East Devon business update

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Introduction from Cllr Paul Hayward, East Devon District Council's Portfolio Holder for Economy and Assets:

As 2020 draws to a close and we take stock of the challenges that business faced in the last 9 months, I am heartened by the amount of support that East Devon District Council is providing to businesses across the district. Some of these funds are nationally supported, others are local funds generated by our own local economy and enterprise. 

To date, more than £2m has been paid out through the Local Restrictions Support Grant to almost 1400 businesses which were forced to close between November and December. The majority of these are 'micro' businesses with less than 10 employees. For those not eligible for this Grant, the next “restrictions” fund - the Additional Restrictions Grant - has now launched.  Find out if your business is eligible at eastdevon.gov.uk/business-grants.

There are a wide range of support measures either already in place, or in the pipeline, to help our high streets, rural economy and commercial sector “adapt and thrive” in the weeks and months ahead. East Devon District Council is encouraging residents and customers to Shop Local and spend those £’s in their local shops. This can make a huge difference to our local businesses and economy, helping to protect jobs as well as the heart of our communities. 

We are providing support to employees who have sadly been made redundant in recent times, creating funds to promote innovation and entrepreneurialism and working with our partners across Devon to assist our incredible labour force to acquire new skills that will give them the best chance of gaining well-paid, exciting and secure jobs in the future. 

There is no doubt that the coming few months will be just as challenging as those that have gone before. But, by working with, and working for, the people of East Devon, this District Council will rise to those challenges and stand alongside every business, every employee, every resident to ensure that East Devon prospers, grows and remains an amazing place to live, work and play.

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New grant funding for East Devon businesses affected by November’s national restrictions

Businesses (non-business rates payers) which suffered significant financial impact during the national restrictions from 5th November to 2nd December 2020, can now apply for an Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) before it closes on 23rd December. Businesses which pay business rates and were forced to close during these restrictions should apply for the Local Restrictions Grant

For the ARG, eligible businesses include those solvent and trading normally on the 4th November 2020 and were either:

  • required to close from the 5th November to 2nd December and do not have a business rates account;


  • can evidence being severely impacted by the national restrictions through a minimum 30% drop in turnover from 5th November to 2nd December (not through seasonal fluctuations, other reductions or losses) and can evidence minimum fixed business costs of £250 per month.

If your business meets the criteria, you may be eligible for the ARG. Applications are encouraged from businesses that are within or supply the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, as well as businesses in the events sector and taxi operators licensed by East Devon District Council.

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Lady in face mask shopping

Shop local

We know that the run up to Christmas is one of the most important trading periods for local retailers and businesses. To encourage more residents to support our town centres at this crucial time, we have launched a #shoplocal campaign and we would love you to be part of it.  You can help spread the word on social media by sharing our posts and using the following hashtags: #loveEastDevon #shopEastDevon #eatEastDevon #shoplocal

We are helping residents understand that they can protect the heart of their communities and local jobs by shopping locally.  Giving customers the confidence to return to our towns is paramount and we are helping to show they can shop safely this Christmas by following the public health messages of regular sanitising or washing of hands, wearing a face covering and giving other shoppers space. The winter shopper special car park offer of £2 to park all day is also available now at parking meters in East Devon District Council car parks so it is an ideal time for your customers to return and stock up.

New rules for business from 1 January 2021

Act now and make sure you’re ready for the end of the Brexit transition in just a few days. Your business, family, and personal circumstances will be affected. Use the Brexit checker to get a personalised list of actions. 

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Businesses can join a range of free webinars to help them get ready

Sign up to receive business readiness bulletins that will keep you up to date on any key information relating to your business.

UK Transition: DEAL or NO DEAL - changes are coming

Join this free webinar on Friday 11 December, 10-11am. Hear from Suren Thiru, Head of Economics, British Chambers of Commerce on their latest research and insight on Brexit developments and how businesses are preparing for the end of the transition period.

Book now

Last chance to help us to help you

Help us to take steps to support East Devon businesses by taking 10 minutes to complete our short survey.

We want to hear your views on how to provide safe and welcoming public areas and encourage shoppers back to our towns and shops. The survey closes on 10th December 2020.

Support for businesses in East Devon

We are providing funded business advice and support to East Devon business, including embryonic and start-up businesses. If you are thinking of starting a business and need help deciding if it’s the right thing for you, as well as navigating the launch of your first business, BIP can help you get you started.

For larger businesses with a workforce to manage, advisors can work with you to help you through current challenges.

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Made in Devon

Made in Devon

Fifty Devon businesses have the chance to join the Made in Devon scheme with free membership for the first year.


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Avian influenza (bird flu)

Whether you keep just a few birds as pets or thousands, from 14 December onwards you will be legally required to keep your birds indoors, or take appropriate steps to keep them separate from wild birds. It is the best way to protect your birds from this highly infectious disease. Poultry and captive bird keepers are advised to be vigilant for any signs of disease in their birds and any wild birds, and seek prompt advice from their vet if they have any concerns. The new measures will help protect poultry and captive birds, following a number of cases of avian influenza in both wild and captive birds in the UK.

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Free training courses with Cornwall Marine Network

Access expert, specialist support to help companies and people grow, by improving marketing, skills, bringing innovation to market and improving productivity in the workplace.

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Tech for Good

Investment, support, expertise and networks for early-stage technology start-ups addressing a social or environmental challenge.

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Community Business ReBoost Fund

Grant funding and matched equity investment to help existing community businesses to prepare a community share offer to support their recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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