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


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Please find in this edition ...
  • Retail sector set to open its doors
  • Discretionary business rates scheme
  • £40m boost for cutting-edge start-ups
  • Coronavirus latest developments from the Growth Hub
  • New 'Buy & Eat Local' campaign seeks video footage
  • Butterfly Tapping talks on networking and mentoring
  • West Midlands to trial e-scooters
  • Other interesting stuff
  • Online events & networking

Retail sector set to open its doors

As of today, outdoor markets and car showrooms are able to open their doors to the public, providing they are following secure guidelines and operating safely to protect staff and customers.

All other non-essential retail including shops selling clothes, shoes, toys, furniture, books, and electronics, plus tailors, auction houses, photography studios, and indoor markets, will be expected to be able to reopen from 15 June if the Government’s five tests are met and they follow the COVID-19 secure guidelines.  See Government guidance here.

A series of free webinars are being run by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy about how to make your workplace COVID-secure including the following working environments: construction and outdoor work; labs and research facilities; offices and contact centres; and other people's homes.

Further government updates ...

1.  Improved flexibility to bring furloughed employees back part time in July and a new taper requiring employers to contribute to furloughed salaries from August.
2.  Self-Employment Income Support Scheme for a second and final grant capped at £6,570 in August.

Discretionary Business Rates Scheme

The Discretionary Business Rate scheme is still being worked up by Stratford-on-Avon District Council but will include the following types of businesses:

- B&Bs which pay council tax instead of business rates
- Self-employed
- small businesses in shared offices or other flexible work spaces which don’t have their own business rates assessment, such as:
  • industrial parks / science parks / incubators
  • regular market traders who don’t have their own business rates assessment
  • charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates relief, which would otherwise have been eligible for small business rates relief or rural rate relief
Applicants must have been trading since before 11 March 2020, and be able to demonstrate that they’ve suffered a significant fall in income due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

More details of the scheme, including how to apply, will be published in due course.

£40m boost for cutting-edge start-ups

Innovative businesses and start-ups are set to benefit from a £40million government investment to drive forward new technological advances. On 20 May, Business Secretary Alok Sharma announced the government is doubling investment in the Fast Start Competition with an additional £20million.

The competition aims to fast-track the development of innovations borne out of the coronavirus crisis while supporting the UK’s next generation of cutting-edge start-ups – helping to build the businesses of tomorrow and propel their future prosperity.

Among the successful projects to receive the funding to date, is a virtual-reality surgical training simulator and an online farmers’ market platform.

Read more here.
Coronavirus (Covid-19)

For all the latest developments for
businesses and employers go to

New recovery-themed section now available

New 'Buy Eat Local' campaign seeks video footage from local independents

Warwickshire County Council is inviting retailers and food establishments to send in short video clips from their mobiles or tablets to have their businesses featured, for free, in a series of short films to help promote each town. 
The videos are part of a new ‘Buy Eat Local’ campaign, led by the County Council and partners, encouraging residents to continue to support local retail and food businesses, as we start to move out of the strict lockdown period.    

If you are an independent business and would like to feature in a video for your town, send your footage by Wednesday 10 June to
Tips for Clips:
  • Try to include something with your logo on in the background  
  • Be doing something related to your business such as loading a van, packing a bag, moving stock, putting stock on shelves etc….   
  • Sound not needed!  We will put background music on so just lots of smiles and waves to the camera please!   
  • Make sure you are wearing PPE if required  
For further help or advice on how to shoot your footage you can email or call 01926 738801.

How networking and mentoring helped get my tapping business of the ground

Venture House regular, Helen Clinton of Butterfly Tapping, has kindly written a blog about her business journey so far. So grab a cuppa and take a few minutes to discover how her business has taken off since developing her connections with both Venture House and CUE Business Advisor, Nigel Tinsdale.

Read more.

West Midlands to trial E-scooters in a revolutionary UK scheme

E-scooters are set to appear on West Midlands' streets in a ground breaking trial to help get the region moving once all lockdown restrictions are lifted.  The Government has chosen the West Midlands for the trial, whilst bolstering the fight against climate change.

Read more here and here.
Take 2 minutes to enjoy in this light-hearted rant about Faux Pas on Zoom written by Todd at Spaghetti Agency. You'll never eat your weetabix at your desk again!

Pick for Britain website has been launched to help match local jobseekers with British farms and growers needing to recruit workers throughout the harvest period.

SmallBiz100 is back - what better time to make the most of the support, networking and promotional opportunities this national campaign provides. Applications open today.

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


Online Events

Start-up masterclass on linkedIn - Chamber of Commerce - 2 June
Landing pages, a marketing tool that gets results - CUE - 2 June
Coaching for performance-individuals & teams webinar - Business Ready - 3 June
Start-up workshop on writing your business plan - Chamber of Commerce - 3 June
Coventry virtual networking morning - FSB - 3 June
Grow your business digitally with social media webinar - Small Business Britain - 4 June
Survive and thrive the coronavirus business crisis webinar  - ActionCOACH - 4 June
Marketing with substance (not fluff!) webinar - Business Ready - 4 June
Jumpstart- digital branding day (online) - CWRT - 5 June
Grow your business, increase your profits, achieve your goals - ActionCOACH - 8 June
Start-up masterclass on email marketing and mailchimp - Chamber of Commerce - 9 June
How to set up a marketing campaign in the Covid-19 era webinar - CUE - 9 June
Donut Time online networking from Venture House - 10 June
Start-up workshop on getting started with finances - Chamber of Commerce - 10 June
Start-up masterclass on accountancy made easy - Chamber of Commerce - 16 June
Start-up workshop on thinking of starting a business - Chamber of Commerce - 17 June
Green Talk LIVE-how remote energy audits can work for your business - Coventry CC - 18 June
Developing great networking and negotiating skills webinar - CUE - 19 June
Start-up Masterclass on make your business worth more - Chamber of Commerce - 23 June
How to write press releases in the Covid-19 era - CUE - 23 June
BusinessCLUB - ActionCOACH Warwick - 24 June
Start-up workshop on winning and keeping customers - Chamber of Commerce - 24 June
How will you plan for the new normal? Free online forecasting and business planning briefings - Burgis and Bullock - 4, 11, 18, 25 June
Start-up masterclass on facebook - Chamber of Commerce - 30 June

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 about doing so, who organises training and events or
who works from home.

Information and Support for Businesses during Coronavirus from SDC
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About Venture House...

Venture House is a fresh and friendly business centre dedicated to supporting businesses, organisations, entrepreneurs and homeworkers. The Centre provides flexible and affordable office, desk and meeting space, as well as a full programme of workshops, networking events and advice to start and grow your business.

For more info call 01789 207500

Venture House is owned and managed by Stratford-on-Avon District Council and forms part of the Council's business strategy.  Subscribe to SDC's Business Matters e-newsletter.

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

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