Cumbrian businesses can take part in free weekly advice clinics with professional services specialists to help guide them through the coronavirus crisis.

Firms from the professional services sector, with expertise in fields such as HR, law, finance and accounting, have offered their services free of charge for weekly one hour video conferencing sessions, starting on Wednesday.

Organised by Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership, professionals will host Zoom webinars, presenting on an issue and responding to questions provided in advance or posted during the session.

The sessions will also showcase examples of businesses which have experienced the particular topics being presented, such as accessing business loans, safe working practices and new ways of customer engagement.

The weekly clinics are designed to provide practical insight into key issues to meet the demand of Cumbrian businesses who require advice and support.

Top of the agenda are topics including the Job Retention Scheme, support for the self-employed and the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

Miranda Kirschel, head of business and innovation at Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership, said it had launched the webinars after consulting with the Business and Economic Response and Recovery Group (BERRG) of the Local Resilience Forum.

She said: “We are conscious that there is an increasing number of businesses in Cumbria seeking guidance and needing specific advice from an HR, finance and accounting and legal perspective.

“We would seek to provide information to as wide a range of businesses as possible, including those not receiving information through existing networks, such as local authorities, the Federation of Small Businesses, CBI Cumbria and the LEP among others.”

The sessions will take the form of a 15 to 20 minute presentation followed by 40 to 45 minutes devoted to questions and discussion.

Miranda added: “Any questions that are not answered can be picked up individually after the call. Any questions where the answer is not known or available can be escalated back to Government.”

Wednesday's session, at 11am, will focus on the Job Retention Scheme and bringing people back to work.

The sessions will be chaired by Joanne Holborn, of Baines Wilson LLP and chair of the partnership's Professional Services Sector Panel.

To register for the first session on May 6, visit

More information about the following webinars will be available at