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A new government-backed scheme is aiming to help SMEs bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic by making valuable professional and business advice in areas including accountancy and marketing free to access.

Thousands of expert professional and business services advisers across the country have signed up to offer free advice as part of the new Recovery Advice for Business scheme.

Hosted on the Enterprise Nation website and backed by the government, the initiative will see eligible companies receive one-to-one advice with an expert adviser to help them through the coronavirus pandemic and prepare for the long-term recovery.

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According to the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, the advice offered will include bespoke assistance from accountancy, legal, and advertising to marketing, recruitment and digital.

For companies to participate, they must register on the Enterprise Nation platform where they will be asked a series of questions on the ‘Make a Plan’ diagnostic tool. After this has been completed, SMEs will be directed to a personalised dashboard where they will receive a detailed action plan which will include links to suggested tailored advice and relevant professional advisers willing to help.

Small businesses can then access a free advice call which can last up to one hour with a relevant adviser. Importantly, there is no limit on the number of advisers a company can speak to across a range of different areas.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has left thousands of SMEs facing a set of completely new challenges now and into the future. There has never been a more important time for firms to turn to the trusted advice of a professional and start on a path to recovery,” commented Emma Jones, Founder of Enterprise Nation.

Over 12,000 advisers in the existing Enterprise Nation community have committed to assisting SMEs, highlighted the government, with more professional advisers being signed up specifically to support the scheme.

“We’ve been overwhelmed and astonished by the generosity of the adviser community, thousands of whom have stepped forward to give their time and knowledge to revive, guide and support the nation’s small businesses through the pandemic to regain the momentum and restore the economic confidence with which we started the year,” continued Jones.

“Running a business can be isolating at the best of times, and this initiative will mean founders will not have to face the future alone.”

The Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD), the Institute of Chartered Accountants England & Wales (ICAEW), the Advertising Association, the Law Society and the Management Consultancies Association (MCA) are among the professional bodies to have signed up for the scheme.

Set to run until the end of December 2020, the online Enterprise Nation platform is now live for SMEs to register on.

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