Growth Hub June News: South Yorkshire business support, exporting funding and more…

Even more support available to businesses with launch of one-to-one service

South Yorkshire businesses can now benefit from an enhanced level of support from our Growth Hub with the launch of a strategic one-to-one service delivered by a team of expert Business Support Advisors and specialists.

The support has been introduced as a direct result of the Renewal Action Plan (RAP), developed by the Mayoral Combined Authority, which is led by Mayor Dan Jarvis, and sets out a roadmap for how the region can put itself on the path to recovering from the massive economic disruption the pandemic has caused.

Business Support Advisors who provide advice on a one-to-one basis are based in the local councils in Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield, with the specific purpose of delivering support to SMEs.

James Muir, Chair of the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, comments: “We made a promise that we would help businesses across our region to survive and thrive and that’s exactly what the Growth Hub’s free support service through the local authorities is here to do. We can and will help companies across South Yorkshire to overcome key challenges they are facing; whether that’s as a direct result of the pandemic, the UK’s transition from the EU or a general slowdown in business and/or the need to adapt to the current landscape to survive and grow.”

Advisors will carry out a full diagnostic for a business and offer guidance on the best actions to take to help the company to overcome barriers and identify other support schemes or funding opportunities available to help achieve its full growth potential.

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 the Sheffield City Region Growth Hub team today.


Welcome back!

Many businesses, including non-essential retail, hairdressers, nail salons, leisure facilities and indoor/outdoor attractions have now been able to re-open as part of the Government’s roadmap out of the current lockdown for England.  As part of this, to keep everyone safe, business owners must ask customers or visitors to scan the NHS QR code using their NHS COVID-19 app, or provide their name and contact details when visiting a business or location.  Businesses have been asked to display NHS QR code posters at their premises to support contact tracing.New vaccine toolkit for employers
To ensure employees have access to reliable information about COVID-19 vaccines, the Department for Health has launched a new toolkit for employers. Several major businesses, including Asda, IKEA and Santander, have already pledged to promote vaccine uptake with their employees and to allow flexibility for staff to get vaccinated during work hours.
The Vaccine Toolkit contains materials for you to run internal awareness campaigns promoting the benefits of vaccination, including key messages, posters, fact sheets and videos providing accurate up to date information. The government is calling on as many employers as possible to join the campaign and support the efforts to continue to bring the nation out of lockdown.
To find out more about the Vaccine Toolkit and to download more information, visit this page.Easing of Lockdown Restrictions
On Monday 14th June, the Prime Minister announced that the easing of lockdown restrictions would be extended by another 4 weeks to get as many adults vaccinated as possible. This extension will be potentially devastating news for some businesses, but rest assured the Growth Hub is here to provide support and guide you through the schemes and organisations on hand to help.

If you require any further assistance to help your business restart or recover from the economic impact of COVID-19, speak to one of our Growth Hub advisers about the support that could be available to you. Visit or email:

Grants available for South Yorkshire businesses that are new to import/export

Are you an SME business in South Yorkshire and are interested in learning more about importing or exporting?You could benefit from up to £2,000 from the SME Brexit Support Fund to help with training or professional advice, if your business has up to 500 employees and no more than £100 million annual turnover. The Deadline to apply is 30th June 2021*. You can use the grant for training on:

  • how to complete customs declarations
  • how to manage customs processes and use customs software and systems
  • specific import and export related aspects including VAT, excise and rules of origin
  • It can be used to help you get professional advice so your business can meet its customs, excise, import VAT or safety and security declaration requirements.

To access the grant, your business must:

  • be established in the UK
  • have been established in the UK for at least 12 months before submitting the application, or currently hold Authorised Economic Operator status
  • not have previously failed to meet its tax or customs obligations
  • have no more than 500 employees
  • have no more than £100 million turnover
  • only import or export goods between Great Britain and the EU, or move goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, if you already import or export goods from or to a non-EU country you are not eligible for his grant.

Your business must also either:

  • complete (or intend to complete) import or export declarations internally for its own goods
  • use someone else to complete import or export declarations but requires additional capability internally to effectively import or export (such as advice on rules of origin or advice on dealing with a supply chain)

How to apply
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is administering the grants for HMRC.  Apply here

For more information visit here.

*Applications will close on 30 June 2021 or earlier if all funding is allocated before this date.

Could your business grow through innovation?

Did you know the Growth Hub offers business support with innovation?  This could be anything from seeking an innovative approach to overcoming a current business problem, right through to integrating new software to make your business processes run more smoothly.  As a business you have to innovate to keep up.

