Employment Allowance goes live 6th April 2014
The Autumn Statement included the brand new £2000 allowance, the Employment Allowance, to employers taking on new staff. This comes into effect on 6th April and will save thousands of employers £2000 in National Insurance contributions. View George Osborne's letter to employers here
More information about eligibility and how to claim here
West Mercia crime against business warning
West Mercia Police and Warwickshire Police alert credit/debit card holders of a new courier crime.
You receive a call, supposedly from your bank or the Police, advising you that your card details has been used fraudulently. The caller asks you to ring them back, but they actually stay on the line, so even if you look up the genuine number you will not reach that number. The criminal will then ask you for your PIN and advises that a courier or taxi will call for your card. The car calls at your address and takes your card with them – they already, of course, have your pin.
View/print Police poster here
Heart of England Fine Foods Business Newsletter
Read the Friday 28 February 2014 issue here
Creative Employment Programme – Creative & Cultural Skills
The Creative Employment Programme is a £15m fund to support the creation of traineeships, formal apprenticeship and paid internship opportunities in England for young unemployed people aged 16-24 wishing to pursue a career in the arts and cultural sector.
The fund can provide part wage grants to employers who create new apprenticeship and internship job opportunities for young unemployed people aged 16-24 in England.
Employers will need to make an application for funding in order to access a part wage grant. Application deadlines occur throughout the year. The next deadline is and 21 March 2014
More information here
Department for Work and Pensions removes 16 hour rule on traineeships
From Monday, 3 March the Department for Work and Pensions is removing the '16-hour rule' for training that has applied to Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) claimants participating in Traineeships in England.
It means JSA claimants aged 19+ will be able to participate in a Traineeship programme for up to 30 hours a week without affecting their JSA entitlement. The removal of the '16-hour rule' applies only to the Traineeship programme and includes all new and existing participants.
For any enquiries, please email
Richard Asghar-Sandys, Regional Chairman for Shropshire, Herefordshire & Worcestershire said:
"This is a very sensible decision and will benefit those wishing to enter the workforce via a traineeship and make life a lot more flexible for employers who want to offer traineeships on a 16+ hour basis. I hope that we shall see people taking up this opportunity, building their skill base and enjoying the rewards of a fulfilling career."
Help available to local businesses affected by flooding
Malvern Hills District Council would like to hear from any small or medium-sized businesses in the Malvern Hills district that have been affected by flooding.
The Government announced yesterday (17th February) that funding will be made available to small and medium sized enterprises which need help to recover. Whilst details are not yet confirmed on exactly which authorities will receive support and how much this will be, MHDC is keen to ensure they are ready to roll out support to those affected as soon as possible.
A range of costs may be covered
Eligible businesses will be able to claim for costs which could include immediate clean-up costs, materials, exceptional business costs (such as hire of drying equipment) and temporary accommodation to enable them to continue trading. Business continuity planning and marketing costs may also be covered.
Details are still emerging
Full details of the scheme are yet to be finalized. Further details will be announced by the Government this week and background information can be found online here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-floods-10-million-support-scheme-for-flood-affected-businesses
The council also wants to understand how local businesses have been affected as they may be able to assist them in other ways.
Please contact them as soon as possible with the following information:
- Name and location of business
- Contact details
- Date(s) affected?
- What type of impact (direct or indirect*)?
- What impact has this had on your business?
- What could have been done to prevent it?
- What support is required to assist you getting back on your feet?
Please send emails with your response to the details above to email@example.com.
* Any grants made available will cover direct and indirect impacts within affected areas, but will not cover loss of trade suffered by businesses outside of directly affected areas:
- Direct impacts: business has suffered direct damage and loss to premises, equipment and/or stock and has been unable to trade normally as a result of flooding
- Indirect: business has had no or highly limited access to premises, equipment and/or stock as a result of flooding, restricted access to customers and suppliers and suffered significant loss of trade.
Free advice is also available
A Government Business Support Helpline is providing comprehensive advice and support to businesses affected by floods. The Helpline will offer a free one hour call with a dedicated Business Support Adviser to help businesses get back on their feet.
The helpline number is 0300 456 3565 and can take calls from flood affected businesses now
Help is also available for farmers suffering water-logged fields the government announced today.
Do you run a Herefordshire based business?
Have you been affected by the recent floods, either directly or through business disruption through road closures, diminished footfall and so on?
Herefordshire Council would like to hear from you.
