Growth Hub December News: UK Transition and further COVID support…

Time is running out to prepare your business for the UK’s Transition from the European Union

New rules have come into force on 1st January 2021 as the UK has left the EU single market and customs union. Businesses should take action now to meet these changes. To help you prepare, we have developed our UK Transition Resilience Tool which enables business managers to check what their strengths and vulnerabilities are ahead of Brexit.

It will take around 15-20 minutes for you to complete all of the information we need and in return you will receive a personalised report from our experts, which will make some recommendations on actions to take. It also offers a useful productivity benchmarking tool, to help you to evaluate your business against regional and national averages in your sector. For more information and to complete the tool, click here.

The Growth Hub Gateway team are also on hand to help and support you through the transition. For help, advice or to speak to an advisor, call 0330 00 00 39 or email

As Coronavirus restrictions continue across the UK, including here in South Yorkshire, which has been placed in Tier 3, the Growth Hub team is working hard to ensure we have the most up to date information available to guide you through.

This includes details of the various levels of financial support available to help businesses, suppliers and employees across the Sheffield City Region to not only survive but thrive during this challenging time.  For example, businesses affected due to the local or national lockdown restrictions can apply for financial support through the Additional Restrictions Grant.Whether you’re a travel agent, wedding planner, hairdresser, caterer, florist, restaurant/pub owner or any other small business – if you’ve had to close due to the new tier restrictions or change the way you work (e.g. offering click and collect or takeaway only), you may be eligible for the Additional Restrictions Grant. If you supply other local businesses, you could make a claim through the Supply Chain Support Grant. Businesses that received the Local Restrictions Support Grant will also receive an automatic top-up payment from their local authority. For more information and details on how to apply, click here. Hurry though, applications will close soon.

Tier restrictions are due to be reviewed every 14 days and we will be on hand to provide you with the latest updates as and when they are available. Keep an eye on the Growth Hub website or contact our team of expert advisors, by emailing

Are you interested in joining a Peer Network?

Are you looking to build your contacts locally and to benefit from collaboration with others to solve business challenges?

Peer Networks is a new programme that we are delivering in partnership with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) for SMEs across our region. It allows business leaders to work collaboratively with others in a virtual setting to build trusted connections that will support them now and in the future, with a view to improving their long term personal and business performance.

Peer Networks are being established at a vital time for the South Yorkshire economy as local businesses look to recover from the effects of the current pandemic. During the programme, businesses will be able to use the peer groups as an open forum to navigate their way through the challenges their industry may face, whilst also creating a network of like-minded businesses to keep in touch with, even after the sessions have ended.

In these unprecedented times, we believe this is a vital resource that will enhance and strengthen the local business community so we can build back better for a stronger post-COVID recovery. For more information about Peer Networks and to apply for the scheme, click here.

Re-Start to Growth – you can still benefit!

There is no denying the impact that the global pandemic has had on this region’s economy but the Re-Start to Growth initiative is really making a difference in helping businesses that were at risk of closing. And the good news is you can still get involved!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 Growth Hub team about the Re-Start to Growth initiative.

The initiative gives businesses access to experienced and skilled experts to help assess, plan and restart their business through an agreed programme of intensive support. This free initiative comprises two full days with an experienced growth specialist, who can offer business leaders help and guidance in the following areas:

  • Strategic planning & Leadership support
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Operations
  • Financial advice
  • Skills and also Digital/IT

Do you have ambitions for growth?

The Mentoring for Growth programme gives you, as a senior manager of an established company, individual support from an experienced business leader. Focussed on providing flexible, high impact mentoring support for growing businesses, this programme matches SME business leaders with the ambition, drive and ability to achieve growth and a clear impact on their productivity, with credible mentors sourced from leading firms including GSK, Siemens, BAE, John Lewis, Amazon, BT, Cisco, KMPG and others.

Following a matching exercising of requirements, business needs and challenges faced, SME businesses are introduced to an appropriate mentor and up to 12 sessions can be held either face to face or virtually to suit individual needs.

