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Libraries help bring business ideas to life at this challenging time

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North Yorkshire Libraries are supporting economic renewal following the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic by making information and resources freely available to businesses and individuals.

Library members can access free online resources to help them to seek work or plan a new business.

COBRA, the Complete Business Reference Advisor, is ideal for anyone thinking about changing career or becoming their own boss. It covers 600 small business trades and professions with practical ‘how to’ guides, market summaries and information about trade events. It can help you to find business ideas, research markets and explore business sectors, get help to write a business plan, or find business support and funding providers. There is also guidance on preparing for interviews.

Universal Skills is another online resource to support people looking for work. It offers tips on job searching, creating CVs and covering letters, preparing for interviews and improving basic computer skills to support employability. It also has a step by step guide to Universal Credit.

To access COBRA or Universal Skills from home or work, you need to be a North Yorkshire library member. Existing members can get access online at www.northyorks.gov.uk/libraries or via the North Yorkshire Library app (free to download from app stores). Membership is free to anyone who lives, works or studies in the county. To join and gain instant access, call 01609 533878 or join on the website or app to request a membership card.

North Yorkshire County Councillor Greg White, Executive Member for Libraries, said: “In these difficult times many people face challenges around their employment. The resources provided by libraries can be an important starting point for those looking to get back into work or to start their own business.

“Thriving small businesses are crucial to support the renewal of our local economy. COBRA is an impressive resource that contains all the information needed to turn an idea into a business.

“North Yorkshire’s libraries are rising to the challenge to support local economic growth, providing free useful resources for aspiring entrepreneurs as well as existing businesses.”

Although libraries across the county remain closed for browsing, they are open to people needing to get online to update CVs, look for work, access services or apply for benefits. Free sessions can be booked in advance and workstations are thoroughly cleaned before use. Contact your library or visit www.northyorks.gov.uk/covidlibraries for details.

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