Watch Again: Northamptonshire councils expand local covid business support offer

  • 13 Nov 2020

Watch this recorded event to find out what support is available to get you through the Covid crisis, from East Northamptonshire and Wellingborough councils, University of Northampton, and other local business support organisation, including free FSB membership funded by the council scheme.

Watch on demand:

The following Speakers outline what they can each offer local businesses:

James Tennant: East Northamptonshire Council and on behalf of Borough Council of Wellingborough

Clare Elsby, FSB Area leader, East Northamptonshire based business owner

Ruth Roan, Building Business- business strategy and 1:1 support

Ruth Cozens, SEMLEP Growth Hub

Paul Smith, University of Northampton

The council is committed to supporting lives and livelihoods during the COVID-19 crisis, and boosting the resilience of the small business which are valued as a vital and dynamic part of the local economy. Fully funded memberships of the FSB are now available for businesses with between 0 and ten employees, on a first come, first served basis while the funds remain. 


As a key strand of the Council's 'Recovery Through Enterprise' (RTE) response to COVID-19, East Northamptonshire Council have allocated a small budget to cover the cost of membership which aims to benefit up to 20 businesses. The enhanced member benefits of FSB service compliment the wide ranging RTE programme already on offer through a Gateway service at the University of Northampton. FSB members have access to dedicated helplines to help business navigate a range of key strategic areas such as legal and tax support, employment legislation, health & safety advice, cyber protection, PR Crisis management and insurance.

To enquire about joining via the free membership scheme, please contact the University of Northampton Business Support Team Gateway Service on 01604 892328 and specifically ask for a referral to the FSB membership offer, or go to the University of Northampton business support page here.

UPDATE: Since the event was filmed, the government announced a new national lockdown and introduced a range of grants for certain businesses affected, as well as a small amount of discretionary grant funding. The participants in the scheme will be fully up to date with these, so find the information here and get in touch for all the latest support and funding available.

On the launch of the new scheme, ‘Recovery Through Enterprise’, James Tennant, Business Account Manager said: “More and more small businesses and self-employed people are contacting us for advice, guidance and financial support during the emergency COVID-19 situation.

“We are very pleased to be able to fund FSB memberships for some local small businesses, which will help them to gain access to the specialist 1-2-1 advice and support vital to their survival during this uncertain time. It’s like a small business suddenly having a trusted corporate back-office on the end of the phone, which is a a real asset in these troubled times.


The full package of support from Recovery Through Enterprise includes a raft of resources from key partners available by contacting the University of Northampton Business Support Team. Businesses will be offered a free ‘Gateway diagnostic’ which has been highlighted as a valuable tool to help with critical decision making for local startups, small businesses and SMEs.

“FSB membership provides support including a funding platform, medical care helpline, employment advice and protection, debt recovery, as well as an award winning legal hub for advice and also a range of virtual support events and networking opportunities.

“I’d encourage businesses to apply quickly to take advantage of this special scheme, because it is strictly limited to first come, first served. Of course businesses who miss out on the free scheme can still ask for our help, we have many free resources and a can signpost to a range of effective services and funding schemes.”


Clare Elsby, founder of Elsby & Co accountants and elected Area Leader for FSB for in Northamptonshire, Leicestershire and Rutland, said: “FSB is delighted to be partnering again with East Northamptonshire Council on this crucial initiative to get robust, on-the-ground and immediate business support to local sole-traders and small businesses to help them not only survive this crisis, but to go on to revive and then thrive. We are proud and grateful to be working with East Northamptonshire council on a positive and tangible response which will really help businesses now.

“The Enterprising East Northants team have always been open to creative ideas and had a real passion for identifying opportunities to help businesses in need of support, and this partnership will be pivotal in ensuring this aim is met.”

For more information on the Recovery Through Enterprise scheme, visit the East Northamptonshire website here.

‘You can now find all the latest business support information for businesses in East Northants and Wellingborough on the Recovery Through Enterprise website here:

Watch on demand: