This is the latest update of the support that Coast to Capital LEP and the Coast to Capital Growth Hub Team are providing to businesses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The support of the Growth Hub has developed from providing a focus on emergency response activity and advice, to providing support to businesses as more return to operational activity and implement recovery plans.
Coast to Capital Growth Hub is developing its response to include:
- A new set of one to one clinics to support recovery
- Introducing recovery tools to help businesses determine priorities and action plan.
- Working in partnership with other organisations to develop critical webinars for key sectors and topics
- Reviewing a new style of peer to peer networks
We remain keen to work in partnership with local authorities and membership organisations, to deliver a coordinated range of activities during these challenging times. If you have any questions please get in touch with the Growth Hub team through our online contact form.
Working with Local Authorities and Membership Organisations
Colleagues from Coast to Capital are in regular contact with local authorities and membership organisations, which includes the following engagement;
- Our Chief Operating Officer, Anthony Middleton, is in regular contact with Local Authority CEOs.
- Our Chief Executive, Jonathan Sharrock, also has regular conference calls with Local Authority Leaders, as well as providing a weekly update to LA CEOs and Leaders.
- Growth Hub team members Richard Butcher and Lou Williams attend the West Sussex and Surrey Local Authority EDO meetings.
If you would like to discuss any matter related to the Growth Hub please contact Richard Butcher in the first instance by email.
Discretionary Business Fund
The Growth Hub is aware that the discretionary Business Fund (Top Up Fund) is unlikely to meet the demand from businesses. The Coast to Capital Growth Hub is happy to assist with helping Local Authorities identify potential applicants, including those that were unsuccessful in securing funds though the Coast to Capital Backing Business Fund.
Backing Business Grants
We are pleased to announce that more than 80 businesses have been supported so far by the Coast to Capital Backing Business Grants fund of £5,000 - £25,000, totalling £1 million. The grant fund was set up to help businesses in the Coast to Capital area mitigate the impact of COVID-19 by adapting, innovating or evolving their business. The remainder of the £2 million fund will be allocated shortly and the funding team are working hard to support as many businesses as possible.
Example businesses awarded grant funding:
- In Steyning, The Sussex Produce Company were awarded £16,207 to evolve the business to allow for deliveries and invest in a website.
- In Hove, Body Happy Ltd were awarded £21,600 to help set up remote training sessions.
- In Leatherhead, Richard Rogers Conservations were awarded £18,581 towards equipment and software which will allow products to be purchased online through a bespoke website.
Over the coming weeks, Coast to Capital will be sharing more success stories from businesses who have been awarded funding across West Sussex, Brighton & Hove and East Surrey. Details of the successful applicant can be found in the resource section of the Backing Business Fund page on the Coast to Capital website.
The team promote successful applicants on the Growth Hub twitter page and the Communication Team are putting together case studies.
Business Recovery Support Sessions
Coast to Capital Growth Hub is providing, through our network of experts, FREE and impartial one hour 1-2-1 advice on topics to support businesses as they return to work and implement recovery plans.
To access this support please ask your contacts to complete our Request Form including the topic you want to discuss in order that we can organise advice sessions. Topics can include:
- Developing a safe and COVID-19 compliant working environment
- Supporting teams back to work
- Supporting leadership resilience
- Repurposing the business and introducing innovation
- Remote team building
- Recovery planning
- Developing an online presence
Feedback from our previous clinic sessions include:
"Thank you for your call and advice. I found it really useful and motivating. It was really nice to know there was someone out there willing to help us during these difficult times" "I am still processing the session with you Jeremy. It was massively beneficial and you understood where I am at with my business"
Collaboration on Local Events
A wide range of webinars and online events are available for businesses to access. We regularly update our event pages on the Growth Hub website to include information from membership organisations, the private sector and business support providers. An example includes:
Business resilience and recovery webinar series
This is a free four-part webinar series created in partnership with the University of Brighton and Business East Sussex, responding to themes emerging from clinic sessions with businesses since the outset of the COVID pandemic. Speakers include experts from the University of Brighton's Centre for Change, Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management (CENTRIM). Register online here.
The webinar series includes the following sessions:
- Wednesday 27 May - The Digital Device Landscape: When to phone, when to message, when to email, when to video call
- Friday 29 May - Crisis Innovation
- Monday 1 June - Digital Transformation
- Thursday 4 June - Exploiting Agility for Advantage
The Growth Hub Team continue to maintain the COVID-19 section of the Growth Hub Portal with links to the available support. We continue to collate partner information and place it in our COVID-19 Business Support area of the Coast to Capital Growth Hub.
Reporting to Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS)
The Coast to Capital team report issues, impacts, requests, successes and concerns to the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) each Monday by 12 noon.
Surrey Chambers, Sussex Chamber and Brighton Chamber are working in partnership with the Growth Hub to undertake surveys with local businesses. This together with the Growth Hub and Growth Champion surveys has resulted in 328 COVID-19 impact assessments having been undertaken. Headlines from this are illustrated in the attached info graphic, along with the latest report submitted to BEIS.
If you have information that you want to feed in to BEIS please send it to Jon Alderman and we will include it in our analysis and reporting.