East Devon coronavirus business update - 2 July 2020

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East Devon District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Economy, Asset Management and Regeneration, Councillor Paul Hayward, introduces this week’s business update:

Thank you to everyone who submitted an application to the Discretionary Grant Scheme, which closed on 24th June.  Please bear with us while we work through the 190 applications received - our officers will be in touch as soon as possible. I’m pleased to say that there will be a second round of funding, open for online applications from noon on 6th July to 5pm on 17th July at www.eastdevon.gov.uk/discretionary-business-grant.

We are very keen to receive applications from businesses such as local food and drink producers and suppliers to the hospitality trade.  We know there are businesses which could benefit from this fund but have not yet made contact, so please do encourage any business contacts working in this sector to apply.

I would like to highlight two important resources which can help businesses at this time. Firstly, a virtual career and skills fair has been launched to help people find work and learn new skills, as well as helping businesses recruit staff. Visit heartofswlep.co.uk/jobs-launchpad to find out more. Secondly, BIP’s Growth Support Programme has been extended. It means free, one to one business support, tailored specifically to your needs, is available to East Devon businesses. See more below.

There is an urgent and growing need to support for our local businesses. With furlough due to come to an end soon, we’ll start to realise the impact of the pandemic on local firms, jobs and the economy.  We can all help to secure jobs for local people, by shopping locally.  Never has this been more important. Think carefully about that next internet purchase - can you buy it from a local trader to help secure local jobs? 

The creative arts sector is facing significant financial challenges, including our own arts and cultural centres, Thelma Hulbert Gallery (THG) and Manor Pavilion theatre. The call to arms from the whole cultural sector to Government to help provide financial support is absolutely essential to help with its recovery. The sector will play a crucial role in rebuilding our communities, lifting spirits and bringing people together.  With this in mind, THG aims to reawaken interest in the amazing Sir Richard Long exhibition on loan from the Tate and the important messages on climate change it is raising. The Manor Pavilion theatre is looking at how it can support local theatre groups with controlled rehearsals ready for when restrictions are eased.

And finally, I am delighted to see that Exeter Airport will be operational again from 4 July, providing essential regional connectivity and much needed support to our local economy. I would like to extend a warm welcome to LOGANAIR, which is a new operator of internal flights starting this month.


Exeter Airport

Commercial flights from Exeter are now available to book, with flights starting from Saturday, 4 July 2020. Supporting the East Devon economy, Loganair arrives at Exeter Airport for the first time this month, operating routes to Edinburgh and Newcastle. More holiday routes start from 1 August 2020. 

You will see changes at the airport so that it meets Government guidelines for safe travel. Read all about COVID-19 passenger safely information and the latest flight information.

FREE tailored business support

The Growth Support Programme has now been extended so BIP will be now offering FREE business support throughout most of Devon.  Get a health check for your business and speak to an independent advisor at no cost to you. Businesses and the self-employed have been hit hard by the pandemic. This support is tailored specifically to your individual needs. Advisors have a wealth of knowledge and can discuss any aspects of your business: re-evaluate your marketing strategy, create a new business plan, navigate the road to reopening or discuss staffing, BIP can help.

If you would like to talk to a business advisor or want some additional information about the support please call 0800 592 872 or email team@businessinfopoint.co.uk.

New national funding

Innovative ideas and projects led by companies recovering from the impact of coronavirus can benefit from a new £200 million fund. The government’s Sustainable Innovation Fund is open to companies who need urgent financial support to keep their cutting-edge projects and ideas alive.

More start-ups and innovative firms will be able to apply for investment from the Government’s Future Fund.

EU Settlement Scheme

One year to go until the deadline for EEA and Swiss citizens to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. Join the 3.2 million who have already secured their rights. Apply now: gov.uk/eusettlementscheme

Support for pubs, restaurants and cafes

The Government has introduced plans to allow more pubs, restaurants and cafes to serve customers outside. We are currently reviewing the policy changes and will share further updates next week.

Food businesses

The advice for food businesses in response to coronavirus has been updated to include new section on prevention of infection and revised section on management of outbreaks, including contact details for health protection teams.

Destroying spoilt beer, cider, wine or made-wine during coronavirus

Temporary changes have been made to the destruction of spoilt beer, cider, wine or made-wine if you’re a brewer, cider producer, wine maker or publican. 

Genuine HMRC contact and recognising phishing emails and texts

Find out how to recognise when contact from HMRC is genuine, and how to recognise phishing or bogus emails and text messages.

Changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Find out how 'furlough' or the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is changing. You can now submit claims for periods starting on or after 1 July. Businesses have the flexibility to bring furloughed employees back to work part time from 1 July.

Guidance for outdoor gyms and playgrounds

Outdoor gyms and playgrounds will able to reopen from 4 July.

Driving lessons, theory tests and driving tests to restart

Driving lessons and theory tests will restart on Saturday 4 July 2020, and car driving tests will restart from Wednesday 22 July 2020. 

PPE creation at East Devon Business Centre

Volunteers make much-needed PPE equipment at East Devon Business Centre

You may have heard about EDDC officer, Hal Furneaux Gotch, putting his engineering skills to good use, making PPE with a 3D printer for front line staff in the NHS and Care Services.  Hal has been doing this work through a volunteer group, 3D Crowd.  Hal put 3D Crowd in touch with the EDDC’s Place, Assets & Commercialisation Service who manage East Devon Business Centre to see if we could help out by offering one of our meeting rooms for their use by volunteers at no cost. 

Read more


Free training for East Devon businesses

Fully funded training for businesses working in the marine, manufacturing, construction and nuclear sectors. The training from Cornwall Marine Network including marketing, people management, telesales, handling conflct, events and much more.


FREE Virtual Launch Academy Webinar: Learn how to start an online business with Amazon

Monday 6th July 2020, 11am-12pm

Useful links

What to do if you or someone you know has coronavirus symptoms

Latest Government guidance

Guidance for digital, culture, media and sport sectors

Guidance to get the Tourism and Visitor Economy back up and running is designed to give confidence to the public to safely take domestic holidays and visit attractions on days out from 4 July.

Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: what you can and can’t do after 4 July

COVID-19 FAQs: what you can and can't do

NHS Test and Trace service

NHS coronavirus (COVID-19) website

The Health and Safety Executive provides guidance to help work safely and control the risks. Working safely during the coronavirus outbreak.

Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards has produced a checklist for businesses to help put workplace measures in place to keep employees and customers safe. Find it here Covid-19 checklist for businesses.

East Devon information

East Devon District Council’s coronavirus hub

Support available for businesses

Support for people who need help