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News and information for West Oxfordshire’s businesses - 15 Apr 21

Grants update

Update on Restart grants
Thank you to everyone that has responded to the Restart Grants email we sent to eligible businesses requesting the additional information we need to process payments in line with Government rules. So far 55% have responded within a week which is brilliant. However, that still means over 320 business who may be eligible have not yet provided us with the information we need. If you haven’t responded please check your inbox.

If you have received a grant from us since November 2020 but have not had an email, please check the eligibility on our website to make sure your business qualifies.
We will be able to start paying those businesses who have responded with the correct information from next week. Due to the high number of applications payments will take time to process over the coming weeks so thank you in advance for your patience.
For those that haven’t received a grant from us before but think they may be eligible for the Restart Grant, the application form is now open on our website.
Update on Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG)
Now we have clarity on the eligibility of the Restart Grant we have revised the criteria for the ARG to support local businesses based on local needs. We will be changing our scheme to extend vital additional support to those businesses that continue to be severely affected by Covid but are ineligible for the Restart funds.
We are working as quickly as possible to pay the grants and the improved application will enable more businesses to access financial support quickly once launched. We will provide an update next week on the criteria and application process for these new grants.
Grants web page

Business reopening guide

All newly open settings must abide by the social contact rules (e.g. two metres away from people and mask on). The Government will continue to enforce restrictions and require businesses to demonstrate robust strategies for managing the risk of transmission and to ensure social distancing rules are followed. The council and the police will continue to provide support and advice to newly reopened settings, enabling them to operate safely.

Outdoor gatherings must still be limited to six people or two households. Hospitality venues will be able to open for outdoor service, with no requirement for customers to order a meal or alcoholic drinks, and no curfew. However, customers must order, eat and drink while seated outside. Some venues may wish to erect outdoor shelters, although these need to have at least 50% of the area of their walls open at all times whilst in use. These venues may allow customers to use toilets located inside.

Indoor events are not permitted at this stage unless for specific circumstances such as for work purposes (where this cannot be done from home), support groups or supervised activities for children and parent and child groups.

Hospitality businesses must make sure that they understand their obligations to:
  • Display an official NHS QR code poster
  • Request that all customers and visitors scan the NHS QR code or provide their contact details 
  • Keep a record of all staff including shift times
  • Provide an alternative method to collect contact details which doesn’t require ownership of a smartphone
  • Keep information securely for 21 days before destroying it, and provide it to NHS Test & Trace if requested.
  • Take reasonable steps to refuse entry to those who refuse to participate.
UK Hospitality 12 key points

UK life sciences manufacturing £20 million fund

The Government is currently offering £20 million in grants to support the manufacture of medicines, diagnostics and MedTech in the UK. There is no upper limit on the size of projects and the minimum total eligible project cost for applications is £8 million. The deadline for the grant applications is 30 June 2021.
MedTech transformation fund

The Future Focus series

Taylor Vinters is working with Oxfordshire Greentech to deliver a series of events in which they will be discussing how purpose-led businesses can make a tangible impact in eco-innovation. Each virtual breakfast will include an open Q&A session followed by presentations with opportunities to network. These will be delivered online on:
  • Wednesday 28 April 2021 at 07.45-09.30 – Uncomfortable Truths and Eco-innovation
  • Wednesday 12 May 2021 at 07.45-09.30 – How Nature Can Provide Solutions
  • Wednesday 26 May 2021 at 07.45-09.30 – Practical Steps for Mitigation
Book to attend Future Focus

National Lottery Awards for All England

The National Lottery Community Fund is currently offering funding between £300 and £10,000 to support communities to thrive. This funding is aimed at non-for-profit organisations (e.g. community organisations, charities, and voluntary groups) and it needs to involve people and communities from the start. Deadline is ongoing, though it could be worth applying as soon as possible.
National Lottery Community Fund

Other helpful organisations

Several business groups are coming up trumps with help and advice for businesses. The ones below are good but do also check the trade association for your own sector.
  • Enterprise Nation - a vibrant community of small businesses and business advisers with a website packed full of resources
  • Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) - the UK’s largest grassroots business campaigning group
  • OSEP - supports social entrepreneurs, social enterprises, enterprising charities and purposeful business across Oxfordshire 
  • Prince's Trust - useful advice, guidance and resources targeted at young entrepreneurs under the age of 30.
  • Institute of Directors (IoD) - business organisation for company directors
  • Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) - represents the UK's self-employed including freelancers, interim managers, consultants and contractors 
  • UK Hospitality - represents the broad hospitality sector – covering everything from bars, coffee shops, contract catering, hotels, nightclubs, visitor attractions and other leisure venues
  • Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP) - Growth hub for Oxfordshire
  • MD2MD - helps managing directors compare notes on business MD to MD. Now operating online with a free trial period for qualifying business leaders.

Keeping up to date

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