Coronavirus Business Advice for Local Businesses - 27 November

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Plymouth business news

27 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:

  • Additional Restrictions Grant scheme
  • Update on Tier lockdown restrictions
  • Resurgam sector led action plans for recovery
  • The UK Transition: Time is Running Out
  • Announcing ChamberCustoms, helping you trade post-Brexit 
  • Learn with Start Up Loans: designed to help UK businesses get off the ground and stay there
  • Updated information for Self-Employment Income Support Scheme 
  • Plymouth home to world’s first 5G ocean-based marine testbed
  • Tech South West Awards 2020 Winners Announced
  • Virtual events/webinars

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

Additional Restrictions Grants update

Plymouth City Council has been allocated £5.2 million through the Government’s Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) to support local businesses that have been most impacted by the current national coronavirus restrictions.

The discretionary funding will support businesses that cannot claim from the Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) scheme, which gives grants to rate-paying businesses that have been forced to close due to the national restrictions in place from 5 November to 2 December.

 Businesses may be eligible to apply for financial support through the ARG if they:

  • Have been legally required to close under current national restrictions but were not eligible for the Local Restrictions Support Grant as they do not pay business rates, or pay packaged rent and rates
  • Have not been legally required to close but have suffered a significant loss in turnover as a result of the national restrictions

The funding is aimed at businesses that have been significantly affected by coronavirus, in particular retail, leisure and hospitality businesses and their supply chain. The Council will also prioritise childcare providers, language schools, fishing businesses and the creative and event industry.

Applications for the ARG scheme will open at 10am on Monday 30 November through the Plymouth City Council website.

In order to claim a grant, businesses must meet certain criteria, which can be found on the Invest Plymouth website.

Local Restrictions Support Grants

Applications are still open for the Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) which provides financial aid for businesses which pay rates and were required to close due to national Coronavirus restrictions. Over 1,400 businesses have now applied for this support, which is approximately 50% of expected applications from eligible businesses.

Find out more here

Plymouth entering Tier 2 restrictions from Wed 2 December

Plymouth will be in tier 2 ‘High Alert’ area when the national lockdown ends on Wednesday 2 December.

This means the lockdown restrictions will end and shops, schools, indoor leisure, entertainment, places of worship and hotels can all open in a covid-secure way.

However, mixing households indoors, apart from support bubbles, will not be allowed and the rule of six will apply when meeting outdoors.

Pubs and bars can only open if they are operating as restaurants and alcohol can only be served with a substantial meal. Venues must stop taking orders at 10pm and close by 11pm.

Most City Council services have continued to operate during the lockdown but those that had to close, such as libraries and The Box will re-open with covid-secure measures in place to keep visitors safe.

Brickfields Sports Centre and Plympton Swimming Pool in Plymouth, managed by sports and leisure operator Everyone Active, will reopen their doors on Wednesday 2 December.

Find out more here

What being in Tier 2: High Alert means:

Meeting friends and family

No mixing of households indoors, apart from support bubbles. Maximum of 6 outdoors.

Bars, pubs and restaurants

Pubs and bars must close, unless operating as a restaurant. Hospitality venues can only serve alcohol with substantial meals. Venues must stop taking orders at 10pm and must close by 11pm.



Work and business

Everyone who can work from home should do so.


Early years settings, schools, colleges and universities open. Childcare, other supervised activities for children, and childcare bubbles permitted.

Indoor leisure




Personal care



Reduce the number of journeys you make and walk or cycle if possible. Avoid busy times and routes on public transport. Avoid car sharing with those outside of your household or support bubble. Avoid travelling outside your area, or entering a Tier 3 area, other than where necessary such as work or education. Further exemptions apply.


Classes and organised adult sport can take place outdoors, but cannot take place indoors if there is any interaction between people from different households. Organised activities for elite athletes, under-18s and disabled people can continue.

Residential care

COVID-secure arrangements such as substantial screens, visiting pods, and window visits. Outdoor/airtight visits only (rollout of rapid testing will enable indoor visits including contact).

Large events

Sport, live performances and business meetings limited to 50% capacity or 2,00 people outdoors (whichever is lower) and 50% capacity or 1,000 people indoors (whichever is lower).

Weddings and funerals

15 guests for weddings, civil partnerships, wedding receptions and wakes; 30 for funerals.



Places of worship

Open, but cannot interact with anyone outside household or support bubble.

Resurgam sector led action plans for recovery

All sectors across the city are working to overcome the challenges that have been, and continue to be, thrown at them by Coronavirus. There are no easy answers and the consequences on businesses across all areas of the economy are challenging and far-reaching. 

The city council has been working across all areas of the city’s economy and through a number of business representative organisations to bring sectors together for mutual support and identification of areas of opportunity as we continue to fight against this pandemic.  No-one knows what the future truly holds, but we can work together and seek to support our key sectors across the city and hope to help them through the on-going and future challenges they face.

The suite of Resurgam sector action plans should be seen as the city council supporting the various sectors and the sectors themselves working together to help shape their futures. By working together, we hope to support our economy to be stronger in the longer term.

