Growth Hub News: Lockdown Grants, Brexit Support Service, Apprenticeships and More…

Roadmap to easing of COVID-19 restrictions announced

The UK government’s roadmap for easing restrictions surrounding the current pandemic has been announced, and the end of the lockdown is now in sight.

Visit our website for the four stages of the roadmap and what they mean for your business.

The progression of the 4 steps is reliant on the COVID-19 data at the time of each review.

Throughout each stage the Growth Hub will be here to guide you through the steps you need to take to ensure your business can reopen and build back better.

If you require any assistance to prepare for when lockdown comes to an end or to speak to one of our Growth Hub advisors, email

To find out more about when your business can reopen, as well as the financial support available to you during this time, click here.

Business owners – time is running out to apply for lockdown grants

If you are struggling as a result of the latest lockdown, money is still available to help you through, but you need to hurry! The deadline to submit your application is 31st March 2021.Grants are available for businesses in the hospitality, leisure and non-essential retail sector based in Sheffield, Rotherham, Barnsley or Doncaster that are closed due to restrictions, or have seen a drop in income because you supply other businesses that have had to close.

Apply now via your local council, or for help and advice on eligibility, as well as guidance on all other areas of support available, head to the Growth Hub website.

The chancellor also announced his budget on 3rd March which outlined what further financial support will be available this year. To read the budget in full, click here.

Brexit Support Service is here for businesses across the Sheffield City Region

Working in collaboration with the Sheffield City Region Local Authorities, City Region Chambers and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), we have a dedicated service to support businesses with any query relating to Brexit.The Brexit Support Service aims to help your business make sense of Brexit and provide information and advice that will help you to keep trading successfully. Email: or call 0114 223 8188 for more information.

Brexit Checklist

The government has put together a list of actions that will help you to identify what your business needs to do now the UK has left the EU single market and customs union and the transition period has come to an end.

The checklist lays out the key steps you need to take, if you haven’t already, to ensure your business can still trade with the EU. This includes:

  • Making sure you have a GB EORI number.
  • Checking if your imported goods are eligible for staged controls.
  • Checking the Controlled goods list to see if you need to complete declarations.
  • Deciding how you’re going to make customs declarations.
  • Checking if Import VAT is due at the border.
  • Deciding how you will account for import VAT when you make a customs declaration.

There are also a number of resources on the government website that will help your business prepare, as well as a dedicated Brexit helpline which provides free advice on where businesses can find information and guidance. Call 0300 2000 900, Monday to Friday, between 8am to 6pm or Click here to find out more.

Brexit Support Grants for SME’s

A new Brexit Support Fund has been launched to help small businesses who trade with the EU to comply with new trading rules.

SMEs who import/export to the EU only and are therefore new to the Brexit processes will be encouraged to apply for grants of up to £2,000. The funds will help each trader pay for practical support including training and professional advice to ensure they can continue trading effectively with the EU. You can apply for funding to cover:

  • Recruitment, training and IT to help your business to complete customs declarations.
  • Co-funded training project to help your business complete customs declarations.
  • Trader-training to understand customs.

Head to the SME Brexit Support Fund section of our website for more information and details on how to apply.

Digital Technology Support is available now to help you increase online sales

The global pandemic and the lockdown have resulted in businesses, employees and customers rapidly increasing their use of digital technology, and it is expected that even when stores start to reopen online shopping and digital enquiries will continue to rise.Digitalising your business to meet demand and ensure you aren’t missing out on reaching potential customers is now more important than ever.

The Growth Hub and Winning Moves’ have joined forces to provide support that could help your business embrace digital technology. This service has been designed to help meet the change in business needs and overcome some of the current challenges and available to small and medium­ sized enterprises from all sectors with up to 20 full time equivalent employees.

Participating businesses will have the ambition to develop their business and deliver superior levels of performance through the adoption of digital technology.

Click here for more information and guidance on how to access this service.

Free Advice from Digital Boost

Thousands of experts from organisations such as BT and Google are ready to offer you free digital advice to help your business. The digital boost service offers one on one mentoring, workshops and webinars and an extensive resource library that could help grow your business through digitalisation. To find out more, click here.

Series two of the Export Academy is live and open for registrations

Series two of the Export Academy, delivered by the Department for International Trade (DIT), is now live and we’re encouraging any businesses interested in growing their customer base overseas to take part.Aimed at new-to-exporting businesses, the Export Academy delivers a series of workshops and webinars designed to increase confidence and knowledge for small businesses looking to develop their international sales for the first time.

Delivered by experts, these virtual workshops cover a number of key topics, including international market research, customs procedures, Incoterms and more. All topics covered are aimed at providing business owners with the skills and knowledge they need to sell to customers around the world with confidence and achieve their full potential.

The programme has already started, but don’t worry if you have missed the first session. Registration is still open, and videos from webinars that have already taken place are available online ready for you to download.

Visit Export Academy | Sheffield City Region Growth Hub ( for more information and details on how to register.

