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Engaging with local business

Reaching out to local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) was the focus for the joint PaddingtonNow BID and Citizens Advice Westminster’s breakfast network event on 17 October where the financial capability team explained that Citizens Advice was the charity for the whole community. Aimed at small businesses and HR teams, the bureau described the ways in which the local advice service can support business managers to help their staff cope with, manage and resolve a range of common life’s problems and challenges.

Paddington Now event

When a member of staff has a personal or family problem, this not only causes them stress and anxiety, it also impacts on their employer and the business if they need time off to sort out the issues or have difficulty concentrating at work. But if their employer were able to assist by referring them to a local organisation where they could get free, independent and impartial advice on their problem, or to a specialist service with the expertise to help them get back on track as soon as possible, this would be good, both for the individual and the business.

A range of local companies signed up for the event ranging from global/multinationals, national retail giants and high street chains to a number of independent local businesses such as hotels, an opticians, architect practice, delicatessen and fashion brand –a true cross-section representative of the diversity of business in the Paddington area.

Citizens Advice Westminster spoke on the following subjects:

  • Debt and money advice
  • Income maximisation/in-work benefits
  • Housing/landlord issues
  • Nationality and immigration issues
  • Where to go for specialist advice on mental health and addictions.

The event was well received by attendees and those who were unable to attend were provided with information and the offer of an event in-house to speak directly to employees.

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