Bristol City Council: Business news: Grants, training, support and more

From: Bristol City Council <bristol.business@bristol.gov.uk>
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The latest business news from Bristol City Council. View this email in your browser
For the latest information and updates on COVID-19 including travel, testing and vaccines visit the government website: www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Business Growth and Adaptation Grant
Register your interest in the Business Growth and Adaption Grant.

The grant is designed to help small to medium sized businesses (SMEs) buy and implement new products and equipment, to increase production and enable growth and expansion.

There are two funds available to support future expenditure:

  • Fund 1: £6,000 to £10,000
  • Fund 2: £10,001 to £30,000

Businesses will need to provide 20 per cent match funding, and the project you are requesting funding for should support your operations or processes to maintain or increase your turnover.

Visit the Growth Hub for information on the Business Growth and Adaption Grant, and to check your eligibility.

33% Cashback Grant reopens
The 33% Cashback Grant has reopened for a second round of applications.
The grant can be used to invest in new technologies, marketing, equipment, skills training, employment fees or consultancy fees.

To receive the grant, you will firstly need to make a 100% up-front payment between £1,000 and £6,000. Once you have provided proof of purchase, you will then receive 33% cashback on your spend.

To be eligible, you must be a pre-start, existing business up to 250 employees or self-employed and based in North, East or Central Bristol.

The 33% Cashback Grant is bought to you by the North and East Bristol Enterprise Support programme (NEBES), delivered by YTKO, and funded by Bristol City Council and the West of England Combined Authority.

To register your interest, complete the North and East Bristol Enterprise Support enrolment form.

COVID-19 Additional Relief Fund extended
The deadline to apply for COVID-19 Additional Relief Fund (CARF) has been extended to 5pm on Friday 12 August.

If your business has been affected by COVID-19 and it is struggling to adapt to that impact, check your eligibility. Businesses can get up to 100 per cent business rates relief for the 2021-2022 financial year credited back.

Visit our website for full details on the COVID-19 Additional Relief Fund, to check your eligibility and to apply.

If you submitted an application before 31 May 2022 you do not need to apply again.

Help to Grow: Digital eligibility expanded
The government has announced changes to the Help to Grow: Digital scheme, reducing the minimum number of employees a business must have to be eligible from five to one. This means that up to 1.2 million UK businesses are now able to access discounts worth up to £5,000 on approved software to boost their performance.

As part of the expanded offer, the scheme now includes:

  • e-Commerce software
  • a focus on helping business leaders manage their inventory, take payments and gather data and insights on customers’ needs
  • one-to-one advice for small- and medium-sized businesses on digital tech adoption.

Help to Grow: Digital is a UK-wide government-backed scheme that aims to help businesses choose, buy and adopt digital technologies that will help grow their business. 

Visit the government website for information on the Help to Grow: Digital programme.

Alternatively, contact the West of England Growth Hub to find out more.

Help to Grow: Management Programme at UWE Bristol
After a successful first year of the Help to Grow: Management training programme, senior leaders within SMEs can now register for Year Two at UWE Bristol.

Delivered through a blend of online and face-to-face learning, this 12-week course covers strategies for growth and innovation, leading high-performance teams, digital adoption, as well as financial management and responsible business practices.

  • Develop a tailored business growth plan
  • Access to 10 hours of one-to-one mentor support
  • Regular peer group calls
  • Join other SME leaders through both local and national alumni networks.

The programme is 90 per cent subsidised by the government, costing £750. Designed to be undertaken alongside full-time work, the twelve modules require 50 hours of commitment to timetabled activities.

UWE Bristol are running courses across the South West through academic year 2022-23, with the next Bristol cohort scheduled to start on 12 September 2022.


In their first year of delivery, UWE Bristol has guided over one hundred SME leaders through the programme. UWE Bristol are proud to have held the Small Business Charter since 2015 and enjoy working with, supporting and developing businesses. Those completing the programme have benefitted from the expertise of UWE module facilitators – experts at Bristol Business School who combine academic and real-life business experience.

Supporting your employee wellbeing
Are you prepared to have supportive conversations about mental health with your team?

Whether your staff are returning to the office, working on the shop floor or providing table service, changes to the way we work and the ongoing risk of COVID-19 are having a real impact on local businesses and their staff.

It’s more important than ever that managers become compassionate leaders and are aware of their employees’ mental health and wellbeing to know when someone needs help and support.

The Thrive at Work resources are free to access for SMEs, private sector and VCSEs in the West of England.

The programme provides practical help and information, as well as the tools and training that business and organisations need to help promote good mental health practices and support their employees.

Visit the Thrive at Work website to access the free mental health and wellbeing resources.

Quick updates
• The Recovery Loan Scheme, offering government-backed loans to small businesses will be extended for a further two years. Originally launched in April 2021 to help businesses recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, the scheme has supported almost 19,000 businesses with an average of £202,000 in support. Visit the government website for details on the Recovery loan Scheme extension.

• One Front Door are holding a job fair at Empire Fighting Chance, in Easton, on Wednesday 17 August from 11am to 2pm. Come along for the chance to speak to a range of employers and get free support to help you get into work. Visit the One Front Door website for information on the Empire Fighting Chance mini jobs fair.

• Bristol Pop-Up Shop are accepting applications for their annual Christmas Pop-Up and are introducing five new Business Bursaries, offering financial support to local start-ups that have not yet had the opportunity to trade in the shop. The bursary offers a discounted entry fee for the shop and additional business support through the festive season. Applications close midnight on Sunday 14 August 2022. Complete the Bristol Pop-Up Shop 2022 online application form or visit the Bristol Pop-Up Shop website for more information.

• Temporary changes brought in during COVID-19 which make it quicker, easier and cheaper for business to get a pavement licence, to serve food and drink on pavements and pedestrianised roads have been extended to September 2023. The extension will continue until the changes are made permanent in the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill in the spring. Find out more about the pavement licence extension on the government website.

• Big Issue Invest currently manages or advises on over £460 million of impact funds and is creating the UK’s first ‘Social Merchant Bank – ’by social entrepreneurs, for social entrepreneurs’. They offer social enterprises and charities a range of repayable finance options, from loans of £20,000 to larger investments of up to £3.5 million as well as corporate mentoring and investment programmes designed for early-stage social businesses. Visit the Big Issue website information on their live programmes and funds.

• North and East Bristol Enterprise Support (NEBES) are partnering with nebes.

• Bristol Light Festival is bringing the sensational sensory experience Luminarium to Bristol from 4 to 14 August. Open from 1pm to 7pm each day on College Green, Luminarium is a free, fully accessible, family friendly immersive experience. Visit the Bristol Light Festival website for information and ticket availability for Luminarium.

• This year, #SummerInBristol is set to be the most exciting and colourful yet. The city’s favourite family events are back and there are new awe-inspiring attractions to capture the attention of youngsters and grown-ups alike. See the Visit Bristol website for a guide to summer holiday fun in Bristol.

How can we help you?

We will do all we can to address the needs or concerns of businesses across Bristol. If you have any queries or if there is anything that you think we can do to better to help people and businesses, please contact us at: business

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This newsletter is brought to you by the council’s economic development team.

It is in the public interest for us to keep businesses informed about news, updates and information to support Bristol towards a positive recovery and future economic success following the coronavirus.

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