Coronavirus: Help for Businesses latest update

More than 2500 grants have been made to eligible businesses amounting to more than £29 million. At some point, the Government will expect local councils to return unspent funds, so if you haven’t registered yet please do so as soon as possible. You register using this form. There is more information about the qualifying criteria at our business rates page.

Registering with us will enable you to claim one of the following two grants, assuming you meet the eligibility criteria which are very simple – you need to be an active business, and either in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors; or you are a small business in any sector and in receipt of small business rate relief.

Cllr. Richard Morris.

Deputy Leader and portfolio holder for economic growth and tourism

Wychavon District Council


Business support available

There is a range of business support available including business loans, and help with business rates, tax, and wages. Please see the links below to support from the Government, the Chamber of Commerce Herefordshire and Worcestershire, and from Worcestershire Business Central.

For all business support enquiries and information about the Government’s COVID-19 measures please visit www.businesssupport.gov.uk.

The Government’s Coronavirus Business Support Finder is available to help businesses and self-employed people quickly and easily determine what financial support is currently available. Fill out a quick and simple online questionnaire and you will be directed to a list of all the financial support you may be eligible for. You can find out more about the tool here.

You can also sign up to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Businesses and Employers Bulletin and get notifications straight to your inbox. You can get email alerts here, and answers to business questions in their FAQs or over the phone, Monday to Friday, from 9am to 6pm 0300 456 3565.

Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce have a Coronavirus Support Hub. Please visit www.hwchamber.co.uk.

If you need to talk to one of the team at Worcestershire Business Central, please call them on 01905 677888 or email info@business-central.co.uk. They are ready to help you navigate your way through the information and support that is available.


Restart and recover Government advice, and the role of Worcestershire Regulatory Services (WRS)

The Government have (from 4 July) given more businesses the green light to reopen. This includes pubs and restaurants. If you’re planning to reopen, make sure you follow the guidance to reopen your workplace safely. In Worcestershire, all guidance for food businesses is provided by Worcestershire Regulatory Services. You can read more about this here. And please do keep up to speed – what you can and can’t do will be updated and amended as time goes by.

In addition to information on their website, Worcestershire Regulatory Services (WRS) will be hosting some ‘FAQ’ and support sessions with for businesses so you can ask your question direct to the body who will be implementing the Government’s guidance.

To register your interest in these sessions and to ask a question please email visitworcestershire@worcestershire.gov.uk

WRS have issued the following advice for businesses reopening.


We’re good to go!

Visit Britain has launched a UK-wide industry standard and consumer mark, in partnership with the national tourism organisations of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales to provide a ‘ring of confidence’ for tourism as the sector works towards reopening.

The ‘We’re Good To Go’ industry standard and supporting mark means businesses across the sector can demonstrate that they are adhering to the respective Government and public health guidance, have carried out a COVID-19 risk assessment and check they have the required processes in place.

The scheme is free to join and open to all businesses across the sector. Here is more information about the scheme.


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 the latest Chamber webinars:

Managing recruitment

Sustainability 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 from June through to July.

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


Get help funding your apprenticeship

A new bursary has been made available to help encourage young people across Wychavon to enroll in an apprenticeship.

Apprentices can apply for our new apprenticeship bursary to help them cover the costs of travel, clothing and tools or equipment.

Apprentices can claim the following, where applicable:

  • Maximum of £50 per month for up to 6 months for travel expenses
  • One-off grant payment with a maximum value of £75 for clothing
  • One-off grant payment with a maximum value of £100 for tools or equipmentThe aim of the bursaries is to encourage more young people to consider an apprenticeship as a viable choice for a career and to help them overcome cost barriers. More apprenticeship qualifications are being made available and some industries now offer degree level apprenticeships, which provide work experience while studying for a degree.
  • Cllr Richard Morris, Portfolio Holder for Economic Growth and Tourism, said: “We pride ourselves on helping people to take up an apprenticeship and we hope that these grants show people that apprenticeships are not just a secondary option to University.”
  • To be eligible for the bursary, apprentices must live in Wychavon, be aged between 16 and 24 years old and in receipt of an apprenticeship salary of £175 or less a week (this can be flexible depending on individual circumstances).

Support from Wychavon to grow your business

It is increasingly difficult for employers to recruit the right people, so as part of our commitment to help and encourage businesses to grow, we have been given extra funding to help businesses with the cost of taking on an apprentice.

We have now added a tiered funding system to our business apprentice grant scheme, starting at £1000 moving up to £2000 for the higher-level apprenticeship. Funding is available to award an apprenticeship grant depending, on the level of the apprenticeship being taken: (subject to qualifying criteria).

  • £1,000 Intermediate apprentice – Level 2
  • £1,500 Advanced apprentice – Level 3
  • £2,000 Higher and Degree apprentice – Level 4 and above
  • Low carbon sector applications will receive an extra £100 per grant.

