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


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This month's e-update is packed full of information regarding the latest funding, support and training that's available as well as plenty of "Other Interesting Stuff..."

Although the date hasn't yet been confirmed, we are planning to reopen a COVID-secure Venture House to hot-desking customers later in September.  We can't wait to welcome you all back and details will be circulated as soon as the date is fixed.
Please find in this edition ...
  • Warwickshire businesses urged to apply for new WCC grant
  • Transition Business Readiness Bulletin
  • Kickstarting the West Midlands circular economy
  • Covid-19 Update for new business start-ups
  • 11-1 Take Action Tuesdays business helpline
  • Warwickshire retailers offered expert digital skills help
  • Donut Time - 9 September
  • Please complete surveys from the BCC and WCC
  • Apprenticeships and skills news
  • Other interesting stuff
  • Events & networking

Warwickshire businesses urged to apply for new County Council grant 

Warwickshire County Council is launching a new £250,000 grant fund dedicated to supporting the retail and hospitality sectors in Warwickshire.  

Small and micro businesses in these sectors can apply for grants between £2,000 to £7,500 to put towards the costs of capital investments. This could be refurbishing or refitting property to increase footfall or improve visitors’ experiences, creating an online sales presence, investing in dedicated IT and computer software or the purchase of minor equipment.  

Applications are now open and the deadline for the first round of funding will be announced shortly.

For more information and guidance on how to apply.

Transition Business Readiness Bulletin

The UK has left the EU, and the transition period comes to an end on 31 December 2020. Businesses need to act now to get ready for new rules that will come into force from 1 January 2021.

To receive updates on the latest information for businesses, subscribe for free to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s bulletin here.

UK/EU Border

Read this CWCC Briefing Paper to see how the UK/EU border will operate from 2021.

Kickstarting the West Midlands circular economy

A circular economy reuses and repurposes products and materials that would normally have been discarded, resulting in less pollution and waste. 

The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) is working with experts to deliver a plan for advancing a circular economy in our region. 

The WMCA want to hear from businesses of all sizes and sectors in the region to inform the next stages in their work.

Please complete this short questionnaire by 9 September.

COVID-19 Update for New Business Start-ups

The C&W Chamber of Commerce is continuing to provide FREE online meetings and workshops to start-up businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak. 

To check your eligibility please register here and a business mentor will be in touch. Please ensure you select 'Submit' before closing the form, or your responses will not reach us. 

In the meantime, you can view all the upcoming workshops here and book your place using Eventbrite.

For an informal chat contact the Start-up Team on 02476 654321 (Option 4).


11-1 Take Action Tuesdays business helpline

Whether your business is growing, thriving or surviving, you may have questions that need answers, want advice on certain topics or just need to talk things through.

The Chamber is a great place to turn to as it has experienced business advisers on hand to help every Tuesday between 11.00am and 1.00pm.

Book your free 20 minute zoom slot here.

Warwickshire retailers offered expert help to grow out of recession

Independent retailers across Warwickshire are being offered free expert advice on how to grow their businesses out of the Covid-19 recession using social media and other digital tools.

The advice is being offered as part of a £5million package of support from Warwickshire County Council to boost the immediate economic recovery of the county.

The programme will be delivered by Emma Woodward and Sam Yair of Stories Marketing and the first taster session will take place on Wednesday 23 September with a host of further online workshops and 1:1 support available from October through to March 2021. 

Find out more and book your free place.

Donut Time: Wed 9 September, 10 - 11.30am on Zoom

Connect with local small businesses at our free online networking
Featuring a short session from Trevor Day on 
"Tax saving tips for small business owners" 
plus breakouts for social time with other business owners

Book your FREE place here

British Chambers of Commerce - quarterly economic survey Q3

You are encouraged to complete this quarter's quick and easy economic survey.It really does make a difference, for example, with current lobbying around NI cuts, review of business rates, the Kick-Starter Scheme and most recently, the extension of the Business Bounce Back Loans. Quarterly economic survey.

Results of the last Coventry & Warwickshire Q2 survey can be found here. To see the national QES results see here.

Warwickshire COVID-19 impacts and recovery survey

To help understand more about the impact of the pandemic on the lives of Warwickshire residents, WCC would appreciate your time to complete this survey. The study is being conducted by Coventry University and Warwickshire County Council. Warwickshire survey.

Apprenticeships and Skills News

Warwickshire County Council

WCC has launched an innovative pilot project for businesses to showcase their employment opportunities on film to help them recruit following the challenges of lockdown. Read more about the Future Careers Digital Market Place programme here or email Michael Sharman to get involved.

