Coronavirus support for Sandwell businesses: recovery for Sandwell

What are your hopes for when we emerge from the pandemic? Here we’ve rounded up ideas and resources for recovery in our region, with the hope that Sandwell and the wider West Midlands can come back stronger than ever. Please do share anything you think we should add.

This page was last reviewed in April 2021.

Recovery for Sandwell

[Swan mural at RSPB Sandwell Valley image credited to JaneTav and shared under creative commons licence.]

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Reset, rebuild and recover
West Midlands Combined Authority submitted a blueprint to central government for kickstarting economic recovery in the West Midlands. Read the blueprint – ‘Recharge the West Midlands’.

Ten priorities of WMCA:
* Ensure residents are kept safe and healthy
* Accelerate transport construction plans
* Build more homes faster and reshape town centres
* Get people who lose their jobs back into work quickly
* Support local businesses
* Secure huge new investment in technology and innovation
* Make sure the recovery is inclusive and works for everyone
* Step up green growth plans
* Take the West Midlands out to the world and bring the world into the West Midlands
* Regain control of the region’s own recovery.

Read more about the taskforce set up to deliver these.

This interesting discussion from the ESRC Festival of Social Science explores what matters more to our economic recovery – innovation or entrepreneurship.

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Black Country 2.0
This is the Black Country Chamber of Commerce’s campaign to help our region’s businesses ‘reboot, rebuild and rebound’ from the coronavirus crisis. Read about Black Country 2.0.

£20m to improve small business leadership and problem-solving skills
Two new leadership programmes to help small business leaders grow their companies in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic were launched on Monday 3 August. Read more about the scheme and how you could benefit from it on our news pages.

The Aston means business podcast is a special Aston Business School series delivered by journalist Steve Dyson which explores how some small business leaders are building resilience to the Covid-19 challenges.

You can submit an expression of interest in the Small Business Leadership Programme, a fully funded ten-week programme which aims to help senior leaders develop strategic leadership skills and the confidence to make informed decisions to enhance recovery from the impact of Covid-19.

The Construction Leadership Council has published ‘Roadmap to Recovery: An Industry Recovery Plan for the UK Construction Sector’, outlining three phases: restart, reset and reinvent.

Innovation and growth

Business transformation company Newable lists some brilliant webinars to help your business cope during the Covid-19 pandemic and find ways to emerge stronger.

‘Has coronavirus killed globalisation?’ Read the speech by British High Commissioner Laura Clarke, who ponders the changes Covid-19 has brought to the world and asks whether it has destroyed globalisation.

Make UK has published a detailed analysis of the Covid-19 impact on UK manufacturers. While it reveals it will take until 2022 for manufacturing to recover to pre-Covid-19 levels, the report also highlights how quickly manufacturers responded at a time of national crisis – for example, in creating PPE.

See also this thought-provoking blog post from the London School of Economics and Political Science: ‘Manufacturing matters for the UK economy – more than people commonly think’.

Manufacturing SMEs may benefit from signing up for the Manufacturing Growth Programme which has been boosted with an extra £6.5m of support funding.

Emergency Turnaround Clinic
Sole traders and micro businesses may appreciate this collection of audio files from Ittybiz, created in response to the 2010 recession.

Trade advisers from DIT Midlands (the Department for International Trade in the Midlands) are on hand to help Black Country businesses make the most of exporting opportunities – here’s how.

Read the UK Export Finance Business Plan 2020 to 2024 which sets out UKEF’s strategy over the next four years, including its role in the UK’s recovery from the impact of coronavirus.

See how the industry body UK Hospitality is looking at the measures needed by hospitality businesses to successfully re-open, recover and thrive in the aftermath of this crisis.

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Jobs and skills

Adults Skills for Work
Funded by the West Midlands Combined Authority, the Adult Skills for Work programme offers fully and part-funded courses to people aged 19+ who are looking to boost their skills and develop their careers.

Kickstart Scheme
The government’s Kickstart Scheme provides funding to employers to create job placements for 16 to 24 year olds. Apply for the funding through Sandwell Council.

Pilot IMS
The Innovation Fund provided by West Midlands Combined Authority is for people at risk of homelessness, who are sofa surfing or already homeless. This programme run by Pilot IMS has been designed to allow candidates to gain a recognised qualification, boost their confidence, and provide them with new skills. Pilot IMS’ Engagement Officer gives one to one support in job searching, money advice, completing application forms, interview skills and more. Please see this leaflet for details.

Sandwell Adult and Family Learning Service
Sandwell Council supports adults to enjoy learning. SAFL offers a varied range of learning activities at over thirty venues in six different towns: see the choice at the SAFL website.

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Please send us your suggestions.

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Mental health and wellbeing

This paper published by the Enterprise Research Centre‘Employee well-being, mental health and productivity in Midlands firms: the employer perspective’ – focuses on the engagement, attitudes and behaviours to employee wellbeing and mental health of around 1,900 employers across the East and West Midlands. It considers the effects of wellbeing and mental health on organisational performance and productivity. Data was collected in the three months before the coronavirus lockdown, so it could provide a useful baseline in the future for considering the impacts of the pandemic.

Also from the ERC, reflections on mental health and resilience in bouncing back from the Covid-19 crisis.

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