All funding will be granted on a first come first serve basis. To apply for a bursary, or business grant please complete the application forms here and send them to Wychavon’s Skills Officer, Sue Owens, at Sue.Owens@wychavon.gov.uk.


Worcestershire Apprenticeships “Love Apprentice”

Apprenticeships have gone from strength to strength during the COVID-19 lockdown.

In the new COVID-world there are some inspiring stories of organisations who have successfully adapted their business models to the current challenges for apprenticeships under COVID-19.

‘Keeping learners learning’ has been the mantra of the entire team at Worcestershire Group Training Association (WGTA) where they have had to adapt the delivery of their programmes for their apprenticeship learners.

This has allowed WGTA to ensure continued learning for their apprentices since the beginning of lockdown, which has allowed 29 apprentices to successfully complete their apprenticeships.

Nigel Morgan, Chief Executive of Worcestershire Group Training Association, said: “Of the 526 students actively on the WGTA’s learning programme at the beginning of April, only 6 have had a break in learning due to being unable to continue training.

“Of the remainder, most have continued working and despite 198 being on furlough, WGTA have been working closely with employers to ensure that learning has still been able to continue, working within the furlough rules. We, together with our learners, are very grateful for the continued and vital support that employers have shown to the apprenticeships programmes by embracing the adjustments to the training delivery.

“Our objective moving forward will be to find the right balance between the use of technology and face to face to ensure we get the best outcomes for our students.”

The WGTA team have already moved forward with plans for the next wave of delivery with engineering practical training and accountancy training returning to the centre from the 15 June in line with the relaxing of UK lockdown restrictions.

More employers are being encouraged to support this growing demand for apprenticeships and Worcestershire Apprenticeships are hosting a free webinar aimed at employers to help them understand how they can adhere to workplace guidance around social distancing whilst employing and training apprentices in these times, as well as how to recruit apprentices and the various benefits they offer.

Find out more and book a place on this webinar on the Worcestershire Apprenticeships website here.

The Careers Worcestershire helpline was launched in April to provide free qualified advice to young people. They will also be hosting a series of informative webinars in the coming weeks to provide more information on all the options available to young people.

To register for these webinars, please visit the Skills 4 Worcestershire website here.

Worcester loves apprentices


Rise above Covid-19 restart, reshape and grow

Are you looking at how to restart, reshape or continue to grow your business? Elevate can help you to emerge from the impact of Covid-19 not just stable but prepared for a positive future. With the benefit of expert advice and support your business may not just restart but be on a path to future growth.

You are invited to a Business Futures Webinar on Wednesday 22 July 2020, 9.30 to 11.00 am. This special event is an interactive, peer group experience with business specialists to guide and inspire you to restart, reshape and grow.

Places are limited. To book a free place please follow this link, reserve a place 22 July.

If you are then inspired to apply for the Elevate programme our business specialists, BizSmart can support you to develop a bespoke business strategy and implementation plan to get your business back on track and beyond.   Through Elevate you will benefit from 15 hours 1-2-1 support and more.

  • An initial one-hour diagnostic session
  • 8 one-hour sessions working with a BizSmart consultant exploring specific key business areas
  • 6 further hours of support with a specialist consultant in an area of specific interest. This may be accessing finance, improving productivity, utilising IT systems or rebranding and marketing. These are just a few of the specialist areas where you may choose to focus.
  • Opportunity to apply for match funded grant support on completion of the programme.
  • Access to a range of resources including webinars and diagnostic and planning tools

To find out more about Elevate support contact Wendy Garrad on 01905 844595 or at wgarrad@worcestershire.gov.uk

EU, Worcester County Council, ELEVATE


Funded training for cyber security

Business Development Midlands (BDM) Ltd in partnership with Serco and with the support of Cybx are offering a range of training programmes for businesses.  Aimed to help you address workforce development challenges, these programmes offer valuable tips and guidance on the essential skills needed to progress your digital transformation goals. In addition, they will also help to strengthen your abilities to tender for local authority contracts.

This is an opportune time to review the computer security in your business. In line with tendering and procurement requirements for new work, your team will need to make sure customer data is kept safe and secure, and your business systems are compliant.

This four-week program will move you towards greater cyber security and includes:

  • On premise assistance
  • Remote assistance to IT infrastructure
  • Policy documentation
  • Incident Response planning
  • Supply chain Assessments
  • General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) compliance
  • Secure & Resilient operations

The four-week course provides tool kits for:

  • Working from home securely
  • Password protection
  • Cyber Risk Assessment
  • Getting tender ready

To book call BDM on 0121 222 5738 or email their team via ian.white@bdtgroup.co.uk

Find out more on the BDM website.


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

www.gov.uk/coronavirus


The information available to businesses is changing regularly. We will continue to actively provide a regular information service as soon as we receive information.

Businesses can receive these updates by signing up to our business e-newsletter

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