Heart of the South West Growth Hub – Newsletter April 22 2020

Businesses can access a range of Government and local business support to help you with mitigating the impacts of Coronavirus (Covid-19) and to assist with actions to support your business adaption, resilience and recovery. You can find links to the latest information, advice and support on the Growth Hub Covid-19 business support pages on the website here Covid-19 Support for Businesses.

NEW – Coronavirus Business Financial Support Finder Tool
The Government has launched an online tool to help employers and the self-employed find coronavirus financial support. The support finder will show which loans, tax relief and cash grants that businesses can access. Use the business support checker tool.

NEW – Fisheries Support 
The Marine Management Organisation has launched the Government’s new £10 million Fisheries Response Fund for England’s fishing and aquaculture businesses. From Monday 20 April 2020 eligible fishing vessel owners are being contacted directly, by email, in stages. Further information for aquaculture businesses will be provided from next week. Read more  here Update on Fisheries Response Fund.

Heart of the south west LEP - Heart of the South West Growth Hub - Newsletter April 22 2020

There are a range of measures and schemes available to businesses such as grant funding, business rate relief and loans. You can find out the latest updates on our Growth Hub Covid-19 business support pages and further details on the Government’s Coronavirus Business Support Hub. See HM Government Coronavirus Business Support Hub.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme opens 
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is now open for claims. Employers can claim online for a grant for 80% of their employees’ salaries, up to £2,500 per month per employee. The scheme is open until the end of June. Claim for wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

HMRC has produced a webinar giving guidance on the Job Retention Scheme. The webinar includes information on furloughed workers, scheme eligibility, how to calculate a claim and more. Watch it here HMRC COVID-19 Job Retention Scheme webinar.

Small business grants and retail, hospitality and leisure grants
Local authorities have now contacted businesses eligible for a small business grant or a retail, hospitality and leisure grant by email or letter. If you have been contacted, please ensure you respond. If you feel you may be eligible but have not received contact from your Local Authority, then please look at the Covid-19 business support pages of your Local Authority or District council for details on how to apply. Detailed guidance about the grant schemes are here should you wish to know more Coronavirus (COVID-19): business support grant funding – guidance for businesses.

Innovation, research and development funding 
Businesses driving innovation and development will be helped through the coronavirus outbreak with a £1.25 billion Government support package. This includes £750 million of targeted support for small and medium-sized businesses focusing on research and development. Read more here Billion pound support package for innovative firms hit by coronavirus.

Heart of the south west LEP - Heart of the South West Growth Hub - Newsletter April 22 2020

Free tailored trading standards advice
To help businesses diversify and operate during lockdown, all businesses in Devon and Somerset can get free tailored trading standards regulatory advice through their local trading standards service until the end of July. Contact your local service for more information:
Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards Service
Plymouth Trading Standards

Free cyber security and data management training
Cyber Well is a project that focuses on improving cyber security awareness in small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) in the South of England. Due to coronavirus, it is rolling out its e-learning Cyber Security and Data Management to all SMEs in the Heart of the South West. The training is free. Watch a short video and sign up here Cyber Well Cyber Security and Data Management training.

Get your social enterprise or community shop trading online 
Somerset-based social enterprises and community shops can join a webinar to learn about quick and simple ways to sell online. The webinar will also review new business models and ways to maintain customer contact during this time. It will take place on Friday 1 May 2020 from 11:00am to 12:30pm and will be aimed at non-technical people. Find more information and book your place here Get your social enterprise or community shop trading online.

Fundraising to manufacture PPE 
The owner of Exe Sails & Covers, Sam Woolner, is working with local manufacturing networks to produce Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for NHS, care and frontline workers in Exeter and the South West. He needs to raise money to pay for the materials to make the gowns and other PPE.  The original target was £10,000 but he is receiving more and more requests for PPE – can you help raise funds? Donate to PPE & Scrubs for NHS Exeter & South West.

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