Help South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive to prepare for businesses returning to work

To help  better understand how South Yorkshire businesses work and travel plans may develop – post-pandemic – we are seeking your views on what changes there may be to your employees working practices and how they may travel to and from work over the coming months.

We are very keen to hear your views and understand how your future plans are taking shape. The information we are capturing through this exercise will really help us to understand what workplaces want in terms of support for their employees around travel and transport.

Complete the future travel survey.

Apprenticeships: providing skills for South Yorkshire’s future

Across our region, employers are stepping up to the apprenticeship challenge during the pandemic.Improving skills at all ages can make a real difference to people’s futures, and apprenticeships help young people achieve success or enhance their careers. Niall Dawson has helped the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre to save £50,000 a year in production costs and Michelle Bird, a nursing apprentice graduate, is now supporting the NHS fight against Covid-19.

To read more out more about Niall and Michelle’s stories, as well as the work of other apprentices in our region, click here.
A large proportion of apprentices are kept on by their employers after their training and nearly a quarter are promoted within a year. Apprentices can earn up to £117,000 more over the course of their career. In South Yorkshire over the past few years, up to 15,000 apprentices have started their courses, and more than 80% per cent of these are employed by small businesses with less than 49 employees.

Evidence shows that apprenticeships increase employee satisfaction, reduce staff turnover and reduce recruitment costs. Training employees and growing in-house own talent is the most effective way to retain great people.

Find out more about how an apprenticeship scheme can benefit your business.

Growth Hub to boost Grass Roots business support with more Business Advisors

As part of our Renewal Action Plan (RAP), which sets out sets out a roadmap for how South Yorkshire can put itself on the path to recovering from the massive economic disruption the coronavirus pandemic has caused, we have appointed a new team of local Business Advisors to work across each area of our region.The sixteen new Advisors will work across Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield to provide businesses struggling with the pandemic or looking to grow after lockdown ends, with a dedicated, one to one programme of support to achieve their goals.

Keep an eye out for more details coming soon. In the meantime, get in touch for information on how the Growth Hub can help your business.

Sheffield City Region funding set to drive growth and create jobs at Metlase

MetLase, which provides bespoke engineering solutions to complex industrial problems, is celebrating after securing £400k through the Sheffield City Region Local Growth Fund.The funding will be combined with £565k of investment from MetLase, a joint venture between Unipart and Rolls-Royce, to provide an ambitious series of standardised Industry 4.0 digital products that can be taken to market and applied in many areas of manufacturing, both in the UK and globally.

As a result of the funding, the company expects to create up to four new high value engineering careers in the first seven months of the project, whilst also safeguarding a further 10 jobs at the company.

Phase two of the project will see MetLase applying its core digital architecture to develop and commercialise a suite of other digital products over a two-year period, including Smart Bench, Smart Cell, Smart Shield, Smart Fixtures and Smart Machining. This will considerably widen MetLase’s digital offer and enable significant business scale-up and global export opportunities. During Phase 2, Metlase is planning to create an additional 46 new jobs in the Sheffield City Region over a two-year period.

For further details on the story and to find out more about Metlase’s ambitious plans for the future, which will see the company developing a suite of digital technologies, click here.

Growth Hub welcomes new Innovation Advisor!

The Sheffield City Region has long been at the forefront of innovation in a number of key areas and with the recruitment of new Innovation Advisor Dominic O’Connor, the Growth Hub is hoping to support more and more businesses to innovate. Our aim is for the region to be widely renowned for its innovative businesses and growing local economy.

The innovation team can advise and enable your business to identify the right support to review current market trends, analyse disruptive technologies, develop and review current business models and build on core competencies. If you have a business challenge that needs a solution, or an idea for a new process, get in touch to speak to one of our advisors!

What’s on this month?
Events you don’t want to miss

Our interactive online events calendar is once again packed full of webinars and digital seminars taking place throughout March to help maximise your business’ potential and offer advice on a number of key topics. This includes:

  • LinkedIn Webinar – Lead Generation Tactics for Exporters: Tuesday 9th March, 10am – 12pm
  • HR and Employment Law in the Covid World: Monday 15th March, 3 – 4:30 pm
  • Creating a Marketing Plan: Tuesday 16th March, 12pm – 1.30pm
  • 7 Top Tips for Business Development from Home: Thursday 18th March, 10am – 12pm
  • Invest North – A major conference focused on the economic development and real estate future of the UK Northern regions: Wednesday 24th March, 9am – 5pm.
  • DIT Export Academy – Selling Services Overseas: Friday 26th March, 10am – 12pm
  • Coronavirus (Covid-19) Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme: Wednesday 31st March, 1:45pm – 2:30pm

You can register for any of these events, plus many more we have scheduled, by visiting our interactive online events calendar.

You can even add your own event by visiting the ‘Submit an event’ page.
Click here to find out more.

Be part of our online community

Why not join our community group on LinkedIn?  Here you can find news; latest updates and you can even share stories about your business.  It’s a great place to post discussions and network with more than 5,800 other followers.
Search Sheffield City Region Community on LinkedIn or join our group directly.
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Please get in touch with us by emailing or visit our website for updates and further help and support.