, and start-up enterprises based in York are urged to sign up for a range of fully funded support on a variety of subjects under a programme launched by the City of York Council.

The Council is working with Harrogate Borough Council and York & North Yorkshire Growth Hub (Y&NY Growth Hub) to deliver the programme, which aims to stimulate economic development by helping businesses improve their competitiveness and productivity to create jobs, grow, and reach new markets.

Available until March 2023, eligible businesses can tap into 960 hours of free support, including mentoring and online and in-person seminars, around specialist topics such as HR, finance, sales and marketing, digital skills, and business planning.

The move follows the success of the Covid-19 recovery-funded business support programme delivered last year.

Andrew Raby, manager of the York & North Yorkshire Business Growth Hub, said: “We are delighted to be delivering this timely new business support programme on behalf of York City Council. We know businesses of all types and sizes still face difficult challenges as they recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, and are battling issues including supply chain disruptions, further changes to the rules on imports and exports of goods to the EU, along with rising interest rates, inflation, and energy costs.

“We remain steadfast in supporting business in all sectors, whether a fledgling start-up or a growing business with premises and staff, in overcoming these prolonged tough trading times and set firm grounds to help businesses not just survive but thrive.”

Face-to-face events will be held at venues in York with some earmarked for November’s York Business Festival, which will focus on rebuilding the economy across key sectors and inspire growth, creativity, and innovation.

The fully-funded programme is available to businesses or charities trading or registered in York. A programme of events will also be held in Harrogate, which is available to businesses or charities trading or registered in the Harrogate Borough Council area.

Business owners, managers, and employees are welcome to take part in the programme either in person or through an online series of events that are due to support busy businesses to access these fantastic, free resources and expertise.

Councillor Ashley Mason, Executive Member for Economy and Strategic Planning for City of York Council said: “We are delighted to launch this fully funded programme of support, which will be an invaluable starting point for any business and suitable for all sectors. It will provide fantastic opportunities for local businesses to build their networks, enhance their operations, and develop new skills in the areas they most need support.”