Free offer of business advice to help with pandemic recovery

Richard Swart, right, with Open North Foundation supporters, left to right, Mark Stephenson, Gill Courtney, Colin Hewitt, Paul Shields and Claire Preston.

The Open North Foundation (ONF) – a Northeastern private sector response to the pandemic – has already provided cash grants to many businesses in the region over the past two years.

It now aims to provide support services – offered by businesses and organizations based in the North East – in a variety of areas.

These include energy consulting; commercial and strategic support; HR advice/health check; Financial forecast; general export support; growth planning and costing; rent, service and insurance disputes and expert advice in the development of an innovation, technology, product or process.

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Help is also available for tax advice and analysis of research and development tax breaks.

Richard Swart, Chairman of the Open North Foundation, said: “The region’s renowned private sector has come together to provide a wide range of specialist business services to help the many small businesses in our region looking to bounce back. after the pandemic.

“While Covid restrictions have been lifted and life appears to be returning to normal, for many businesses the road to recovery is very difficult.”

He added: “The NFB is committed to supporting companies that

established before and during the pandemic.

“We are able to do this thanks to the incredible generosity of the private sector and other organizations that have stepped up to provide financial and in-kind support.

“While we continue to provide many financial grants, we also want business owners to take advantage of the expert support that is available to them.”

Open North Foundation was established in July 2020 and is a direct response from the North East business community to provide financial and in-kind support to small businesses impacted by the pandemic.

It offers donations and has a board of directors, ambassadors and supporters, all offering their services for free.

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