Newsletter | 14th October 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, recovery and growth.

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.

Countryside Productivity Small Grant Scheme Round 3
Round 3 of the Countryside Productivity Small Grants is now open and is available to all farm types including livestock, horticulture and arable.

All applications can be made through the Rural Payments Agency’s online portal. The deadline for applications is the 4 November 2020.

Farmers can apply for funding towards items of equipment listed at Annex 3 of the Countryside Productivity Small Grant scheme Round 3 handbook which is available online.

All the items will help to make improvements in either:

  • technical efficiency
  • animal health and welfare
  • resource efficiency, or
  • nutrient management

Find out more online here.

Cyber Security for Small Businesses
The National Cyber Security Centre has produced a guide to help small businesses get to grips with the fundamentals of cyber security.

The guide highlights quick and easy steps that small business owners can implement to keep their data and customers safe.

To access the free guide or to learn about the NCSC’s certification scheme, visit the website.

HotSW ERDF Inward Investment Support Grant Scheme
The Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership (HotSW LEP) has launched a new £900,000 grant scheme to encourage foreign-owned companies to create jobs in Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay.

To qualify, SMEs must be employing less than 250 employees, have a turnover below 50 million euros a year and work in an eligible ERDF sector (Aerospace & Advanced Engineering; Agri-tech/Food and Drink; Environmental Futures; and Marine Industries).

SMEs who meet the correct eligibility criteria will be able to apply for grants of between £25,000 – £150,000 to support for both capital and revenue investment.
For further information on eligibility and applications, please see the LEP’s website.

Free Coursera licences from the HotSW LEP
Are you currently unemployed or furloughed?

The Heart of South West LEP has teamed up with Coursera to offer 1,000s of free Coursera licences for forward-thinking individuals looking for their next job, changing roles or looking to upskill.

A wide range of courses are freely available, including: From Idea to StartUp, Introduction to G-Suite, Spreadsheets for Beginners, Create a Blog using WordPress and many more.

Sign up online by the end of October and get training.

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.


Last chance: Covid-19 Webinar for Tourism Businesses – 16 October, 11am
Join experts from across business, tourism and public health to learn how to keep your customers, staff and business safe during a Covid-19 outbreak. You will learn what to do in the event of an outbreak including managing public relations and how to support for your business.
Guest speakers include:

  • Hosted by and opening remarks from Neil Parish MP
  • Alistair from South West Tourism Alliance – Time to shine (adapt, change and survive)
  • Sarah Ogilvie (Public Health) – What to do in the event of an outbreak
  • Liz Waugh (Coast Comms) – How to deal with public relations in the event of an outbreak
  • HotSW Growth Hub / LEP – What support packages are available to the industry

Book online now by visiting the Growth Hub’s Eventbrite page.

Tourism and Hospitality Support Programme
‘Be the Business’ is working with local partners across Devon and Somerset to support tourism and hospitality business leaders in rebuilding their businesses and the local economy.

The programme is now live, starting in October. Sign up now and find out more about the programme here.

What’s Available?

Should you require any further information about the Be the Business programme please email or contact programme lead, Alexander Rushton, on 07887 775003.

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:

Events and Workshops for Local Businesses
The Growth Hub website regularly lists events and workshops that offer free support and guidance for businesses within the Heart of South West LEP area. These events cover many aspects of business practice from importing and exporting to marketing and sales.  Currently, events on offer include:

  • Devon Chamber Live – Access to Finance Expo series – 19 October
  • Bounce Back Digital Series: Building Quick and Easy Websites with Wix – 19 October
  • Skills Support for the Workforce: Train the Trainer – 20 October

More events are available on our website.

Growth Accelerator Webinar Series for Plymouth and Torbay Businesses
The next ‘Growth Accelerator’ webinar series for Plymouth and Torbay businesses will be running from 12 November 2020.

Over 3 webinars, businesses will explore different growth models and strategies, how to assess new opportunities to pivot their business and gain more competitiveness. This training will also be supported with 1:1s to help businesses to tailor and apply the learnings.  This training is provided as part of the HotSW Growth Support Programme.

Get more information and register your place here.


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.

  • New information is available regarding the E-Commerce Directive.
  • Read the new BBfA guide to Food Labelling after the UK Transition.
  • If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, resident in the UK by 31 December 2020, you and your family members need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK beyond 30 June 2021. Please click here for more information.

If your business trades with the EU, we recommend that you check our 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

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

  • Export Pricing – Expand your Exports Masterclass Series
    (20 October 9.30 AM)
  • International Sales Strategy – Expand your Exports: Masterclass Series
    (3 November 9.30 AM)
  • Website Localisation – Expand your Exports: Masterclass Series
    (17 November 10 AM)
  • Researching International Markets – Expand your Exports: Masterclass Series
    (25 November 9.30 AM)

A range of webinars and resources are available to support businesses who work in the export and import sectors are now available on the UK Transition page.
For further event details please see the Growth Hub’s Events page here.

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