News and information for local businesses - 16 October 2020

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Plymouth business news

16 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:

  • New tiered system of local COVID Alert Levels
  • COVID-19 Business Toolkits
  • Helping hand for Plymouth businesses to become COVID-secure
  • Kickstart Scheme - funding to create new job placements
  • Are you ready for our new relationship with the EU?
  • Funding streams and competitions
  • Virtual events and webinars

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

New tiered system of local COVID Alert Levels

On 12 October, the Government announced plans to standardise and simplify local lockdown measures, by introducing a three tiered system of local COVID Alert Levels in England - set at medium, high, and very high. 

Please see below for more details and guidance on the Medium alert level, which covers most of the country, including Plymouth:

Local COVID Alert Level - Medium

This will consist of the current national measures, which came into force on 25 September. For areas where national restrictions continue to be in place, this means:

  • All businesses and venues can continue to operate in a COVID-Secure manner, other than those that remain closed in law, such as nightclubs.
  • Certain businesses selling food or drink on their premises are required to close between 10pm and 5am.
  • Businesses and venues selling food for consumption off the premises can continue to do so after 10pm as long as this is through delivery service, click-and-collect or drive-thru.
  • Schools, universities and places of worship remain open.
  • Weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on the number of attendees.
  • Organised indoor sport and exercise classes can continue to take place, provided the Rule of Six is followed.
  • People must not meet in groups larger than six, indoors or outdoors.

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

Helping hand for Plymouth businesses to become COVID-secure

Businesses will be getting more help to become COVID-secure, thanks to new support from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Plymouth City Council’s public protection team has already been working closely with businesses to help them reopen safely after the COVID-19 lockdown - and to keep up to speed with the changing safety measures.

The Council has been putting feet on the street across the city to talk face to masked face with businesses about their issues and to offer supportive advice.

Over 170 businesses have been visited generally and a further 130 visited as part of the Council’s feet on the street campaign, targeting different parts of the city to talk to as many business owners as possible.

The team has also dealt with over 900 enquiries via phone and email and has been updating businesses across the board with guidance, toolkits and signs to help guide companies of all sizes through the changing measures.

Find out more here

Kickstart Scheme - funding to create new job placements

Apply for a Kickstart Scheme grant: 30 or more job placements: If you are an employer looking to create 30 or more jobs placements for young people, apply for funding as part of the Kickstart Scheme.

Apply for a Kickstart Scheme grant: 29 or less job placements: If you are an employer looking to create 29 or less jobs placements for young people, apply for funding as part of the Kickstart Scheme.

Help employers apply for a Kickstart Scheme grant: New guidance for organisations who want to be a Kickstart gateway and help employers apply for the Kickstart Scheme is available.

Are you ready for our new relationship with the EU?

There will be guaranteed changes from 1 January for businesses as we start our new relationship with the EU, and there are many actions you can take today to prepare. Find out what you need to do by visiting and using the checker tool.

There are 80 days until the end of the transition period and there will be no extension, so you need to act now.

Regardless of whether we reach a trade agreement with the EU, from 1 January there will be guaranteed changes to:

  • the way businesses import and export goods
  • the process for hiring people from the EU
  • the way businesses provide services in EU markets

Help is available, and businesses are encouraged to:

  1. Check what actions you need to take by visiting
  2. Sign-up for updates.
  3. Attend government webinars for additional support, you can sign up to attend BEIS webinars now.

Funding streams and competitions

Barclays Announces £14 Billion Dedicated SME Fund

Barclays Bank has announced a £14 billion lending fund as part of a series of initiatives to help small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) succeed, grow and flourish through Brexit and beyond. Applications are accepted at any time.

Find out more here


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


SME Leaders Programme Launches Second 2020 Round

Provided by the Royal Academy of Engineering Enterprise Hub, the SME Leaders Programme supports promising leaders of high-growth engineering and technology SMEs. By improving the skills of these leaders, the Academy wishes to encourage the pursuit and growth of excellence in UK engineering.

The next deadline for applications is 9 November 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


Dealing with Covid-19: A webinar for tourism sector businesses

Heart of the South West Growth Hub | Friday 16 October, 11am to 12pm

Calling all Tourism business across Devon, Somerset, Torbay and Plymouth.

Join experts from across business, tourism and public health to learn how to keep your customers, staff and business safe during a Covid-19 outbreak. You will learn what to do in the event of an outbreak including managing public relations and how to support for your business.

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


Marine Technology Webinar Series

Oceansgate | Wednesday 21 & 28 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 21 October: The Mayflower Autonomous Ship
  • Wed 28 October: Tidal Energy Supply Chain Webinar 

Find out more and sign up here


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


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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