Free support to help businesses boost trade online

Weston High Street

Businesses can access free social media support to help them boost their presence online. - Credit: Paul Blakemore

Businesses in North Somerset are being offered free support to help them boost their online presence and aid their recovery.

North Somerset Council has secured funding from the European Regional Development Fund and HM Government to bring in social media consultant Maybe* to help local businesses reach more customers and improve their sales.

The project has been launched following the reopening of non-essential businesses and organisations in April 12, after months of closures due to lockdowns. It is hoped the scheme will help high streets to recover.

The new project will offer businesses free social media training and support. It will also create a network of traders who can support and promote each other.

Businesses will have access to free weekly webinars with practical solutions and easy to use tools to connect with audiences.

They will also be offered advice on improving return on investment and how to stay ahead of the competition.

The platform includes a Virtual High Street, showcasing live content from local businesses allowing shoppers to find businesses near them, view their recent social media content and engage with them.

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Cllr Mark Canniford, executive member for placemaking and economy at North Somerset Council, said: “Businesses have been forced to change their way of trading over the last year, meeting their custom base online. Even as more restrictions are lifted, many shoppers still prefer to discover their shops online.

"As the market changes, so must we. We’ll continue to support businesses to increase their digital presence and encourage people back to the town centres, visiting shops they may not have visited before and support our local economy to get back on its feet.”

Polly Barnfield, chief executive of Maybe, said: “Our aim is to enable shoppers to have a better shopping experience, discover businesses that they may not have known before and provide businesses with the tools to reward for their High Street spend.

"To compete, high street businesses need to up their digital game, promote their physical stores and collaborate. Our platforms help them collectively to do that.” 

To sign your business up, click here

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