More information here
UKTI Explore Support Event
UK Trade & Investment West Midlands is delighted to announce the launch of Export Week: Grow your Business (7 – 11 April 2014)
More information and registration here.
PM Unveils New £10 Million Business Support Scheme To Help Flood Affected Businesses Get Back On Their Feet
As part of the Government's ongoing work to deal with the floods, the Prime Minister has today set out further support for businesses in areas affected by flooding.
Building on last week's package of support for businesses and households, the Prime Minister announced:
- A new Business Support Scheme worth up to £10million to provide hardship funding for SME businesses in areas affected by the floods. Both businesses that have been flooded, and businesses that are in affected areas and have suffered significant loss of trade, will be able to apply for support. Eligible businesses will be able to claim for funding for things like immediate clean-up costs, materials, and exceptional costs to help them continue trading.
- Extra time for businesses to file accounts without any penalties. If any affected company is unable to file accounts or other documents on time as a direct result of the floods, Companies House will agree an extension and not collect thepenalties which apply for late filings.
- A Government Business Support Helpline is providing comprehensive advice and support to businesses affected by floods.The Helpline will offer a free one hour call with a dedicated Business Support Adviser to help businesses get back on their feet. The helpline number is 0300 456 3565 and can take calls from flood affected businesses now.
Alongside this Government action, the Government also welcomes the initiative from Enterprise Nation to bring together big business offers of assistance to small firms affected by the floods. These offer of assistance include:
- Regus, the global workspace provider with 220 business centres across the UK, is coming to the aid of businesses by offering free workspace to workers affected by the floods.Those who cannot work in their normal location – whether that's an office or their home – will be given free access to the business lounge within any Regus centre, providing professional workspace, wifi and complementary refreshments.
- Citrix has pledged to support small businesses affected by the floods byletting them useGoToMeeting free on a trial basis for up to 3 months (90 days) for quick and easy online meetings with employees and customers. GoToMeeting is quick to install and allows you to connect face-to-face and work with people important to your business via a mobile, tablet or PC wherever you or they happen to be.
Prime Minister David Cameron said:
"The Government is taking action across the board to deal with the clear-up and help hard-working people affected by the floods.Today I am announcing further support for businesses hit to help them get back on their feet.Dealing with these floods will be a long haul,requiring a stepped-up national effort with the whole country pulling together.We will continue to help the people who need help and protect the communities that need protecting."
Business Secretary Vince Cable said:
"It is vital that small businesses affected by the flooding get assistance as quickly as possible. We know the insurance companies are working to process claims as quickly as possible and we will inform local authorities of their allocations from the Business Support Scheme on Thursday to assist businesses with clean-up costs or help them to continue trading.
"I encourage all businesses affected by flooding to get in touch with their local authority or contact the Business Support Helpline, where our team of advisers will be able to direct people to a wide range of practical help and advice."
Creative Employment Programme - Creative & Cultural Skills
The Creative Employment Programme is a £15m fund to support the creation of traineeships, formal apprenticeship and paid internship opportunities in England for young unemployed people aged 16-24 wishing to pursue a career in the arts and cultural sector. The fund can provide part wage grants to employers who create new apprenticeship and internship job opportunities for young unemployed people aged 16-24 in England. Employers will need to make an application for funding in order to access a part wage grant. Application deadlines occur throughout the year. The next deadlines are 14 February and 21 March 2014. More information here.
Growth Vouchers: Helping small businesses to grow
A new Government scheme is offering Growth Vouchers for small businesses to access expert advice under the themes of: raising finance and managing cash flow; recruiting and developing staff; improving leadership and management skills; marketing, attracting and keeping customers; and making the most of digital technology.
The Government will help small businesses to firstly assess their needs and secondly to find a supplier who can best support them. Some small businesses will be offered match funding of up to £2,000 to help pay for the advice they need. Small firms can spend as much or as little as they want on the advice but the maximum subsidy will be £2,000.
Private sector suppliers can register to be listed on the Enterprise Nation online marketplace through which small businesses can redeem their vouchers. Small businesses will pay the supplier and then claim back up to £2,000 from government.>
Vouchers are available to small businesses in England who have been in existence for over one year, have fewer than 50 employees and have not sought strategic business advice before. The programme aims to provide support to around 20,000 small businesses, who can apply for Growth Vouchers at www.growthvouchers.co.uk
If you have any questions please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marches Annual Skills Review for 2013
Please see here for full report
Worcestershire Business Central Events
View the schedule
More information and booking please contact Worcestershire Business Central here