Business Link Hertfordshire, Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce and representatives from HSBC, Lloyds TSB and Barclays met today to agree how businesses could be further assisted following the Buncefield explosion.
The banks are fully supportive of initiatives to help their customers whose business prospects are affected. They will work with Business Link Hertfordshire to agree action plans with individual businesses and will look flexibly at how they can make the next weeks and months as easy as possible for those affected.
Copies of the support leaflet and helpline number will be available through all local bank branches and bank staff will discuss specific business needs on a case by case basis, treating each set of circumstances as flexibly as possible.
The banks’ representatives recognise that not all of those affected will know the extent to which they need help immediately and that help and support will be needed for several weeks or months.
John Collier, Chief Executive of Business Link Hertfordshire, said: “I’m personally delighted with the very positive approach to a flexible package of support that the banks have agreed to offer. With the help and open mindedness of the financial institutions behind them, businesses affected will find this very difficult period significantly easier to deal with.”
The joint service, set up by Business Link Hertfordshire, Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce and Dacorum Borough Council, includes up to £5,000 of specialist expertise for any business struggling to recover or continue, as a result of the blaze.
The free service has been designed to support local businesses at this difficult time.
It provides access to useful contacts and telephone numbers for expert support, advice on legal issues and other organisations well-placed to represent local business needs. A property search service also helps businesses with short-term location difficulties.
Experienced business advisers are on hand to offer one-to-one practical support. This includes up to 10 days consultancy to undertake a full business assessment.
The banks have agreed to work with business advisers and clients to implement the actions necessary to minimise disruption to business.
Tim Hutchings, Chief Executive of Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce, said “I am delighted with the joint assistance from the banks as many of our members have been adversely affected by the disaster. This integrated approach will provide a much needed support system for local businesses.”
An emergency helpline has been set up for businesses – 01727 813813 – where they will be put through to a team of business advisers who can help with their enquiries.