COVID 19 Update on Support for Business

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Newsletter | 29th April 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 https://www.heartofswgrowthhub.co.uk/

The Government is launching its coronavirus Bounce Back Loan scheme on 4th May 2020. This scheme will help small and medium-sized businesses borrow between £2,000 and £50,000. The Government will guarantee 100% of the loan and there won't be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months. Loan terms will be up to six years. No repayments will be due during the first 12 months. The Government will work with lenders to agree a low rate of interest for the remaining period of the loan. Find more information here Apply for a coronavirus Bounce Back Loan.

NEW- The Skills Toolkit
The Skills Toolkit is an online learning platform from the Department for Education, giving people access to free digital and numeracy courses to build their skills, progress in work and boost their job prospects. Access courses here The Skills Toolkit.

Coronavirus Business Financial Support Finder Tool
The Government has launched an online tool to help employers and the self-employed find coronavirus financial support. The support finder will show businesses which loans, tax relief and cash grants they can access. Use the business financial support finder tool.
There are a range of measures and schemes available to businesses such as grant funding, business rate relief and loans. You can find out the latest updates on our Growth Hub Covid-19 business support pages and further details on the Government's Coronavirus Business Support Hub. See HM Government Coronavirus Business Support Hub.

Small business grants and retail, hospitality and leisure grants
Local authorities have now contacted businesses eligible for a small business grant or a retail, hospitality and leisure grant by email or letter. If you have been contacted, please ensure you respond. If you feel you may be eligible but have not received contact from your Local Authority, then please look at the Covid-19 business support pages of your Local Authority or District council for details on how to apply. Detailed guidance about the grant schemes are here should you wish to know more Coronavirus (COVID-19): business support grant funding- guidance for businesses.

Training and events
The Growth Hub website lists upcoming webinars from many different organisations to help support and develop your business. These include:
Meet the Expert ' Accessing Funding & Finance Webinar, 30th April 9.30-11am
Business Startup Ten Top Tips Virtual Workshop, 30th April 10-11.30am
HM Government Webinar ' Coronavirus Financial Support for Small Businesses, 5th May 11am-12pm

Support for employers from Jobcentre Plus
The Jobcentre Plus website has a range of information to help your business overcome challenges resulting from COVID-19, with advice on taking the next steps and the best ways to support your staff. Visit Support for Employers from Jobcentre Plus.
Free tailored trading standards advice
To help businesses diversify and operate during lockdown, all businesses in Devon and Somerset can get free tailored trading standards regulatory advice through their local trading standards service until the end of July. Contact your local service for more information:
Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards Service
Plymouth Trading Standards
Social Enterprise funding and assistance

The Heart of the South West Enhance Social Enterprise website provides information to social enterprises affected by the coronavirus epidemic. This includes links to funding available across the Heart of the South West, guidance on Government support, training and events, and one-to-one support. Visit Enhance Social Enterprise Coronavirus (COVID-19) Funding and Assistance.

The Enhance Social Enterprise Network is facilitating free webinars for Devon and Somerset social enterprises.
1st May 11am-12.30pm Get your Social Enterprise Trading Online ' this is for social enterprises and community shops in Somerset to help you to learn quick and simple ways to sell online. Register here Get your Social Enterprise Trading Online
4th May 11am-12.30pm Resilience of Social Enterprises: this will look at funding opportunities and how to access them as well as strategies to make your social enterprise more resilient. Register here Resilience of Social Enterprises webinar
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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