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News and information for West Oxfordshire’s businesses - 29 Apr 21

Additional Restrictions Grants open

The latest round of the Additional Restrictions Grants (ARG) is now open. ARG is for businesses that are not eligible for the current Restart Grant but have nonetheless been severely impacted by the latest COVID restrictions. To qualify, businesses must:
  • Have been trading on 1 April 2021
  • Have high fixed businesses costs and/or be severely affected by the restrictions
In addition the Council will prioritise the following types of businesses:
  • Regular market traders
  • Bed and breakfast establishments which pay Council Tax rather than Business Rates
  • Charity properties that do not have their own Business Rate assessment
  • Tenant publicans (where the public house owner pays the business rates and is therefore eligible for a Restart Grant – but the tenant landlord is responsible for other business related costs)
  • Businesses that supply goods or services to the retail, hospitality, leisure and events sectors, that do not have their own Business Rate assessment
  • Travel companies or transport providers
  • Small businesses in shared office or other flexible workspaces which do not have their own Business Rate assessment
  • Those working from home who are not eligible for the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS), or Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and have high fixed business costs such as rent, lease, hire purchase costs or franchise payments     
  • Mobile self-employed people in receipt of SEISS, such as hairdressers and taxi drivers who have identifiable fixed costs whether related to property, vehicle or business
  • Businesses within the events sector, which have a Business Rate assessment but are not eligible for a Restart Grant
Businesses that have previously received a payment through ARG do not need to complete an application form - they will receive an email asking to confirm that the details we hold have not changed. Confirmation must be received by Wednesday 12 May.

Those businesses that have not previously received ARG can apply via our website using the link below. Applications must be received by Wednesday 12 May.
Grants web page

Rallying call for Restart Grant applications

Restart Grant payments have already arrived in the bank accounts of the first businesses to be assessed and payments will continue to be made as the team works through the claims.

We would really like to pay everyone who is eligible for Restart Grants as soon as possible but there are still many businesses that have not responded to our email requesting the additional information we need to process payments in line with Government rules. We cannot pay the Restart Grant without this additional information, so please check your inbox and and your spam folders to make sure you haven’t missed it. Our systems are all in place so the faster we have your information, the faster we can pay you the grant.

If you have received a grant from us since November 2020 but have not had an email, please check your eligibility on our website.
Grants web page

Meanwhile project

The Meanwhile in Oxfordshire project will help to rejuvenate our town centres by bringing empty property back into use. The project team is working with landlords to negotiate leases and will then offer them on flexible terms to local businesses.

The Meanwhile team is running a webinar for individuals or organisations interested in occupying empty premises at 12:00 on Friday 7 May. They will explain the project along with the opportunity to ask questions and get involved. 
Meanwhile Project webinar

Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP)

The Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) scheme helps businesses by linking them with an academic or research organisation and a graduate to deliver a specific innovation project.

A KTP is part-funded by a grant. The amount you will need to contribute depends on the scale and length of the project.  Projects typically run for between 12 and 36 months and allow the business to benefit from new skills and the latest academic thinking.
Knowledge Transfer Partnership

NATEP Aerospace programme

The latest round of the National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme (NATEP) funding competition is open for applications. It is offering SMEs grants of up to £300,000 to help develop innovative aerospace technologies. Projects must start by 1 October 2021 and end by 31 March 2023. The deadline for registering is 19 May 2021.
NATEP Aerospace programme

OxLEP Go-Create grant webinar

OxLEP will be running a webinar for people interested in its “Go-Create” grants at 10am on 6 May 2021.

Go-Create grants are to help businesses implement innovation projects, to develop prototypes and prove concepts as part of early stage development work and the exploitation of intellectual property. The webinar will provide a general overview of the grant as well as eligibility, rules and a Q&A session. 
Go-Create Grant Webinar

Gigabit broadband vouchers

The Government is currently offering rural businesses vouchers of up to £3,500 to use to towards the cost of installing gigabit-capable broadband connections. For more information on the scheme and to check your eligibility please follow the web link below.
Gigabit Vouchers

Arts Council National Lottery Project Grant

The National Lottery Project Grant supports individual artists, community and cultural organisations. The fund is open to arts, museums and libraries projects and grants range between £1,000 and £100,000. This programme is running until 31 August 2021.
National Lottery Project Grants for Arts

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 CIC - 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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West Oxfordshire District Council, Elmfield, New Yatt Road, Witney OX28 1PB.

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