Professor Simon Bolton, wearing an open-neck white shirt and blue striped blazer, smiles and gesticulates in front of an Edge Hill University lectern.
Professor Simon Bolton is leading a team of business experts to help SMEs face challenges of Covid-19.

Business experts from Edge Hill University are now offering exclusive digital-based crisis recovery sessions to the region’s SMEs. 

A team from the University’s Productivity and Innovation Centre (PIC) have rapidly developed a digitally-based solution to help small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) stabilise, refocus and embed plans to alleviate the devastating effect of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The PIC team, led by Professor Simon Bolton, is committed to supporting SMEs and have identified a genuine need to provide businesses with ready-to-use tools to help them navigate their immediate challenges and refocus their medium-term strategies at a time when many business leaders are deeply uncertain about the future. 

Professor Bolton said: “It is important that we continue to support SMEs during this difficult period. 

“The crisis recovery sessions demonstrate our highly successful dynamic recovery framework and provide business leaders with an agile tool to enable them to plan and prioritise solutions to their key problems. 

“We provide one-to-one feedback to help them address their challenges and become responsive to their environment to re-establish their productivity levels and ability to grow.” 

The free online sessions draw on the experts’ extensive knowledge and experience in developing the data-driven innovation practices of SMEs; they have supported 98 local SMEs in the past two years through delivering the highly-regarded Innovation Sprint Programme demonstrating impressive results in increased turnover, sales retention, new technology, improved processes and productivity. 

Businesses were invited to sign up to the sessions during a recent PIC-led webinar which introduced the new dynamic recovery framework and confirmed that SMEs need this level of support to develop their solutions and recovery strategy. 

The main concerns of SMEs include understanding changing customer priorities and how to adapt their business model in response to the changes; the sessions aim to help them to focus on retaining and gaining new customers, improve business performance, utilise resources and explore new technology. 

SMEs from a variety of sectors including healthcare, law, engineering, and creative and digital have taken part in the sessions so far and have welcomed the support. 

Andrew Nuttall, from Adlington Law, attended the first of the online sessions. 

“The Crisis Recovery Session provided us with a great framework which we can look into further and adopt for our business. 

“We also gained a valuable insight into how other firms have reacted and implemented strategies for their own businesses, not only engaging with their existing clients but also focusing on potential new business avenue streams by diversifying their own business through technology in their own market.” 

The team is expanding their offer and are encouraging SMEs from across the region including Liverpool City Region, St Helens and Wigan to connect with the University and benefit from the free tools and advice. 

The next sessions will take place on Thursdays 28 May and 11 June, from 11.30am-12.30pm and 1.00pm-2.00pm. 

For more information or to book a place visit www.ehu.ac.uk/recovery or email Steve McArdle, Business Development Coordinator, at pic@edgehill.ac.uk