Coronavirus Business Advice for Local Businesses - 13 November

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Plymouth business news

13 November 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:

  • Local Restrictions Support Grant scheme update
  • Preparing for the end of the Transition Period
  • Plymouth businesses set to benefit from successful skills funding bid
  • University launches new £200,000 Research and Development Fund
  • Smart Citizens Programme
  • Virtual events/webinars

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

Local Restrictions Support Grant applications going live Monday 16 November

If your business has been legally required to close due to the current national restrictions and you pay business rates, you will now be able to apply for the Government’s Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) scheme.

If you’re eligible for the scheme, you can apply through the Plymouth City Council website from 10am on Monday 16 November.

Eligible businesses can claim the following grants, based on their rateable value:

  • For properties with a rateable value of £15,000 or under, grants to be £1,334 per 28 days;
  • For properties with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000, grants to be £2,000 per 28 days;
  • For properties with a rateable value of £51,000 or over, grants to be £3,000 per 28 days.

Check the eligibility criteria and find FAQs on the Invest Plymouth website.

When you apply, you’ll need to supply certain information to protect against fraudulent claims, including your business rates account number. Sole traders will also be asked to provide their date of birth. All businesses will also need to supply their bank details as well as an image of your business bank statement or cheque book if this is your first COVID-19 grant from the Council.

The Council is aiming to make all grant payments within ten days of application.  

Additional Restrictions Grant scheme

Plymouth has been allocated £5 million for a second discretionary grants scheme, known as the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) scheme.

If you are not eligible for the LRSG scheme you may be able to access support from the ARG scheme instead. We will share more details with you as soon as we have confirmed information.

You can also find more information about the wide range of support on offer to help your business get through COVID-19 on the Invest Plymouth website.

Preparing for the end of the Transition Period

With the transition period ending in 58 days time, time is running out to prepare your business.  There are changes for business and citizens.

You need to act now if you’re:

Get the complete list of what you need to do for you, your business and your family.

Transition Webinars

The Business Secretary Alok Sharma is encouraging firms to sign up for a webinar to find out more about the actions to take. Business Secretary Alok Sharma said: “Time is running out for businesses to get ready for the end of the transition period on 31 December and prepare for the guaranteed set of changes and opportunities ahead. I urge as many businesses as possible to sign up to the second phase of our webinars or visit to see what actions need to be taken to ensure we’re ready for the UK’s new start as an independent country.” 

Intellectual Property rules are changing

In just 49 days there will be changes to how the Intellectual Property (IP) system and the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) will operate. These changes will affect:

You can find out more information about all of these changes in this news story from the IPO

Help is available to ensure your business is ready:

  • Consider carefully where to disclose your designs to ensure they have adequate protection in their most important market;
  • If you export IP-protected goods on the secondary or parallel market, contact the rights holder in the EEA to see if you have permission to continue to parallel export.
  • Consider if you want exports to continue if you are a business that owns the IP rights for goods currently parallel exported from the UK to the EEA.

If you do not take action, there is a risk your business operations will be interrupted. You can find out what other actions you may need to take by using the checker tool at and signing up for business readiness updates.

Plymouth businesses set to benefit from successful skills funding bid

Plymouth businesses and residents are set to benefit from a recent bid for skills funding to the European Social Fund worth £3.5 million.

The bid, led by Plymouth City Council, has developed a skills delivery partnership with a range of quality training and skills providers across Devon, including City College Plymouth.

Council Leader Tudor Evans has endorsed this significant investment to the city which will be delivered over the next three years

The SMART Skills funding bid will help our small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) businesses to identify skills gaps in their existing workforce and provide the skills training they need to become more resilient during this economic crisis.

Find out more here

University launches new £200,000 Research and Development Fund

The University of Plymouth has launched a new funding programme for the business community as part of its continued support during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The Research and Development Solutions Fund is designed to stimulate industrial collaborations and knowledge transfer opportunities between researchers and businesses, and aiming to solve specific ‘business problems’.

The £200,000 fund, delivered in partnership between the University’s Research & Innovation directorate, and Thomas Westcott Chartered Accountants, will also be a catalyst for enabling businesses to gain even greater access to the University’s facilities such as the COAST Lab, the Plymouth Electron Microscopy Centre and the Digital Fabrication Laboratory.

Find out more here

Smart Citizens Programme

The Smart Citizens Programme is opening Fab Lab Plymouth, based at Plymouth College of Art, to communities. The programme offers events, workshops and training in digital design and fabrication. Here are some updates and upcoming free activities open to everyone:

Smart Citizens Video

Want to join a community of citizens makers and get to make your own objects, products and artwork using digital fabrication? Find out more about the Smart Citizens Programme in our latest webinar video! Click here to watch the video.

2D and 3D design workshops

Explore digital fabrication possibilities, learn how to design simple forms & objects in 2D and 3D using free software Inkscape and Fusion 360.

  • 2D digital design workshop, register here.
  • 3D digital design workshop, register here.

See more Fab Lab events here

Virtual events/webinars

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

You can also submit your own events here


Plymouth Startup Weekend

Techstars/University of Plymouth | 13 to 15 November

Do you have an idea for a new product, service or experience that you're looking to take to the next level? Do you want to learn how to start a business? Plymouth Startup Weekend is back - virtually!

Find out more here


Plymouth Startup Week

The Bridge, University of Plymouth | 16 to 20 November

The University’s enterprise initiative, The Bridge, have organised a week full of insightful online talks and workshops for emerging entrepreneurs and startups as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW).

Find out more here



The Bridge, University of Plymouth | Friday 20 November, 9.30am to 5pm

Creativity is a key source of growth and productivity for the UK economy. Attend for a day of insightful discussions and virtual networking with key stakeholders from the creative and cultural industries, Higher Education and Arts Council England as the opportunities and challenges of working across traditional boundaries are explored.

Find out more here


UK Transition Webinar

Heart of the South West Growth Hub | Friday 20 November, 10am to 11am

As the end of the EU transitions approaches on the 1 January 2021, please join us in our webinar as we consider the impact of Brexit in the South West and hear from our speakers.

Find out more 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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