News and information for local businesses - 1 October 2020

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Plymouth business news

1 October 2020

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

  • Chancellor outlines Winter Economy Plan
  • COVID-19 Business Toolkits
  • Introducing the new NHS Covid-19 App
  • Tech for Good South West
  • Support for businesses in the UK transition period
  • UK and Japan agree historic free trade agreement
  • VAT arrangements after the end of the Brexit transition period
  • Outset September Newsletter
  • Six Plymouth Science Park Companies shortlisted for awards
  • Be the Business - Tourism and hospitality masterclass series
  • Free Learning Options for Adults in Plymouth
  • Funding streams and competitions
  • Virtual events and webinars

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

Chancellor outlines Winter Economy Plan

Last week, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak outlined additional government support to provide certainty to businesses and workers impacted by coronavirus across the UK.

Delivering a speech in Parliament, the Chancellor announced a package of measures that will continue to protect jobs and help businesses through the uncertain months ahead as we continue to tackle the spread of the virus.

The package includes:

  • A new Jobs Support Scheme to protect millions of returning workers,
  • Extending the Self Employment Income Support Scheme and
  • 15% VAT cut for the hospitality and tourism sectors,
  • Help for businesses in repaying government-backed loans.

Find out more here

COVID-19 Business Toolkits

If your business is impacted by an outbreak of COVID-19, it’s really important that you communicate with your staff to help support them, reassure your customers and protect your business reputation.

We’ve put together a couple of toolkits to help your business recover, they work in conjunction with the support that Plymouth City Council’s Public Health Team will offer you on operational matters.

Find out more here

Introducing the NHS Covid-19 app

The NHS COVID-19 app is part of the governments large scale coronavirus (COVID-19) testing and contact tracing programme called the NHS Test and Trace service.

This app will be used, alongside traditional contact tracing, to notify users if they come into contact with someone who later tests positive for coronavirus.

Guidance for employers and businesses

This guidance will assist employers and businesses in providing advice to staff on what you need to know, what to do if someone develops symptoms, sick pay, dependant leave and limiting the spread. See Government guidance here Guidance for Employers and Business

The Pension Regulator has put together a package of measures and guidance here The Pension Regulator (TPR)

See Acas advice for employers and employees here

Guidance to help keep workplaces safe

The Government has produced guidance to help employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely during the pandemic. The 8 guides set out practical steps for working safely during Coronavirus and cover a range of workplace settings. Read the full guidance here Working safely during coronavirus (Covid-19)
Join free webinars to find out more about how to make your workplace Covid secure. See BEIS Covid Working Safely Webinars

See the Better Business for All (BBfA) partnership Covid-19 Toolkits 

See the following toolkits to help guide you to re-open your business and work safely:

Find out more here

Tech for Good South West

Does your company provide a tech solution to health, environmental or social issues?

If you do, then Tech for Good South West want to hear from you! The newly launched – Tech for Good South West – is a free, intensive programme of export support designed to help the top tech companies from the South West of England to achieve international sales success in the US, India and/or Singapore.

Spaces on the programme are limited, and are expected to be in high demand, but successful applicants will benefit from gaining a sound understanding of these high growth markets as well as having the opportunity to meet with customers and potential partners in their area of tech.

Applications close on 7 October, so don’t delay and apply today!

Find out more here

Support for businesses in the UK transition period

There is now a transition period until the end of 2020 while the UK and EU negotiate additional arrangements.

Businesses are encouraged to prepare for the new arrangements for trading with the EU in January 2021.

The Heart of the South West Growth Hub have put together a dedicated webpage which is being populated with related resources for businesses to access.

Find out more here

UK and Japan agree historic free trade agreement

The UK has secured a free trade agreement with Japan, which is the UK’s first major trade deal as an independent trading nation and will increase trade with Japan by an estimated £15.2 billion.

The deal is tailored to the UK economy and secures additional benefits beyond the EU-Japan trade deal, giving UK companies exporting to Japan a competitive advantage in a number of areas. It will help to create jobs and drive economic growth throughout the whole of the UK.

Find out more here

VAT arrangements after the end of the Brexit transition period

VAT arrangements are due to change significantly after the end of the transition period. This web page below examines these changes, explains what you need to consider and suggests actions to take.

Find out more here

Outset September Newsletter

Outset's fully-funded online workshops focusing on social media, digital marketing, sales and starting out in self-employment have been really popular, helping entrepreneurs to gain new skills for their business. They have been continuing their workshops throughout September and October and you can view the latest list here

At Outset, they know how inspiring the idea of working for yourself can be, but also that managing your own business can sometimes be daunting – that’s why they’re here to help your clients! They can help them in a number of ways, all fully-funded including 1:1 support sessions and access to Outset Online, our e-learning platform.

Read the full newsletter here

Six Plymouth Science Park Companies shortlisted for awards

Six companies at Plymouth Science Park have been shortlisted for the annual Tech South West Awards.

