As the economy begins to reopen this week, West Lindsey District Council have revealed additional support for local small businesses and the self-employed, designed to help recovery from coronavirus and beyond.
The Conservative-led Council has teamed up with the Lincolnshire arm of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) to offer heavily discounted membership - which includes access to a huge range of support services, discounts and advice - to all small businesses within the West Lindsey district.
West Lindsey is subsidising membership, opting to pay the first £50 of the usual fee and FSB are waiving the normally required £30 cost of joining, totalling a significant £80 discount. That means sole traders can join from as little as £97, way down from a typical £177.
Market Rasen district councillor, John McNeill, Deputy Chairman of the Prosperous Communities Committee, welcomed the news. He commented:
“West Lindsey District Council is delighted to be working in partnership with the Federation Of Small Business to offer this reduced membership to support our small businesses across the district at this difficult time.”
Katrina Pierce, FSB’s Development Manager for Lincolnshire added:
“I am delighted to be working with West Lindsey to deliver direct support to the area’s small business and self-employed. WLDC has already set out their ambition to be home to the largest community of micro businesses of any comparable council and by opting to work with us they have really powered up their provision and are giving valuable, practical and instant access to every business support service any business could need at this time. I am looking forward to helping WLDC to roll out this offer and to welcoming new members to our network as soon as possible.”
Once businesses take up the subsidised membership, they can access the full package of business support which will help firms across the UK to plan their recovery, manage their HR issues and get to grips with their legal obligations alongside 165,000 other businesses around the UK.
The full membership package includes:
- 24/7 FSB Legal Protection hotline and online hub of legal documents, employment protection and HR guidance including information on the furlough scheme
- Tax Investigation Protection - members have automatic access to comprehensive and free tax advice and tax investigation insurance
- FSB Workplace Pensions A straightforward and cost-effective solution specifically designed to help small businesses ensure their workplace pension scheme is fully compliant.
- Free Business Banking with the Co-operative Bank
- FSB Care – a hotline for business owners to seek advice on support on mental and physical health concerns
- FSB Cash Advance - access to fast, flexible funding with no hidden repayment fees.
- £10k of built-in FSB Cyber Protection insurance to projected websites, databases and email systems
- Debt management and late payment tools to help SMEs to get paid on time and in full
- FSB Funding Platform which makes seeking out available and relevant business funding easy
- Health and Safety Advice
- Insurance service
- PR/Crisis helpline
Councils across the UK have been partnering with FSB to offer this discounted membership following a surge in demand for the FSB’s comprehensive support. West Lindsey District Council is currently the only local authority in Lincolnshire to offer this support to their businesses.
FSB has been supporting small businesses and the self-employed since 1974 and since the outbreak of the coronavirus crisis has lobbied hard for fair support for the UK’s vital small business community. The Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak launched the Job Retention Scheme, Self-Employed Income Support Scheme and Small Business Grants were launched following talks with the FSB in Westminster. Locally, FSB Lincolnshire has offered front-line guidance, support and virtual events for the county’s SMEs and sole traders and is therefore best placed to help local businesses to recover and grow.
To apply for the discounted membership, go to www.west-lindsey.gov.uk/fsb.