|Support with energy costs
|Government has announced details of a new energy scheme for businesses, charities, and the public sector, ahead of the current scheme ending in March. The new scheme will mean all eligible UK businesses and other non-domestic energy users will receive a discount on high energy bills until 31 March 2024. From 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024, eligible non-domestic customers who have a contract with a licensed energy supplier will see unit discounts automatically applied to their gas and electricity bills.
| Customers do not need to apply for their discount, as suppliers will automatically apply the reductions.
A higher level of support will be provided to businesses in sectors identified as being the most energy and trade intensive, predominately in manufacturing. Businesses may need to register for the higher level of support and details on how to apply will be released in due course. A list of Energy and Trade Intensive Industries eligible for the additional support is available online.
| Apprenticeship careers event We are inviting South Cambridgeshire employers to join us at our Apprenticeship Careers Event taking place at Impington Village College from 10am to 2pm on Monday, 6 February. Taking place during National Apprenticeships Week, this event is running in partnership with Form the Future.
The aim is to show local young people what apprenticeship opportunities are available from South Cambs businesses, large and small, as well as training providers, so they have the ability to make informed decisions about their future. The event will: Raise awareness of the businesses and sectors offering apprenticeships in our region Help students make informed post 16 and post 18 choices Raise aspirations amongst students by providing information and guidance Enable students to meet current apprentices
We will be promoting the event to around 30 schools across the area and anticipate a high level of interest. If you would like to exhibit, please contact us for further details.
|Carbon reduction webinar Reducing your carbon footprint is not only good for the planet, it is also good for business. Lowering energy use reduces operating costs while being seen to take net zero carbon targets seriously improves your reputation with customers and suppliers.
|But do you know where to start your net zero carbon journey? Have you started and aren’t sure what else you can do? On 22 February, from 1pm to 2pm, we are hosting a practical, free-to-attend webinar, where industry experts including Rob Moorcroft, a Carbon Reduction Scientist from Tunley Engineering, and Andrew Brisbin, Allia‘s Director of Ventures, will explain what you need to consider when reviewing your carbon footprint, the benefits to your business of reducing it and what practical support is available to help your business on its journey towards net zero.
|Register for free now
|The Low Carbon Business Support programme The Low Carbon Business Support Programme is open to all businesses, no matter where they are on their low carbon journey, offering fully funded support and guidance to help reduce energy use and costs and prepare for a low carbon future. If you’d like to know more about how it can help your business, the progamme runs until February 2023.
| Supply chain support
UK Centric Supply Chains is a fully-funded European project available to businesses within South Cambs. If your business is in the engineering, manufacturing, food and drink processing or automotive supply chain sectors, or is experiencing supply chain difficulties, take a look at their online diagnostic tool. Alternatively email Business Engagement Manager Alan Todd to arrange a one-to-one discussion.
To hear how they could help your business watch this video about Synergy Grill, a Cambridgeshire business that they have recently assisted.
The project closes at the end of June so if you have any concerns about your supply chain, please contact them as soon as possible.
|Sustainable food directory Are you a South Cambs food business who prides themselves on their sustainable, climate-friendly practices? Why not sign up to be on Cambridge Sustainable Food’s directory. That way, people looking for a business like yours can easily find you
| Help to Grow: Digital – Last chance to apply Businesses have only a few weeks left to apply for the Help to Grow: Digital scheme, following Government’s decision to close the programme.
The Help to Grow: Digital programme was designed to give SMEs free and impartial advice on how technology can help their business, as well as vouchers worth up to £5,000 to cover up to 50% of the costs of buying pre-approved software.
Government continues to offer other schemes to support small businesses, such as Help to Grow: Management and the Government-backed British Business Bank’s Start Up Loans.
The programme will close to new business applications on 2 February 2023.
| Domestic abuse awareness webinar
Research shows that 40% of domestic abuse victims have been prevented from getting to work by their abuser and 75% of female victims are targeted in their workplace. For some survivors, work may be the only place they can escape their abuser and have the opportunity to contact support organisations.
The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Partnership invites businesses across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough to join a free online workshop about the responsibilities that employers have under the Domestic Abuse Act.
