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BVSC offers free financial advice & support for smaller charities and social enterprises in Birmingham

BVSC has just announced that it is making available free advice and support on financial resilience for the city’s smaller charities and social enterprises that have been hit hard by the coronavirus crisis. It is targeting organisations with a turnover below £100,000 a year.

‘We are aware,’ says BVSC, ‘that the Covid-19 crisis has created a significant financial challenge for the voluntary and community sector in the city and that in many cases individual support is the best way to address this. This support is intended for organisations that identify themselves as being adversely financially effected by the Covid-19 crisis, in a way that may result in closure or very significant financial losses. The support will be provided by a finance specialist with an in-depth understanding of finances within charities and social enterprises.’

Organisations most at-risk, BVSC says, are small organisations and especially:

  • Those reliant on income generated by hiring out physical space.
  • Social enterprises reliant on trading income that has ceased due to Covid-19.
  • Those reliant on small donations and direct fundraising by the public.

 

All details for accessing this support are here.

Government announces ‘top-up to local business grant funds scheme’

Further to this post, the briefing paper we recently posted online (Covid-19 Social Economy Update) refers to eligibility criteria for the government’s Small Business Grant Fund.

On p.4 (point [a]), we explain that the key eligibility mechanism for the Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) – that of qualifying for either Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR) or Rural Rates Relief (RRR) – disadvantages social enterprises because some (especially smaller ones) may be renting shared spaces where inclusive monthly fees remove their eligibility for Small Business Rates Relief and prevent their qualifying for this grant support.

This may be about to change.

On the 2nd May the government announced that it has made a further £617m in discretionary funding to local authorities so that they can address these exclusions. Further guidance to local authorities is yet to be issued but what is available at the moment suggests that the discretionary funding applies (amongst others) to ‘businesses in shared spaces’ and ‘small charity properties that would meet the criteria for Small Business Rates Relief’.

It may therefore be relevant to some in the sector. Specific detail about how Birmingham City Council will apply this discretionary funding is not yet available, however.

Read the announcement here on gov.uk.

→ Read our Covid-19 Social Economy Update briefing paper.

Social economy needs to help plan for economic, social and community recovery — read our briefing paper

In a spirit of contributing to a wider debate about how we can begin to move beyond the immediate health crisis and plan for economic, social and community recovery BSSEC and the Birmingham Social Enterprise City steering group have produced a briefing paper that we hope will help prompt discussion both within the sector and more widely amongst policy-makers.

As well as making detailed recommendations about how existing business support packages can be made more equitable for social enterprises, it looks forward too and makes a central point regarding the need for policy-makers, public authorities, the private sector, business groups and the social economy to work together in a collective effort for economic, social and community recovery. We call for ‘recovery partnerships’ to be established as a means to ensure this necessary joint effort.

Over the coming days we’ll be sending this paper to key local and regional policy-makers to prompt debate and engagement. We think it will be of interest because it helps illuminate some of the real-life issues for social enterprises and the wider social economy — and as far as we have been able to see this is not a story that is being covered elsewhere.

We hope you find it useful.

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We also support SEUK‘s recent  joint letter to the Chancellor, signed by ten social economy leaders (also covered by Third Sector here). 

The letter emphasises the vital economic and employment contribution that social enterprise makes to the UK economy but reports that the design of current support programmes for business are causing social enterprises to fall through the cracks. To address these failings it calls for:

  • Extending existing business grants to include social enterprises.
  • Changing the delivery of loan finance to work for social enterprises.
  • Opening up emergency financing for public services to social enterprises delivering
    services on behalf of the state.
  • Providing business support so that social enterprises can use any funds they do receive to effectively transition their businesses.

 

Read our briefing paper: Covid-19 Social Economy Update: Birmingham — Impact & Issues.

→ Read SEUK’s joint letter to the Chancellor.

→ Also relevant: Government announces ‘top-up to local business grant funds scheme’.

How one social enterprise is planning to be part of the post-virus recovery

Martin Hogg, founder and chief executive of Citizen Coaching, the counselling social enterprise, has tried various approaches over recent years to grow and scale-up the business. ‘We’ve always reinvested in the business,’ he says, ‘but this alone was never enough to really scale-up and help much greater numbers of clients.’ 

Things came to a head when the enterprise secured a major NHS contract. It needed to consolidate eight counselling rooms on three different sites and expand its headquarters in Birmingham’s Custard Factory to accommodate fourteen counselling rooms. Finance became a critical issue.

