Growth Hub November News: COVID support, UK Transition, plus newly launched schemes…

Further Covid Financial Support Announced

Have you been forced to close your business due to the local restrictions? Or has your business been adversely affected because of the pandemic?
If so, you may be eligible for financial relief due to the new Additional Restrictions Grant distributed by your local authority.

Hospitality, leisure and non-essential retail businesses are eligible to receive a one-off payment grant, based on their rateable or rental values, to help them whilst restrictions are in place.

Businesses that have no rateable value and have been forced to close or been adversely affected will also be eligible. These grants will be based on rental value and are in addition to the Government support already announced.

To find out where to apply, click here.

Business in the supply chain for the hospitality, leisure, tourism and events industries may too be eligible for the Supply Chain Support Grant scheme. Check with your local authority for eligibility.

Information about Government support available to businesses, including the new Local Restrictions Support Grant, can be found here.

Be prepared for the UK transition with business webinars!

Prepare your business for new rules from January 2021 when the UK leaves the EU single market and customs union.

The end of the transition period means businesses should take action now to prepare for guaranteed changes and new rules from January 2021. Business Secretary Alok Sharma has released an urgent message to assist businesses, which you can read below or here.

Why not join a free webinar to understand the actions that your business needs to take before the end of the year. Sign-up to attend here. 

Seven new advisors join the Growth Hub

Following the launch of the ambitious £1.7bn Renewal Action Plan (RAP) by the Mayoral Combined Authority, Mayor Dan Jarvis and the Local Enterprise Partnership’s, the appointment of the Business Growth Specialists shows how the Sheffield City Region is investing in supporting local businesses.

The six new members include Steve McKevitt, Caroline Barker, Steve Lyon, Paul Moorhead, Mike Brook, Time Steele and John Mellor, who join a well-established, experienced team at the Growth Hub offering a wide range of business support.

Read more about the advisors here.

Peer Networks

Businesses are being invited to take part in a new online peer-to-peer networking programme for SMEs across our region.

Here groups of individuals will collaboratively work in a virtual setting with others to come up with solutions to common business issues. You will benefit from interactive learning, enabling you to discuss your own challenges, reflect on valuable feedback and implement practical solutions to overcome them.

Facilitators with expertise in everything from finance and HR to sales, marketing and more will give you the flexibility to create a trusted support network that works for you, helping you to build and strengthen your business and improve its overall performance.

Peer Networks are designed for business leaders who want to grow and develop their organisation for future success.

The programme is available to any Sheffield City Region SME business that has:

  • Operated for at least one year
  • At least five employees
  • A turnover of at least £100,000
  • An aspiration to improve
  • Ideally the potential to scale up or export or is exporting already.

For more details about the Programme click here

Do you have a business idea, product or concept that could benefit from expert help?

Your business could receive fully funded innovation support from Sheffield Hallam University and the University of Sheffield as part of the Sheffield Innovation Programme.

The programme aims to stimulate business growth and promote the development of long-term relationships with SMEs by providing access to a broad range of academic expertise and university facilities. A joint initiative between the two Universities of the region – Sheffield Hallam University and the University of Sheffield, the programme provides support in the form of bespoke research and innovation-based consultancy, workshops and other events.

Contact the Growth Hub for more information now on 03330 00 00 39 to see how we can help develop your business, or contact the SIP team direct to take advantage of the bespoke consultancy and workshops on offer through the project.

For more information visit the website.

Tips to keep your business ticking over during the pandemic

If your business has been able to remain open during the COVID 19 outbreak, it’s important to put measures in place to make sure that you are reducing the risk of having to close due to Track and Trace rules. Here are some handy tips direct from the Growth Hub advisors to help:

  • Stagger your staff’s start and finish times to ensure there is not a congregation of people arriving and leaving at once, allowing space for social distancing.
  • Create ‘bubbles’ for teams of staff with designated working areas so that if a member of your team has to self-isolate, only other members of their bubble will be required to join them.
  • Make sure that equipment used by multiple team members or bubbles is cleaned thoroughly after use, reducing contamination.
  • Let your team know that they have your support. If anyone starts to show symptoms or needs to self-isolate it’s important that they stay at home to reduce the spread of the virus, but also to keep your business operational.

Could your business benefit from digital technology support?

In partnership with Winning Moves, the Growth Hub is now offering support to help businesses embrace digital technology to recover and thrive!

