Newsletter | 10th June 2020

Here at the Heart of the South West Growth Hub we look to keep you updated on the latest 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 Business.

Better Business for All Covid-19 Toolkit
Better Business for All has created a toolkit to help you restart your business safely following the easing of Covid-19 restrictions. It provides a range of useful information, guides and resources such as checklists and a risk assessment template and action plan. Read it here Better Business for All Covid-19 Toolkit.

Coronavirus Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund
Small and micro businesses with fixed property costs that are not eligible for the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund may be eligible for the Discretionary Grants Fund. You could get a grant of £25,000, £10,000 or any amount under £10,000. Local councils have discretion about how to prioritise this funding. Demand is likely to be high so businesses are advised to apply as soon as possible. Check with your council for details of their scheme. Find the website for your local council.

Bounce Back Digital – free digital know-how for small businesses
Bounce Back Digital is a series of free online webinars, short courses and cyber support buddy sessions for small businesses to adapt to new ways of working in light of Covid-19. It has been commissioned by the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership and designed to meet five knowledge gaps cited by micro and small businesses:

  • How to set up an e-commerce website
  • Moving to cashless payments and digital bookkeeping
  • Using online productivity tools
  • Using digital marketing tools
  • Being cybersecurity confident.

Find out more and sign up here Bounce Back Digital.

Jobs Launchpad
The Heart of the South West Jobs Launchpad, a virtual careers and skills fair, has launched. Through it you can find a wide range of support options, including a directory of Heart of the South West employers, information about services that may be able to support you if you are, or have become, unemployed, and resource links for young people and adults requiring skills information and support. Visit the Jobs Launchpad.

You can find out the latest updates on our Growth Hub Covid-19 business support pages and further details on financial measures and schemes on the Government’s Coronavirus Business Support Hub. See HM Government Coronavirus Business Support Hub.

Changes to Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
From 1st July, employers can bring back to work employees who have previously been furloughed for any amount of time and shift pattern, while still being able to claim the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) grant for their normal hours not worked. When claiming the CJRS grant for furloughed hours, employers will need to report and claim for a minimum period of a week. Further guidance on flexible furloughing and how employers should calculate claims will be published on 12th June. Find out more here Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Dairy response fund set to open for applications
Applications for the Dairy Response Fund will open on 18th June, with payments from 6th July. Farmers who have lost 25% or more of their April 2020 average price paid per litre compared to February 2020, will be able to apply to the Rural Payments Agency for a single payment. Those who are eligible will be entitled to up to £10,000 to cover up to 70% of income lost during April and May to ensure their farm can continue to operate and sustain production capacity without impacts on animal welfare. Eligible farmers can get ready to apply now by preparing details, including milk statements, for February, April and May 2020. Read more here Dairy response fund set to open for applications.

Webinar: Industry placements – how might they support your workforce
Employers can get an update on industry placements and T Levels; how they might contribute to your workforce development, and the support available, in this webinar from the Department for Education and the Strategic Development Network. Takes place on Thursday 18th June 9-10.15am. Register here Industry placements webinar.

Boost your digital business skills 
Digital Boost is a new online platform providing free digital advice for small businesses and charities impacted by coronavirus. It aims to help these organisations learn the digital skills needed to gain customers and improve revenue through online channels. Expert volunteers will provide training on a range of subjects through one-to-one calls, workshops and online learning. Sign up here Digital Boost.

Get a head start with IP Basics
The Intellectual Property Office has a series of 12 short animated videos explaining the different intellectual property (IP) rights and how IP can benefit business. Watch them here IP Basics: IP made easy videos.

Pick For Britain 
Looking to work on a UK fruit and vegetable farm? Pick For Britain helps bring workers and employers together and ensures the UK can continue to deliver the best quality British fruit & veg for everyone to enjoy. Search here Pick For Britain.

Wellbeing support
Education & Training Skills are working with the Lottery Community Fund to offer support through free virtual classroom sessions for people affected by Covid-19. Topics covered:

  • Resilience
  • Managing stress and anxiety
  • Positive coping strategies
  • Post traumatic growth
  • CV writing
  • Preparing for an interview and interview techniques.

For dates, more information and to book, email help@etsgroup.co.uk

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