A mixed loan/grant investment from the Key Fund of £80,000 enabled this successful expansion and the business now delivers 20,000 counselling sessions a year via its network of sixty counsellors. The current coronavirus crisis has required a complete transformation of its services so that everything can be delivered online.

Martin Hogg: young people face a perfect storm of mental ill-health

It has also made its anger management sessions into a free online service for which hundreds of people across the country have already signed-up.

Martin explains why: ‘75% of our clients are 14 to 24-year olds and are referred to us via schools, youth workers and GPs. I’m concerned that during the current lockdown these young people are falling through the cracks. I’m sure we are experiencing a major rise in hidden mental health problems. Making our anger management counselling sessions as widely available as possible was the least we could do.’

The enterprise is also concerned that once the lockdown is relaxed huge numbers of people needing mental health support will hit GP surgeries and is preparing for longer-term mental health issues amongst teenagers and young people as the Covid-19 fall-out continues. ‘Social isolation, health worries, and exam and future career anxieties add up to a perfect storm,’ Martin says.

Scaling-up successfully has been a long process but Martin believes the effort has been worth it and has been a central part of repositioning the enterprise for the new future we will all face. ‘Our priority has been to ensure that we have an agile workforce, well-supported online systems and counsellors who have been skilled-up to meet these new and more complex demands,’ he says, ‘and that’s where we are right now.’

Matt Smith, CEO of Key Fund, says: “Social enterprises are businesses with a social or environmental mission at their heart. This is a movement that has grown to be at the forefront of tackling society’s biggest problems, from homelessness, addiction, loneliness, poverty and inequality to the environment, green energy, food waste and recycling. And they will be central to the economic and social recovery after coronavirus.’

That last point is clearly one that Citizen Coaching’s Martin Hogg would echo.

And so do we: the coronavirus crisis is still at the forefront, but we believe that the region’s key institutions, investment funds, local enterprise partnerships, public authorities and businesses need to be planning now for a co-ordinated economic, social and community recovery effort — and that it is essential that this is done in discussion with social economy partners.

Find out more about Citizen Coaching’s services and sign-up for its free online anger management counselling.

→ Find out more about Key Fund investment.

Read all posts tagged ‘Coronavirus updates’.

Could you benefit from the support of bright and motivated University of Birmingham students?

This ‘virtual placement’ offer just in, from the University of Birmingham:

Could you benefit from the support of bright and motivated University of Birmingham students?

Placement students from the College of Arts and Law at the University of Birmingham can help your organisation in a host of ways through the Professional Skills Module, which co-ordinates 70-hour work placements running from June-December.

Our students are keen to work with charities, social enterprises, start-ups and SMEs as they get more exposure and responsibility. We are seeking virtual roles, with a dedicated project or research focus and remote supervisory guidance. The extra capacity and support you gain will help towards the students’ degree.

What could you achieve with the energy, creativity, writing and research skills of some of our brightest minds during these challenging times?

Download the PDF for further details

Or send mail to Lesley Griffiths, Placements Officer

Roots HR: trading surplus will extend free advice line for smaller SEs during Covid-19

BSSEC member Roots HR CIC, the specialist provider of HR support for the social sector, is using its trading surpluses to extend its free HR advice line services for the smallest social sector employers.

Social sector employers with income of under £50k pa can now receive up to one hour of free advice PER MONTH for Covid-19 related employment law and people management support.

This will continue through the furlough grant period, currently lasting until 30/6/20 but may be extended.

Jan Golding: ‘additional support for smallest and most vulnerable’

Jan Golding, chief executive and founder of Roots HR, says: ‘This is a broadening of the usual one-off free one hour of HR advice that we offer to all social sector employers. We have increased this offer because we want to provide additional support to the Boards and leadership teams responsible for the sustainability of some of the smallest and most vulnerable not-for-personal profit organisations during this unprecedented time.’

Qualifying organisations wishing to access free advice should send mail or call 01562 840060 Monday – Friday 8.30am – 5pm.

Read all posts tagged ‘Roots HR’.

→ Read all posts tagged ‘Coronavirus updates’.

Make Someone’s Day campaign renews messages for over-65s about staying safe and help with shopping

People in Birmingham are urged to pick up their phones, tablets and computers to connect with those who are most vulnerable and isolated in the city

Make Someone’s Day, the campaign aimed at reducing social isolation and promoting friendliness has taken on a new and more urgent dimension during the coronavirus pandemic and is now more necessary than ever. The campaign is backed by Ageing Better in Birmingham.

