Milton Keynes Council have announced details of a programme to support small businesses, with the Council calling it it’s largest such project to date.

The Council partnered with leading business groups to provide support and training to 100 small and medium size businesses. Known as Diamond Resilience after one of nature’s strongest substances, the programme covers on how to bounce back after the pandemic, and how to become more resilient in preparation for changing circumstances or other future crises.

The courses will be run by leading local business groups including the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce, South East Midlands Local Economic Partnership and the Milton Keynes Business Leaders Partnership.

Each local entrepreneur will also receive dedicated advice, a one-year membership of the FSB and fully funded training from the Chamber of Commerce.

The Diamond Resilience programme is part of the Council’s £3.5m Economic Recovery Plan, which was expanded last summer.  So far more than 800 businesses and 2,500 individuals have directly benefited from the investment.

Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Cllr Robin Bradburn said, “This is a fantastic opportunity for local entrepreneurs to get top quality support and training from some of the best local and regional business groups.  We want local businesses to be in a strong position on their journey back from COVID-19 and for the whole of MK to experience a fair and balanced recovery.”

James Anderson from Federation of Small Businesses said, “FSB are delighted to be working with MK Council and the other excellent partners on this.  Now more than ever small businesses need support and assistance as they navigate uncertainty.  The Diamond Resilience programme is a superb example of how Local Authorities can step up and lead the communities they serve.  FSB looks forward to continuing to work hard helping small businesses thrive in Milton Keynes.”

Vicky Hlomuka, SEMLEP’s Growth Hub Manager adds, “2021 presented yet another year of unprecedented challenges for our business community.  It’s amazing to see local businesses remaining resilient and turning challenges into opportunity.  As we look to 2022, we are proud to be part of the Diamond Resilience programme, offering much needed support to help businesses and the wider economy to thrive.”

Nicholas Mann, Chair of Milton Keynes Business Leaders Partnership said, “We are delighted to be able to extend the support MKBLP members can access via the strength of its network to other organisations looking to bounce back from the Pandemic.  This programme supports both our members and it’s participants by linking together expertise with need and combined with the other elements will ensure MK leads the way with economic recovery.”

Sunny Singh, from the Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce said, “We’re delighted to be involved and supporting local businesses with exceptional training opportunities that ensure the business community continue to adapt, thrive and develop as we bounce back from the continued impact of COVID-19.”

Further information about the Diamond Resilience Program is available on the MK Council website.