Our local D2N2 Growth Hub adviser Alison North sends out a monthly update to keep local businesses aware of any local support. See below for the latest news.

The Growth Hub help in a number of business areas. Please contact Alison for more information:

Website

Phone: 0115 804 4032

Email: Alison.North@nottscc.gov.uk

Your chance to contribute

COVID-19 ‘Plan B’ business impact survey   – Visit Nottinghamshire need your urgent support to monitor the overall impact of COVID-19 ‘Plan B’ across the county on the region’s visitor economy, hospitality, retail and tourism.  They will then use this information to identify ways to support businesses, lobby MPs and the Government.  And give feedback to VisitBritain/ VisitEngland.

5G and Your Business Survey – Nottinghamshire County Council are looking for your technology needs through this survey, which will help you evaluate how your business could benefit from 5G; identify opportunities for future growth; ensure you get the right support with adopting new digital technologies; and have the chance to WIN £100 for a charity of your choice.  It should take less than 10 minutes and could help shape the future – both for your business and for other businesses across the county.

Nottinghamshire Day – We are currently planning this year’s Nottinghamshire Day celebrations, including a promotional pack to help local businesses benefit from the celebrations remotely, through social media and using digital assets.  We’ve developed a pack that includes guidance to capitalise on the day, e.g. how to use social media and be more local. But we’re looking for suggestions from local businesses to help us improve it. Please contact Abi Burgoyne to suggest what your business would need to be encouraged to celebrate Nottinghamshire Day.

Financial update

We take time to understand your business so we only suggest schemes that suit your needs, so if you would like a more in-depth understanding of any of the following (and help putting applications together) just get in touch.

In the meantime, here’s a few highlights:          

NBV’s Grant for Enterprise is one of the few grants that can support Business to Consumer (B2C) businesses which offer a service (not retail) and can also support B2B businesses.  Offering grants of £1K-2.5K for projects between £4K and £10K.  The application process is online, meaning it’s quick and easy.  All projects must complete before 31 March 2022, so don’t miss out.  

If you’re planning a more sizeable investment, there are a number of options:                                                                                                                                        

  • The Capital Growth Fund (CGF) could pay 30% of your B2B investment (minimum project spend of £5K) on any eligible capital expenditure up to a maximum grant of £10K.  To be eligible, you need to capitalise the equipment (showing on your balance sheet) and create at least one job.  I’ve just helped a business to get a £4.5K grant.  Find out more.
  • The Business Investment Fund (BIF) could pay 30% of your B2B investment (minimum project spend of £10K) on any eligible revenue or capital expenditure up to a maximum grant of £30K.  Recently, I have helped local firms access £121K.  This grant is currently closed to applications, but it has just been extended to June 2023, so watch this space for a reopening date.
  • Invest to Grow – This scheme is run out of the University of Derby, with grants available from £15K to £50K and a minimum project spend of £50K.  Higher awards may be possible on an exceptional basis and the intervention rate is 30%.  This is a fund of last resort (usually a blend of grant and loan) so you would need to evidence that you couldn’t fund the purchases yourself (through either a bank loan or your own resources).  

Some old and new support for businesses adversely affected by COVID:

  • Hospitality and leisure grant – Announced shortly before Christmas, there is additional support for companies within these sectors, which have been particularly hit hard by the Omicron variant.  Businesses in these sectors (with premises) could receive up to £6K.  Additional funding is also available under a discretionary scheme: the Additional Restrictions Grant.  For more information on this COVID funding, please visit your local District or Borough Council’s website. 
  • The Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS) is for firms which have been affected by Covid-19.  You can use the finance for any legitimate business purpose – including managing cashflow, investment and growth. However, you must be able to afford to take out additional debt finance for these purposes.  The minimum term-loan is just over £25K but some of the other financing options start at £1K.  
  • Cash flow – The British Business Bank has recently published a useful guide.  Find out more.  We’re also hosting a number of events around cash flow forecasting and improved cash management.  Take a look at what’s on offer.

Skills and Recruitment

Always hot topics and fundamental areas for your business’s success.

