Somerset West and Taunton Council: Economic Development Business Support News

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

Business Header

Somerset West and Taunton Council: Economic Development Business Support News


Visitor Economy Business Support Programme

Would you like to know the secret to attracting MORE customers? Are you looking for new ways to GROW your businesses? Well, look no further! The Visitor Economy Support Programme has helped hundreds of businesses across Somerset do just that. The programme is FREE, all you need to do is sign up using the link below and one of our experts will be in touch to help.

The support is available to all Somerset business working within the visitor economy including hospitality, tourism, retail, attractions, activity providers, museums, entertainment, and arts.

If you have any questions about the VESP programme, please contact Max Lawrence on

#VESP #VisitExmoor #VisitSomerset #GrowYourBusiness

FSB: Federation of Small Businesses- Helping smaller businesses achieve their ambitions

For Website homepage: Click here


FSB Business Bitesize Somerset, Wiltshire and Dorset:

Local Events (free to attend):

  1. South West Women in Business Virtual Networking Wednesday 12 January, 10.30am - 11.30am These female focused events are a great option for those new to networking and looking for a friendly place to start, but also great for those with more networking experience who would like to grow their contacts within a community of inspiring business women. Book here
  2. South West Green Events: Recycling - Everything you need to know Tuesday 18 January, 10am - 11am This event will be looking at the tricky business of recycling - right at a time when our own Prime Minister is quoted as saying 'plastic can't be recycled'! With expert speakers and time for your questions/answers - this session should not be missed. Book here.
  3. Networking - Let's Talk Technical Wednesday, 19 January, 10am - 11am You are invited to a new virtual networking group focussing on small businesses in the engineering, manufacturing and transport sectors. Book here
  4. FSB South West: South West Export Academy course  Wednesday 19 January - 19 February 2022 Department of International Trade FSB four-part export course targeted particularly at South West businesses who are already exporting but may need help to breakthrough or those who have never exported before and need all the essential information to help them do so. Sign up here
  5. Somerset and North Somerset Virtual Networking Thursday 20 January, 11am - 12noon In between breakout networking rooms Laura Summerhayes from Great Copy Matters will be our speaker letting us into the secrets of compelling copy. Book here

Webinars (free to attend):

  1. How to Eat Yourself Productive 

    Tuesday 11 January, 12.30pm-1.30pm  Book here.

  2. Business Acceleration- Ditch the Rear-View Mirror

    Wednesday 12 January, 11am-12 noon  Book here.

  3. Property and Construction Event - Making Sure Your Project Runs Smoothly

    Thursday 13 January, 8am-9am

    Book here.

  4. Overcoming Fear and Doubt in Business

    Thursday 13 January, 10am-11am

    Book here.

  5. New year, new markets: practical support on international trade 

    Monday 17 January - 11am - 12.30pm

    Book here
  6. FSB on Demand Missed an FSB event? Pop over to our new hub where you will find our most popular webinars, recorded and ready when you are.

Local News and Information:

South West Awards   The South West part of our FSB Celebrating Small Business Awards comes to a close on 16 January. With 12 categories available to enter, don't miss out on this great opportunity to thank your team for their hard work and to recognise how much you have achieved in recent times. Entry is simple and free so why not get your entry in this week via this link?

Temporary changes to self-certification for sickness   From 17 December 2021 to 26 January 2022 inclusive, the Department for Work and Pensions has temporarily extended self-certification for sickness from 7 to 28 days for people accessing Statutory Sick Pay. There will be no requirement for a fit note to access other benefits.

Is your food and drink business the next big thing?   Could you win Gordon Ramsay's investment? In a returning series for BBC One, Gordon Ramsay will put a group of superstar entrepreneurs through a series of challenges that will test character, drive and business acumen.  Whoever impresses him the most will win a life changing investment.  You may have a food or drink product, a casual eatery, a piece of equipment or tech or something completely new.

  Ideal course to help you start, or grow, an export business FSB members who are already exporting - or those thinking of exporting for the first time - are invited to join a special course for the South West region starting next week to look at ways to build an internationally-focussed SME business. The Department of International Trade course - 'The Export Academy'  -  is open to any SME from the South West and is regarded as an excellent way to get to grips with what is needed to be a successful exporter. Taking place over four  morning sessions, all you need to do to take part is to register at Export Course.

Local Hospitality Support Grant Somerset West and Taunton Council has made financial support available to support businesses that have been most directly impacted by Government guidance on limiting social contact over on the run up to Christmas 2021 and over the festive period. Businesses with a business rates account which derive the majority of their income from serving food and/or drink in-house may apply to the The Local Hospitality Support Grant. The scheme offers between £1000 to £5000 of support, depending on the rateable value of the business premises. Further information here.

Business Support:

Fresh funding for omicron-hit businesses Businesses in England which have been most affected by the impact of the omicron variant will be able to apply for council-administered grants to help them cope, the Government has said. Hospitality, leisure and accommodation businesses will be able to apply for up to £6,000, based on the rateable value of their premises. The Statutory Sick Pay Rebate scheme will also be brought back.

Marquees and markets Hospitality businesses in England no longer need planning permission to put up marquees on their land following changes to permitted development rights, which were first introduced as a temporary measure at the beginning of the pandemic. Under the changes, announced last month, councils will also no longer need planning permission to hold an outdoor market. FSB welcomed the move, following a public consultation, calling it a "sensible deregulatory measure" that will remove barriers for small firms. Read more here.

Online retailers require Strong Customer Authentication UK Finance is reminding all retailers with an online presence that they must update their online shopping pages to allow Strong Customer Authentication by 14 March. Customers "will be asked to verify their identity, for example, through their banking app or a one-time passcode via text or phone call", UK Finance said. Card issuers will start declining some non-compliant transactions from 18 January, to prompt retailers to update their sites