Coronavirus Business Advice for Local Businesses - 28 April

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Plymouth business news

28 April 2020

Please find below an overview of the latest advice and guidance for COVID-19. In today's newsletter you will find news and updates including:

  • Business Grants - call to eligible businesses
  • Bounce Back loans announced for small and medium businesses
  • Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise sector advice
  • Shop4Plymouth launched to support retail industry
  • Free business support for Plymouth businesses
  • FSB survey
  • How to protect your business from fraud and cyber crime
  • Plymouth Citybus receive Queen's Award for Enterprise
  • "Meet the Expert" Accessing Funding & Finance Webinar
  • Latest funding and support information
  • Latest Economic Development blog

If you have any specific concerns or are in need of support please contact us.

Business Grants call to eligible businesses who have not yet applied

Hundreds of eligible businesses in Plymouth have not yet applied for grants to help them through the COVID-19 pandemic. We are actively looking for and contacting businesses that could benefit from the Small Business Grant Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Fund which offer grants of up to £25,000.

In less than four weeks we've approved over 3,000 grant applications and paid out £34.5 million directly to businesses.

Now our focus is on actively contacting and searching for the businesses who haven't yet applied for the grant. Many eligible businesses that receive Small Business Rate Relief may not realise they are entitled to funding; so if you think you may be eligible, or know a business who may be, then please visit our Business Grant page below and contact our helpline team

Find out more here

Business Grants Eligibility Flowchart

Check your eligibility for the Small Business Grant Fund and Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Grant Fund using our useful flow chart.

View the flowchart here

Bounce Back loans

Yesterday (Monday 27 April), the Government announced the Bounce Back Loan Scheme which will help small and medium-sized businesses to 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 6 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.

The scheme will be delivered through a network of accredited lenders and will be launched on Monday 4 May.

Find out more here

Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise sector advice

Together with Plymouth Octopus Project (POP) and Plymouth Social Enterprise Network Plymouth City Council has developed and launched a new online portal for the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Sector to access business support and advice to help them through COVID-19.

This portal includes signposting to national help and sector specific advice, funding streams available and data that may be useful in applying for grants and funding applications. The team will be continuing to update this portal with the latest information as it’s available so that it’s as useful as possible for this important sector in the city.

View it here

Shop4Plymouth launched to support retail industry

Last week a new online marketplace, Shop4Plymouth was launched to make it easier for Plymouth people to shop locally from the safety of their homes.

The initiative set up by Plymouth City Centre Company and Plymouth City Council, with support from Plymouth Waterfront Partnership in response to the COVID-19 crisis promotes local traders that are open and following Government guidelines or who have adapted to offer a delivery service instead.

Read more here

Free business support for Plymouth businesses

Devon & Plymouth Chamber of Commerce is offering a special package of free business support during the Coronavirus pandemic that aims to help businesses not only survive the current crisis, but also be ready to for ‘business as usual’, whatever that may look like, on the other side.

The Chamber has been staging a series of Chamber Live events on Zoom, free of charge to members and non-members to help businesses, organisations and individuals combat the effects of the crisis. The events are not just for networking; you are put in front of informative, inspirational and influential speakers in a high-quality events programme that genuinely benefits you from attending.

Despite these highly challenging times, the Chamber has continued to offer professional, moral and effective support to members. Being a member means you have access to range of invaluable benefits and services in good times and bad. The Chamber offers first class business expertise through the nationally recognised Quest Four Services and helpline – including online access to 750 free downloadable template documents covering Health & Safety, HR, Legal and Tax, plus Legal Expenses Insurance with £1million cover and £100,000 for claims.Support is also available to help you market and promote your business through their membership network and marketing channels; alongside daily lobbying activities on your behalf – campaigning for a better business landscape for you and working with British Chambers of Commerce to challenge Government on support packages. 

If you're interested in finding out more about this support and the special offer rate new membership packages available now email to register your interest and the Chamber team will be in touch to explain how they can support you and your business. 

FSB Survey: Get your views on business support during the Coronavirus pandemic heard by Government

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has launched a nation-wide survey of business owners to help understand what Government support is working, where new policies are needed and what will be required for a post-crisis recover.

Find out more and participate here

Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice on how to protect yourself or your business from fraud and cyber crime

The Government has issued advice on how to protect yourself and your business from fraud and cyber crime as COVID-19 has seen more time spent online.

The guidance sets out some simple steps on how to protect yourself and your business.

Find out more here

Plymouth Citybus honoured by the Queen for helping people find jobs

Plymouth Citybus has been given the highest award a business can receive - the Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The company received the award after receiving praise for helping disadvantaged people get into jobs. The Milehouse headquartered firm, which employs 561 people in the city, received the Queen's Award for Enterprise in the Promoting Opportunity category for its work assisting the 'most vulnerable and disadvantaged' find employment.

Read more here

"Meet the Expert" Accessing Funding & Finance Webinar

You are invited to join Oceansgate's FREE Microsoft Teams Business Support Webinar.

The webinar is delivered by Graham Roberts FCA, Director of Blackwell Bate as part of our "Meet the Expert" Business Support Programme.

The webinar will cover:

  • Support available for small businesses from the Government
  • Background to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
  • Case study –application to a high street bank
  • Funding Circle applications
  • Preparing documentation for applications

There will be opportunities to ask questions and receive advice during the session.

Register your free place here

For more information on the latest virtual events, or to upload and promote yours visit Invest Plymouth's event page here.

Submit your events here

Funding streams and competitions

Grants for the UK's Best Energy Entrepreneurs

Energy services and solutions company Centrica is supporting entrepreneurs to help deliver affordable, accessible and reliable clean energy through its Energy for Tomorrow scheme.

Grants of between £100,000 and £500,000 will be awarded over a period of up to three years.

Find out more here


Grants to Help UK Music Creators Adapt to COVID-19 Conditions

The PRS Foundation is supporting artists, songwriters and composers to create and develop when they need it most. The PRS Sustaining Creativity Fund is designed for music creators experiencing hardship from loss of work due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Grants of £750 will be available, to be spent on anything that enables music creators to continue to create exceptional new music.

Find out more here


Coronavirus Mental Health Response Fund

To help VCS organisations based in England continue to provide mental health services - or provide additional support - organisations can apply for a Coronavirus Mental Health Response Fund (CMHRF) grant.

Thanks to £5m support from government (the Department of Health and Social Care), grants of £20,000 or £50,000 are available for projects lasting up to 12 months.

Find out more here

David Draffan, Service Director for Economic Development, Plymouth City Council Blog

David Draffan, the Service Director for Economic Development at Plymouth City Council, regularly writes blogs on Linkedin which sets out some of the work that is being done for the business community that you may find interesting to follow.

View the latest blog here


Did you know we are on Linkedin? Join us here for more regular updates.


Keep up to date with news and advice on our COVID-19 business support page 

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