Growth Hub April News: Reopening businesses, financial support, exporting and more…

Business recovery support available in South Yorkshire!

The level of support available to local businesses is stronger than ever in South Yorkshire!

Here at the Growth Hub we have a team of business support advisors who can help any local businesses that have been adversely affected by the current economic challenges or are looking to restart or recover after lockdown.

The £1.7bn Renewal Action Plan (RAP) developed by the Mayoral Combined Authority, Mayor Dan Jarvis and the Local Enterprise Partnerships in response to the impact of COVID-19, sets out a roadmap for how South Yorkshire can put itself on the path to recovering from the massive economic disruption the pandemic has caused.

James Muir, Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Chairman, explains: “There are still so many businesses who are unaware that there is this level of support available to them, especially during these unprecedented times. We encourage any business owners that are struggling, or even if they just need advice on moving their company forward, recovering after lockdown or taking the next steps towards growth, to get in touch and make the most of this free, one to one service.”

James Muir adds: “The Sheffield City Region Growth Hub’s Business Advisors have been working hard to help companies across South Yorkshire to survive and thrive, especially throughout the past year and since the first lockdown was introduced. We’re pleased to say that hundreds of companies have benefited and are better off because of it. Despite the fact that restrictions are being lifted, there is still support available for any business that needs it.”

One business that has already benefited from dedicated support provided by the Sheffield City Region Business Support Advisor’s is Elecomm Ltd., a Sheffield based multi-disciplined service provider, offering electrical, mechanical, data & IT services and facilities management and maintenance solutions.

The company has experienced growth in international markets and expanded its services, thanks to support from the Sheffield City Region Growth Hub. Working alongside Andy Sorsby, SCR Growth Hub Business Growth Specialist, the company has secured multiple grants and received an invaluable level of expert business advice, including support with building a strategic marketing plan, carrying out a full rebrand and developing a new website.

John Hamilton, Supply Chain Director at Elecomm, explains: “I’m not sure what we were expecting to get out of contacting the Growth Hub team, but I’m so glad we did. Everyone has gone above and beyond to help us. The global connections we have made, plus focusing a key part of our rebrand and web development on appealing to international audiences, have been major factors in helping our business to survive this unprecedented year. Not only that, but we have secured new clients from across the globe and seen a great level of growth which has enabled us to further upskill our team and expand.”
The Sheffield City Region Growth Hub acts as a ‘gateway’ so that businesses can access support when it is needed the most and within the shortest timeframe. The Growth Hub team of advisors offer guidance in the fields of business development and industry support, including innovation, growth, logistics, trade and exporting and accessing finance or training.

Any business that is looking to re-establish or recover after making significant losses due to the Coronavirus lockdown or is facing challenges that put its long-term future in question, should speak to our Growth Hub team today.



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Reopening your business and looking for support?

Welcome back to all businesses that have reopened recently!
Reopening a business is great news for everyone but it does bring some challenges.
If you are looking for support to ensure you can reopen safely, our guidance could help. In addition, if you are not able to reopen yet, you can still access support through the Growth Hub.
Find valuable information to help you on our website, which covers:- Workplace COVID-19 testing programme
– NHS Test and Trace in the workplace
– Employer testing duties
– Working safely during COVID-19
– 8 Priority Actions for Businesses
– Advice on financial support for reopeningTo speak to one of our expert advisors about what help is available, call us on 03330 00 00 39 or visit man pointing to the screen of a laptop

