Council extends pioneering scheme to support businesses in Ryedale: Keane Duncan Photo

04 May 2020

Council extends pioneering scheme to support businesses in Ryedale

Ryedale District Council is extending a pioneering scheme to support businesses in the area by offering a further 100 free memberships to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

As part of the Council’s focus on supporting lives and livelihoods during the COVID crisis, fully funded memberships of the FSB have already been given to 112 microbusinesses, with 0-9 employees. Due to a high demand for the scheme, a further 100 memberships are now available for businesses with up to 249 employees.

Councillor Keane Duncan, Leader of Ryedale District Council, said:

“Businesses in Ryedale are facing uncertain futures and we’re committed to doing what we can to help them.  We were the first council to offer fully-funded membership to the Federation of Small Businesses to provide our local businesses with quick avenues for support and advice, help with debt collection and access to different funding streams.

“We’re delighted that this scheme is giving Ryedale businesses the help they’re asking for and that it has set a precedent for other councils to follow. By extending the offer of free memberships, we’re ensuring that more businesses are well-equipped to navigate these turbulent times. ”

Stacey Burlet, Ryedale District Council’s CEO, said:

“Our staff are working hard to support businesses in Ryedale and are listening to their needs and concerns. Businesses are telling us that they need bespoke legal, employment and funding advice. That’s what this scheme gives them – it offers a vital lifeline and it’s encouraging to see so many businesses access it. Working in partnership with the Federation of Small Businesses, the Council can ensure the widest possible support is made available to businesses across the district. ”

Carolyn Frank, Development Manager for the Federation of Small Businesses in North Yorkshire, said:

“Ryedale District Council was really quick off the mark to identify the need for emergency local support for small businesses, and their lead has seen other Councils, including three others in North Yorkshire and several more across the UK now implement similar schemes with us.  FSB membership provides vital support including a funding platform, medical care helpline and free debt recovery, as well as a renowned legal hub for advice and also a range of training and networking opportunities.   Feedback from both our existing and new members in Ryedale is consistently positive, and we are delighted to partner with the Council to offer this critical support.”

To enquire about joining via the free membership scheme, businesses should send a contact name, their business name and contact phone number to with the subject line “RDC enquiry”. An FSB membership advisor will then be in touch to answer questions and help businesses access the free membership. 

Notes to editors

FSB Membership includes a whole range of benefits and products designed to meet business needs. Members benefit from expert advice on issues relating to insurance, employment and legal issues, and health and safety, available either through a professional advice line or a host of online documents and templates.  For more information on FSB and its benefits, please visit