RTC North has made a £1,000 donation to Open North Foundation, in the fight to support the region’s small businesses badly hit by the pandemic.

Open North Foundation is a North East-based, not-for-profit, private sector-led initiative, whose aim is to support small businesses with grants and specialist advice in areas such as finance, marketing and HR.

Jamie Olliviere, who is a founding ambassador of Open North Foundation, said: “Since its conception in July, I have watched with great interest the work Open North Foundation has done to help local businesses who are really going through a tough time due to Covid. When asked to be an ambassador, it was not a decision I needed to think about at all. The answer was an emphatic, yes. I am now very happy to say that RTC North has donated to the cause.

“I am fiercely passionate about helping small businesses and doing all I can to protect them during these dangerous times. The calibre of people who have thrown their weight and support behind Open North Foundation is outstanding and I am proud to stand alongside them and help in any way I can.”

Working across offices in the North of England, RTC North supports businesses with unlocking innovation, technology adoption and business growth.

“Like Open North Foundation, RTC is a mission-led not-for-profit organisation and in 2020 we supported more small companies than ever before. While it’s been a really challenging year, it’s been incredibly heartening to see the resilience and agility of people in business.

“The longer this goes on, however, the more the support community will need to pull together to help everyone get through. This will be a long recovery, Brexit will no doubt make it harder and we really need to approach the new year with an all-for-one and one-for-all attitude.”

Open North Foundation is led by a range of businesspeople from across the North East. They are chair, Richard Swart, global sales director at Berger Group Europe, vice chair Colin Hewitt, partner at Ward Hadaway solicitors, Teesside entrepreneur, Claire Preston, area business manager for Barclays, David Foreman, director of Wessington Cryogenics, Gill Courtney, director of Stephenson-Mohl Group, Mark Stephenson and MHA Tait Walker director, Paul Shields.

Richard Swart, said: “Since its launch, Open North Foundation has grown an army of support from across the region. We have a range of directors, ambassadors and supporters from across all sectors, who work diligently, offering support and expertise. The level of donations and offers of in-kind support is growing all of the time and it is now also flowing through to those companies that have made applications for support via the Foundation and have been successful.

“Jamie is an excellent part of the team and his knowledge and skills will be invaluable. Innovation and business agility are exactly what are needed right now and Jamie and RTC North know more about this than most.

“I urge the business community to continue rallying around the Foundation as things will get harder before they get better. Any donation, no matter the size, is gratefully received.”