Metro Mayor launches Sustain – a new programme to support Liverpool City Region businesses

28th May 2020

Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram has launched the latest support programme designed to help Liverpool City Region business leaders navigate the economical impact of COVID-19.

Sustain is a new six-week online programme that will provide business leaders with the practical strategies and tools they need to boost their resilience in challenging times. With the first intake of business leaders starting in June, Sustain will be rolled out to 240 city region businesses in six waves.

The programme is aimed specifically at businesses in the advanced manufacturing, clean growth, health and life sciences, professional and business services, and supply chain and logistics sectors.

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of Liverpool City Region, said:

“We know from our surveys that 95% of businesses are undergoing huge challenges right now as a result of unprecedented circumstances. It is clear that the scale of the immediate and long-term financial support required for our economy, which will run to the hundreds of millions, cannot be met from local resources alone.

“As a Combined Authority, we are doing everything in our power to support the local business community, and to limit the risk to local jobs and livelihoods.   With cash flow the greatest challenge facing our business, we have been working intensively with our local partners to help business get access to the finance they need from Government schemes. And we’ve been vigorously lobbying central government where those needs have not been met to secure changes to these schemes.

“We are now working on the development of a comprehensive recovery plan for the city region that will help our businesses emerge from this crisis, and I have established an Economic Recovery Panel, to help us build back better.

“Sustain is the latest of our support programmes for business and one geared towards helping businesses adapt to the seismic economic changes they and we are facing. Delivered by one of the region’s most innovative business development organisations, Sustain will help businesses develop strategies to sustain and adapt their operations during this difficult time and emerge from it stronger and better prepared.  By connecting local business leaders with each other, and with experts who can provide a listening ear as well as practical guidance, our aim is to help our business build a more resilient local business community that can weather not only this storm, but those they may be faced with at any point in the future too.”

The announcement is part of a wider package of immediate economic support also announced by the Metro Mayor to directly assist businesses across the city region and help them access central government funds.  Sustain, along with previously launched online support programme, Mettle (part of the Gather community) are delivered by Liverpool City Region-based growth consultancy, Form and can be applied for online.

Sustain, which launched today, offers business leaders a space to strengthen their pipeline, rebuild their business plan and create clarity across the business. Its aim is to support and connect business leaders, many of whom will be currently facing similar challenges as the local economy responds to the global pandemic. Business leaders can join the community by signing up via this link:

The course will be made up of three modules over six weeks.  Each module includes an interactive online workshop and collaborative breakout sessions, followed by access to digital resources and workbooks to support leaders to keep their team on track.

Business leaders from relevant sectors are encouraged to sign up for Sustain via the link:

Form director and programme lead, Katie Peate, added:

“In these unprecedented times, even the most experienced leaders need the right support. Leadership can be lonely, so connection and community are vital.

“Recognising this, we’ve developed Sustain which will give leaders across the city region access to a community of leaders experiencing the same challenges and expert guides to help them navigate this uncertain time.”

Sustain is one part of the Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor’s £75million Business Growth Package, elements of which are being redirected to support the local business community’s recovery from the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

To reserve your place for the six-week Sustain course, click the link following link to register: