Newsletter | 25th 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: DEAL or NO DEAL – changes are coming
Join our next webinar on 11 December from 10am-11am to hear more about the high-level issues around the UK Transition alongside practical guides about what will change.

Our key speaker will be Suren Thiru, Head of Economics, British Chambers of Commerce on the BCC’s latest research and insight on the latest Brexit developments and how businesses are preparing for the end of the transition period.

With practical guides from:

Lee Taylor, Trading Standards Officer, Devon County Council – The new UKCA mark.

Julie Richardson, Trading Standards Officer, Devon County Council – Food labelling changes.

Book your free ticket online here.

Watch previous webinars:
To watch the video from our most recent UK Transition webinar on the 20 November, please visit our YouTube channel.

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.

A range of courses and opportunities are included through the Growth Support Programme and are hosted by the programme’s delivery partners.

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.

Small Business Saturday – 5 December

Small Business Saturday reaches millions of customers and businesses each year – get involved now!

Whether you are a family business, local shop, online business, wholesaler, business service or small manufacturer, Small Business Saturday is supporting you!

Find out more via the Small Business Saturday website.

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.

Prime Minister publishes COVID Winter Plan
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced the government’s COVID Winter Plan. The full press release can be read online.

  • National restrictions to end on 2 December, with England returning to local tiers
  • Shops, gyms, personal care, and leisure to reopen, whilst collective worship, weddings and outdoor sports can resume
  • Tiers toughened in some areas to safeguard gains, and ensure testing and vaccines can have maximum impact

To access the full copy of the COVID Winter Plan, see the Government website.

Spending Review 2020
The  Chancellor of the Exchequer has released the Spending Review for 2020, which details the Government’s response to Covid-19 and financial support it has made available to aid business recovery.

The full report is online.

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.

Local Restrictions Grant Scheme
Businesses required to close in England due to local or national restrictions may be eligible for financial support under the Local Restrictions Grant Scheme.

To find your local authority who administer the grant, please visit Find your local council and enter your postcode. You can click here to check if you business may be eligible here for coronavirus grant due to national restrictions.

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:


Learn with Start Up Loans and the Open University
The government-backed Start Up Loans scheme has partnered with the distance-learning provider The Open University to offer UK small business owners opportunity to take free Open University business learning courses.

The partnership aims to help get new and existing businesses off the ground through the provision of informative online courses covering:

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Career and leadership
  •  Finance and accounting
  •  Marketing and commercial awareness
  •  Project management
  •  Specialised learning

Alongside the online courses, several downloadable guides have been produced for those looking to start new business ventures. These guides are freely available online here.

Sign up and start developing your business today. All courses can be accessed through the Start Up Loans 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.

‘Made in Devon’ – free membership available
Trading Standards is offering free membership to 50 Devon businesses to join the newly launched ‘Made in Devon’ scheme.

The scheme is part of Buy With Confidence and membership will enable businesses to promote their product’s quality while encouraging consumers to buy more locally.

To qualify, businesses must produce a genuinely Devon sourced product.

The full press release is available online.

Amazon Small Business Accelerator
Introducing the Amazon Small Business Accelerator! A major support package for more than 200,000 small businesses to access free online training, expert advice and intensive bootcamps to get selling on Amazon.

Enterprise Nation is bringing the Amazon Small Business Accelerator to the South West!

Sign-up with Enterprise Nation to access:

  • free e-learning for 200,000 new and existing businesses
  • intensive bootcamps to help offline businesses to start selling online quickly.
  • 12 months’ free membership to Enterprise Nation
  •  a bundle of business offers worth over £2,000

Sign up online 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.

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

Export Europe: E-commerce
Join the Department for International Trade’s “Export Europe: E-commerce” for the opportunity to discuss market trends and opportunities, key players, pricing, and the basics on how to succeed, with DIT Europe’s E-commerce sector specialists.

  • Export Europe: E-commerce (Netherlands, Italy, Spain) – December 3, 10am-11am. Book here.
  • Export Europe: E-commerce (Hungary, Poland) – January 13, 10am-11am. Book here.

Virtual Meet the Market Expert 2020 – Agri-tech Sector
Are you an Agri-Tech business looking to expand your sales overseas?

The Department for International Trade in the South West of England are holding the first ever virtual ‘Meet the Market Expert’ for the Agri-Tech sector on Tuesday 15th December.

Join over 50 overseas market experts for virtual 1-2-1 meetings to discuss market suitability for your products or services, and introductions to buyers and distributors.

To be part of this exclusive opportunity, book your free place online.

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