GREAT RESULT: Tees Valley business support service a huge success
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen has hailed the Tees Valley Business service a huge success after it gave out millions of pounds in grants in its first 12-months to businesses across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool that are looking to invest, expand and create jobs.
Launched in January 2020 by Mayor Houchen to replace the Tees Valley Business Compass service, Tees Valley Business offers a one stop shop for a range of support to help businesses start-up and grow, including comprehensive advice on funding and finance options and assistance in establishing links with potential funding sources.
Tees Valley Business is backed by the £20million Tees Valley Business Fund, the largest investment fund of its kind in the region, awarding funding to firms looking to invest, expand and create jobs.
Since its launch, Tees Valley Business has enabled and provided over £16m in grants to over 1,000 businesses across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool. The funding has allowed start-ups to get off the ground and established businesses to grow and create good-quality jobs for local people.
As well as providing grants, Tees Valley Business has also been an essential port of call for more than 1,500 local firms looking for information, advice and detailed diagnostics on improving their business so they can take it to the next level.
The service has also played a critical part in supporting businesses through the coronavirus pandemic. Key funds worth millions of pounds developed in response to the pandemic by Mayor Houchen have all been delivered through Tees Valley Business, including the Welcome Back Fund, the Back to Business Fund and the Culture Fund.
Mayor Houchen said: “The millions of pounds that has been given to support firms right across our region is creating jobs for local people in local companies, meaning more local people can support our amazing town centres and high streets.
"I’ve never made a secret of my support for business, small and medium-sized businesses are the backbone of our economy and I’ve always been committed to helping them grow and create good-quality, well-paid jobs for local people.
“Support for business protects and creates local jobs, that’s why I wanted Tees Valley Business set up last year and that is what we are achieving.
“The last thing a business owner wants is to be filling in forms, when all they want to be doing is getting on and doing what they are good at, building a strong business and creating jobs for local people. Too often business support just gets in the way. The feedback we’ve got from local firms has been fantastic, they absolutely appreciate the help and support, but they are also grateful that it is easy to access and user-friendly, leaving them free to drive the business forward.
“We have made huge progress over the last few years, but let’s not put everything we have achieved at risk by going back to square one.”
Watch the channel on TV