Over recent days the campaign has been circulating new messages encouraging older people to stay safe and to accept offers of help when they are made — especially shopping and other practical support that enables those who should be staying indoors to do so.

→ You can follow the campaign on Twitter and Facebook. #MakeSomeonesDay   #C19SupportBrum

You can download all of the Make Someone’s Day media kits — including the images below — from the Make Someone’s Day website.

→ Download IMAGE #1 below as a full-size poster (PDF).

→ Download IMAGE #2 below as a full-size poster (PDF).

→ See all posts on this blog tagged ‘Make Someone’s Day’.

 

 

Birmingham City Council announces £0.8m community grants fund for groups helping children and families during pandemic

 

Birmingham City Council statement reads:

Community, voluntary and faith groups who are helping children, young people and families through the challenges of Covid-19 are invited to apply for grants of up to £10,000 to continue supporting families through this difficult period.

Birmingham has flourishing communities which have stepped up heroically to support vulnerable people. This announcement extends our community grant scheme for older people to reflect the needs of our city, and responds quickly to the Covid-19 emergency.

All voluntary, community and faith groups are invited to bid for funding to support their activities, through a simple and accelerated process designed to get the money out the door to where it will make the most difference. Go here for more details.

All support should be designed to put prevention and early help first. For example:

  • A local community group for parents of children with autism wants to provide online activity packs for the children but needs new software. A grant of £300 would help to support the children and parents.
  • A local mosque that previously ran family support sessions, with stay and play, and lots of activities for children wants to ring all the parents that are on their database, three times a week. A grant of £2,500 will enable the mosque to pay a professionally trained worker to support families.
  • A local charity runs services for families in the city, particularly more vulnerable families and young people. The £10,000 grant will enable them to expand over their domestic abuse support programme over the next four months.

 

This is part of the Birmingham Children’s Partnership response to Covid-19 for our families. Birmingham Children’s Partnership includes Birmingham City Council, Birmingham Children’s Trust, Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group, Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust and West Midlands Police.

Eligibility

For the purpose of this application process, Birmingham City Council defines vulnerable families with children as those with children under the age of 18 (up to 25 if with special education needs) living in the same household and with a range of difficulties such as physical or mental illness, to going hungry, being homeless, or being at risk of neglect or domestic abuse.

More about Birmingham’s Covid-19 support for children and families.

Birmingham City Council — community grants GUIDANCE and APPLICATION FORM.

→ Read all posts on this blog tagged Coronavirus updates.

BVSC — Covid-19 support, news & updates pages.

HoE Community Foundation — Coronavirus Resilience Fund now stands at over a quarter-of-a-million

On the 8th April the Chancellor announced an emergency funding package of £750 million for frontline charities across the UK, including hospices, those supporting domestic abuse victims, and smaller charities. The emphasis is very much on those organisations working at the frontline whose services are needed more than ever and for which the idea of furloughing staff would go against the very aims they were set up to meet.

Some of the money (I think I’m right in saying) will flow through the National Lottery Community Fund and the government has also pledged to match donations made to the National Emergencies Trust.

This is good news, of course, but much more will be needed.

Don’t forget that you can also donate to the Coronavirus Resilience Fund, the local initiative by the Heart of England Community Foundation and partners, where it is possible to stipulate that you want your donation to support organisations in Birmingham. (Enter ‘BRUM’ in the comments box when you donate.)

Since the 24th March, when total donations to the Coronavirus Resilience Fund stood at £80,000 a further £170,000 has been raised, bringing the current total to £251,529.

HoECF: Coronavirus Resilience Fund appeal.

DONATE NOW.

Read more about the Coronavirus Resilience Fund and how to apply.

Human Lending Library launches in Birmingham

Following in the footsteps of London, Manchester and New York, iSE is delighted to be working with charity Expert Impact to bring the Human Lending Library to Birmingham.

What is the Human Lending Library?

The Human Lending Library connects some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs to organisations making a positive social or environmental impact.

Through the Human Lending Library social entrepreneurs looking for business advice can ‘borrow’ an Expert, for free, to help them solve their challenges and scale.

Experts include the founders of Pret-a-Manger, John Frieda, Mumsnet and many other leading companies. Browse all the experts here.

More than 200 charity and social enterprise leaders have used the service to date including Change Please, a coffee company that trains and employs homeless people as baristas; Harry Specters, a luxury chocolate company staffed by people with autism; and OLIO, an app connecting neighbours to combat food waste.