These sector action plans are one way in which we will get through these challenging times and build a future where our economic sectors can prosper.

See the Sector Action Plans here, and click on each of the sector tiles to see the plan in full. 

The UK Transition: Time is Running Out

With just 35 days to go until the UK’s new start, watch sector specific webinars on demand here to help prepare.

For the latest transition information direct to your inbox, sign up to the Transition Readiness Business Bulletin here.

Announcing ChamberCustoms, helping you trade post-Brexit

A new hassle-free service designed to help businesses import and export goods easily as the nation prepares for Brexit has been launched by Devon & Plymouth Chamber of Commerce.
ChamberCustoms will help businesses of all sizes who trade overseas, by providing a comprehensive Customs Declaration Service.
Whether the Government agrees a deal or not with the EU, businesses trading with any country outside of the UK will need to complete Customs Declarations.

Find out more here

Learn with Start Up Loans: announcing a new partnership designed to help UK businesses get off the ground and stay there

The government-backed Start Up Loans scheme has partnered with world-renowned distance-learning provider The Open University to give its customers – and other small business owners across the UK – the opportunity to take free Open University business learning courses.

At a moment of significant upheaval for the UK’s start-ups, the partnership aims to help businesses get off the ground by giving them the confidence and training they need to take their ideas to the next level.

The online courses can be accessed easily by visiting the Start Up Loans website and have been designed to suit all needs and paces of learning, from introductory to intermediate to advanced. Depending on the level of study, the courses take six, 10 or 30 hours to complete and are grouped into several key areas:

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Career and leadership
  • Finance and accounting
  • Marketing and commercial awareness
  • Project management
  • Specialised learning

Find out more here

Free downloadable guides to starting a business

As well as the partnership and its pre-loan support and mentoring package, Start Up Loans has published a series of guides on important areas of business including social media, marketing and SEO. The guides, which can be downloaded free of charge from the Start Up Loans website, are designed to ensure business owners of all stripes have the resources they need to build and grow a successful business.

Download the guides

Updated information for Self-Employment Income Support Scheme 

Updated guidance has been published with information for the third grant of the Self Employed Income Support Scheme.

Find out more here

Guidance has also been published on how trading conditions affect eligibility for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

Find out more here

Plymouth home to world’s first 5G ocean-based marine testbed

Plymouth Sound is to be home to the world’s first 5G ocean-based marine testbed, putting the city at the forefront of marine and maritime innovation.

Part of the Marine Business Technology Centre’s (MBTC) testing and proving ground Smart Sound Plymouth, the testbed will benefit from a 5G mobile private network built by Vodafone using Nokia equipment. The network, known as Smart Sound Connect, will enable ultrafast download speeds and low-latency 5G connectivity to support the development of new marine technology.

Eligible businesses will have free access to the testbed to test 5G use cases including advanced applied autonomy, clean propulsion, smart ports, smart shipping, and environmental monitoring using the Internet of Things (IoT).

Find out more here

Tech South West Awards 2020 Winners Announced

Plymouth company Moortec was recognised this week at the esteemed Tech South West awards. Picking up the Cluster Award for the Plymouth area the tech company, based at Plymouth Science Park, was recognised for the incredible work it is doing within embedded in-chip monitoring, delivering performance optimisation and enhanced reliance. It picked up the award at the virtual ceremony on 26 November streamed live from Exeter Science Park.

Moortec, which recently became a part of the tech giant Synopsys, is a world leading provider of in-chip monitoring technology specialising in process, voltage, and temperature sensors. The Tech South West Awards were established to recognise and celebrate the sector’s incredible innovation, talent, creativity, entrepreneurship, business success, education, leadership and diversity.

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


Are you ready to trade in the post-Brexit age?

Womble Bond Dickinson | 1 and 9 December, 11am to 12pm

Our fast paced webinars will cut through the Brexit 'noise' and help you to identify the key short-term actions, issues, challenges and opportunities for your business. Our experts will deliver insight and practical hints and tips on the issues that are likely to be most relevant for UK businesses.

Webinar one – 1 December: Customs/Trade; Competition/State Aid; IP; Financial Services

Webinar two – 9 December: Data, Immigration, Regulatory

Find out more here


Introduction to Market Hall immersive Dome

Real Ideas | 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 three webinars to be involved in:


Create Videos with YouTube

Google Digital Garage | 3 December, 11am to 12pm

This session will cover how to understand your brand and target audience’s behaviours, write, storyboard and film engaging videos, market your content to users and measure your success.

In this session you will learn:

  • How to identify your niche
  • Top tips for creating engaging content
  • Ways to increase your video’s discoverability

Find out more here


South West Virtual Crew Night - Filming During COVID-19

Creative England | 10 December, 5pm to 6.30pm

Creative England,, in partnership with Film Plymouth, are hosting a South West regional crew night to discuss how Covid-19 has impacted our industry and what support is currently available. All crew and experience levels are welcome to attend.

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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