AN ALLIANCE of small business groups have had their say on how enterprises like theirs can lead a green recovery from lockdown.

The coalition of groups, known as the Zero Carbon Business Partnership, is made up of leading organisation from East Lancashire, the North West and beyond.

Together they have released a report, entitled Small Business Advice on Net Zero, which has found that many small and medium sized enterprises do indeed want to cut carbon emissions and find more environmentally friendly ways of operating, but are unsure where do start and need more guidance.

East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce chief executive Miranda Barker said: "We at East Lancashire Chamber and our partners have of course been working across Lancashire over the last few years to support all our businesses to reduce their carbon footprint.

"But now with the increasing focus on climate change concerns and the UK's commitment to move to net zero this becomes something that the whole of our business community needs to take seriously."

The group's research, surveying 254 small and medium sized enterprises found:

  • 71 per cent could not recommend a single web source for help on decarbonisation
  • One third were not familiar with the phrase net zero
  • 57 per cent rated the perceived importance of their environmental impact the top two scores of 4 or 5 out of 5
  • 40 per cent said money was a blocker to taking action

In response, the report calls for an advice service tailored for the specific needs of small businesses.

The partnership has also now begun to take matters into their own hands by developing an information service that provides firms with the tools they need to cut carbon.

This includes a website that will be live from Friday, which will give business leaders an outlet to give their views on the advice and support they need.

Ms Barker said: "This portal at will be live from this Friday April 16 in its alpha/development form.

"We would love all of our local business community to log on help us develop the advice and support and signposting on the website to help it really provide the initial advice and guidance business need in this area."

There will also be special webinar presentations on Friday 16 and April 23 from 09:30 – 11:00 where business leaders can learn more about new provisions.

Federation of Small Businesses co-chair Allen Creedy said: “The UK Government’s ambition for net zero cannot be realised without an empowered and supportive small business community.

"Evidence suggests that while small businesses support net-zero objectives, they do not yet understand their pathways to achieve this.

“That’s why this platform is fundamental."

"It’s an exciting project which will light a clear and consistent path to net zero, enabling the UK to becoming a powerhouse for low-carbon infrastructure, technology, goods and services.”

To find out more, go to and