Read more on the iSE website and complete the online APPLICATION

How it works — on the Expert Impact website 

New ICO guidance — Community groups and COVID-19: what you need to know about data protection

Ian Hulme, Director for Regulatory Assurance at the Information Commissioner’s Office has just published a blog about data protection as it relates to the efforts of small voluntary organisations, community groups and social enterprises during the coronavirus crisis.

Some I have spoken to in the wider third sector say it is exactly the information they have been waiting for and that it is especially important for small, unconstituted and new-start groups that have formed specifically to help during the coronavirus emergency.

Ian Hulme summarises the ICO’s (mercifully short) guidance under six key headings:

  • Keep it clear.
  • Keep sharing.
  • Keep it lawful.
  • Keep it secure.
  • Keep it to a minimum.
  • Keep a record of what you’ve done.

 

If you are struggling to come up with simple, common sense and proportionate data protection guidelines for a coronavirus support group, this may be just what you need.

Read Community groups and COVID-19: what you need to know about data protection.

The social entrepreneur — thinking aloud… #1

This just in from Sarah Crawley at iSE — the first in a series of posts reflecting on the lessons she is learning as she helps her own and other social enterprises navigate these unprecedented times…

Read on. You may find something you can take heart from.

* * *

As a passionate supporter of social enterprise and social entrepreneurs I’ve been giving some thought to what’s happening to our businesses, the decisions that need to be made and the stages we are going through in this current situation.

My reflection is that our personal situations regarding making sure we, our families and friends have access to food, money, entertainment, shelter, personal contact and exercise are similarly reflected in our approach to our businesses as we aim to stabilise them.

Just as at ‘home’ we are trying to understand how to ‘be’ in this new world, at work we are implementing home-working, mothballing offices, making decisions concerning what work is possible at ‘home’ and bringing in new systems and processes.

What’s important at this time is to realise you aren’t on your own and that all social business leaders are struggling with the same issues. Stabilising the situation is in our DNA and building on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs for our businesses we need:

  • Technology to support home working and space to work in.
  • Security of future work coming in.
  • Good communication and support for the psychological needs of our teams.
  • The knowledge that we will be able to continue our businesses and create social value and finally reach a place where we can get innovative, problem-solve and accept the situation we are in.

 

Many of the organisations we at iSE have been speaking to are very much in this space. ISE has been learning how to use the technology both between ourselves and externally.

Each day we have a team meeting on Zoom to check in personally around mood and also concerning our priorities for the day. We have a virtual cup of coffee – my personal guilty pleasure. We have been looking at what can be delivered virtually, what needs to be mothballed until the autumn and our financial situation.

I think iSE has moved through ‘Stabilise’ and into ‘Sustain’. What I mean by this is that by securing the business so that we can deliver we are now able to make decisions on actual delivery, plan and have clarity on income-generation and work plans.

We are focusing on what we do really well, simplifying what we do and looking after the income streams. The final stage of our development of social businesses will be an understanding of how our businesses will be operating post-lockdown which will inevitably be very different.

Who will be our customers in the future? What will they want? How will products and services be manufactured and delivered? Will people have the money to buy it? We will all need to plan for this — reimagining our businesses for the new operating environment. I’m calling this stage ‘Build’ and it involves rethinking your future in what will inevitably be a new world. It’s an opportunity to think big and create even more social value, which will inevitably be even more important in the new landscape that will emerge.

At the moment I’m desperately trying to understand what our new future will be but I can’t see it yet and it feels too early to understand.

So stabilise, sustain and build – what stage are you at? Feel free to comment and pass on any thoughts on this.

Wishing you all safe and well,

Sarah Crawley CEO iSE

Send mail to Sarah

iSE website

Sarah has been a social entrepreneur for over 20 years, working to support and grow the social enterprise sector in Birmingham, the West Midlands and nationally

 

iSE — free business support for more established Birmingham & Solihull social enterprise leadership teams

iSE CIC is now able to offer social enterprise chief executives, owners and leaders insightful and in-depth business support through these challenging times, thanks to a new GBSLEP and ERDF funded project.

Directed at more established Birmingham & Solihull social enterprises and their senior management teams, this business support package provides an initial 3 hour Diagnostic Triage identifying your mission-critical business areas.

Through challenging times, it’s easy to ‘just keep going’ when actually the real need is to understand exactly where your enterprise is, what the key areas of activity are, and how to adapt, innovate and diversify to ensure your enterprise is able to survive, sustain and build for the future.

