Metro Mayor announces £15m coronavirus business support plan

PLANS to redirect £15m from existing combined authority projects to help businesses and the community and voluntary sector across Liverpool City Region during the Coronavirus crisis will be announced today.

This support – announced by metro mayor Steve Rotheram, includes £5m to support businesses to access national government funds and improve the survival rate of LCR businesses and increased flexibility for local authorities to use the £6m Town Centres Fund to support local high streets.

It also sees the launch of Sustain, a six-week programme of intensive support for 240 SMEs across all sectors and Gather – an online programme offering free online support to small and medium sized enterprises working in the digital, creative and tech sector.

Mettle – an online business resilience programme, will support 120 SMEs in the digital, creative and tech sector.

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It is part of a package of measures which includes £400,000 to support micro-businesses and SMEs in the cultural sector, which was announced on Wednesday.

Mr Rotheram said: "We are locked in a battle with Coronavirus on many fronts.

"This is not just a medical emergency, but a health and social one too.

"Right now, in addition to protecting lives and supporting frontline workers, I'm focussed on helping local businesses get the support that they need to secure their futures as well as those of their staff.

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"I know that there are still gaps in support for too many businesses, but we are doing all that we can to help.

"There is no manual for dealing with a pandemic on this scale.

"Today, we’re bringing forward £15m of funding to help local businesses access the financial support and advice that is key to their immediate survival.

"As our region recovers from this – and it will – I want to use the lessons from this crisis to help shape the fairer, more inclusive economy and society that we are trying to build."

To find out more about the support available to local businesses, go to