Newsletter | 11th November

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, recovery and growth.

UK Transition webinar for businesses
As 1 January and therefore the end of the EU Transition approaches, join us for our Brexit special webinar to hear from:

  • NFU Regional Policy Manager Alex Stevens – the challenges and opportunities for South West farmers as we exit the EU.
  • FSB Head of International Affairs James Sibley – international trade and EU legislation.
  • Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership Chief Executive David Ralph – Getting ahead: how can we help you.
  • Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP Legal Director Sarah Holme – Brexit, business and brute facts: unpacking the known knowns, known unknowns and unknown unknowns as 31 December 2020 approaches.
  • Chaired by Gary Streeter MP.

Hosted on Friday 20 November from 10-11am.

Book your tickets online here.

The Growth Support Programme
Are you a sole trader, micro business or limited company based in Devon or Somerset?

You may be eligible for the Growth Support Programme through which you and your business can receive up to 3 or 12 hours of free business advice, support and training.  Register now to access the fully funded support on offer at  Growth Support Programme Enquiry.

A range of courses and opportunities are included through the Growth Support Programme and are hosted by the programme’s delivery partners. Throughout November and December, delivery partner, Cosmic, will be running several events aimed at supporting businesses in the retail and tourism sector. For booking, contact

  • Social Media for Tourism Businesses – 24 November, 9.30AM – 12.30PM
  • Digital Marketing Strategies for Tourism Businesses – 15 December, 9.30AM – 12.30PM

Since the Growth Support Programme’s inception, over 2000 businesses in Devon and Somerset have benefited from the tuition and guidance freely available to them through the programme.

As one Devon-based interior design business said: “I came out of every meeting so driven and positive. This programme is a huge asset to anyone’s business.”
To register for the programme and check your eligibility, complete the short online form.

The Heart of the South West Growth Support Programme is receiving up to £1,294,302 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The accountable body for this programme is Devon County Council.

The Great British Business Expo

The  Great British Business Expo  ONLINE features global and local expert speakers, seminars, workshops and exhibitors focusing on business growth, sales, marketing and personal development.

Tune-in from 9.30am on the 18 November for a full day of insightful talks and webinars.

Make you sure look at the range of topics covered in the  day’s busy schedule  and book your tickets.

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.

Furlough extension and increased support for the self-employed
The Chancellor has announced his plan to increase the support available to workers and the self-employed over the winter period. A few of the main announcements are as follows.

  • The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), also known as the furlough scheme, will now be extended to 31 March 2021.
  • The Government will  not  pay the Job Retention Bonus in February but instead redeploy a retention incentive at the right time.
  • The next Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant will be increased from 55% to 80% of average trading profits, with a limit of £7,500.
  • Applications for Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans (CBIL’s) and Bounce Back Loans (BBL’s) schemes have been extended to the end of January.
  • Firms can now top-up Bounce Back Loans should they need extra finance.

To read Government news update,  visit the Government website here.

Redundancy Payments – Financial Assistance
Assistance  is available to help employers in the UK with severe cash flow problems to make necessary redundancy payments.

If your business would become insolvent as a result of making the statutory redundancy payments, the Insolvency Service’s Redundancy Payments Service (RPS) may be able to help.

For more information about redundancies, visit  the Government’s website.

Better Business for All Covid-19 Toolkits
The Better Business for All Toolkit has been further improved. To help businesses with the implications of Covid-19, two new resources are now available on our website and to download:


  • Tourism and Hospitality Support Programme – Have you signed up yet?
    A reminder to sign up to the free ‘Be the Business’ Support Programme for Tourism and Hospitality Businesses across Devon and Somerset. Now is the time to access this free programme which runs until December and includes 1-2-1 surgeries, peer to peer groups and online masterclasses (weekly every Tuesday). Designed to support Covid-19 recovery and improve resilience for the future.  Find out more here.Book your place on to the next weekly sessions:

    • Tues 17th Nov ‘Market mapping and competitive collaboration: Rebuilding our economy together’  Get advice and guidance to support your use of market mapping to plot your market position. Discover who your competitors and your complementors are and how to see collaboration opportunities

    To book and to view all the masterclasses  visit here.

Kickstart Scheme: a 6-month work placement for 16-24-year olds
The government’s Kickstart Scheme provides funding to employers to create job placements for 16 to 24-year olds on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment.

To find out more about the Scheme and how businesses and young people can benefit, visit the Heart of the South West’s  Skills Launchpad website.

Step Up Somerset
Somerset County Council has launched Step Up Somerset, a new service which aims to signpost individuals and businesses to the latest skills, training, employment and progression opportunities available in the county.

Step Up Somerset works with a variety of partners across Somerset to provide the latest news and information about related support and business advice.
Take a moment to  visit the new website  and see what is on offer.

Virtual Jobs Fair for the South West
The National Careers Service will be hosting a Virtual Jobs Fair to highlight job vacancies in the South West.

The Fair will take place on the 16 November from 1-4pm. Employers can promote their own vacancies by messaging @NationalCareers on Twitter or posting to the National Careers Service’s Facebook page.

As well as promoting vacancies, careers advisers will be delivering webinars and workshops.  Book your place here.

Creative Catalyst for Carbon Cutting
Are you a Devon-based enterprise interested in reducing your carbon emissions or developing a new low-carbon product, process or service? If so, the Low Carbon Devon project would love to hear from you.

To express your interest in the project and to learn about what is on offer, please complete the  short form online.

Low Carbon Devon provides an excellent opportunity for Devon to limit global warming by advocating change and taking practical steps to reduce emissions. Supported by investment from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the £2.6m programme runs until early 2023.

UK Transition – New resources available online
New resources are now available on the Growth Hub’s  UK Transition page  including the Export Webinars, Import/Export resources and specific Better Business for All (BBfA) guides around food exporting and labelling.

A range of webinars and resources are available to support businesses who work in the export and import sectors are now available on the Growth Hub’s  UK Transition page.

If your business trades with the EU, we recommend that you check the Growth Hub’s UK Transition page as it will be regularly updated in the lead up to January 2021. Further information about the UK Transition can be found at

The Export Academy
Hosted by the Department of International Trade, the Export Academy is a regional program open to businesses in the South West. The program seeks to support owners and senior managers of businesses with a turnover of up to £500,000 as they seek to sell to new customers around the world.

The course is free and will provide expert insights on international trade and support for a range of business sectors as they look to develop their overseas connections.

For information and booking,  visit the website.

Export Support for the UK Transition
The Department of International Trade has several export-focused webinars planned throughout November:

  • Website Localisation – Expand your Exports: Masterclass Series
    (17 November 10 AM)
  • Researching International Markets – Expand your Exports: Masterclass Series
    (25 November 9.30 AM)

For further event details please see the  Growth Hub’s Events page here.

Contact Your Growth Hub For Free, Impartial Business Advice And Support

Telephone us 03456 047 047

Email us >

Visit website >