...the latest news from SDC's Business Centre                                            View this email in your browser


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In this edition ...
  • PopUp Business School - just 2 weeks to go!
  • Government Advice & Information
  • Changes to Kickstart Scheme
  • Business Grants Update
  • Entrepreneur offers dog assisted workplace wellbeing
  • Chamber launches new women's mentoring scheme
  • Donut Time networking - 10 February
  • Stratford based firm finds success during pandemic
  • WCC extends Employee Assistance Programme
  • Team expands at Spaghetti Agency
  • Other interesting stuff...
  • Message from local business - My book of full breaths
  • Events & Networking

PopUp Business School - just 2 weeks to go!

You never know who might be considering starting a business or developing a side-hussle.  Please promote this FREE online event to family and friends and share on social media using this post. 

Government Advice & Information

For the latest official business guidance, we recommend you keep a close eye on the following websites:

Coronavirus updates:
- Warwickshire businesses urged to support staff testing.
No Self Assessment late filing penalty for those who file online by 28 February
£4.6 billion in new lockdown grants to support businesses and protect jobs

Brexit updates:
Brexit Checker - See how the new rules may affect you
Rules of origin for goods moving between the UK and EU
- Guidance on moving goods in and out of Northern Ireland
- Register for Video explainers on doing business with Europe
EU Business Support Line 0800 998 1098

Changes to the Kickstart Scheme

The Kickstart Scheme, providing funding to employers to create job placements for 16 to 24 year olds on Universal Credit, is moving up a gear with over 120,000 jobs created so far and government making it simpler for employers to join.

From 3 February 2021, employers can apply directly to the Kickstart Scheme for any number of job placements - they are removing the threshold of 30 job placements. You can also choose to apply through a Kickstart gateway, including those supporting sole traders.

Kickstart gateways already working with the scheme can continue to add more employers and job placements to their grant agreement.

Read more here.
Business Grants Update

Stratford DC is currently administering eight different grants from central government and is aware of how vital these grants are to businesses. 
If you have completed a grant application since November 2020 we ask you NOT to complete again as further payments will be made automatically using your original form. If you haven't completed a form since November, you may still submit one (see link below).
If you are a business working from home,
please note that you are eligible to apply for grant support.

Read more and apply here.

Entrepreneur offers dog assisted workplace wellbeing

Enterprise Nation member, Kate Bolland has turned a life-long love for dogs into a business that uses the animals to help employees and their managers improve wellbeing and personal growth. 

Read Kate's inspiring story about Moment to Paws and how the Amazon Small Business Accelerator has boosted her entrepreneurial skills.  

The free Amazon Small Business Accelerator e-learning programme is advice from more than 30 business experts in 218 bitesize videos.  

Chamber launches new mentoring scheme to support women in business across the region

Aspiring businesswomen are set to benefit from the experience and expertise of 21 female leaders as part of a new programme from the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber has opened applications for its 21in21 Women in Business Mentoring Programme that will pair successful female business leaders with women who can tap into their knowledge to help them either move up the career ladder, grow their own business or more generally provide support with professional development.

Read more here.
Next Donut Time: Wed 10 February, 10-11.30am
Connect with local small businesses at our free
Zoom networking event featuring a session from Gus Bhandal from The M Guru giving his Top Tips on Effective Blog Writing

plus breakouts for social time with other business owners.
Book your FREE place here 

Stratford based firm finds success during pandemic

CRMi Ltd is an automotive and engineering firm specialising in sales, supply chain management and brand support. They launched the company in September 2020 and have already seen huge success and are looking to expand to take on more clients.
Read the full article here.
CRMi received start up support from the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce. Find out more about their business support programmes here.

WCC extends Employee Assistance Programme coverage

For quick and easy support, the County Council has extended its EAP offer to the employees and owners of all micro and small businesses, employing 50 or less, and any business employing up to 100 in the hospitality sector, who operate in Warwickshire and may need some support to stay well and working. The service had previously been open only to businesses in town centres with 10 or fewer employees.

Read more here.

Team expands at Spaghetti Agency

Despite the unpredictability of 2020, Warwick based marketing specialists, Spaghetti Agency, have taken on their first full time employee, marking a breakthrough in their growth as an independent local business.
Read the full story here.
The Interactive Futures event will return to Warwickshire for the third year from 16-20 Feb. 

New data published by British Business Bank shows that coronavirus loan schemes have supported businesses evenly across the UK. 

Changes to Stratford Town Centre roadspace scheme as road surfacing work is rescheduled.

