TEDCO has announced sweeping changes to the way it will deliver its business support service within the region in response to a marked increase in demand in recent weeks. New online platforms will help the organisation cope with the number of individuals and businesses looking for advice and guidance during the Covid-19 outbreak, following a surge in enquiries due to rapid economic changes.
As lockdown and social distancing measures are put in place, TEDCO has introduced a range of new digital services to provide greater access to businesses and individuals working from home. Now, anyone seeking guidance on self-employment and business continuity have access to TEDCO support services, which will be delivered digitally from remote locations.
All TEDCO business advisors will conduct meetings via online video conferencing and free business workshops and training sessions will continue to be delivered as digital webinars. The new digital processes were already in the process of being implemented to open up the business advisory service to new clients but have been fast-tracked to help meet the growing demands on the service from individuals looking for at-home support.
The new measures apply to all TEDCO programmes currently being delivered in the region, including the NEA scheme and the North Tyneside Business Factory and aim to ensure individuals are armed with the information and training they need to weather the storm facing their business for years to come.
Carole White, TEDCO chief executive comments: “These are unexpected and worrying times for businesses in the region as the global economy enters unchartered waters with regards the fallout from the Covid-19 outbreak.
“We are seeing high levels of enquiries from businesses we currently support looking for answers to difficult training, financing and employee-related queries. But we also know that thousands of individuals, particularly those in the travel and hospitality industry, face an uncertain future following such a rapid turn of events.
“With so many people looking for guidance when it comes to employment and what the future holds for their business, we needed to improve access to business advice and one-to-one support when the majority of our customers and staff are now isolating at home.
“Response to the new online services has been positive and we can only hope that moving forward, as the position becomes clearer, we can be a trusted source of information to anyone looking for assistance in setting up a new business or to register as self-employed.
“Unfortunately, as we emerge from this crisis, it is expected that many thousands of people could be facing life without employment. For myself and my team, we want to reassure individuals that whatever advice and guidance they may need on the options of self-employment following redundancy, we can help.
“This is a situation that for many requires us to take a deep breath and consider the changes to our career and lifestyle. We hope that our schedule of free workshops, advice and guidance can help people to understand the process and opportunities for self-employment as an option for the future. In the meantime, we will continue to support our start-up community and wish to extend our positive wishes to all affected by this situation.”