Stratford/Solihull College

From 1 August 2020 to 31 January 2021, employers will receive additional incentives for hiring apprentices. Stratford-upon-Avon College has put together this handy Apprenticeship Funding Update and are happy to help employers to register an account with the Digital Apprenticeship Service (DAS) to allow them to access this funding.

A broad range of apprenticeships are available from Stratford/Solihull College along with distance learning courses that have proved very popular for employees on furlough or staff looking to upskill to adapt.

Warwickshire College Group

WCG's Centre for Skills is offering free training for workers in digital roles through the Centre for Digital and Cyber Skills, and for employees of culture or tourism through the Centre for Culture and Tourism Skills.  Read more here.

WGC, a leading Midlands apprenticeship provider, has been successfully delivering lockdown learning through remote delivery and one-to-one sessions.  It is urging employers to take advantage of new government incentive payments of up to £2000 per apprentice. Read more here.

Manufacturing Technology Centre

MTC Apprenticeships has seen a surge in applications from prospective engineering apprentices, with more than 700 young people looking to join the award-winning programme. Read more here.
All new Low Carbon Agriculture Show comes to Stoneleigh 9-10 March 2021.  See how you can get involved and sign up for newsletter.

Stratford's Riverside Green Corridor scheme given green light.

Retail entrepreneurs to battle it out in Stratford for top young trader title.

Coffee calling in Stratford phonebox as mini cafe concept expands from London

Are you aware of the new tender opportunities platform Find It In CW?

The Growth Hub's Jim Clark on Helping Businesses.

Tradespeople are urged to sign up to the new Green Home Grant Scheme.

Coventry City Council is working alongside Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) to offer free business support through the Roll & Stroll for Businesses programme.

New Foodie Awards 2021 for Coventry and Warwickshire is now open for entries.

Make the most of your free time and discover 12 free ways to learn something new at home from the MoneySavingExpert.

Small Business Saturday is once again highlighting 100 small businesses, one a day for 100 days leading up to Small Business Saturday on 5 December 2020.


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


September events

Online marketing and mailchimp masterclass - Chamber of Commerce - 1 Sept
Online LinkedIn masterclass - Chamber of Commerce - 3 Sept
GreenTalk Live: Coventry Railway Station Masterplan - 3 Sept
Start-up webinar - LinkedIn magic - CUE - 3 Sept
Creating your marketing strategy webinar - Business Ready - 4 Sept
Online masterclass - What is a brand and how to create one - Chamber of Commerce - 8 Sept
Raising finance for business webinar - Business Ready - 8 Sept
Online start-up workshop- Business vision and strategy - Chamber of Commerce - 1- Sept
Start-up webinar - How to make money online - CUE - 10 Sept
Marketing with substance not fluff webinar part 1 - Business Ready - 10 Sept
Macmillan cancer support coffee morning at the Mid-England Barrow - 11 Sept 
National Rural Conference 2020 - 14-18 Sept
Online workshop - Getting started with Wordpress - Chamber of Commerce - 15 Sept
Start-up webinar - Marketing in the Covid-19 era - CUE - 15 Sept
Online workshop - Thinking of starting a business - Chamber of Commerce - 16 Sept
Mid-England Barrow Networking - 17 Sept
Marketing with substance not fluff webinar part 2 - Business Ready - 17 Sept
Social media marketing webinar - Business Ready - 17 Sept
Online masterclass - What you need to consider for your website - Chamber of Commerce - 22 Sept
Start-up webinar - How to use traditional media in the Covid-19 era - CUE - 22 Sept
Online workshop - Content marketing - Chamber of Commerce - 23 Sept
Retail skills training taster - Digital Town Centres - 23 Sept 
Online start-up workshop - Winning and keeping customers - Chamber of Commerce - 24 Sept
Start-up webinar - Grants for tech start-ups in Coventry and Warwickshire - CUE - 24 Sept 
How to launch new products/services successfully using Instagram webinar - CUE - 27 Sept
Online workshop - Instagram intermediate - Chamber of Commerce - 29 Sept
Start-up webinar - How to write press releases in the Covid-19 era - CUE - 29 Sept

Midlands Business Network Expo - Ricoh Arena, Coventry - 2 Oct
Take Action Tuesday - Business Helpline - Chamber of Commerce - Every Tuesday 11am to 1pm

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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About Venture House...

For the time being, our hotdesking and meeting facilities remain closed due to Covid-19. However, our first-floor serviced offices remain accessible. 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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