Kevan Carrick, partner, Newcastle-based, JK Property Consultants, is to give his time free of charge to assist young companies suffering from rising business costs.

Advice available is around landlord issues, rent arrears and disputes regarding rent and contracts.

As part of his role as ambassador for the not-for-profit Open North Foundation, Kevan, who co-founded and chairs the North East Initiative on Business Ethics, will offer an initial, free, one half hour consultation to companies subject to the recommendation of Open North Foundation. Thereafter, it will be to the sole discretion of JK Property Consultants LLP as to whether or not it will take up the case on behalf of the applicant.

Any business that feels it can benefit from Kevan’s specialist support should reach out via the Open North Foundation website Home – Open North Foundation

The Open North Foundation was established in March 2020 to support the businesses and people of the North East to recover from the ravages of COVID-19 and now assists those affected by economic shocks.

The offer of support comes as the UK continues to be affected by inflation and rocketing living costs and coincides with the work of the North East Chamber of Commerce Senior Leadership group, of which Kevan is a member, around business vulnerability.

The no-cost consultation will also be available to young businesses that are part of the North East BIC, of which Kevan is a director. The organisation has helped over 4,000 people set up businesses since its formation in 1994, creating 7,500 jobs and providing the flexible workspace required for over 1,000 businesses to innovate and grow.

Kevan Carrick, said: “The past couple of years have been turbulent and unrelenting for businesses that have faced uncertainty at every turn due to Covid-19 and now, as they try to stabilise and prosper, face economic shockwaves that have not been felt so harshly for decades. Many businesses, especially those in the early stages of development, are already vulnerable and feeling further strain and cracks due to constant financial pressures.

“If offering my time can help support young SMEs within our region that are in real distress and being backed in to a corner, then it is the right thing to do. We live in a time when it is vital more than ever that the business community pulls together to support one another and that is exactly what Open North Foundation, and myself, stand for.”

Richard Swart, chair, Open North Foundation, said: “Kevan is an extremely well-respected figure within the region’s business community and known for his efforts in making sure that those operating within our region are doing so in good faith and with the right intentions.

“Open North Foundation supports the North East England Chamber of Commerce in its investigation in to the vulnerability and fragility of businesses and encourages any firm that feels it could benefit from Kevan’s advice to step forward sooner, rather than later. Kevan is an expert in his field and if he feels like a case can be made then that is cause for action.

“Since its inception, Open North Foundation has provided grants to SMEs that meet its criteria for assistance. Moving forward, our role is to offer a wider service to include grants and specialist free advice, such as the support Kevan is offering.”