A free disability advice service has launched today (10 March) to support London’s small business community. Launched by a leading business and disability membership organisation, Smarter London SMEs offers advice on recognising and meeting the needs of disabled customers and employees. Approximately, 1 in 5 people in the UK have a disability and the annual spending power of disabled people and their families is estimated to be £274 billion and rising.
Business Disability Forum has launched the service to recognise the vital role played by London’s small businesses as both service providers and employers. Nearly 99 per cent of all London’s businesses are SMEs, employing just over 2 million people.
Funded through City Bridge Trust’s Positive Transitions Programme, Smarter London SMEs is a free service available to all London businesses with fewer than 250 employees and an annual turnover of less than £40 million. This includes high street stores, sole traders and start-ups.
The service offers:
- One-to-one support from a dedicated small business disability adviser.
- Access to a SME confidential advice service and tailored SME resources.
- Networking opportunities.
- Disability news updates.
- Help to achieve ‘Disability Confident Scheme’ certification.
- Use of the Smarter London SME logo.
Parma Sira is small business disability adviser for Smarter London SMEs. He said:
“This is an incredibly challenging time for London’s SME community and many businesses are having to adapt at pace.
“Through Smarter London SMEs, we want to offer free, confidential, support to businesses to help them attract and retain disabled customers and staff, and to recognise the benefits disabled people can bring to their business.
“We are already working with a number of small businesses to offer advice on areas such as inclusive communication, recruitment of disabled talent and the disability confident scheme. We want to grow that network to help share learning.”
To find out more about Smarter London SMEs and to sign up, go to www.businessdisabilityforum.org.uk/our-services/smarter-london-smes/ . You can also call +44-(0)-207-089-2483 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Business Disability Forum is a not-for-profit membership organisation with 30 years’ experience of working with business to transform the life chances of disabled people as employees and consumers. Our 300+ Members employ 20% of the UK workforce across the private and public sector. We provide practical, evidence-based, strategic solutions for businesses to recruit, retain, and provide inclusive products and services to disabled people.