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Free support for Bristol’s micro-businesses during coronavirus crisis

By ellie pipe, Monday Jun 1, 2020

Recognising micro-businesses are among the worst hit by the Covid-19 crisis, YTKO is running a free support programme throughout the pandemic.

The international firm that specialises in helping startups and established firms with sustainable growth is hoping to increase the survival rate of companies and job retention through the project, which is being supported by Bristol City Council.

YTKO set up a support line with the aim of meeting the specific needs and concerns of business owners during the lockdown period, including explanations of local and national Government schemes and how applicable they are to different companies, as well as help with developing a post-Covid-19 strategy.

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The remote delivery programme includes a range of support activities such as training sessions; discussion groups and more. All participants also get free access for 12 months to YTKO’s GrowSmart platform, an e-learning resource.

Toby Howkins, project manager for YTKO, says: “During these unprecedented times it is important for the business community to come together and support one another.

“There are 18,000 micro businesses in Bristol, and we recognise they are among the worst hit by the crisis. Together with Bristol City Council, we hope our expert support and ability to be a central hub for business owners with access to the most relevant information and services will provide respite and confidence that will increase the survival rate and job retention within the ecosystem.”

Adding his support for the project, Craig Cheney, deputy mayor and the council’s cabinet member for finance, said: “Covid-19 has had a profound impact on businesses in Bristol. Recognising the challenge many micro-businesses are facing is crucial to both our immediate response and recovery.

“We are committed to making sure that businesses get the help they need now to access the support available and also understand more about what they will need in the future. We are proud to work with YTKO to deliver this support, particularly in helping to reach all businesses in the community and ensuring that the recovery efforts are inclusive. I would urge any micro-business who needs support to get in touch now.”

Find out more information via, call 0800 917 9324 or email The helpline is open Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm.

Main photo by @JonCraig_Photos

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