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.
More businesses can reopen from 4 July
From 4 July, many businesses that have had to close due to Covid-19 restrictions will be allowed to reopen providing they follow Covid Secure guidelines. This includes pubs, restaurants, hairdressers and accommodation sites. Some leisure facilities and tourist attractions may also reopen, if they can do so safely – this includes outdoor gyms and playgrounds, cinemas, museums, galleries, theme parks and arcades. Read the Government’s announcement here PM announces easing of lockdown restrictions: 23 June 2020.
See further Government guidance here Opening certain businesses and venues in England from 4 July 2020.
Restarting your business safely
Use these guides and practical tools to help you reopen your business safely:
- The Better Business for All (BBfA) partnership Covid-19 Toolkit contains a risk assessment template and action plan, business checklists and guides. Find it here BBfA Covid-19 Toolkit.
- Visit Britain has practical guidance to help tourism businesses reopen. Read it here Visit Britain – Get ready to reopen.
- Use the Government’s online Covid-19 risk assessment tool to check what you need to do to make your workplace safe. Find it here GOV.UK – Covid-19 risk assessment tool.
The Dairy Response Fund is now open for eligible dairy farmers in England in need of support following the Covid-19 outbreak. Those who are eligible will be entitled to up to £10,000 to cover up to 70% of income lost during April and May. For more information including eligibility rules and to download an application form visit Diary Response Fund 2020.
Farmers, landowners and rural businesses can get coronavirus guidance and updates from the Government here Information for farmers.
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 the Job Retention Scheme
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is changing in the coming months. From 1 July, employers can only claim for employees who have previously been furloughed for at least three consecutive weeks between 1 March to 30 June. Employers can introduce flexibly furloughed employees, meaning employees can come back to work for any amount of time and work pattern. You will still be able to claim for the hours your flexibly furloughed employees do not work.
From 1 August, the level of the grant will be slowly reduced. No grant will be available for Class 1 employer NICs or pension contributions from 1 August although these contributions will remain payable by the employer.
From 1 September, you will also be asked to contribute towards the cost of your furloughed employees’ wages to ensure they continue to receive at least 80% of their wages for the time they’re on furlough.
Bounce Back Digital – webinars
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 knowledge gaps cited by micro and small businesses. Find out more and sign up here Bounce Back Digital.
Department for International Trade webinars
Receive help and advice to sell overseas, discover solutions to specific challenges to exporting and get your exporting questions answered by experts in a series of free webinars from the Department for International Trade. Get more information, register and find a link to watch previous webinars here Department for International Trade webinars.
Young Innovators Awards
Young people aged 18 to 30 can apply for an award to make their business idea a reality. The Award includes a £5,000 grant, business support and a living allowance. Find out more here Young Innovators Awards.
Agri-Tech Catalyst Competition
If you’re working on agri-tech innovation and would like to implement some of your ideas in Africa, you could get funding through the Agri-Tech Catalyst Competition, Round 10, opening on 20 July. The funding available is for agri-tech projects on food chain innovations in Africa. These projects need to be delivered by a UK and an African organisation working together. To help you learn more and start networking, organisers are running a series of webinars on 9 July. Find out more here Agri-Tech Catalyst Competition webinars.
More free business webinars
The Heart of the South West Growth Hub website is regularly updated with free webinars on topics such as starting and growing your business and building resilience through Covid-19. Browse webinars and register here Webinar listings.