Digital resilience training for independent Cotswold businesses
By Sarah Wood
High street businesses in the Cotswold district can access one-to-one specialist support and a selection of pre-recorded webinars, through a new partnership with Cotswold District Council and The Retail Champion.
Cllr Tony Dale, cabinet member for economy and council transformation, said: "The effects of the pandemic for independent businesses across our district can still be felt and we want our business owners to know that we are here to support them.
"Consumer habits have changed, most notably more people shopping online than ever before, and businesses must adapt. More and more consumers are purchasing, or making purchasing decisions, online. Whilst physical businesses are still essential, having a strong online presence is vital for business growth and resilience.
"Using funding from the Welcome Back Fund, we have provided a library of online courses in digital resilience for local businesses, to ensure they are equipped with the necessary support to enable them to succeed in a post-pandemic world.
"One-to-one support sessions are also available for businesses wanting to gain specialist advice and guidance."
The focus of the programme is teaching ways to enhance businesses' online presence and develop the necessary skills to adapt to the changing wants and needs of the consumer.
The council-commissioned initiative is available with immediate effect to independent businesses across the district. They are being offered access to up to four hours of bespoke, one-to-one business support, delivered by a team of industry specialists who have decades of experience in digital marketing, social media and selling online.
Clare Bailey, independent retail and high street expert and founder of The Retail Champion, said: "This project is critical to enabling businesses across Cotswold towns and villages to embed digital resilience now, in order for those businesses to remain relevant to the changed consumer demands, as society recovers from the pandemic.
"Consumer behaviour has been permanently changed and therefore projects such as this, that enable businesses to understand that change and to adapt accordingly, are essential to the future success of high streets and village centres."
Any Cotswold business owners who are interested in accessing the one-to-one support session should email firstname.lastname@example.org to register their interest.
The digital resilience webinar series is available on demand via Cotswold District Council's YouTube channel here.
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