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The team behind Bedford St Coffee, from left, David Beattie, Dave Burton, Tom Keavney, Guy Snead | Darlington Business Club

Tees Valley Business backs almost 900 companies in its first year

Tees Valley Business has helped almost 900 businesses in its first year of operation, which are now on course to create and safeguard more than 900 roles, new figures have revealed.

Between its creation in January and December, 886 businesses have been supported by the service, with 686 smaller and coronavirus-responsive grants totalling £3.23million delivered to help them grow.

This will lead to 430 new jobs, 130 of which have already been created, plus a further 501 roles delivered by helping companies access the Government’s Kickstart scheme. Tees Valley Business has helped a range of firms, from accountants and property firms to hospitality businesses such as coffee shops and pubs.

Tees Valley Business was established in January by Mayor Ben Houchen and the Combined Authority. It provides easy to access advice, support, grants and loans to help businesses. The £35million programme aims create jobs and grow local businesses and includes a £20million investment fund.

One business to benefit from the funding was Bedford Street Coffee in Middlesbrough, which secured £3,000 from the Back to Business fund. The cash helped them secure professional HR services to support them in bringing staff back to work safely after the first national lockdown, as well as introduce new a business administration and accounting system to save them time and effort.

Dave Beattie, Bedford Street Coffee’s Director, said: “We are so grateful to the funding that has been provided by Tees Valley Business, access to the Back to Business Grant has helped us to push on and help overcome the hurdles that we have all faced in this year.

“By accessing this funding we have been able to position ourselves better to come out of this period stronger and more resilient than ever. Onwards and upwards!”

Previously revealed capital grant figures showed that £6million of investment in 12 larger businesses had helped those firms create and safeguard 652 jobs, with further expressions of interest set to secure 569 more.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “Whether it’s big, game-changing investments that back our large businesses, or smaller interventions for our vital SMEs, Tees Valley Business is clearly doing what it was designed to – helping our companies survive and thrive even in the face of a pandemic, ultimately protecting jobs and livelihoods.

“This new service is an easier way than ever for companies to find out what support, financial or not, is available to them. It has only been up and running for less than 12 months and we’ve already got hundreds of new jobs in the pipeline.

“We’ve also been flexible enough to react quickly to the challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic and offer a single port of call for those companies needing Government support.

“As we look to 2021 and the continued economic recovery from the pandemic, I’d urge any business, big or small, to speak to the team at Tees Valley Business or check out the website to see how we can help you.”

For more information on the local and national support available to businesses, how to apply to the Government Kickstart scheme or how Tees Valley Business can help you, visit TeesValleyBusiness.com.

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