In the Know – August 2019

Business start-up training programme for refugees

A one-year pilot to set up refugee entrepreneurship programmes has been launched by the Centre for Entrepreneurs and the Home Office. As part of the pilot, local business support organisations will be identified to deliver start-up training for refugees to help them plan and start a business. The pilot will be jointly funded by the Home Office and the National Lottery Community Fund.

Read more about the pilot

HMRC urges eligible businesses to register for MTD

HMRC is urging businesses with an annual turnover above £85,000 to sign up to Making Tax Digital (MTD) before the next VAT filing date on 7 August 2019. The MTD rules are mandatory for all VAT periods that started on or after 1 April 2019. Therefore all eligible businesses will be required to submit their first quarterly VAT return using MTD software by 7 August – or by 27 July if payment is made via direct debit. According to HMRC, 600,000 of the 1.2 million eligible businesses have already registered for MTD.

Read more about MTD

Innovation Loans programme extended

Innovate UK has announced that micro, small and medium-sized businesses can apply for a share of £10 million to help fund innovative late-stage projects. The Innovation Loans programme provided £12 million worth of funding in 2018 and has been extended until December 2020. The closing date for the current round of funding is 11 September 2019. Further funding rounds will be announced later in 2019 and throughout 2020.

Read more about the fund here

£15 million for new equipment to boost farm productivity

Second round of funding of the Countryside Productivity Small Grants scheme open for applications.

Read more

Task force to help revitalise high streets

A High Streets Task Force to help revitalise town centres has been set up by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. The task force will comprise a consortium of experts who will provide advice and training to local authorities to help them regenerate their local high streets and town centres. The task force will be run by the Institute of Place Management, which will work with the Government to agree a project and implementation plan.

Read more about the task force here

Business running out of time to claim free business support

ERDF funded business support for new and growing businesses in Torbay and Somerset is due to finish at the end of 2019.
Eligible businesses can receive up to 12 hours of business support through workshops and 1-2-1 advice sessions. TDA Business Advisors are urging small businesses to utilise this free support whilst available.

For Torbay based businesses contact Nick Williams

For Somerset based businesses contact Alan Smith

How UK businesses should cope with incoming IR35 rules

Around 170,000 individuals are expected to be affected by IR35 being extended to the private sector next April. Chris Cook outlines how businesses in the UK should prepare, so they don’t fall foul of the rules

Read more


TDA is looking for non-executive directors to join their board

The company is seeking a new member to complement the existing skills on the board, support the growth aspirations of TDA and ensure that the company is responsive to relevant sector interests

Read more on this


Launch Somerset – Deadline for applications 14 Aug

LAUNCH is all about giving pre-start or new (up to 24 months trading) enterprises an opportunity to pitch their business and get a real boost – think Dragons Den without the Dragons. We have an exciting investment package available from our sponsors for the business or idea that best demonstrates why they deserve to walk away with the prize worth over £6,000.

Not only that: imagine the publicity and exposure you gain by pitching to a specially invited audience of key influencers from across the Somerset business community; can you put a value on that?
We’re looking for creativity, innovation, determination and belief from people who recognise this incredible opportunity to LAUNCH to success!

Find out more and apply


Skills Support for the Workforce in Heart of the South West – Funded Training to Help your Business Progress

Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW) is a programme developed to upskill employees within small and medium-sized businesses in Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay.

SSW is co-financed by the Education and Skills Funding Agency and the European Social Fund. This means you can access a wide range of training at no cost* to your business. *subject to eligibility
Businesses can benefit from:

  • A training needs analysis for your business, identifying the skills you need to support your business ambitions
  • Flexible training – pick full qualifications or mix and match individual units to suit your business
  • On-the-job vocational training to meet individual and business needs including taught learning, workplace assessment, distance learning and online learning
  • Learning pathways for your employees enabling them to progress within your organisation onto higher level qualifications or apprenticeships
  • Recognised accredited qualifications and training courses to enhance your employees’ skills

Find out more

To help SSW identify training needs within Somerset, please complete their short survey >


PitchFest South West Investment Funding – Closing Date 16 August

An opportunity for ambitious businesses already scaling, or with the potential to scale could receive intensive expert investment and pitch training, and the chance to pitch to an audience of real investors.

The programme delivered Enterprise Europe Network in partnership with Innovate UK and supported by the KTN runs over 4 days culminating in an Investor Showcase. To be in with a chance of being selected for the programme, expressions of interest are required by Friday 16 August.

Find out more and apply


Independent Retailers! You Could Be Named In Best Small Shops 2019

Entries for the Best Small Shops 2019 is now open. Celebrating the commitment and entrepreneurial independent retailers of local high streets.

The awards recognise the specialist products, knowledge and community support small high streets bring and the impact on the local community. The 25 most impressive applications shortlisted will be invited to attend the Best Small Shops reception held at the House of Commons.

The competition, run by Indie Retail UK closes 9 September full information is available here.

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