Cllr Phil King, Leader of Harborough District Council (centre) with local businesses and FSB representatives.

Harborough retailers and businesses have a unique opportunity to gain crucial support to help them recover from the Covid pandemic.

Harborough District Council is the first local authority in Leicestershire to offer independent businesses and the self-employed a free one-year Federation of Small Business (FSB) membership.

The FSB Member Package includes:

Tax advice, late payment and financial assistance

Insurance, health and safety information and health care are now offered to businesses in Harborough.

Cllr Phil King, who leads Harborough Council, said: ‘If you run a business and are not already a member of the FSB, this is a fantastic opportunity to get professional and expert advice and support during which was a very difficult time. .

“I am pleased that we are able to work in partnership to offer this at no cost to businesses.

The Small Business Federation has reported strong demand for its services.

Inquiries to its legal, tax and employment advice lines, FSB Care medical advice line, cyber protection, funding platform, cash advances and insurance services have all increased .

“We recognize that not all businesses, especially smaller businesses, have been able to get help from government support programs,” Cllr King added.

“It is hoped that this support will help businesses navigate their way over the coming months, giving them the best chance of recovery and protecting jobs.”

Jennifer Thomas, FSB Local Manager, said: “I am delighted that FSB can partner with Harborough District Council to be able to provide direct support to small businesses and the self-employed in the area.

“By helping businesses access the key advice and services they need, we are giving valuable, convenient and instant access to vital business support,” she said.

“FSB members in the region and I look forward to welcoming new members to our network as soon as possible.”

Applications are offered on a “first come, first served” basis. Up to 60 companies will be able to access their first year of free FSB membership.

Once businesses become members, they can access the full business support package to help them plan their recovery, as well as manage HR matters and legal obligations, alongside 300 other FSB members in the district. .

To register your interest, please email [email protected] with the name, address and contact details of your company.