We hope everyone is having a pleasant week and are feeling more positive as we journey through the roadmap to recovery and businesses begin to re-open. You should have received our email on Wednesday with updates on grant funding and we will update you on further Covid support over the coming weeks.
Today we wanted to focus on some of the broader updates and support that is available to you – from our own free-to-attend webinars to support your business, where you can find guidance on Covid safety measures, and news of opportunities that could help your business.
Working safely guidance
South Cambridgeshire District council has detailed guidance and advice on our website to support businesses as they safely re-open.
The council has also provided a video presentation answering some of the questions raised from step two of the roadmap to recovery. You can watch the video here.
Extra support for local businesses adapting to Covid-secure measures
South Cambridgeshire’s Environmental Health team will be working with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) from next week to give businesses extra support to put Covid-secure measures in place.
From Monday (26 April) HSE officers will call or visit South Cambridgeshire’s retail, hospitality, leisure, close contact services and science park businesses, checking Covid-secure measures are in place and providing advice.
Supporting local businesses: please respond to our survey
Last summer the Reopening the High Streets Safely team sent out surveys to business owners. These surveys were very useful in helping us plan a response to the pandemic. Now we have an updated version which will help us to compare how attitudes have changed and identify how best to support local businesses and residents as we continue to reopen the High Street. Visit our South Cambridgeshire COVID-19 surveys web page
There is also a separate survey for residents to complete.
South Cambridgeshire District Council is offering a series of webinars that provide a chance for local businesses to engage with Council services and develop skills to help you run your business successfully.
Mental ill-health increasingly affects people and is among the leading cause of sickness absence in the workplace. Added to the stress of keeping your business going during the pandemic, there are many reasons people need support: financial insecurity; not seeing family, friends, colleagues or customers. Whatever the size of your business, everyone needs help sometimes. Our guest speakers Nick Elston and Zoe Thompson are hosting a series of free to attend webinars to help business leaders cope through difficult times. Click on the links below to register:
- Building resilience: Wednesday 5 May, 1pm
- Managing diversification and change: Thursday 27 May, 1pm
- Coping with financial stress: Tuesday 15 June, 12:30pm
How to tender for Council contracts
Local authorities outsource a number of goods and services, be that building services, catering or IT. How do they decide which supplier to contract, and how can local businesses, especially smaller ones, win bids for these contracts? We are running a series of webinars throughout the year offering businesses a chance to learn how to successfully tender for Council contracts. The next event is on 14 July at 2pm and you can register here.
Other business support and advice
Covid-19 business support initiatives available through Anglia Ruskin University
Innovation vouchers – up to £5,000 (match funding) on a 50:50 basis
The innovation voucher initiative gives businesses and enterprises access to academics and experts. It could be advice (consultancy)on how to develop your innovative idea, learning more about diversifying your business offer through R&D activitiesor how you should make the most of intellectual property.
KEEP+ (Knowledge Exchange Embed Partnership) is an EU programme connecting businesses to academic experts with the aim of aiding companies to develop their products and services, possibly reduce costs and hopefully increase profitability. Grow small to medium enterprises (SME) by collaborating with graduates and academics through one of the flexible KEEP+ programmes.
Grants are also available under KEEP+
Stand Alone Capital Grants– Receive 50% funding towards the cost of equipment purchases vital to the development of your new product or service. This grant is capped at £12,499 with a total spend not exceeding £24,999 excluding VAT.
Grants for Consultancy Support– Receive 50% funding towards the cost of fast track assistance to contribute to the development of your project. This grant is capped at £12,499 with a total spend not exceeding £24,999 excluding VAT.
New online platform launches to support employers, learners and workers
Growth Works with Skills is an innovative demand-led skills service connecting learners and employers with opportunities that will enable growth. A new digital talent platform has been launched to help employers, learners and workers connect across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. Employers can post their job and apprenticeship vacancies (free) and access a detailed database of workers and learners across the region. Learners and workers can create an online account to help them find opportunities based on their experience and skills.
To help you restart your business have you considered becoming a member of Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce?
The Chamber offers a range of support to help businesses succeed and have expertise in several areas through their sector specific groups and local Chamber committees.
Some areas where the Chamber of Commerce can provide support and advice with:
- experts advising on staff returning to the workplace and other Covid measures.
- an in-house International Trade Team helping businesses to continue trading internationally and access grants to support with Customs Declaration training.
- opportunities to grow your business, raise your profile in the local community, network with other Cambridgeshire businesses, or raise your skill level.
Sustainable and active travel
Smart Journeys is a not-for-profit enterprise within Cambridgeshire County Council providing knowledgeable advice, practical support, and innovative tools for employers, residential developers, and schools to implement and promote sustainable and active travel. Smart Journeys supply in-depth travel plans and coordinator services, car park management strategies, travel to work surveys and more. They also have an employer network, where workplaces can get dedicated support, online resources, and a host of other benefits and discounts to encourage sustainable mobility.
Do you operate a food business and want to support sustainability?
Cambridge Sustainable Foods would like to help businesses to become more environmentally friendly and ethical. A part of their mission is to make Cambridge a sustainable food city and they are asking local businesses to find out more and sign up to their pledge and award scheme Sustainable Food Pledge.
New rules are here The UK has left the EU, and the Brexit transition period has ended. There are new rules for businesses doing business with the EU from 1 January, and you need to take action now. All information and updated guidance can be found at www.gov.uk/transition.
Apply for a grant to help small and medium-sized businesses new to importing or exporting
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. Webinars HMRC are delivering a series of webinars to advise businesses how to adjust to the new rules and keep trade moving. Exporting: what you need to do to keep your goods moving: Friday 30 April, 13:45 – 14:45. This webinar will give you an overview of the actions you need to take now when exporting goods from Great Britain to the EU and moving goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Key processes include zero-rated VAT, customs declarations, using an intermediary as well as licences, certificates, and authorisations. Please register to take part if you’re planning to export to the EU.
Contact the Business Support team
The Business Support and Development team is here to help guide you to the right resources you need. This service is completely free of charge, so whether you need guidance on who to speak to at the Council, or business advice from finding premises to understanding what help and support is available, we continue to welcome your enquiries at firstname.lastname@example.org. As we continue working to get much needed financial help out to businesses, we will continue to provide you with a separate Covid grant funding newsletter to update you on current grant schemes and processes. We will also provide details of any other Covid related business support available to you. If you have general queries in relation to grants please email email@example.com where a dedicated team is on hand to help you.Made with Microsoft Sway
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