Newsletter | 19th August 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.

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme claim service is now open
If you’re eligible for the second and final grant, and your business has been adversely affected on or after 14 July 2020, you can make a claim on or before 19 October 2020. You can claim for the second grant even if you did not make a claim for the first grant. If you have different circumstances it can affect your eligibility. If you’re self-employed or member of a partnership, find out how your circumstances can affect your eligibility for the scheme. Please see here to understand how HMRC works out trading and non-trading income for the Self Employment Income Support Scheme.

Kickstart Grant – Tourism and Business Recovery
Small businesses and the tourism sector across Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay are among those who can benefit from the Growth Support Kickstart Grant Scheme offering grants of up to £3,000.

It follows the recent government announcement of a £10 million national investment to kickstart the tourism economy and a £20 million national investment to support small business to get going again and recover from the impacts of COVID-19. The Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership (HotSW LEP) has been awarded a £771,164 share of this funding to help with the economic recovery in the region.

It is hoped the fund will be open for applications before the end of the month. In the meantime, to help businesses prepare, Information and Guidance along with an FAQ has been published online and businesses are encouraged to read this.  See the Kickstart grant webpage.
See the full press release here – Growth Support Kickstart Grant Scheme Press Release.

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.

Deadline extended for Dairy Response Fund – 11 September
The deadline for the Dairy Response Fund has been extended from 14 August to 11 September. The fund was originally opened on 18th June to support dairy farmers with the impact of COVID-19. For further information and guidance or for making an application, please visit the website.

Dairy farmers across the UK are also invited to respond to a consultation seeking to end any unfair practices across the UK’s dairy sector. The consultation is open until 15 September.

Last Call for Torbay Coronavirus Business Grant Fund Enquiries
The Government has announced that the business grant fund schemes set up to help businesses through the coronavirus pandemic will be closing shortly, and that payments must be made by Friday 28 August. If for any reason eligible businesses who have not already made an application now is the time to apply, as time is running out. To find out more and apply, visit the Torbay Council website.

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

Somerset Business Recovery Survey – Understanding the Impacts of COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
Calling all Somerset Businesses – Somerset’s five Local Authorities are jointly undertaking a survey to help them better understand and respond to the impacts of COVID-19 on local businesses.

Please take a moment to complete the survey. Your contribution will provide much needed intelligence to help shape the government response to the crisis, including the support that businesses are able to receive. Complete the survey here.

Boosting demand for Technical Education
The Heart of the South West LEP is working with the Learning and Work Institute (L&W) to explore the ways in which it can boost Level 4 and 5 technical education in the region.

Manufacturing and Engineering employers, training providers and other key stakeholders are invited to participate in the study by:

  • Participating in a 1:1 telephone or online interview – around 30-40 minutes at a time to suit you.
  • Joining the Learning and Work Institutes online workshop on Tuesday 25 August (90-minute session)
  • Joining the Learning and Work Institutes online workshop in September (date TBC) through a telephone interview and online workshop.

Businesses and stakeholders are invited to take the opportunity to shape the future learning and development offer for your sector. To get involved, please register your interest online.

Tradespeople Urged to sign up to offer green homes improvements
Business Secretary Alok Sharma has urged tradespeople across England to step forward and sign up to be able to offer services through the government’s new Green Homes Grants scheme – as over 1,000 businesses across the country have already applied to do so far.

The £2 billion Green Homes Grant Scheme will see the government fund up to two-thirds of the cost of home improvements up to £10,000 to make over 600,000 homes across the country more energy efficient, supporting over 100,000 jobs in green construction, cutting carbon emissions and helping people save money on their energy bills.

To take part and offer their services through the scheme, all tradespeople must register with TrustMark. Where tradespeople are installing energy efficiency measures, they must also be certified to installation standards. To install low carbon heat measures, tradespeople must be TrustMark registered and certified through the Microgeneration Certification Scheme for the relevant heating technology. Anyone wishing to do so can simply register with TrustMark via their website

Free Webinars: ALT/work for under 30s
ALT/work is running 6 free sessions from the 1 to 10 September at 6pm-8pm, encouraging everyone under 30 in Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay into meaningful work with regenerative enterprises or to start up their own. Guest speakers include entrepreneurs, artists and visionaries from a range of background and professions. For further information, visit the ALT/work page here.

The Heart of the South West Enhance Social Enterprise Programme is receiving funding from the England European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.

Small Business Leadership Programme
The Small Business Leadership Programme is a fully-funded programme delivered by a consortium of leading university business schools. You will develop strategic leadership skills, and the confidence to make informed decisions that boost business performance. The curriculum explores leadership, innovation, employee engagement, operational efficiency, marketing, sustainable practices, and finance.  Find out more and apply here.

Great South West Coronavirus (COVID-19) Business Impact Survey
This survey has been set up to evaluate the effects of COVID-19 on tourism and hospitality businesses across the Great South West area of Cornwall, Devon, Plymouth, Torbay, Somerset and Dorset.  The survey will also help us to identify what your business priorities are over the next 12 months to support you to recover and grow.  The results will be shared with Government as part of its autumn budget and spending review. To take part in the survey please click on the link here – Great South West Covid-19 Business Impact Survey.

The UK has left the EU, and the transition period after Brexit comes to an end this year. Take action now to get ready for new rules from January 2021. All information on the UK Transition can be found at and keep up with the latest developments on the Growth Hub UK Transition page.

Find customs agents and fast parcel operators from 1 January 2021: The list of customs agents and fast parcel operators who can help submit customs declarations from 1 January 2021 has been updated here.

The eCommerce Directive after the transition period: At the end of the transition period, the eCommerce Directive will no longer apply to the UK. Businesses should begin to prepare for these changes now.  Further details on what to do from 1 January 2021 can be found here

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