OVER 200 small businesses across the district have now been supported through a free Bradford Council initiative designed to help firms survive the impact of the pandemic.

The Bradford District Microbusiness Support Scheme offers tailored advice and help, via one-to-one phone sessions with experts from consultancy Insight with Passion.

Bookings for the calls are available any day of the week, including evenings and weekends.

Also, business specialists have staged free online workshops covering topics such as finances, resilience, customer service and branding.

And a dedicated website features information, tips and resources.

The latest series of online workshops takes place next month and in July, starting on Wednesday, June 9, from 6pm to 7.15pm.

During the pandemic, Bradford Council has also supported businesses with grants totalling over £200 million – plus advice and support through its economic development wing, Invest In Bradford.

Among those to benefit is Silsden-based Beauty in Bloom.

Owner, Charlotte Hawkins, said: “Like many businesses, I was unable to open for much of the last year.

“I’ve had a number of one-to-one telephone sessions and attended the workshops too.

“The advice and guidance has really given me the confidence to move things forward and I don’t think I’d be feeling like this without the support.”

Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw – the council’s portfolio holder for regeneration, planning and transport – said: “We are very pleased that so many businesses have come forward and made use of this free support.

“It has been designed to help local small firms survive and thrive during what can only be described as incredibly difficult trading conditions.

“The service has helped local firms to adapt to changing consumer patterns, enhance their digital and online skills and fine-tune their customer service.

“We hope that this will provide them with a strong platform and help them grow as we move through the roadmap out of lockdown and into the future.”

For further information about the online workshops and to book places, go to eventbrite.co.uk/o/bradford-district-microbusiness-support-26167868769.

To request one-to-one support and book a call, visit mybusinessbradford.info or phone 07909 171771.