Find out more about this scheme here.

The way you hire from the EU is changing

From 1 January 2021, freedom of movement between the UK and EU will see the introduction of a new points-based immigration system. The new system will introduce job, salary and language requirements, treating EU and non-EU citizens equally and transforming the way in which employers recruit from outside the UK. From 1 January 2021, you will need a sponsor license to hire most eligible people from outside the UK, excluding Irish citizens, who are exempt. The process usually takes around eight weeks and fees apply. You can find out more at 

Are you an SME looking to grow your business and recruit a talented graduate? The RISE business support initiative could be for you! Applications close this Friday 27th November

RISE offers you:

  • free access to a high-quality talent pool, candidate matching and interview administration
  • full support to scope and advertise your graduate role
  • business support tools and workshop to make the most of your graduate hire
  • ongoing support at 3 and 6 months into the graduate’s employment
  • grants from £1K for the first hire you make

The RISE Talent Pool is now live and you can find out more at or contact Sarah Stanley, RISE SME Engagement Manager to discuss and confirm your eligibility –

Coffee company gets a break with our support

Many businesses have benefited from our Re-Start to Growth initiative, launched this summer to give businesses access to experienced and skilled experts to help plan and restart their company following the March lockdown.

Cafeology is one such company and when Lockdown arrived, it saw its customer orders, which were mainly from pubs, venues, hotels, restaurants, colleges and universities, reduce by 90%.
John Hassall, Business Growth Specialist at the Sheffield City Region Growth Hub, carried out four one-to-one sessions specifically focused on the business’ needs, run over a four-week period. The aim was to refocus their efforts on the identification of new markets and new income streams which would mean Cafeology could retain its workforce and gain new sales.

Bryan Unkles, Director of Cafeology, an independently owned coffee supplier based in Sheffield, explains: “At the start of Lockdown, Covid-19 had a devastating impact on our business. Our sales of trade coffee dropped massively over-night and we had to look at new markets. It has been great to work with the Growth Hub which has given us that important external perspective. They have challenged us about what we wanted to do and why and provided us with a structured business plan for the next three years.”

To read the full article click here.

Businesses of South Yorkshire we need YOU!

The four South Yorkshire Colleges (Barnsley College, DN Colleges Group, RNN Group and The Sheffield College) and Sheffield Hallam University are coming together on an exciting project to deliver high level, high quality, employer led, technical education across the region BUT we need your help!

Please complete a very short survey to tell us what and where you have skills gaps, what type of training you are looking for and what you see as your biggest challenges for the next 3-5 years. The information is provided anonymously and will help us in our understanding of your skills challenges in the short and medium term.

Complete Survey

Give your business a Kickstart

The Government’s new Kickstart scheme is now available to businesses in the Sheffield City Region. The £2 billion scheme provides funding for employers to create subsidised job placements for 16 to 24 year olds. The aim is to create hundreds of thousands of high quality six-month work placements for young people who are on Universal Credit and deemed to be at risk of long term unemployment.

There will also be extra funding to support young people to build their experience and help them move into sustained employment after they have completed their Kickstart funded job. The funding for each job will cover 100% of the relevant national minimum wage for 25 hours a week, plus the associated employer national insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions.

You can apply online if your business is able to offer a minimum of 30 job placements. If you are unable to offer this many job placements, a Kickstart gateway can act on your behalf and apply for a Kickstart Scheme grant for you.

Find out more and check if your business can apply.

For more details, click here

£500,000 Funding Secured To Extend Employment Support Programme

The trail blazing scheme, which helps people stay in training and work, has been extended to help the region’s fightback against the Coronavirus pandemic.

Working Win, which offers free coaching and training to help people with health issues to stay in work for longer, is being extended until March 2021. A further 450 people will be supported during the extension.

Working Win can help by supporting existing employees who are struggling or off sick due to a mental or physical health condition. Working Win works with people to build on their strengths and manage their wellbeing, and can also support them to talk to their employer about their needs at work.

Find out more and register for support.

Finance for brokers

If you are looking for independent advice on the finance options available to your business, we have partnered with organisations Funding Finder and Finpoint which work directly with a host of finance providers.

If you don’t yet know your exact funding requirements and would like to discuss your business needs beforehand then why not speak to one of our Access to Finance Advisors.

For more details, find out more about the finance brokers we work with by clicking here.

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 5,000 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 for further help and support.