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A message from Tees Valley Mayor. Ben Houchen:
I write to raise a number of issues that may be relevant to local businesses in the context of COVID-19 (Coronavirus).
The coming months may well prove to be a time of unprecedented economic and social difficulty for many Tees Valley businesses and their employees.
This letter is a call to arms for companies who can help directly and will hopefully provide useful information for the wider business community.
As Metro Mayor of the Tees Valley – a region that covers Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland, and Stockton-on-Tees – I have some powers to support businesses as well as a unique perspective on matters of a strategic nature.
You may be able to help with the following local and national elements of the COVID-19 response.
- The Government has put out a call for manufacturers of ventilators and companies that may be able to assist in their production to contact the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. The secondment of skilled workers for this purpose may be helpful. If you can be of assistance please call the BEIS Business Support helpline on 0300 456 3565 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- We are working to make warehouse and manufacturing space across the Tees Valley available for the Government’s response. We are already working with the Tees Advanced Manufacturing Park to provide up to 180,000 sq ft. If you are able to offer suitable space please contact us at email@example.com.
- If you are a business in the medical supply chain, or in any other sector of strategic importance to the COVID-19 response, and would like to discuss support from my team at Tees Valley Business please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following may also be of interest to you:
- The Government has announced a £3,000 grant for businesses that do not pay business rates to help them survive the coronavirus pandemic. This money will be available within the next two weeks and will be administered by your local council.
- The Government has also announced a Statutory Sick Pay relief package for SMEs, and Business Rate Relief for small businesses and pubs.
- The Government has launched the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme to support long-term viable businesses who may need to respond to cash-flow pressures by seeking additional finance.
- We have offered the St George Hotel at Teesside International Airport to the NHS to help meet the need for beds/capacity.
- We are working with the Local Resilience Forums (LRF), bodies led by the local councils and emergency services within the Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool area. It exists to coordinate responses to emergencies.
- I have offered my organisation’s resources to sign up volunteers to help with the emergency response. If you, a colleague, an employee or any other associate is able to help, please register your interest by emailing email@example.com, someone will be in touch if necessary. People offering to volunteer may also wish to sign up to the Red Cross Volunteer Reserve by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you need help accessing information on Government schemes to assist you and your employees, likewise please get in touch. The best way to do this is to email email@example.com.
Please pass this message on to other companies and people you feel may benefit from it.
While every effort has been made to contact every business in the area, some may not be in our database.
Thank you in advance for your resilience and hard work during this difficult time.
By Tees Valley Combined Authority