Hosted by Sharon Livermore, a survivor of domestic abuse who uses her personal experience to create a culture of openness and change within businesses, this webinar will explain how to recognise signs of domestic abuse in the workplace, how it impacts on businesses and how to start a conversation with employees and colleagues.
|Register for free
| Domestic abuse support posters We have a range of campaign posters with contact details for support charities which are available to businesses to display – for example on the back of toilet doors.
The posters cover a range of issues including domestic violence, coercive control, homophobic abuse and child on parent violence.
| They signpost to support for those who may be causing abuse, as well as those who may be experiencing abuse.
Contact OpenForBusiness@scambs.gov.uk in confidentiality to request a set.
If you feel that someone is at immediate risk of harm or neglect then please contact the police on 999.
|Health and safety guidance
|Preventing work related stress Stress, anxiety and depression is the biggest cause of work-related illness in Great Britain and numbers keep rising. According to statistics from the Labour Force Survey, 914,000 workers suffered in 2021/22. 17 million working days were lost due to stress in this period.
| HSE’s stress website has plenty of advice and includes examples of stress risk assessments tailored to different business sizes, as well as case studies and much more. The stress talking toolkit shows how line managers can have simple, practical conversations with employees to help prevent stress at work.
HSE’s Working Minds campaign aims to prevent work-related stress and encourage good mental health.
We are planning a series of webinars to help small business owners manage their mental health and improve their wellbeing and resilience through trying times. Please keep checking this newsletter, our website and social media accounts for details over the coming months.
Correct use of display screen equipment All employers must protect workers from the health risks of working with display screen equipment (DSE). Incorrect use of DSE or poorly designed workstations or work environments can lead to pain in necks, shoulders, backs, arms, wrists and hands, as well as fatigue and eye strain.
HSE guidance covers a range of topics including: workstations and assessments work routine and breaks eyesight testing There are also accessible resources including a DSE workstation checklist and practical tips on maintaining a good posture.
In addition, there is guidance on what employers and workers need to know about working with DSE from home. Working safely at heights Falls from height were the cause of most work-related fatalities in Britain during 2021/22. The most recent annual figures revealed that 29 workers were killed in falls from heights last year.
Make sure you take the necessary precautions: the HSE’s working at height website has guidance on how you can protect employees.
The site also has a range of useful information and sources of advice for employers. They include key messages to follow before working at height and some common myths.
There are also useful resources available, including relevant publications which are free to download.
|Local business networking events
|Future Leaders Forum The Smart Manufacturing Alliance is developing a network for the next generation of leaders in the sector and invites local manufacturing businesses to attend their inaugural event for this community. Taking place at the North Cambridgeshire Training Centre (NCTC) on 24 January, 3.00pm to 5.00pm, the Future Leaders Forum will be delivered with NCTC, Metalcraft and MAKE UK.
| Speed Networking Brunch
Take part in Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce’s popular speed networking event on 10 February, from 9.30am to 11.30am at Novotel Cambridge North. There isn’t a moment to spare as you move around the room with just 60 seconds to highlight your company’s unique selling points.
Attendees will also hear from Hayley Webb from Maggie’s Cambridge, the Chamber Charity of the Year, and Saiman Miah from Mott MacDonald.
Tickets cost £10.00 plus VAT. All ticket income will be donated to Maggie’s Cambridge.
| FSB awards The deadline to apply to enter the FSB Celebrating Small Business Awards ends soon.
The awards celebrate the successes, achievements and resilience of small businesses and the self-employed across the UK. Entering the awards can bring enormous benefits to your business. Even if your business doesn’t win the top prize, you can gain insights, information and ideas that you can build into your own business.
The deadline to apply is 26 January and it is free to enter.
|How do you think we are doing? We want to know what local businesses think of the Business Support and Development Team’s service. If you’ve received any kind of support from our team, please let us know how we did. Perhaps you got help to apply for grant funding or attended one of our popular webinars.
|It should take around 5 minutes to fill in this short online survey and tell us what you think we are getting right and where we need to improve. We really value your feedback.