York’s business community to take active role in city’s recovery

City leaders are urging York’s business community to support the city’s economic recovery by joining sector-focused recovery groups.

The council is developing plans to support the city’s economic recovery, incorporating the priorities outlined in the recent Council Plan, including making York a greener and more inclusive city.

To kick-start this process, a strategic business leaders meeting will be held, chaired by Councillor Keith Aspden, the Leader of the Council, to begin discussions on our local recovery plans. This will follow a similar meeting held with city partners, such as local Universities, discussing how to work in partnership earlier in the week.

Once the strategic business leaders meeting has been held, twelve sector-focused groups will be established, made up of representatives from across the city’s businesses, to gather intelligence and develop a deeper understanding of the challenges businesses are facing.  The council and partners will then use this insight to inform recovery planning at a local and regional level, and for lobbying national government for further investment in the city.

Businesses of all sizes are invited to take part in the monthly virtual ‘roundtable’ discussions, organised by the council in partnership with Make it York, the York BID, Federation of Small Business, York & North Yorkshire Chamber Of Commerce and the York and North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership.

Coun Keith Aspden, leader of City of York Council, said: “As we move beyond our initial response to the pandemic, our focus turns to the city’s recovery.  The Council is working with a variety of partners to develop plans to build a better economy, seizing on opportunities to drive inclusive and clean growth here in York.

“From the start of this pandemic, we have worked with our business community and responded to their concerns. We’ve moved swiftly to deliver over £100m in support, developed our own £1m grant scheme to help those falling through the gaps, promoted those able to trade, and successfully lobbied government to support our 12,000 self-employed.

“We are fortunate that the most independent and creative business owners in the country have chosen York as their home, and we are keen to make sure the talents and expertise of our business community can feed into the city’s recovery planning.”

Sean Bullick, managing director of Make It York, said: “An integral part of putting together an effective recovery plan for the city is how we work with the businesses themselves to gain insight on their priorities and concerns in the short term, as well as input into the more long-term plans as to how we can help kickstart recovery across sectors and create opportunities for business growth.

The series of sector groups we are implementing together with York BID, City of York Council and other key partners around the city will be an excellent opportunity for us to bring businesses together to share knowledge and for us to understand the key concerns of each sector. We also want to use these sector groups to enable us to identify opportunities for collaboration and areas for potential future growth. “

Andrew Lowson, exec director of the York BID, said: ‘I’ve been encouraged by the partner response to COVID, firstly through the administering of grants and more recently through constructive talks on how we help businesses going forward. 

“The sector groups will provide key evidence in shaping the long term recovery.  In the short term, the BID will work with partners to interpret government guidance and get the city ready for trading, when it is safe to do so”.

Businesses who are interested in participating in the roundtable events can contact the Make It York Business team on business@makeityork.com.  

The feedback from the partner and business groups will be used to create our local and regional recovery plans. The Council Executive will welcome further input from businesses and residents, when it receives an update on the Council’s recovery plan at the virtual Executive meeting in June.

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