Innovation isn’t just for technology businesses; it’s for all businesses, large or small, young and old. The Sheffield City Region has long been at the forefront of innovation in a number of key areas and the Growth Hub is here to support businesses to innovate. Our aim is for the region to be widely renowned for its innovative businesses and growing local economy.

Working with the Growth Hub can help your business to achieve sustainable growth through innovation.  Like to find out more? Visit the website.

Could you improve your workforce productivity through skills support and advice?

The Sheffield City Region Skills Bank aims to provide you with a single point of access for information, support, guidance and funding for skills. Our dedicated and specialist team of Skills Advisors can connect businesses to high-quality training providers to meet those needs.

Training accessed through Skills Bank could be in the form of an existing qualification or industry recognised training programme. Alternatively, training can be designed to meet your specific requirements.

Find out more here.

Why not lead the charge to NET Zero?

The UK Government is calling on small businesses to lead the charge to NET zero!The ‘Together for Our Planet’ Business Climate Leaders’ campaign is encouraging small and micro businesses to commit to cutting their emissions in half by 2030 and to achieve net zero by 2050 or sooner through the new UK Business Climate Hub.

Small businesses can use the hub to find practical tools, resources and advice to understand their emissions and develop a plan to tackle them, as well as providing ideas for practical steps they can take.
Businesses which commit by signing up to the SME Climate Commitment will be recognised by the United Nation’s Race to Zero campaign and will be joining governments, big businesses, cities, regions, and universities around the world that share the same mission.

What are the benefits of making the commitment?
Taking action on climate change will help businesses grow, seize new opportunities, create new jobs, encourage investment and adapt against the challenges of a changing planet. Reducing emissions can also lower businesses’ running costs, save you money and attract new customers – ultimately helping them maintain a competitive advantage locally and globally.

Signing up to the official SME Climate Commitment via the UK Business Climate Hub means small businesses will get access to assets and promotional materials to publicise their pledge, so they can show prospective customers evidence of their climate credentials. They will also be included on the UK Business Climate Hub’s list of businesses who have signed up and have the chance to feature in the campaign.

For more information visit  UK Business Climate Hub.

DIT Internationalisation Fund

If your business is looking to expand into international markets, the DIT Internationalisation Fund could help you successfully achieve that. The scheme offers match-funded grants between £1,000 and £9,000 to support areas like market research, translation or trade fairs.

To check eligibility and other service areas included in the fund, visit the website.

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

  • 18th June – Inspiring women in business – Mental Health Awareness
  • 22nd June – Gain more business from your website
  • 23rd June – Growth acceleration: unleashing ambitions
  • 24th June – How to write a winning tender for social enterprises and charities
  • 29th June – Legal 1 to 1 appointments
  • 30th June – Social Enterprises Start-up Workshop

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

The Renewal Action Plan

What you need to know about the Renewal Action Plan…

What is the Renewal Action Plan?
The Renewal Action Plan (RAP) produced by the Sheffield City Region Mayoral Combined Authority  is a road map to help South Yorkshire recover from the pandemic and put us on the path towards  social and economic renewal.
Who developed the Renewal Action Plan?
The Renewal Action Plan has been developed in close partnership with local authorities, businesses, trade unions, universities and other partners through the Mayor and the LEP’s COVID response groups.
What does it mean for the South Yorkshire region?
It will help people, employers and places recover from the impact of COVID-19 and put us on course to transform our region – making our economy and society stronger, greener and fairer.
Who does it benefit?
The RAP benefits:
People – supporting people adapt to the new economy and be better able to fill higher-skilled jobs
Employers – supporting businesses to adapt, survive and thrive in the new environment
Places – transforming our local economies to create jobs, and make our towns and cities stronger
How do businesses get support through the RAP?
The RAP aims to provide targeted support to 300 businesses and protect 15,000 jobs.
There are a number of ways that the RAP is supporting South Yorkshire businesses, these include:

– Providing employers with specialist business support that will help them adapt and survive this crisis. This will include for example cashflow insights, HR, legal and health & safety.
– Digital adoption and upskilling businesses with digitisation
– By providing locally administered business loans and grants to support growth plans.
– Providing SMEs and other small organisations with leadership, strategic, and operational support to organisations, enabling them to accelerate the radical change and make the key decisions needed for their businesses to grow.
– Support organisations to exploit supply chain opportunities to enable growth.

What changes can we expect to see in our area because of the RAP?

In the next 18 months the RAP will:

– Help people improve their skills, get back to work, remain and/or progress in work, or set up in business
– Accelerate our Net Zero Carbon transition
– Back our wealth and job creators
– Get South Yorkshire moving by foot, bike, bus, tram and train
– Put cranes in the sky and spades in the ground

How do we find out more?
Visit the website to download the RAP in full…

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.