During the pandemic the Growth Hub’s service expanded from a web-based portal to a full information, advice and guidance service, a combination of planned growth and additional COVID-19 specific funding, taking the team from three to 12 strong.  This report documents the work of the Growth Hub from March 2020 – March 2021, reflecting the impact of the pandemic on the trading environment in Swindon and Wiltshire during this time and how businesses have adjusted, diversified, invested and upskilled to survive, and for some, to grow.

The Swindon and Wiltshire Growth Hub is the business support arm of the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP).  The SWLEP was established in July 2011 by central Government as a private sector led partnership between local businesses, Swindon Borough Council, Wiltshire Council, the military and the education sector.

Swindon and Wiltshire offers a highly competitive economy, ranked 12th out of the 38 Local Enterprise Partnerships in England.  By 2026, SWLEP wants the area to be renowned for innovation, entrepreneurialism and great quality of life.  The Swindon and Wiltshire Growth Hub supports that aim, providing fully funded (free) guidance and signposting for businesses.

Chris Stevens Growth Hub Manager said of the report "The purpose of the report is to document the most adverse of trading times during the pandemic over the last year, told through the eyes of our local business community.  With themes of resilience, positivity and diversification, businesses have shown incredible agility and flexibility to counter the effects of the pandemic.  

The report looks at the contribution our Growth Hub has made to the business support landscape, providing information, advice, guidance and signposting to thousands of organisations via several communication channels."

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