A Stratford exhibition business has reinvented itself into providing visitor pods for care homes across the UK.

Discover ways to entertain your little ones and ways to explore our motoring heritage with Visit Warwickshire's latest webpages.

Napton Cidery, an award-winning family-run cidery in Warwickshire, launch a new crowdfunding campaign to help in their post-pandemic recovery.

Warwickshire environmental specialist Valpak Ltd has won a top industry award for its carbon-free battery collection service.

My Book of Full Breaths - on sale now!

Are you feeling deflated, uninspired and in need of a boost?

‘My Book of Full Breaths’ is a journal where you can record your special memories and successes i.e. your full breath moments.

Reminiscing good times releases positive feelings and emotions, boosting your mental health. This journal acts as an instant pick-me-up when you need it and you keep it for life.

And to help you create more ‘Full Breath’ moments, the journal provides tools to help you focus your time and also to find your F.U.E.L (Future Unique Adventures List) to get your adventurous ideas off the ground!

Get your copy now!


Let us know about any forthcoming events you would like us to include in future updates.

February events

Start up Workshop - How Facebook can support your start up - Chamber of Commerce - 2 Feb
Tech Start up Webinar - Start up marketing programme - CUE - 2 Feb
Creative Springboard - Business support for creatives - CWRT - 2 Feb
Online Event - Design your own ecommerce website - BT Skills for Tomorrow - 3 Feb
Online Event - Leveraging online marketplaces to grow - BT Skills for Tomorrow - 3 Feb
Start up Workshop - Instagram for Start ups - Chamber of Commerce - 4 Feb
National Apprenticeship Week - 8-14 Feb
Online Event - Create videos with YouTube - BT Skills for Tomorrow - 9 Feb
Online Event - YouTube for your brand - BT Skills for Tomorrow - 9 Feb
Start up Workshop - Business planning - Chamber of Commerce - 9 Feb
Ingenuity Information Event - Warwick Enterprise - 10 Feb
Webinar - LinkedIn for business - Business Ready - 10 Feb
Start up Workshop - The why and how of networking - Chamber of Commerce - 10 Feb
Start up Workshop - Photography and art direction - Chamber of Commerce - 11 Feb
Free Online Pop Up Business School - SDC - 15 - 19 Feb
Online Event- Interactive Futures 2021 - CWLEP, WCC, WDC - 16 - 20 Feb
Online Social Media Training Course - Skills Ladder - 16 Feb
Online Event - The habits for a growth mindset -  BT Skills for Tomorrow - 17 Feb
Webinar - Building your strategy, vision, mission & values - Business Ready - 17 Feb
Webinar - Social media platforms for marketing - Business Ready - 18 Feb
Start up Workshop - Writing your business plan - Chamber of Commerce - 23 Feb
Sustainable Materials: Lets talk about waste - WMG - 24 Feb
Online Event - Writing for social media - BT Skills for Tomorrow - 24 Feb
Online Event - Social media strategy - BT Skills for Tomorrow - 24 Feb
Start up Workshop - Business vision and strategy - Chamber of Commerce - 24 Feb
Start up Workshop - What is a brand and how to create one - Chamber of Commerce - 25 Feb

Local Networking

Whether you are a seasoned networker or are new to the world of networking, there are still plenty of opportunites to connect with other businesses as many of the friendly local networking groups are running online events. Take a look at our list of local networking groups for further details.  If you are running online networking events, please tell us about it and we can add update your listing.
Please share this newsletter with anyone you know who runs their
own business or is thinking of setting up a new business.

Information and Support for Businesses during Coronavirus from SDC
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Hotdesks, Serviced Offices and Meeting Space
Free Business Advice & Support

About Venture House...

Although our hotdesking and meeting facilities remain closed due to Covid-19, our first-floor serviced offices still remain open and Covid-secure. After quite a long spell of being fully occupied, some serviced officespace has just become available.  Please contact us for more details.

The VH Team continue to work remotely supporting local businesses in the form of business advice and signposting, start-up support, plus online workshops and networking (Donut Time). So if you are considering starting a business, want help to grow your business or are experiencing challenges within your business, please get in touch.

For more info call 07583 100488 or

Venture House is owned and managed by Stratford-on-Avon District Council and
forms part of the Council's business strategy. 

Our mailing address is:
Venture House Business Centre,
Avenue Farm Industrial Estate, Birmingham Road,
Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire  CV37 0HR

Venture House is supported by:

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