The initial Diagnostic Triage by one of our Lead Social Enterprise Consultants will take you through an objective, comprehensive review to establish where your areas of focus need to be, and challenge your thinking about your enterprise next steps.

Your SE Consultant will then tailor 12 hours of practical, relevant business support for you and your enterprise enabling you to overcome challenges, develop further resilience and implement the building blocks for your sustainable enterprise future.

For a further conversation on how best to engage with this high-value business support programme, please contact Simon Veasey — send mail or ring 0121 771 1411.

Accord social housing and care group seeks emergency volunteers

The Accord Group is one of the largest housing and social care organisations in the Midlands, providing 13,000 affordable homes and health and social care to 80,000 people and employing nearly 4,000.

We have just received the following appeal for emergency volunteers who can support Accord’s critical services during the Covid-19 emergency.

Read on to find out more… 

 

Like a number of other organisations, Accord has been planning its response to Covid-19 – seeking to identify critical services, plan to keep them open, and thinking about the wider implications.

We would like to ask for your help in case we need to call on volunteers to assist us to support elderly, frail, disabled, and vulnerable people and families in Accord.

In order to prepare for this, we are asking volunteers from the voluntary sector and faith groups to let us know in advance how they can help. At present we are looking for support which will mainly be remote, admin support, grocery shopping, transportation and befriending.

If you are able and willing to offer support as an individual or organisation, we need to know what sort of experience, skills and resources you may have, and whether you have recent DBS checks and/or are ‘known and trusted’ by a council, health and social care service, voluntary sector organisation, or faith group.

For example, do you have any current or previous experience of working in nursing or social care? Have you any experience of providing informal care to a friend or family member, and what sort of help do you think you could provide? If you don’t have any experience as above, what help could you offer?

Training and support will be given when you start. Please contact Dee Kumari at Accord: send mail or text/call 07788 385390. Thank you.

Volunteers are sought for the following Accord locations in the  Midlands: Coventry, Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Sandwell & Dudley, Telford, Walsall, Stafford, Burton.

iSE announces #COVID19 Social Enterprise Helpline

iSE has just made the following announcement about a very welcome social enterprise helpline to provide much-needed support and advice for the sector during the Covid-19 emergency. The helpline launches on Monday 30th March 2020. Read on for details…

* * *

In response to the Corona Virus 19 pandemic, and its direct impact on the social enterprises and social entrepreneurs across Birmingham and Solihull, iSE CIC is launching a #COVID19 Social Enterprise Helpline to support the sector in these challenging weeks and months.

Since COVID-19 became ‘front and centre’ for everyone, we have listened and watched as key initiatives have been set up for many other sectors, and have been listening carefully to the social enterprise sector about its concerns.

As of Monday 30th March 2020, iSE will be using its resources and staff capacity to deliver a #COVID19 Social Enterprise Helpline and see this as complementary activity to the BVSC and Birmingham City Council #C19SupportBrum initiative.

It’s simple and free to access for any social enterprise across Birmingham and Solihull – CALL 0121 771 1411 and just talk to us about your concerns and needs at this time.

Our expert Social Enterprise advisors will be able to:

  • Provide information on newly available funds, grants, loans and social investment organisations.
  • Signpost you to relevant resources, websites, toolkits and external support.
  • Give advice and guidance on your options and next steps if you are concerned about the current impact on your social enterprise.
  • Broker connections to organisations or wider support services beyond iSE, DSEQ and our Women’s Enterprise Hub.
  • Enable access to wider iSE support services such as workshops, training, funded projects and start up.
  • Book an in-depth coaching support session for social enterprise CEOs, managers and social entrepreneur leaders.

 

Our purpose is to continue to support and help guide the social enterprise sector through this extraordinary #COVID19 challenge, both economically and individually.

We can best do this by sharing our knowledge and expertise, building resilience within the sector, adapting our social enterprise services, as well as supporting business continuity and sustainability to the best of our best ability.

Read more on the iSE website.

→ Read all posts on this blog tagged Coronavirus update.

Free briefing for not-for-profits and social enterprises on government’s Covid-19 business assistance

Our friends at social enterprise Colebridge Accountancy Services have been in touch to say that they have produced a free briefing offering useful information for not-for-profits and social enterprises about the support that government is providing to businesses during the Covid-19 crisis.

Download the briefing here.

Colebridge Accountancy Services.

