Bristol City Council

The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown prompted Bristol City Council to commission YTKO to launch the Outset Micro Business COVID-19 Support Programme. With a focus to support the specific needs and demands of the 18,000 micro-businesses in Bristol, it has provided much needed help during this difficult time.

The programme, in collaboration with Bristol City Council, provided help and advice with the immediate challenges presented by the pandemic as well as explaining about the Government and other schemes available in an accessible way.  

A key part of our service included an initial phone consultation with a client to discuss their issues needs and act a listening ear about the challenges they were facing.  Often our team have been used as someone to vent to and relieve some of the stress and fear during this challenging time, and this in itself has been of major benefit to business owners.  

In the initial 15 min diagnostic we take clients through a tailored support programme to ensure they have been receiving Government support that they were entitled to. Then we helped them consider how they could market themselves to win work over the forthcoming period – particularly looking at new delivery models and how they could advertise themselves during the e-commerce boom.

Included within the programme are Thursday Online Elevenses to provide an opportunity for entrepreneurs to engage with others in the business community and share experiences. Added to this are workshops to build skills, one-to-one sessions with experts and access to GrowSmart, our e-learning platform with its vast bank of resources for businesses.