Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen has today (May 29) updated the Combined Authority Cabinet on how he has been leading a coordinated regional response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Mayor has been working with partners to support businesses, charities, community groups and care settings on a range of initiatives helping thousands of people across Tees Valley.
To ensure business owners and tradespeople were able to get the latest information on government support quickly and easily, Mayor Houchen and the Combined Authority established in just two days the Tees Valley Business Support Helpline, a 24/7 helpline for companies across the region looking for support and advice during the pandemic. Since its launch the helpline has received more than 1,700 enquiries.
More than 650 businesses and tradespeople currently open or operating have also signed up to the Buy Local Tees Valley website, which aims to connect local people with businesses that are still up and running through the pandemic.
To help shape a national and local response as we move toward the recovery efforts, more than 1,000 businesses have been surveyed to understand the effects the coronavirus has had and may have on Tees Valley businesses and the short, medium and long term support they need.
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen, who is leading the economic recovery in the region, said: “Since day one of this unprecedented situation, the health, wellbeing and safety of local people has been my number one priority, but we also recognise the toll this pandemic is taking on our hard-working businesses, their bosses and employees.
“That is why I’ve been leading efforts to make sure our amazing businesses across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool have access to the support and resources they need to keep their doors open for years to come.
“We are in unprecedented times because of the coronavirus but I’m putting in place the building blocks for a stronger economy and, with my plan to attract new investment and create good quality local jobs, we will bounce back.”
The Mayor and Combined Authority also purchased 100,000 bottles of hand sanitiser for distribution across the region and 70,000 bottles have now been sent to care workers, schools, charities, community groups and other at-risk workers.
The Mayor has also encouraged public sector organisations to shorten payment terms for businesses from the normal 30-day process after the Combined Authority and South Tees Development Corporation led the way in changing their operations to make them more efficient and further support small and medium businesses.
To sign your business up with the Buy Local site, or to find out more about local companies still open, visit buylocal.teesvalley-ca.gov.uk
To contact the Tees Valley Business Support Helpline, call 01642 662 777 or email firstname.lastname@example.org