Newsletter | 5th 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 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.

Requirement for face coverings extended to other indoor settings
The requirement to wear a face covering has been extended to other indoor settings where you are likely to come into contact with people you do not normally meet. As well as museums, galleries, cinemas and places of worship this also includes veterinary services, zoos, aquariums, visitor farms and storage and distribution facilities. It is now recommended that face coverings are worn in these settings, and this will become enforceable in law from 8 August. There are some circumstances, for health, age or equality reasons, where people are not expected to wear face coverings. Please be mindful and respectful of such circumstances, noting that some people are less able to wear face coverings, and that the reasons for this may not be visible to others.

To read the official guidance in full, please visit the Government’s 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

Reporting a Coronavirus outbreak
Public Health England have produced guidance and action cards that give advice on how to respond to and report an outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) within your business workplace. See https://coronavirusresources.phe.gov.uk/reporting-an-outbreak/overview/

Growth Support Programme extended 
The Growth Support Programme has been extended, meaning more businesses in the Heart of the South West can now benefit from this free support package to help you learn new ways to make money and find more customers. Through the programme, you can receive up to 12 hours of remote business support with an experienced advisor and access a range of skills webinars and sessions. The programme is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and some eligibility criteria apply. Find out more and register your interest here Growth Support Programme.

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.

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.

Kickstart Grant – Tourism and Business Recovery
The Government confirmed £10 million of funding to boost tourism and a further £20 million to boost business recovery in England. The Kickstart Grant Scheme will give small businesses grants of up to £3,000 to help them adapt their businesses following the pandemic.

We are waiting for more details to be published and will work with the Government to have the scheme up and running later this month.

To register your interest in the Kickstart Grant Scheme, please complete the online contact form and reference ‘Kickstart Grant Scheme’ in the Enquiry Message section. We will be in touch when more information is available.  If you have already registered your interest, we have your details and will be in touch.

Eat Out to Help Out Scheme
The Eat Out to Help Out Scheme is now running. Diners get a 50% discount when they eat in at restaurants that have registered with the Scheme. Find registered restaurants near you.
You can use the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme:

  • all day, every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 3 to 31 August 2020
  • to offer a 50% discount, up to a maximum of £10 per person, to diners for food or non-alcoholic drinks to eat or drink in
  • to claim the money back from the government

Restaurants and other establishments serving food for on-premises consumption can register for the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme. You can register if your establishment:

  • sells food for immediate consumption on the premises
  • provides its own dining area or shares a dining area with another establishment for eat-in meals
  • was registered as a food business with the relevant local authority on or before 7 July.

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.

Devon & Plymouth Chamber – Introductory Membership
Devon & Plymouth Chamber has launched a new membership campaign to help businesses succeed and grow after the impact of COVID-19.

As part of their campaign, the Chamber is offering a free trial three month membership for local businesses. After securing the funding for this special introductory membership, the Chamber hopes to support as many businesses as possible in this crucial next stage.

This trial membership includes many of the benefits of a full membership and exposes your business to potential customers.

For more information about this introductory membership, please visit the Devon & Plymouth Chamber website.

Sedgemoor District Council Grants Funding 2020/2021
Sedgemoor District Council have small grant funds available to support local individuals:

  • learning new skills
  • in the arts or competing in regional or national sports competitions
  • with voluntary work

Small grants of up to £500 are available alongside project grants of up to £2,500.

All applicants must be residents of Sedgemoor. For further details, visit the District Council website.

Blackdown Hills Challenge Fund
The Blackdown Hills AONB has recently created a one-off fund to provide financial support to Blackdown Hills communities on the road to green recovery.

The Challenge Fund will issue grants of up to £5,000, supporting two or three projects that protect and increase biodiversity, encourage community action or promote local engagement.

Full details of the Challenge Fund can be found on the Blackdown Hills AONB website

Free Webinar: Stress Awareness and Confidence Building for Social Enterprises
Enhance Social Enterprise Network for Devon and Somerset will be hosting two free webinars on Stress Awareness and Confidence Building for social enterprises during which an experienced social entrepreneur will share practical tools and help to improve your own and your staff/volunteers’ wellbeing. This 3-hour webinar will be delivered in two parts. Participants will need to attend both webinars to get the full benefit.

10:00-11:30am
20 August and 3 September

For further information and registrations, visit the Eventbrite 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.

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. This bulletin is issued by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and provides the latest information for businesses.  All information on the UK Transition can be found at www.gov.uk/transition and keep up with the latest developments on the Growth Hub UK Transition page.

Apply for grants if your business completes customs declarations
There are grants available to help your business complete customs declarations. You can apply to get funding for:

  • training that helps your business to complete customs declarations and processes
  • hiring new staff to help your business complete customs declarations
  • IT improvements to help your business complete customs declarations more efficiently

For more information, see the full guidance for the customs declaration support grants here.

Chamber Webinar: UK Border Customs Controls from 1 January – What it means for your business
The Devon and Plymouth Chamber is hosting a webinar on the importance of understanding the new border controls that start when the EU Transition period ends on the 1 January.

Liam Smyth, Director of Trade Facilitation, will provide insight and comment on the new UK Border Operating Model, advise on the actions businesses need to engage in now, signpost funding for trader readiness and comment on prospects for future trade.

The webinar is FREE for all Chamber trading members.

Tuesday 18 August 2020
10 – 11am

Register via the Chamber’s website.

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