Survive, Sustain and Grow – Supporting post Covid-19 business recovery in Warwickshire

Supporting Silvertime Legal back to post Covid-19 recovery

A specialist legal company has invested in an online e-commerce platform after receiving support from Warwickshire County Council’s new £300,000 business support programme to help SMEs with their post Covid-19 recovery plans.

Survive Sustain and Grow is a free initiative that provides an enhanced business consultancy service for all micro and SMEs based in Warwickshire and offers a tailored recovery support package through its network of specialist consultants.

The programme is part of an overall £5 million package of investment which has been approved by Warwickshire County Council’s Cabinet to help businesses on the road to recovery and boost the economy.

Silvertime Legal, which is based at one of Warwickshire County Council’s Business Centres at the Centenary Business Park in Hammond Close, Nuneaton, provides bespoke estate planning advice around complex legal matters such as wills, trusts and lasting power of attorneys.

The company had traded successfully pre-Covid-19 and was on target to further grow their business in 2021 until the global pandemic.

Given the company’s traditional sales model of face-to-face meetings and home visits, the lockdown had a devastating effect and overnight sales stopped, forcing the company to take up several Government initiatives such as the business rate grant and Bounce Back Loan Scheme to maintain a level of financial stability.

During this early period, Warwickshire County Council provided further support to Silvertime Legal with a three-month rent-free period.

Duncan Haldane, WCC Business Centre Manager, said: “Once lockdown was imposed back in March 2020, we had to act quickly to see how we could best support our diverse range of tenants across our network of Business Centres. The decision was taken to provide a three-month rent-free period to all tenants which has allowed businesses like Silvertime Legal some breathing space and time to re-evaluate its business strategy.”

However, whilst all this support was welcome with the backdrop of the extended lockdown, the company still had no revenue streams and was considering its options in ways to substantially reduce its operational overheads which included redundancies.

It was at this point that Sumant Passi contacted Warwickshire County Council to enrol onto its Survive, Sustain and Grow programme.

Sumant Passi, Silvertime Legal Operations Director, said: “Throughout the lockdown period we struggled as a business and while the associated financial burdens were stressful, we were more concerned as to how we could safeguard our company and its employees. We needed to look at different ways in how to continue selling our products and having always been a traditional business we were at a loss.

“Through the engagement with the WCC Survive, Sustain and Grow programme, we were able to get clarity and our consultant Jagdish Soor assisted in helping us develop a robust business strategy that identified not only the challenges we faced but the opportunities that were open to us as a business which has now led us to invest in an online e-commerce platform that will enable us to sell the majority of our services and products online. Jagdish has also signposted us to possible grant funding that will support our online investment.

“Warwickshire County Council’s various support initiatives have been invaluable to us as enterprises not only in allowing us to redefine our business model during these difficult times but knowing that we now have a plan in place that will safeguard our future.”

To find out more and to register, visit our “Survive, Sustain and Grow” pages