Financial support still on offer for businesses

There are still a number of financial support schemes available through government to help South Yorkshire businesses to recover from the impact of the lockdown.
Here’s a quick round-up of financial support schemes you could benefit from:Extension to the Coronavirus Job Support Scheme.
Back in March, the Chancellor announced an extension to the Coronavirus Job Support Scheme, more commonly known as Furlough, which he extended to 30th September 2021.  This means that any employee on Furlough will continue to receive at least 80% of their current salary for hours not worked. Aside from NICs and pension contributions, employers will not be required to pay a salary contribution to furloughed workers from April to June.  However, from July, employers will have to contribute at least 10% of the salary cost and 20% of the salary cost in August and September.Extension to the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.
The SEISS scheme for the self-employed has been extended to 30 September 2021.  The announcement means that, for the first time, individuals who became self-employed in 2019/20 will be able to benefit. Self-employed individuals whose turnover has dropped by more than 30% will continue to receive full support (80% of three month’s average monthly trading profits, capped at £7,500). Individuals whose turnover has dropped by less than 30% will receive a grant worth 30% of three month’s average monthly trading profits, capped at £2,850.  This can be claimed from late July.Recovery Loan Scheme
A new Recovery Loan Scheme for businesses was introduced in March. This will replace the current Bounce Back and CBILs loan schemes and will provide a guarantee to lenders to enable them to issue loans to businesses from £25,000 up to £10m. The scheme will be open to all businesses, including those who have received previous support from the current loan schemes.Re-start Grants.
Retail, hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care businesses and gyms will be able to receive a Restart Grant to help them re-open. Non-essential retail is eligible for a grant of up to £6,000 per premises. Hospitality and leisure businesses are eligible for a grant of up to £18,000 per premises. Any business owner requiring guidance on this should contact the Growth Hub.VAT Reduction and Deferral.
In the Spring Budget, VAT was temporarily reduced to 5% for businesses in the tourism and hospitality sector until 30 September when the VAT rate will increase to 12.5%, before returning to the standard rate of VAT from April 2022. Businesses that took advantage of the VAT deferral on VAT returns from March to June 2020 can now opt to pay the deferred VAT in instalments from March 2021, rather than pay the deferred VAT in a single payment.  Businesses that wish to pay in instalments must apply for the VAT Deferral New Payment Scheme. VAT thresholds will not change before 1 April 2024. If businesses require further guidance on this, please speak to our team at the Growth Hub, who will guide you through.

Business Rate Relief Extended and Discounted.
Business rate relief was extended in the Spring Budget, which will affect some retail, hospitality and leisure businesses and nurseries, who will continue to receive 100% Business Rate Relief from April to 30 June 2021. From July, Business Rates for these businesses will be discounted by two thirds (66%) until 31 March 2022, capped at £2m per business for properties that were forced to close on 5 January 2021 and capped at £105,000 for all other businesses.

Apprentice and Traineeship Incentives for Businesses.
An incentive is now available to encourage businesses to employ new apprentices and provide 16-24 year olds with work placements in the 2021/22 academic year. They will be able to claim incentives of £3,000 per apprentice of any age and £1,000 per trainee on a work placement.
Two new ‘Help to Grow’ Schemes for Businesses include:
Help to Grow: Management This will fund management and leadership training for small and medium sized businesses and mentoring and peer learning support to help business owners grow their firm. The Government will subsidise the costs of training and support through the scheme by 90%.
Help to Grow: Digital. This scheme will provide small and medium sized businesses with free advice and a voucher worth up to £5,000 to cover the cost of new, approved software to help them to go digital.

A new Super-Deduction Capital Allowance for Business Investment.
The Spring Budget saw the Chancellor announce that for the next two years businesses that invest in plant and machinery will be able to reduce their tax bill through a 130% upfront capital allowance super-deduction. This may lead to further investment in plant and equipment and will be a welcome boost for many.

Levelling Up Fund (LUF)
The LUF will invest in infrastructure that improves everyday life across the UK. The £4.8 billion fund will support town centre and high street regeneration, local transport projects, and cultural and heritage assets. Areas are categorised using an index of three categories with ‘category 1’ receiving the highest priority. South Yorkshire areas are categorised as:

Category 1: Doncaster and Rotherham
Category 2: Sheffield and Barnsley

Education and Skills
In the March budget, £126m of new money was released for training.
In addition, further support will help tens of thousands of small and medium sized businesses to benefit from world-class management training. Dozens of business schools across the UK will offer a new executive development programme with mentoring and peer learning, and the government will pay 90% of the cost.

Get in touch with the Growth Hub team and we can help to guide you through the various levels of support available, contact us on 03330 00 00 39 or Email:

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Could your business grow through innovation?

Do you have a business idea that could benefit from expert help?
The Sheffield City Region Growth Hub’s one-to-one innovation support could help your business grow and recover after the effects of the pandemic. If you have an idea or objective to meet, but need help getting there, get in touch to speak to one of our innovation advisors!
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Series three and four of the Export Academy is live and open for registrations!

Series three and four 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.

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

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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 April to help maximise your business’ potential and offer advice on a number of key topics. This includes:

  • Institute of Technology Digital Employer Roundtable
  • Money Matters webinar
  • Sheffield Innovation Programme Intro Webinar – Design Futures Product
  • Mental Health and Work in the Pandemic – Returning to the Workplace
  • Sheffield Innovation Programme Intro Webinar – Design Futures Packaging
  • Institute of Technology Engineering & Manufacturing Employer Roundtable

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.

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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 6,000 other followers.
Search Sheffield City Region Community on LinkedIn or join our group directly.
Follow Sheffield City Region Growth Hub on social media
Please get in touch with us by emailing or visit our website for updates and further help and support.