Well this year really has been a ‘perfect storm’ for business with COVID-19, Brexit uncertainty and all the usual business difficulties that can exist. However, it has been heartening to see the great determination and endless creativity of our businesses. I would also like to thank the efforts of our own Economic Regeneration team and Civica in their speedy and efficient support with business grants which I know have been a lifeline for many businesses.
We are desperately aware of how difficult these times are for many and encourage you to attend our business breakfast event on 20 January and maintain dialogue with us and let us know how we can support you. You know, if we can, we will! It will be through effectively working and supporting each other that we will get through this.
May I wish you as good a Christmas as you can manage, and I really do hope 2021 brings that change and certainty for the best that we all need.
Cllr. Richard Morris.
Deputy Leader and portfolio holder for economic growth and tourism.
Have you applied for the correct grant linked to the recent lockdown and subsequent ‘Tier 2’ status?
There are four different grant schemes.
- The Local Restrictions Support Grant. This grant is for businesses who were ordered to close in the November lockdown, and who have a business rates account. Grants are either £1334, £2000 or £3000 and are based on your rateable value. Please note that you don’t have to pay business rates, but simply have an account. In fact, most small businesses won’t pay business rates because they will be in receipt of small business rates relief.
- Tier 2 Local Coronavirus Restrictions Support funding. This is for businesses affected by the Tier 2 status. There are two grants within this overall category – a ‘closed’ grant, and an ‘open’ one.
The ‘closed’ grant is for a business that has been ordered to close because of Tier 2 status. This will mainly affect a bar or a pub that doesn’t serve food – sometimes known as a ‘wet’ pub.
The ‘open grant is for a pub, hotel, restaurant, café or other business that has been affected by the Tier 2 rules, but nonetheless can stay open and run the business. It is anticipated that most businesses meeting these rules will have a business rates account.
- Christmas support for ‘wet’ pubs. This is a one off payment of £1000 for pubs that have been ordered to close because of the Tier 2 status.
- Additional Restrictions Grant. This grant is for businesses not ordered to close in the November lockdown but nonetheless severely impacted by a loss of custom, and either with or without a business rates account; and those ordered to close, and without a business rates account. Grants are currently based on turnover and are the same level as the Local Restrictions Support Grant, £1334, £2000 or £3000.
All three grant schemes are open for applications until further notice. You may have read that the Additional Restrictions Support Grant deadline is the 20th December. This has been put back until the end of January.
So far, Wychavon District Council has made 897 grants from the Local Restrictions Support Grant amounting to £1.35 million, and 167 grants amounting to £283, 000 on the Additional Restrictions Grant. It is hoped that as many Tier 2 and ‘wet’ pub payments as possible will be made before Christmas.
Other business support available
Please check the Government’s website for information about support for business during COVID-19.
Worcestershire Business Central are there to advise local businesses on grant funding and support helping you restart and recover. Please see their website, call them on 01905 677 888 or email email@example.com.
Please also see the Chamber of Commerce Herefordshire and Worcestershire Coronavirus information hub.
Business ratepayers’ breakfast economic recovery and growth
Our business ratepayers’ breakfast is going online in January next year. This important annual business networking meeting will take place via ZOOM on Wednesday 20 January between 8.00 and 9.30 a.m.
The focus will be on how we are helping businesses and our town centres to survive the impact of COVID-19 and grow in 2021. Hear what grants and support are available to help your business. Presentations will include updates on business rates for the new financial year, the Council’s budget and our priorities for economic recovery and growth. Please make a note in your diary and join us on the day. We’re very sorry that our usual delicious breakfast won’t be available this time, but you’re welcome to bring your own!
To register your attendance please click here. There is an opportunity for you to submit a question before the event.
EU Exit Business Support Hub
With only days to go before the December 31 deadline, when the UK stops following EU trading rules, businesses must prepare for the changes ahead. There will be implications for cross-border trade and as such companies need to understand how EU-Exit will affect them.
The Chamber of Commerce Herefordshire and Worcestershire has partnered with Worcestershire County Council to provide a hub of advice and support from a team of international trade experts to help businesses prepare.
Find out about the free programme of EU exit training, one to one advisory sessions, advice on export documentation and customs declarations. Visit the EU Exit Hub for information on the whole range of EU exit support.
Our new business centre
We promised to build small business units for rent and create a Wychavon business hub to provide support to businesses at key stages of their development, and the project is well under way.
Construction work on five offices on the ground floor of the Civic Centre at Pershore will start in January 2021. It is anticipated that the centre will be open in April on completion of a twelve-week construction programme. Five high spec offices will be available to rent on flexible terms in a self-contained centre which includes two meeting rooms, a breakout area and kitchenette.
Businesses will have access to the bespoke business advice and grant funding they need to help them during the early stages of their development.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Business units going fast
Ten small business units under construction at Vale Business Park are attracting a lot of interest from potential occupiers.
Steels are up and roofs are being installed on ten new units ranging in size from 2,100 sq. ft. to 5,000 sq. ft. The units which are being constructed in two terraces can be combined, if required, for larger occupiers. The units are due to reach practical completion in April 2021 and are available on either a freehold or leasehold basis. The units, targeted at SME’s, are the first phase of a wider planning consent that includes two further units of 22,500 sq. ft. and 28,200 sq. ft. respectively. For more details and to reserve your unit please click here.
This is one of a number commercial development sites across Wychavon If you have growth plans and would like advice on development activity please contact Shawn Riley, Inward Investment Manager, Wychavon District Council on 07968 863531 or email email@example.com.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): what you need to do
The information available to businesses is changing regularly. We will continue to provide information as soon as we receive it. If you know of any businesses that would benefit from receiving these updates, please let them know they can sign up to our e-newsletter.