We have had excellent feedback from businesses who have taken part in this scheme and there is still time to get involved! To find out more, click here.

Tech support through Winning Moves!

Digital technology has been rapidly adopted as a direct result of the Covid-19 lockdown and more businesses are operating in the cloud and trading online than ever before. Businesses in our region with up to 20 full time employees could take advantage of Winning Moves – a programme to help you through the current trading challenges using digital technologies.  On this programme, Digital Technology experts can help you improve the profitability, resilience and performance of your business.
Winning Moves could help you with:
  • Protecting and managing your financial resources
  • Adapting your operations to conform to social distancing rules
  • Developing fresh ways of attracting new and retaining existing customers
  • Identifying how you can continue to deliver a great customer experience
  • Developing a more flexible and resilient business model
  • Identifying ways to reduce costs and manage cash flow
  • Pinpointing where training development could have greatest impact
  • Protecting against risk of cyber attacks

The process starts with an expert carrying out a Digital Technology Health Check.  They will then work with you to develop new ideas on how you can adapt and change your operations.  Finally, your Digital Technology Expert will agree an implementation roadmap plan with you.  This will identify technology options, critical actions, resources and what finance you may need.

To secure a place now on a Winning Moves programme, call 03330 00 00 39 or email: or visit the website

Free service enhances workplace support for Barnsley employees

Flexseal, a specialist manufacturer and distributor in Barnsley, have been embracing the support from Working Win to add to the ways they already look after their teams and ensure they stay well in work.

Working Win is a completely free service for employees with physical or mental health conditions and works with people to build on their strengths and to feel settled in their role. Working Win has been extended to support our region’s recovery from the Coronavirus outbreak, by helping employees to feel settled and to flourish in their job role. It also supports people who are off sick to return to work.
Sarah Andrews, HR Manager, said:

“Our employees have benefitted from receiving impartial one-to-one support which has included working with their health care team as well as providing debt and benefits advice.

“By Flexseal working in partnership with the coaches from Working Win, it has helped us to provide the right support to our people when they have needed it.”

The support includes the involvement of Occupational Health, access to mental health first aiders, mental health awareness training, and an open-door policy for all employees. Flexseal has referred a number of employees onto the programme who are now receiving support from Working Win coaches.

Places are limited and referrals will close on 31st January 2021. Find out more on the Sheffield City Region Mayoral Combined Authority website.

Devolution in action: commissioning begins for new city region skills providers

As part of its Devolution Deal, the Sheffield City Region Mayoral Combined Authority will take responsibility for devolved Adult Education Budget (AEB) from August 1st, 2021 and will commission adult skills provision for the residents of Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield.The procurement exercise is now open for any organisation who would like to deliver provision funded through the devolved adult education budget to South Yorkshire residents.  It’s a chance to be part of devolution in action.

Nigel Brewster, vice-chair of the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), added:
“This is an exciting opportunity for our region. We are transforming our approach to local skills delivery to make sure our residents have the skills they need to get jobs in local businesses. There are several growth industries that will require specific skills in the future, such as advanced manufacturing and digital.

“Supporting people to find and get on in work and backing businesses to grow is critical to our region’s recovery from the Coronavirus pandemic.”

Transforming adult education is part of the Mayoral Combined Authority’s Renewal Action Plan promise to give a hand up for people to improve their skills, get back to work, remain and progress in work.

You can find out more about the adult education budget on the Sheffield City Region Mayoral Combined Authority website.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas

We would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy and more prosperous New Year.

The Gateway team will be taking calls until close of business on 23rd December 2020 and responding to emails on the 24th December 2020. The Gateway phonelines will reopen at 9am on 4th Jan 2021 and any emails or voicemails received over the Christmas period will be picked up from the 4th.

Be sure you continue to follow us on social media following the links below to find out about all the latest schemes and support available to you and your business in 2021.

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Please get in touch with us by emailing or visit our website for updates and further help and support.