Don't miss out on the new support for businesses

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October 2020

Additional business support measures

Additional measures have been put in place to provide support for businesses with the new Job Support Scheme, increased support for the self-employed, and business grants for high alert level areas, (Worcestershire is currently in Tier 1 as explained below).

The new Job Support Scheme starts on November 1. The Government will provide up to 61.67% of wages for hours not worked, up to £1541.75 per month (more than doubling the maximum payment of £697.92 under the previous rules). The cap is set at £3,125 per month.

Employers using the scheme will also be able to claim the Job Retention Bonus for each employee that meets the eligibility criteria of the JRB. This is worth £1,000 per employee. Taking JSS-Open and JRB together, an employer could receive over 95% of the total wage costs of their employees if they are retained until February. For more information see the Job Support Scheme Open Factsheet, and the Job Support Scheme.

Increased support for the self-employed will be provided with two taxable SEISS grants to support those experiencing reduced demand due to COVID-19 but are continuing to trade, or temporarily cannot trade. It will be available to anyone who was previously eligible for the SEISS grant one and two and meets the eligibility criteria. For more information see the HMRC website.

There is to be an extension to business grants of up to £2,100 a month primarily for businesses in the hospitality, accommodation and leisure sector who may be adversely impacted by the restrictions in high-alert level areas. These grants will be available retrospectively for areas who have already been subject to restrictions and come on top of higher levels of additional business support for Local Authorities moving into Tier 3.

Worcestershire is currently in Tier 1. Find out what coronavirus restrictions are in place in this area.

Find out more about the additional support measures from the Government’s website.

Cllr. Richard Morris.

Deputy Leader and portfolio holder for economic growth and tourism.

The UK transition – time is running out

There are new rules for businesses and citizens from 1 January 2021 so make sure you are ready.

The UK is leaving the EU single market and customs union, and the end of the transition period will affect citizens, businesses, as well as travel to and from the EU.

Please click here for information.

New support package for start-ups and entrepreneurs

Enterprising Worcestershire will offer support to new and early stage businesses in the region, after securing a further three years of funding.

Match-funded grants between £1,000 - £15,000 will be available from November for eligible businesses under three years old, allowing them to get their ideas off the ground.

The programme will deliver a range of business support and grant funding to eligible local enterprises, building on the success of the previous programme.

Individuals wishing to start their own business can also receive free support to develop their ideas, whilst early-stage businesses can progress with free business coaching and development sessions.

Enterprising Worcestershire has partnered with Worcestershire Libraries and the University of Worcester to offer tailored packages to support those thinking of starting a business or considering self-employment.

This new level of support has been developed following feedback from the local business community, whilst also considering the impact of COVID-19 on many businesses and individuals within Worcestershire.

The programme is funded by Worcestershire County Council, the District Councils and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

The first grant call opens on the 4 November and closes on the 27 November.  An online grant workshop will be available from Friday 30 October to talk businesses through the grant application process. This can be accessed  via the Business Events Portal.

For more information about the new programme, please click here.

Tech Tuesdays

Betaden, Worcestershire’s first tech accelerator invites you to join them on 3 November 12.00 to 13.00p.m for their next (virtual) instalment of Tech Tuesdays: 5G & The Future of Manufacturing.

In an era of intense volatility due to shorter business and product lifecycles, the manufacturing industry globally is under intense pressure. Profit margins are being squeezed more than ever as requirements become more and more varied and complex.

Looking forward, Industry 4.0, the ‘Smart Factory’ and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) could be the saving grace of manufacturing. Designing production plants and intralogistics to be flexible, autonomous and efficient requires the right communication framework and comprehensive connectivity, 5G communication standard opens up important new prospects.

Join BetaDen, Ericsson and Worcestershire 5G to discuss the future of manufacturing with 5G. Andy McKenzie, Worcestershire 5G Testbed Project Director will be joined by Ericsson Project Managers Simon Evans and Noel Dias and take you through:

  • What is 5G?
  • Private vs public network.
  • Industry 4.0 and why we need the 5G network in manufacturing.
  • A developing standard – what is to come?
  • Open Q&A.

Please register here.

Here2Help November webinars

The Here2Help Programme is offering informative, interactive, and highly relevant support delivered by subject specialists to help local businesses explore critical business areas following the impact of Covid-19. For full information on all the support available under Here2Help please click here.  Please see below for information and booking links to November web events.

Cyber Security and your Business, 11 November 9.30 to 12.00.

  • how do you protect your business – physically and digitally?
  • OWASP - web application security.
  • network security.
  • typical network setups/configuration.
  • human/people security - phishing, social engineering.
  • business management and logging/auditing.

 To register and book a place click here. 

 Growth beyond COVID, 17 November 9.30 to 12.00.

  • what drives profitable growth?
  • accountancy software, what’s available and recommended?
  • why you need 2 sets of books.
  • the figures and target you need to expand and to scale up.
  • what is a SMART P&L and its power!
  • the difference between financial forecast and budgets.
  • the 7 common mistakes SME’s make when it comes to budgeting.

To register and book a place click here.   

Marketing to Survive Covid-19, 27 November 9.30 to 12.00.

A presentation and interactive workshop with Tim Evans Head of Investment at Creative England. Tim will give insights from the creative companies they have invested in highlighting how they have responded to the challenges of Covid-19 allowing them to adapt and develop for the future. Tim will be looking at

  • continuity planning, something all businesses should be doing throughout this challenging time.
  • pivoting as part of this strategy.
  • best practice employed by several Creative England clients.
  • industry trends and case studies.

To register and book a place please click here.


Business ratepayers meeting online

Like everything else now, our business ratepayers’ breakfast is going online in January next year. This important annual business networking meeting will take place on Wednesday 20 January between 8.00 and 9.30 a.m. It will include updates on business rates for the new financial year, the Council’s budget and our priorities for economic recovery and growth. Please make a note in your diary and join us on the day. We’re very sorry that our usual delicious breakfast won’t be available this year, but you’re welcome to bring your own!

Worcester Business Central to launch an exciting Peer Network programme

Peer Networks is a national peer-to-peer networking programme for SME leaders that want to grow and develop their organisation for future success.

It is delivered through a series of high impact group sessions, with each cohort led by a trained facilitator. The programme includes interactive action learning; trained facilitators; small groups; flexible topic selection; and one to one coaching. The programme is available to any SME business that has operated for at least one year, has five employees, a turnover of at least £100,000 and an aspiration to improve.

To find out more information about the Peer Network programme please click here.

Everything online

The Chamber of Commerce Herefordshire and Worcestershire, and Worcestershire Business Central are just two of many business support organisations that are providing online advice to support current business needs and future recovery plans. They both have a series of webinars available in place of events, training courses and face to face meetings to inform you on the latest government updates, business support, HR and legal advice, mental wellbeing and much more.

Here are links to book some of the latest Chamber webinars:

Food and drink forum

Virtual growth forum

CBILS update

Brand audit webinar

Womens forum

Lunchtime networking

You can view all past webinars on their YouTube Channel. To find out about their virtual training days for the recovering business head straight to the training calendar for upcoming courses.

WBC offer free business support webinars to help your business during the COVID-19 pandemic they are listed here - upcoming events.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): what you need to do

The information available to businesses is changing regularly. We will continue to provide information as soon as we receive it. If you know of any businesses that would benefit from receiving these updates, please let them know they can sign up to our e-newsletter.