Chapel Street in Southport

Local businesses in the Liverpool City Region are being invited to take advantage of a new peer system which offers them valuable advice and support on how to stabilise, grow and develop. 

Southport BID is encouraging firms to make the most of the new initiative, which has been launched by The Growth Platform.

The Peer Networks programme is funded by the Government.

It is designed to give SME leaders the advice they need from trusted sources within a peer group and give them the opportunity to collaboratively work through common issues.

Janice Mears, head of business growth at Growth Platform, said: “It’s been a challenging year for businesses in the Liverpool City Region and this will no doubt continue as a result of the lasting impacts of the pandemic and the looming EU transition deadline.

“Regional businesses need all the advice and insight they can get to help them stabilise their operations and identify growth opportunities.”

It provides a virtual community for business leaders to get together to discuss their collective business challenges; think-up solutions to them; and plan long term recovery and growth.

The programme includes 18 hours of interactive groups sessions which will be delivered fortnightly by trained facilitators, each participating SME can also access a further 3.5 hours of one-to-one support with an expert business adviser scheduled to suit their needs.

Each member will have the opportunity to present an opportunity, challenge, or problem to their group, and engage in collaborative discussion with other members to find practical solutions via the action learning methodology that the programme encourages.

Mark Bayley-Smyth, managing director of Circle Leadership, said: “As our city region has demonstrated throughout its rich history, we are always strongest when we come together, and the Peer Networks will give us a platform to share best practice, navigate challenges and re-build confidence among ourselves as local business leaders and in the city region’s economy.”

Do I qualify to join the programme?

If you’re an SME that meets the following criteria, then you’re eligible to take up a place on the programme:

  • Operated for at least a year
  • Five employees or more
  • A turnover of at least £100,000
  • The aspiration to improve and grow their business
  • The ability / potential to scale up or start exporting (ideal attributes)

For more details about The Growth Platform and The Peer Networks Programme please visit:

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