Coronavirus Business Advice for Local Businesses - 20 November

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

Plymouth business news

20 November 2020

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

  • Update on Local Restrictions Support Grant scheme
  • Taskforce to support drive for 2 million green jobs by 2030
  • National consultancy chooses Plymouth Science Park to support growth plans
  • Techstars Startup Weekend Plymouth Online recap
  • Self Assessment customers warned about scammers posing as HMRC
  • New guidance published to support commercial fishers, merchants and exporters 
  • Virtual events/webinars

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

Grants for Plymouth businesses closed due to coronavirus

We opened the application process for the Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) scheme on Monday and since then, 1,070 Plymouth businesses have applied for financial support.

Our team has been working hard to process applications as quickly as possible and more than half of all current applications have been approved, at a value of £804,278 which will be paid into business bank accounts next week.

We also have a team of staff manning a helpline to offer any additional support needed during the application process and they have taken more than 170 calls this week.

We expect to receive about 3,000 applications for this grant scheme, which means there are thousands of businesses that haven't yet claimed the financial support available. If your business has been legally required to close due to the current national coronavirus restrictions and you pay business rates, you could be eligible for a grant through the LRSG scheme. You can apply through the Plymouth City Council website

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.

UK government launches taskforce to support drive for 2 million green jobs by 2030

UK government has launched a new Green Jobs Taskforce to support the creation of two million skilled jobs to build back greener and reach net zero emissions by 2050. 

The taskforce will set plans for new long-term good quality, green jobs by 2030 and advise what support is needed for people in transitioning industries

Green jobs push will set the direction for the job market as we transition to a high-skill, low carbon economy.

Find out more here

National consultancy chooses Plymouth Science Park to support growth plans

Ensafe, a leading health, safety and environmental consultancy is expanding their business and relocating to Plymouth Science Park to support plans to grow the business in the South West of England.

The firm, which employs over 251 personnel and has seven regional offices in the UK, the Republic of Ireland and Scotland will be relocating their South West office to Plymouth Science Park to support their ambitious growth plans. 

Find out more here

In a year of uncertainty the South West’s Startup community continues to thrive

A digital platform for older citizens to decrease social isolation, a certification designed for restaurants to reduce their impact on the environment, a network for vulnerable adults to engage better with the arts and a VR app to encourage healthy exercise - these are just some of the ideas which came out of the innovation-packed Techstars Startup Weekend Plymouth Online. Taking place between November 13 and November 15, the event welcomed over people from across the country and abroad, connecting ambitious startup founders and entrepreneurs with local and valuable mentors and investors.

Organised by the University of Plymouth, as part of the iMayflower project, and the Techstars Startup Weekend movement, the event was centered upon supporting the local entrepreneurial community and certainly delivered on its promise, attracting attendees not just from the South West but on an international scale.

Find out more here

Self Assessment customers warned about scammers posing as HMRC

Self Assessment customers should be alert to criminals claiming to be from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

As the department issues thousands of SMS messages and emails as part of its annual Self Assessment tax return push, HMRC is warning customers completing their returns to take care to avoid being caught out by scammers. The annual tax return deadline is on 31 January 2021.

Find out more here

New guidance published to support commercial fishers, merchants and exporters from 1 January 2021

From 01 January 2021, the UK will have sole responsibility for the future of our seas and fishing industry and we need to be ready for change,

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) is supporting businesses to prepare now by producing a series of guides to signpost the steps commercial fishers and seafood exporters may need to take to continue trading.

Find out more here

More support available through the customs grant scheme

HMRC has changed the customs grant scheme to allow more people to access funding and help to ensure they are ready to trade with the EU after the transition period ends. 

New co-funded training project: 

Customs intermediaries - including customs brokers, freight forwarders and express parcel operators - as well as traders who complete their own declarations, are among those who may benefit from the new co-funded training project under General Block Exemption Regulations (GBER). Through the co-funded training project grant, organisations can receive up to 2 million euros where they co-invest as well. 

Grants of up to £1000 for businesses new to customs: 

Traders who are new to customs are also now able to apply for grants of up to £1,000 per organisation to support the cost of basic customs training. This will help traders understand what is involved in making customs declarations and can help them prepare for when they speak to an intermediary. 

More businesses able to access the HMRC customs grant scheme:

Businesses with Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) status who have had a base in the UK for less than 12 months can also now operate the grant scheme, to support new entrants to the intermediary market. 

Find out more 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


Introduction to Market Hall immersive Dome

Real Ideas | 25 November, 2, 3 and 16 December

Opening in Spring 2021, the Market Hall will be a world-class space for creative, digital, and immersive experiences, situated in the heart of historic Devonport, Plymouth. The impressive new extension to the historical building will host the 15m diameter immersive dome – inspired by the dome at SAT in Montreal and the first of its kind in Europe, the space invites you to explore immersive realities, without the need for a VR headset, opening up a world of incredible creative and immersive experiences.

There are four webinars to be involved 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 

Know someone who isn't receiving our newsletters but would like to stay in touch?
Sign up for our newsletter here