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New BEIS-backed scheme to aid SME survival

29 June 2020: ICAEW is throwing its support behind the Recovery Advice for Business Scheme, which offers free advice for small businesses.

ICAEW is supporting the new Recovery Advice for Business Scheme, a partnership between the Professional and Business Services Sector and Enterprise Nation, supported by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

The scheme offers free resources and business advice for SMEs that have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown. The scheme is looking for advisors to volunteer to provide one-hour sessions with business owners on a variety of topics, including accountancy.

“Throughout the coronavirus crisis, ICAEW Chartered Accountants have acted as trusted advisors to businesses of all shapes and sizes. Now, as companies seek to recover and rebuild, we are proud to support the Recovery Advice for Business scheme to better connect firms to the high-quality professional advice they need. Whether it’s cash flow management, tax advice or securing access to finance, I know our members will want to help any small businesses who may be struggling and support the UK to get back on its feet,” says Sharron Gunn BFP FCA, ICAEW Executive Director, Members, Commercial & Shared Services.

In a joint statement Nadhim Zahawi MP, Minister for Business and Industry, and Paul Scully MP, Minister Small Business, Consumers and Labour Markets, explained “We are taking decisive action to support businesses to recover, including the extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – to protect jobs, and the Bounce Back Loans scheme for small business.

“But we know that it is not just financial support that SMEs need – there is compelling evidence that those businesses which take up external advice perform much better than those who do not. There has never been a more important time for businesses to utilise the trusted advice of a professional.”

The ministers went on to say that they are delighted to be working with the ICAEW, the wider Professional and Business Services Sector, and Enterprise Nation to ensure SMEs can get the advice they need to re-orientate, re-plan and relaunch over the coming months.

The scheme will be launched to businesses in early July and run until 31 December 2020. Members who are interested in signing up to provide up to 1-hour free advice calls to businesses in need of expert advice to aid recovery from coronavirus impacts should go to enterprisenation.com/join-the-campaign/ and use their Trade Body Coupon Code to set up a free profile. Members with a practising certificate can log in here to reveal the coupon code below.

Please note that pro-bono work of this nature is classed as a practice activity and therefore any members wishing to sign up must hold a practising certificate

ICAEW also runs and operates the long-established ICAEW Business Advice Service (BAS) which connects owners of small and medium-sized businesses with ICAEW regulated firms who provide a free initial consultation, without obligation. For information on BAS go to icaew.com/bas.