THE Local Growth Hub has boosted the Liverpool City Region economy, by helping over 4,000 SME businesses gain access to support enabling them to create 850 new jobs. The figure has been revealed as part of National Growth Hub month, taking place throughout March, celebrating the network which sees a growth hub in each of the 38 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) areas, covering 100% of the business population in England. Since its launch in 2016, the Local Growth Hub, a dedicated business support service, has successfully assisted thousands of companies across the Liverpool City Region to unlock support and guidance to enable business growth. The Local Growth Hub is managed by Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and delivered by a network of regional brokers comprising Liverpool Vision, Halton Borough Council, Knowsley Chamber of Commerce, The Women’s Organisation, Invest Sefton, St Helens Chamber and Wirral Chamber of Commerce, each offering face-to-face business support. They increase awareness of the public and private sector support available to entrepreneurs, SMEs and high growth companies by ensuring access is simpler, more joined up and easier for businesses to start up, expand and create more jobs. Collectively the network has carried out a total of 2136 business health checks and handled 6000 individual business enquiries. Liverpool City Region has also allocated more than £68 million to ERDF projects across the city region to support SMEs in three key strategic areas: Innovation, Business Growth and Low Carbon. The regional brokers have also referred over 4000 SMEs to Local Growth Hub business support programmes which include: New Markets 2, Enterprise Hub, LCR 4.0, Business Growth Programme, Health Enterprise Hub, Innovate 2 Succeed, Low Carbon Eco-lnnovatory, Manufacturing Growth Fund, Mersey Rural Leader Fund, Sensor City, St Helens Business Grants and the Merseyside Jobs and Growth Fund. There are currently 50 partners engaged across the funding programmes. Each programme is expected to benefit thousands of businesses in a range of sectors, with successes already being recorded. New Markets 2 has awarded more than £70,000 of support for commercial advice resulting in the potential creation of 30 jobs. While The Enterprise Hub has supported over 2800 individuals, with over 730 entrepreneurs boosting their business skills by completing the 12-hour programme, which has resulted in the creation of 263 businesses across the Liverpool City Region. LEP Managing Director, Mark Basnett, said: “From day one, the Local Growth Hub has provided a support network to businesses across the Liverpool City Region to support their long-term business growth. “Our priority is and will continue to be to simplify and co-ordinate the landscape of support services, providing companies with a single point of access. Each of our regional brokers are dedicated to encouraging businesses to thrive by ensuring they have the knowledge and support to benefit from both commercial advice and the various funded and subsidised initiatives available. “We have already supported over 4,000 local business since the official launch in May 2016 and we will continue to build on this momentum by working in collaboration to support SMEs, start-ups and businesses with high growth potential. Ensuring businesses have the support they need, whether that’s financial support, people or skills to enable them to flourish will not only benefit the business community but ultimately the wider Liverpool City Region economy.” To celebrate National Growth Hub Month, Local Growth Hub events will be taking place across the Liverpool City Region, visit www.localgrowthhub.com to find out more.