More than 145 entries were received for the prestigious event, which showcases the best innovation and talent across the region’s tech sector.

Plymouth Science Park has more finalists than any other science park in the region.

Find out more here

Be the Business - Tourism and hospitality masterclass series

It goes without saying that the past six months have created a vast amount of uncertainty for hospitality and tourism businesses, and that these are extraordinary and very difficult times.

That is why we have joined in partnership with the Heart of the South West LEP, TDA and DMOs across the South West to work with ‘Be the Business’, to deliver a FREE support programme for tourism and hospitality business leaders - to rebuild their businesses and our local economies.

The programme now been redesigned and is now live, starting in October. Sign up now and find out more about the programme here>.

What’s Available?

Masterclass webinars

Starting on Tuesday 6 October, 12pm-12.45pm, a series of 8 weekly, 45-minute sessions designed to improve leadership and management skills. Focusing on practical things business leaders can immediately implement in their business.

Register here

Business surgery consultancy calls

A 1-2-1 “surgery-style” consultancy call with hospitality business strategist Jon Yantin, designed to help you plan ahead and discuss:

  • Are there ways to increase revenue?
  • How could you pivot or enhance your business offering?
  • What can you be doing now to prepare for the future?

Find out more here

Peer-to-peer working groups

Facilitated online groups for local business leaders to discuss challenges and use combined expertise to support one another. Benefit from:

A supportive group of trusted business leaders.

  • Working through real-life business challenges.
  • Confidence make changes in your business.
  • Development of leadership skills.
  • Growing your professional network.

Find out more here

Should you require any further information about the Be the Business programme please visit , email or contact programme lead, Alexander Rushton, on 07887 775003.

Even More FREE Learning Options for Adults in Plymouth

LEARN FOR FREE! Our friends at On Course South West have just extended their incredible FREE learning offer.

Throughout Autumn 2020, adults can now choose from nearly 100 free options, with nationally recognised qualifications in health & social care, business, industry and essential work-place skills now available, as well as courses in digital skills, creative skills, health and wellbeing and foreign languages - all completely free of charge. 

To qualify, learners have to be over 19 and live in Plymouth or the surrounding area.  If you’re interested, call On Course South West on 01752 660713 or visit for more information.  Their friendly team of advisors will guide you through the options available and get you started on your learning journey.

Funding streams and competitions

Innovation Consultancy Grant Fund

The Innovation Consultancy Grant Fund is an ERDF funded programme that supports high-tech, Devon-based, Advanced Marine businesses accelerate their innovative projects.

The Grant is available to provide financial assistance to SMEs that access professional expertise needed to develop their innovative projects. Businesses that wish to be considered for funding should submit details of their project directly to the Marine Business Technology Centre by the closing date of 30 October 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


Business Courses

Cornwall Marine Network | October

Fully funded training courses are now available to employers in Cornwall, Devon and Somerset. All courses are run by CMN Training, duration of 7 hours split into manageable sessions.

View the programme here

Find out more on the website


Marine Technology Webinar Series

Oceansgate | October

In partnership with Maritime UK South West and other local partners, the team at the Oceansgate Marine Technology Enterprise Zone in Plymouth are overcoming Covid-19 barriers to face to face networking and collaboration by hosting a regular programme of marine technology webinars. Upcoming webinars are as follows:

  • Wed 7 October: Driving innovation in the marine sector
  • Wed 14 October: Why Invest and Collaborate with – Maritime UK South West
  • Wed 21 October: The Mayflower Autonomous Ship
  • Wed 28 October: Tidal Energy Supply Chain Webinar 

Find out more and sign up here


Allergen Awareness Webinars for Businesses

Better Business For All | Monday 5 October

Do you run a food or catering business in Devon, Somerset, Torbay or Plymouth? Learn how to control allergens in the food you serve at a free webinar with Environmental Health and Trading Standards Officers.

The webinar will cover:

  • Practical advice on allergen awareness
  • An update on new labelling legislation coming out in October 2021
  • A Q&A session

Find out more and sign up on Eventbrite


Growth Accelerator Webinar Series

GetSet for Growth | 6 and 13 October

Explore different growth models and strategies, how to assess new opportunities to pivot your business, and gain competitiveness.

Series is held over three workshops, and it is recommended to participate in all of them to gain maximum benefit. 

Find out more here


South West Creative Technology Network Automation Showcase

South West Creative Technology Network | Friday 16 October

Spend the day with us online as we share a year of deep thinking and prototype-making by artists, technologists, health & education professionals, engineering & manufacturing experts, architects, academics and researchers, in the field of Automation.

Find out more and register here


Bounce Back Digital

Heart of the South West LEP | Monday 19 October

Bounce Back Digital; a series of free, online webinars, short courses and cyber support buddy sessions for small businesses to adapt to new ways of working in light of Covid-19. 

Find out more here


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

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