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


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In this edition ...
  • New Restrictions Grant applications now open
  • Government support for businesses
  • Employment and skills support
  • Donut Time networking: 9 December
  • "Visit Warwickshire" new website
  • Shop local this Christmas
  • Blog: EU exit for small businesses
  • Popular vintage store relocates to Warwickshire town.
  • Venture House website and office availability
  • Rural matters...
  • Other interesting stuff...
  • C&W business support programme
  • Events & Networking

New Restrictions Grant applications
now open

A new grant support package has been launched by government for businesses forced to temporarily close by the latest lockdown or those adversely impacted by national restrictions or Covid-19.
The Local Restrictions Support Grant provides grants of up to £3,000 to businesses with a rateable value who pay business rates which have been forced to close by government and the Additional Restrictions Grant is for businesses that have not been mandated to close, but which are adversely impacted by national restrictions and/or other factors associated with COVID-19.
Both schemes are being administered by Stratford on Avon District Council. Read more here.

Government support for business

Government information available to businesses is changing regularly.  We recommend you keep a close eye on the following websites:

The new & updated coronavirus guidance:
- Local Restriction Tiers - what you need to know
- UK-wide Christmas arrangements agreed by the UK Government & the Devolved Administrations
- How your trading conditions affect your eligibility for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme
- Bounce Back Loans
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme extension
Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grant extension
Pay VAT deferred due to Coronavirus

On 25 November 2020, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced the Spending Review. The government to provide billions to fight virus, deliver promises and invest in the UK's recover. Read more on the Spending Review here.

Employment and Skills support

Two new projects have been launched by the Local Enterprise Partnership and Warwickshire County Council respectively to support employers, employees and job seekers through the Covid-19 pandemic and its recovery period.

CW Employment Solutions 
Giving employers access to support around redundancies, upskilling and training staff, job creation, apprenticeships and vacancy advertising.
Job seekers can benefit from tools such as cv writing and interview skills, upskilling and training opportunities and the ability to search for jobs from across Coventry & Warwickshire.

Warwickshire Skills Hub
Bringing together all the support for local businesses, schools and communities to create a skilled workforce and stable employment market to drive the county’s economy forwards.
The site encompasses support ranging from helping young people to enter the world of work, links for both young people and businesses to organise work experience placements and apprenticeships as well as some of the practical guidance and help that is available for businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Next Donut Time: Wed 9 December, 10-11.30am
Connect with local small businesses at our free
Zoom networking event featuring a session
from Helen Richardson, Personal Stylist on

"Your image speaks before you do" 
plus breakouts for social time with other business owners.
Book your FREE place here 

"Visit Warwickshire" marketing campaign launches new website

A county-wide marketing campaign ‘Visit Warwickshire’ has been launched and the campaign’s website,, is the first element of the campaign to make it into the public domain.

Hosted as a mini site within the County Council’s website, it offers content such as trails, itineraries and fun facts to help visitors enjoy the villages and more remote parts of Warwickshire, as well as the wonderful towns and landmarks we are best known for.

Read more about the development of the website and the overarching marketing campaign here.

Shopping local this Christmas

A new report from Enterprise Nation has revealed that UK consumers are expected to spend a huge £3.7billion with small businesses this Christmas. Despite ongoing national restrictions, consumers are expected to spend 10% more with small businesses online than last year and 4% more in-store. Let's hope they do! Read more here.  

Here’s a few local shopping initiatives that we have found:
Stratford upon Avon virtual Christmas market 
Shocal - A new app for independent businesses to sell their goods/services
Retail therapy Christmas shopping showcase by Socially Shared - 2 Dec, 7-9pm
Gifted - The small business Christmas market - 4 & 5 Dec

Exiting the EU

The Brexit transition period is fast approaching and businesses need to be considering what they can do to ensure they are ready for the changes in trading with the EU from January 2021. 

Following his timely talk at Donut Time last month, we have put Jim Clark's handy EU exit tips into a blog to share with you. It highlights what's going to change and, in particular, CE marking, hiring staff from outside the UK, providing services to EU markets, European rules on personal data transfers, customs delays and trading with Northern Ireland.

Here are some other useful links:
UK Transition webinars
Chamber of Commerce EU transition hub

Popular vintage store relocates to Warwickshire town

A vintage lifestyle store that has been trading for more than two decades in Birmingham has relocated to Henley-in-Arden.

Urban Village had been a mainstay in the Digbeth area of the city for 20 years, but it has now opened its doors in a brand new location.

Over the years the store has gained a large following and it is hoped that its customers will be similarly supportive of the new store in Henley-in-Arden. Read more here.
We have updated our Business Support and Skills webpage.
For more information take a peek at:

Our serviced offices remain fully open.
If you're interested in finding out about forthcoming office availability contact:
Anna on

Rural matters ...


As part of their ongoing commitment to support the farming industry towards net zero emissions and climate change mitigation, Championing the Farmed Environment has launched eight new guidance pages to help farmers and land managers start their net zero journey.  They have also reviewed their Farm Carbon Calculator summaries, to help farmers choose the right tool for them, and published Aim-Action-Results pages. 

The Warwickshire Rural Hub recognises that conservation makes good business sense, as well as being good for the environment. Their annual Forsyth Lapwing Trophy recognised Home Farm in Hatton for their successful integration of commercial agriculture with conservation of wildlife in Warwickshire. Watch the video here.

Tip from the FSB: If you pay your staff early, report your normal payment date on your Full Payment Submission. This will help protect your employees' eligibility for Universal Credit.

Jobs at local farm shop, AH Hiller's & Son, are to be safeguarded by support from WCC's Survive, Sustain & Grow programme. Read more here.

Does your business use cloud computing? Find out the pros and cons of using the cloud here.

Foodbanks across Stratford District have been blown away by the generosity of residents at a time when demand for their services has shot up dramatically. Read more here. 

The COVID-19 Committee is to start taking evidence in its new inquiry looking at the long-term impact on wellbeing of an increasing reliance on digital technology. 

Bogus HMRC callers target the self-employed in Warwickshire. More on spoofing here.


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

December events

Webinar - Building financial resilience in your business - Chamber of Commerce - 2 Dec
Start up Workshop - Getting started with WordPress - Chamber of Commerce - 2 Dec
Start up Workshop - Content marketing - Chamber of Commerce - 3 Dec
Workshop - Carbon accounting for SMEs - CUE - 3 Dec
Start up Webinar - Tactics to scale a consulting business - CUE - 3 Dec
UK Trade & Export Finance Forum - 7 and 8 Dec
Midlands: Arts Council England Coventry Funding Workshops - 7 and 8 Dec
Webinar - Building competitive grant applications - Business Ready - 7 Dec
Start up Workshop - Instagram Intermediate - Chamber of Commerce - 8 Dec
Masterclass - Engaging customers through Zoom - CWRT - 8 Dec
Start up Workshop - Business Planning - Chamber of Commerce - 10 Dec
Webinar - Pitching for finance part 1 - Business Ready - 11 Dec
Masterclass - DIY accounting for SME's and sole traders - CWRT - 14 Dec
Selling & working with the Public Sector seminar for SMEs - 16 Dec
Webinar - Pitching for finance part 2 - Business Ready - 16 Dec
Start up Webinar - LinkedIn Magic - CUE - 17 Dec
Virtual festive networking - CWRT - 18 Dec
Winter camp unlocked - Building your 2021 goldrush - Spaghetti Agency - 27 Dec 

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...

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 is to become available at the end of December.  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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