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.
A Plan for Jobs speech
Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced new measures to further support economic recovery from COVID-19 in a mini-statement today. Key points include:
- A Job Retention Bonus of £1,000 per employee for employers bringing back someone who has been furloughed if they continuously employ them until January 2021. Employees must be paid at least £520 on average each month from November 2020 to January 2021.
- A temporary VAT cut from 20% to 5% for food, accommodation and attractions from 15 July 2020 until 12 January 2021.
- A £2bn Kickstart Scheme whereby employers will be paid to create new jobs for those aged 16-24 claiming Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment. For each ‘kickstarter’ job, the government will cover the cost of 25 hours’ work a week at the National Minimum Wage. Employers will be able to top up that payment if they wish. The scheme will open for applications in August with the first jobs expected to start in the Autumn.
- Employment and support schemes investment of £1.6 billion to scale up schemes, training and apprenticeships to help people looking for a job. Included is a boost for apprenticeships with businesses given £2,000 for each new apprentice they hire under the age of 25. This is in addition to the existing £1,000 payment the Government already provides for new 16-18-year-old apprentices.
Read about it here Rishi’s Plan for Jobs will help Britain bounce back
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.
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.
- UKHospitality has reopening guidance and risk assessments for hospitality businesses here Reopening guidance for hospitality.
- 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.
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 (CJRS) is changing. From 1 July, employers can bring furloughed employees back to work for any amount of time and any shift pattern, while still being able to claim the CJRS grant for the hours not worked. From 1 August, the level of the grant will be reduced each month and the scheme will close on 31 October. Find more information here Changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
Grants for small businesses in tourist areas
The Government has confirmed £10 million of funding to boost tourism in England. The Kick-starting Tourism Package will give small businesses in tourist destinations grants of up to £5,000 to help them adapt their businesses following the pandemic. Read more here Government announces £10 million for small businesses to kickstart tourism.
We are waiting for more details to be published. The scheme is expected to be available later this month. If you would like to be kept informed, let us know through our online contact form (put Kickstart tourism grant in the enquiry reason) and we will be in touch when more information is available.
Sustainable Innovation Fund
Two opportunities have opened as part of Innovate UK’s £191m Sustainable Innovation Fund:
- Sustainable Innovation Fund: round 1 (temporary framework): an investment of up to £55m to fund single and collaborative research and development projects to help organisations across the economy recover from Covid-19 in a clean and resilient way. Each organisation working alone or in a collaboration can claim a maximum of £175,000.Apply on GOV.UK here Sustainable Innovation Fund: round 1 (temporary framework).Find help and support for applications here Knowledge Transfer Network Sustainable Innovation Fund: round 1 (Temporary Framework).
- Sustainable Innovation Fund: SBRI phase 1: larger clean-tech projects of up to £3m that are pathfinders to the UK’s net-zero ambitions. Phase 1 will focus on exploring the feasibility of proposals. Phase 2 will concentrate on continued research, development and testing. Phase 1 projects total costs are a maximum of £60,000.
Apply on GOV.UK here Sustainable Innovation Fund: SBRI phase 1.
Find help and support for applications here Knowledge Transfer Network Sustainable Innovation Fund: SBRI phase 1.
Bounce Back Digital – new dates added
New dates have been added to Bounce Back Digital’s Productivity, Digital Marketing and Shopify courses. Bounce Back Digital is a series of webinars, courses and cyber support buddy sessions for small businesses to help them 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. See the new dates and sign up here Bounce Back Digital or see our Growth Hub events pages.
Webinar: Getting Back to Business
This free webinar from Exeter City Council is open to all businesses. It will provide clarity around the law and restarting your business safely and guide you through the Better Business for All Covid-19 toolkit to enable you to identify hazards and document controls to put in place. Plus there will be a Q&A with Environmental Health, Licensing and Trading Standards officers. Takes place at 5.30pm on Wednesday 15 July. Register here Getting Back to Business webinar.
Support for Somerset social enterprises
Somerset social enterprises can benefit from a series of three resilience webinars followed by two one-to-one support sessions. The free, three-hour webinars will help you understand the steps and tools needed to achieve financial sustainability, while the individual online sessions will provide bespoke support. The webinars have been commissioned by the Somerset Community Foundation and are being run by Jane Phillips Coaching. Find more information here Enhance Social Enterprise Resilience After Covid.
These sessions are supported by The Heart of the South West Enhance Social Enterprise Programme which is receiving funding from the England European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.
More business webinars
On our website you can find details for these and many more upcoming local and national webinars on a wide range of topics to help support and grow your business. Talk to our Growth Hub Advisers or head to our Growth Hub events and workshops listing to find out what workshops are right for you, and sign up!