Weekly newsletter for North Worcestershire businesses

NWedR supports and promotes economic development and regeneration across North Worcestershire

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Staying Connected

The NWedR team delivers support and services to businesses across North Worcestershire. Email us on info@nwedr.org.uk Call us on 0845 6015953 or visit our NWedR website to read our news and sign up for our weekly newsletters for North Worcestershire businesses. Connect with your local council on social media Bromsgrove DC Twitter, Facebook, Redditch BC Twitter, Facebook, Wyre Forest DC Twitter, Facebook. NWedR social connections are shown at the top of this page.

For regional Worcestershire business advice, grants and support go to Worcestershire Business Central or The Greater Birmingham & Solihull LEP Growth Hub. In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, a full range of business support is available to UK businesses and employees.  See the latest updates from Government. The business support helpline is 0300 456 3565 - available Monday to Friday from 9am to 6pm.

social distancing

One year on, let’s stay Covid-19 free

As children return to school and we move into the first stage of the easing of lockdown we are seeing Covid infections decrease in most areas of Worcestershire.

Unfortunately, Redditch has the second highest rate on Covid-19 infections across England. Sadly we have seen one of members of our business community die of Covid-19 recently. A driver from Diamond Buses passed away this month after an outbreak at the Redditch depot. Diamond’s managing director Bob Baker paid tribute to the driver in the Redditch Advertiser.

This is a tragic reminder that we still need to work hard to keep each other safe. After a whole year of restrictions, it’s easy to become a little complacent.

Please review your safety polices and remind people to stick to them. To help, there are posters, leaflets and social media graphics on the Here2Help Business Workplace resources page of the County Council’s website. You can also use Public Health England’s resources which are available to everyone or go to our Resources for Businesses Google Drive to download these.

Fortunately, we know a lot more about Covid-19 one year on. We have safety measures in workplaces, we have a vaccine which is being rolled out across swiftly the country and we have Rapid lateral flow tests.

Everyone who has to leave home for work is strongly recommended to take a Rapid lateral flow test twice a week. This is because 1 in 3 people have Covid but do not show symptoms. These people need to self-isolate. Their health may be unaffected, but they may pass it on someone at work who may become very ill.  Please encourage your employees to take a Rapid lateral flow test twice a week. You can order Rapid tests for your employees to be tested in the workplace on the gov.uk website before 31 March 2021. You can find out where you can get tested in the County on the Rapid Testing page of Worcestershire County Council’s website

Future start

Set your course post Covid

Worcestershire Business & IP Centre (BIPC) in partnership with the British Library have collaborated to create a Reset.Restart webinar programme. This is aimed at supporting companies refocus their business plans in response to the challenges of Covid.  People will initially enrol on the first webinar ‘From good ideas to good business’. Participants are then invited to attend all four elements of the programme, after which they qualify for a two hour, bespoke 121 session. The programme is aimed at early stage businesses who have been trading up to three years, and are Worcestershire based.

Find out more and register here.

Birmingham 2022

Business opportunities at Commonwealth Games

The search is on to find suppliers who can deliver nearly £5million worth of catering services for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.  With just over 500 days to go until the start of the Games, the official procurement process to find catering suppliers of all sizes to provide services to spectators, athletes, officials, volunteers, and workforce, is now open. Catering contracts are expected to support approximately 2,000 jobs during Games time and will be a much welcome boost to a sector that has suffered during the global pandemic.

The successful suppliers will have proven experience of delivering high quality catering operations and share a passion for providing relevant, high-quality food and drinks as well as exemplary levels of customer service. Suppliers will be expected to demonstrate initiatives that deliver social value and support the local community.

The first procurement for these catering services is now open and businesses are invited to complete a Selection Questionnaire (formerly known as PQQ). The invitation to submit initial bids is April 2021, with the final tender in May 2021. The contract will be awarded in the summer of 2021.

Interested businesses are encouraged to apply via the procurement portal:

Birmingham 2022 Business portal

Online grants

Overview of grants and business support

NWedR has collated information on the current grants and support available to North Worcestershire businesses. This ‘at a glance’ summary has been designed to provide a quick overview for business leaders across the area.  This is being updated regularly and displayed on the front page of our website.

Read the summary

Brexit transition with Europe

Moving goods between the UK and EU?

If you move goods between the UK and countries in the EU, you need to follow new customs and tax rules.  Your business will be affected by the new rules if you buy goods from an EU seller and bring them into the UK, send goods you’ve sold to a buyer in an EU country, haven’t exchanged money but need to move equipment that you use for your business, between the UK and the EU.

HMRC is here to help you in several ways. You can now apply for the SME Brexit Support Fund. Smaller businesses can get up to £2,000 to pay for practical support, including training or professional advice to adjust to new customs, rules of origin and VAT rules when trading with the EU.

You can attend webinars to help you adjust to the new rules and keep your business moving. The webinars include an overview of the actions you need to take now before you export goods from Great Britain to the EU and move goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Please register to take part if you’re planning to export

Worcestershire Works Well

Are you working well?

To help local businesses gain a further understanding of Worcestershire Works Well, there will be a free webinar on Wednesday 21 April covering how the scheme works, how WWW Reps support businesses, experiences from current WWW Members and an opportunity to ask any questions.

Worcestershire Works Well is open to all public, private and third sector organisations located in Worcestershire that have a minimum of 5 employees. Click here to find out more about the free webinar.

Cyber Security

Cyber security - be aware!

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) published new figures yesterday (24 March) showing that two in five businesses (39 per cent) and a quarter of charities (26 per cent) report having cyber security breaches or attacks in the last 12 months.

The Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2021 report also shows the cyber risk to organisations is heightened because of the Coronavirus outbreak, which has made securing digital environments more challenging as organisational resources are diverted to facilitating home working for staff.

DCMS is now encouraging businesses, charities and educational institutions to follow the free help and guidance from the UK cyber security experts at the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC).

The guidance includes advice on the secure use of video conferencing, secure home working and how to move businesses from physical to digital. Read more on the announcement here.   Read the NCSC guidance here.  Find more about cyber secure home working. Read more on moving your business from physical to digital.

Hogarths calendar 21

March 2021 – Celebrating North Worcestershire Calendar

Our winning feature this month is Hogarths Stone Manor.  The Hogarths team are seen here having fun in the spring sunshine for their photoshoot – before last year’s lockdown!  See the complete 2021 Celebrating North Worcestershire calendar photo gallery.

This year, NWedR and North Worcestershire Business Leaders (NWBL) have partnered once again to invite local businesses to submit just 50 words about the area for a chance to win a fantastic package of free marketing support. Now in its fourth year, the 2022 ‘Celebrating North Worcestershire’ competition provides the opportunity to win a valuable prize which will go to 12 lucky businesses.

The prize includes a spotlight month in the wonderful ‘Celebrating North Worcestershire Calendar’ with a dedicated company photoshoot, features in the NWedR newsletter, social media PR campaign, an online feature in Business and Innovation magazine and your company photograph highlighted for a year on the NWedR and NWBL website photo galleries. The competition winners panel judges are looking for the most memorable, clear and insightful descriptions of why North Worcestershire is the best location for business.

Entries for 2022 are open now and close on Tuesday 4 May 2021. 

Enter online now!