Newsletter | 27th May 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 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.

UK Government sets out a timeline for retail to reopen in June
Outdoor markets and car showrooms will be able to reopen from 1 June. All other non-essential retail will be expected to be able to reopen from 15 June if the Government’s five tests are met and they follow the Covid-19 secure guidelines. Businesses will only be able to open from these dates once they have completed a risk assessment, in consultation with trade union representatives or workers, and are confident they are managing the risks. They must have taken the necessary steps to become Covid-19 secure in line with the current Health and Safety legislation. See the Prime Minister’s Timeline for Retail here.

Guidance to help keep workplaces safe
The Government has produced guidance to help employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely during the pandemic. The 8 guides set out practical steps for working safely during Coronavirus and cover a range of workplace settings. Read the full guidance here Working safely during coronavirus (Covid-19). You can also join free webinars to find out more about how to make your workplace Covid secure. See BEIS Covid Working Safely Webinars

NEW – Better Business for All (BBfA) Covid-19 Toolkit
The Better Business for All (BBfA) partnership has used their knowledge and expertise to bring together resources from trusted organisations to help guide you through the main considerations for restarting your business safely. The BBfA Covid-19 Toolkit provides useful documents such as a risk assessment template and action plan, business checklists and useful guides to help you. You can download the toolkit here – BBfA Covid-19 Toolkit

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

Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme now open
If you are an employer with fewer than 250 employees, you can now claim for Coronavirus-related Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). You can also speak to your tax agent about making claims on your behalf. For more information on eligibility and how to make a claim please visit GOV.UK Claim Back Statutory Sick Pay

Future Fund launch
The government’s £500 million Future Fund is now open for applications with innovative and high-growth British businesses able to secure investment to help them through the Coronavirus outbreak. UK-based companies can apply for a convertible loan of between £125,000 and £5 million, to support continued growth and innovation in sectors as diverse as technology, life sciences and the creative industries. For details and to apply, see Apply for the Coronavirus Future Fund

Pick for Britain
The Environment Secretary has launched a new ‘Pick for Britain’ website to address the fact that we are likely to only have about a third of our normal labour force for this year’s harvest. As such, we will need to rely on British workers to lend a hand to help bring that harvest home. Opportunities are available across the UK for those seeking a second job, particularly those that are furloughed. See PickforBritain.org.uk for details and how to get involved.

Grant Funding for Somerset business groups, clusters and networks 
As part of their response to support businesses during COVID-19 Somerset Local Authorities are making funding available to support existing and new business networks, clusters, groups and entrepreneurs within Somerset. Somerset County Council are looking for applications for grant of either (1) up to £5k which is not match funded or (2) between £10k and £25k which is match funded.

For more information see Grant funding for Somerset business groups or contact James Godman at somersetbusinesssupport@somerset.gov.uk

Cyber security guidance for SMEs
The National Cyber Security Centre has published cyber security guidance to support businesses who are relying more heavily on IT services to run their business as a result of Covid-19. Read it here Covid-19: Moving your business from the physical to the digital.

Salesforce small business grants 
Salesforce is partnering with Enterprise Nation to offer eligible small businesses the opportunity to receive a £5,000 grant to help them through the Covid-19 outbreak. The grant scheme is open for businesses in the South of England including Devon and Somerset from 15th to 21st June 2020. Find out more including eligibility criteria and how to apply here Salesforce small business grants.

Support for social enterprises
The Heart of the South West Enhance Social Enterprise website page provides information to social enterprises affected by the coronavirus epidemic. This includes links to funding available across the Heart of the South West including Government support, as well as training and events, and information about joining the Enhance Social Enterprise Network. Visit Enhance Social Enterprise Coronavirus (COVID-19) Funding and Assistance.

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.

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