News and information for local businesses - 4 September 2020

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Plymouth business news

3 September 2020

Please find below an overview of the latest business news and guidance. In today's newsletter you will find news and updates on:

  • The annual pinnacle of sail racing, SailGP, is coming to Plymouth in 2021
  • Geddon Plymouth – Shop Local campaign launched
  • Kickstart Scheme
  • Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • Claim money back through the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme
  • How to deal with a COVID-19 outbreak in your business
  • Links to support businesses in Plymouth to reduce Carbon
  • Quarterly Economic Survey Q3 begins
  • Funding streams and competitions
  • Virtual events and webinars

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

The annual pinnacle of sail racing, SailGP, is coming to Plymouth in 2021

SailGP Plymouth

Today, Friday 4 September, it has been announced that Plymouth, Britain’s Ocean City will host SailGP’s Season 2 European debut when the global league’s events restart in 2021. The championship will return to UK shores from July 17-18 2021 for the third event in Season 2, featuring the world’s fastest sail racing.

This is the biggest event announcement for Plymouth in a decade and is a key part of our economic recovery package, bolstering the Mayflower 400 year.  It is testament to the incredible work of Plymouth City Council’s events team who have secured the event. Following the huge success and popularity of the America’s Cup sailing event in 2011 we have been tracking a number of events that would enable us to exploit Plymouth’s USP as a stunning natural amphitheatre that provides an amazing location for inshore sailing events. SailGP is the fastest, most competitive inshore sailing race in the world and shares a lot of the same values as Plymouth, leading the way in marine technology and sustainability.  

The race has been secured for the city and will be delivered in partnership with Plymouth City Council with support from Associated British Ports, English Cities Fund and the Sutton Harbour Group.

The UK event in SailGP Season 1 saw some of the most dramatic scenes of the year. Plymouth spectators can expect to see capsizes, extreme sail racing speeds and high adrenaline competition between the sailors as they race in Plymouth Sound.

SailGP attracts some of the best sailors in the world, including the most successful Olympic sailor of all time Sir Ben Ainslie, who will be part of the British team.

Find out more here

Geddon Plymouth – Shop Local!

Geddon Plymouth artwork

To support businesses on the high street we’re launching a major campaign to get people shopping locally.  

Following on from our reopening support communications and the success of Shop4Plymouth we’re now asking local people to Geddon and shop local!  

Created by a team of highly talented local designers and creatives our campaign is targeted to resonate with the local community and create a tribal movement to support the high street.  

To drive footfall our Geddon Plymouth campaign will encompass a large scale media campaign throughout the next few months to promote Plymouth’s shopping offer and drive footfall for our high street shops. We’ll be using TV, radio, outdoor advertising, direct mail, print advertising and targeted digital and social media.  

Find out more here

Kickstart Scheme

The government has introduced a new Kickstart Scheme in Great Britain, a £2 billion fund to create hundreds of thousands of high quality 6-month work placements aimed at those aged 16 to 24 who are on Universal Credit and are deemed to be at risk of long term unemployment.

Funding available for each job will cover 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus the associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions.

Find more guidance and promotional materials here.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Guidance has been updated to reflect changes to the scheme:

  • From 1 September the government will pay 70% and employers will pay 10% of employees’ wages for the time they are being furloughed. Employers will also continue to pay their National Insurance and pension contributions.
  • From 1 October the government will pay 60% and employers will pay 20% of employees’ wages for the time they are being furloughed. Employers will also continue to pay their National Insurance and pension contributions.
  • You will continue to pay employees wages at the contracted rate for the hours they work for you.
  • The scheme ends on 31 October 2020.

Find out more here.

Claim money back through the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme

If you have registered your establishment for the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme and offered scheme discounts to diners on Mondays to Wednesdays between 3 and 31 August, you can:

  • claim back the discount given on food and non-alcoholic drinks
  • submit weekly claims for August until 30 September

You must make the claim yourself, you cannot ask an agent to do it for you.

You must enter accurate details for all the establishments you’re claiming for before submitting your claim. If you need to amend information later your payment may be delayed.

Find out more here

How to deal with a COVID-19 outbreak in your business

In the event that your business is affected by COVID-19, good communications will go a long way to support your staff, reassure customers and neighbours, and protect your reputation.

This toolkit will help your business take the right steps to recovery. It complements the support that your local public health team will give you on operational matters.

View the toolkit here

Links to support businesses in Plymouth to reduce Carbon

Carbon Trust have a lot of great guides on sustainability for businesses, including tools to undertake simple energy audits:

Future Fit is a benchmarking tool, but within their guide is a lot of useful information on what to measure, how to measure and monitoring progress. It can be done internally rather than paying an external auditor. This takes a broad view on sustainability, not just energy use.

University of Plymouth's Sustainability Hub and their Low Carbon Devon project. There is currently an opportunity for Devon based SMEs to get an intern to focus on carbon reduction.

Plymouth Energy Community can help to deliver rooftop solar with no upfront cost to the business.

Quarterly Economic Survey Q3 begins

Share your views and contribute to the largest and most representative independent business survey in the UK.

The QES Q3 2020 began on Monday 24 August. Please take 2-3 minutes to complete the survey linked below so that we can communicate this to the British Chambers of Commerce.

The Quarterly Economic Survey (QES) is the UK’s largest independent business survey. It is monitored closely by the UK Government, Bank of England, and financial institutions globally. BCC brief these institutions on the QES results, and the data is used to feed into monetary and fiscal policy decision-making.

Complete the survey here

Funding streams and competitions

Strengthening Social Care Analytics Programme

The Health Foundation has launched a new £300,000 funding programme for projects which demonstrate how data analytics can be used to improve social care and help the social care sector respond to COVID-19 and its aftermath.

A webinar will be held on 10 September to discuss the programme.

The expression of interest form must be submitted by 12pm on 2 October 2020.

Find out more here


Cultural Capital Kickstart Fund 

The Arts Council has launched a £55 million fund to support existing capital grant projects that previously secured funding but have been impacted by the covid-19 pandemic.

The deadline for applications is 12pm on the 10 September 2020.

Find out more here


Small Charities Challenge Fund

Grants of up to £50,000 are available to small UK-registered charities and not-for-profit organisations working with the most vulnerable people in countries that are ranked in the bottom 50 of the UN Human Development Index (HDI) or if it is considered of high or moderate fragility by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID).

The closing date for the next review of proposals is 5pm on 24 September 2020.

Find out more here

Virtual events and webinars

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

You can also submit your own virtual events


Virtual Networking Brunch: An opportunity to meet up with other business people and hear from our members, Young Devon.

Devon Chamber of Commerce | Tuesday 8 September, 9.30am to 10.30am

Join our Virtual Networking Brunch event – an opportunity to connect with like-minded businesses and professionals in an informal online setting. 

Find out more here


Join Sutton Harbour Marina via Facebook Live – first virtual event

Sutton Harbour | Saturday 19 September, 2pm

The award-winning Sutton Harbour Marina invites everyone to its first virtual online event -  a Marina open day - to give potential berth holders a ‘sneak-peak’ inside the marina and highlight the benefits of keeping a yacht in the historic heart of Plymouth, Britain’s Ocean City.

To join the Virtual Open Day, follow the marina on Facebook at  and tune in.


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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