  • Recruiting Talent in Nottinghamshire – Taking place on 16 February at Vision West Nottinghamshire College in Mansfield, this event will highlight ways to help you recruit and retain talent from the local area.  What’s more, there will be plenty of opportunity on the day to meet with a range of organisations that can help your business improve and grow.
  • Supported internships – In short, these are a type of study programme that helps young people (16-24) with an Education Health & Care Plan to get a job.  If you have an entry level job that you could offer on a 6-month placement or need further information, please contact Julie Grummett on 0115 804 1275. There’s no cost to the company and you will be provided with a whole host of support.
  • Nottingham Jobs – Nottingham Jobs offers a unique, fully-funded and impartial service working with Greater Nottingham businesses looking to manage, motivate and support their workforce, seeking funding to develop their staff or accessing support during the restart and recovery phase of the pandemic.
  • Start in Mansfield – Start in Mansfield can help you to reach thousands of students in schools and colleges to positively influence and inform the choices of a wide and diverse range of future talent.  You can showcase your career opportunities and your company; raise your company’s profile; engage in activities to inspire students; and offer virtual placements.
  • Digital Skills Bootcamps – Free courses to enhance your digital skills, for anyone aged 19+, starting at level 3 and progressing to higher levels.  Covering the following subject areas:
    • Coding and software development
    • Cyber and system security
    • Digital marketing
    • IT networking and infrastructure

There are a range of providers covering different areas, please use the link above for further detail.  These bootcamps are free to unemployed people, those on a Kickstart programme or self-employed.  For employees, SMEs are expected to pay 30% of the cost (around £600-700).

  • Nottingham Trent University are offering a series of FREE Supply Chain Management courses in March through their Productivity through Innovation project.  In addition to the procurement workshops, there is up to 30 hours of FREE consultancy on offer and a 20% grant towards employing a graduate.  Contact Dave Shipley on 0115 941 8418 to find out more and express your interest.
  • Skills Access Hub – This European Social Fund (ESF) funded project provides a ‘one stop shop’ for local businesses wishing to close skills gaps through training, recruitment, apprenticeships and placements.  Find out more.  

The Climate Emergency

  • The University of Nottingham’s Energy for Business scheme offers product research and development, business support and capital funding to firms throughout  the whole of Nottinghamshire.  They can help you through consultancy and grant funding and also signpost you to other opportunities.  So, you can find out more from the experts and maybe get some financial help along the way.  It’s a win-win.
  • Nottingham Trent University offers help through Sustainability in Enterprise (SiE) in the Greater Nottingham area.  They offer help in a number of different ways:
  • Grants for graduates – 20% over 12 months.
  • Workshop programmes – Improve your in-house capacity.  They can also offer graduates an early careers development programme to work as a sustainability advocate.
  • Sustainability consultancy – Through academics and students, focusing on 3 key areas of business performance: business processes, premises improvement and product design.
  • Carbon reduction grants – Grants of up to £5K (at 40%) are available to implement recommendations.

  • Accelerating Reduction in Carbon (ARC) – The ARC project helps eligible SMEs in Greater Nottingham to decarbonise by providing carbon reduction advice and a grant programme to help you reduce your company’s carbon emissions.  Running to June 2023, the programme will help you improve your productivity, enhancing the energy performance of your buildings and production processes.  In addition to resource efficiency, they will also help with smart energy projects (energy generation).  In short, this programme offers:
    • Free carbon reduction audits
    • Grants – £1K-16K is available at a 35% intervention rate, with a minimum project size of £2.9K.  There is a 2-stage application process: expression of interest and full application.

  • Low Carbon Growth Fund – The D2N2 LEP has launched a £6.5m grant fund to deliver a range of capital projects in the low carbon sector across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.  They are looking for projects that are new and innovative.  This is not looking to fund standard technology upgrades such as solar PV and LED lighting, it’s more about if you’re adapting processes and introducing a new tech or a new method which requires a capital purchase.  Please click on the link to find out more, including the timescales involved.

  • Carbon Trust – There’s a whole host of advice and useful tools on their website to help you measure and reduce the size of your company’s carbon footprint.

  • Energy Saving Trust – Providing insight, advice, training and consultancy services to businesses on energy efficiency, low carbon transport, and renewable energy generation.

  • The Woodland Trust – If you’re considering a large-scale planting scheme, funding may be available through this charity.  Find out more.  There’s also lots of information about tree planting and an opportunity to buy some supplies.  Helping to offset your carbon footprint.

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