Heart of England Community Fund and BVSC announce Coronavirus Resilience Fund

BVSC’s Brian Carr has just announced the following on Twitter:

Delighted to announce @BVSC is working with our friends @HoECF on a #Birmingham #Coronavirus Resilience Fund. Your money will be ring-fenced for small #Birmingham #VCSE orgs if you type ‘BRUM’ in the comments box when you donate.

BVSC and HoECF have agreed that no administration costs will be applied to this and 100% of money raised will go straight to small VCOs and community groups working to support those who need help to cope with the coronavirus pandemic.

£80,000 already raised. Much more needed…

HoECF: Coronavirus Resilience Fund.

DONATE NOW.

Make Someone’s Day — be part of the virtual launch

Further to this post, the new movement for friendliness, Make Someone’s Day, is still launching on Friday 20th March 2020, but it will be a digital launch. Read more below to find out how you can support campaign.

BVSC’s Elina Rosen says:

During these challenging times of self-isolation and social distancing, it is more important than ever for people to know that they don’t need to be lonely, and that anyone can create small moments of connection by reaching out to those who are most vulnerable.

What’s the message?

We encourage people to pick up their phones, tablets and computers to connect with those who are most vulnerable and isolated in Birmingham.

Support the campaign

» Head over to our website to find resources or…

» Download our social media kit and start using the supporter messages with the campaign graphics. This will really help us spread the message of the campaign.

» Print a supporter poster, write your own message and share online using the hashtag #MakeSomeonesDay and #C19SupportBrum

We will be sharing these throughout the day – send to me, Elina, on WhatsApp 07471 50 1234 or send mail, or post frequently tagging @AgeingBetterBHM or using the hashtags #MakeSomeonesDay and #C19SupportBrum

Be part of MAKE SOMEONE’S DAY — now more than ever. Thank you.

Download the press release.

NCVO — supporting the sector during coronavirus crisis

NCVO’s chief executive Karl Wilding has just issued an interesting statement on the organisation’s blog regarding his plans for a “whatever it takes” approach to supporting the VCSE sector through the current coronavirus crisis.

The organisation has taken down all pay walls on its Knowhow website and all of its online content is now free to all to use — and NCVO has a huge library of templates, guidance and user-resources.

NVCO also wants to know how coronavirus is affecting you, your services and your organisations, and plans to use this information to strengthen its lobbying with government for specific commitments of financial support packages and other measures that will equal those for SMEs and business announced yesterday by the Chancellor.

You may think this is not relevant to you because you aren’t an NCVO member, but this may not be the case.

If you are a BVSC member then by default you are also an NCVO member by virtue of BVSC’s membership of the national body.

You can read Karl Wilding’s statement here.

→ You can tell NCVO how the current crisis is affecting your organisation by sending mail.

Digbeth Social Enterprise Quarter — coronavirus update

Paul Barnes at iSE, on behalf of the Digbeth Social Enterprise Quarter, has just issued the following statement. It includes excellent information about government financial support for small businesses, including business rates relief, sick pay relief, hospitality sector special measures  and more.

* * *

The coming months will be challenging but the Digbeth Social Enterprise Quarter will be working to support all Digbeth organisations to the best of our abilities. We have been in communication with GroundWorks and HS2 funds, who have agreed to let us reallocate budget from our Digbeth Connect program, allowing us to extend our support for Digbeth organisations for another two months in order to provide business support organisations that are affected.

Yesterday the Chancellor announced some support for businesses suffering from the effects of the Coronavirus and the economic slowdown. We will be working to support organisations in accessing this support.

  • The British Business Bank is going to be making available loans of up to £5 million, covering up to 80% of losses caused by the disruption from Corona Virus, with no fees and 6 month free interest that is being paid by the government.
  • Businesses with under 250 employees will receive a refund from the government for 2 weeks of statutory sick pay for free.
  • £10,000 grants to the ‘smallest’ businesses, this support is to be delivered by local authorities who are meant to be receiving the funds from April.
  • Government Business Rates Holiday for hospitality and leisure businesses 2020 to 2021.
  • £25,000 grant program, provided to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses operating from ‘smaller premises’. Smaller premises I believe are defined by the rateable value being between £15,000 and £51,000. There is a rateable value tool HERE on the gov.uk website.

 

You can find more information about these measures here:

 Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for employees, employers and businesses (covers healthcare and sick pay responsibilities)

COVID-19: support for businesses (covers grants, business rates relief, hospitality sector special measures and more)

If you are a Digbeth social enterprise and require any support please contact DSEQ via Paul Barnes on 0121 771 1411 or SEND MAIL.