A new business support helpline has been launched by the three Ayrshire councils to help local businesses navigate the extensive support strands and funding opportunities available to them.
In the wake of COVID-19, the local economic landscape has changed significantly, with many more businesses in need of support and assistance as they try to ride the storm. At the same time, the menu of options for business support has become increasingly more complex, meaning businesses are looking for assistance to identify the most appropriate support for their individual needs.
From Wednesday 17 June 2020, any Ayrshire business seeking assistance, whether based in Cumnock, Prestwick or Irvine, can contact a single helpline number – 0330 6781611. And thanks to the wonders of technology, callers will be channelled to a business advisor within their own local authority area.
Councillor Douglas Reid, Leader, East Ayrshire Council welcomed this development. He said: “We cannot underestimate the impact that COVID-19 has had on our local economy, and we recognise many of our established businesses have struggled to survive in recent weeks.
“Our teams are already engaged with many local companies, but not all, and as the lockdown eases and we prepare to resume trading, we want to stress that we can and will do everything we can to help any business in Ayrshire.
“A single contact number for Ayrshire businesses support will make that initial contact easier for all.”
Councillor Alex Gallagher, Cabinet Member for Post-Covid Renewal at North Ayrshire Council, said: “Throughout the Covid pandemic, we have been there for local businesses and we will continue to offer all the help and support we can.
“We are well aware of the difficulties they have faced and the challenges that still lie ahead. This new helpline will be vital as we help businesses navigate their way through the coming weeks and months.”
Councillor Douglas Campbell, Leader of South Ayrshire Council said: “We know the challenges that many local businesses face when they begin to re-open as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Thanks to the amazing efforts of our staff, we have provided vital business and funding information, and emotional and practical support, to local companies and business owners struggling to survive the crisis.
“The Ayrshire business support helpline builds on this, allowing traders to access the information they need, no matter where they are located in Ayrshire.”
The helpline will be operational, Monday – Thursday, 9am to 5pm and Friday 9am to 4pm, with calls being charged at local rate.