Items of Interest

1. The Council’s Employment Support Team are helping residents of Bristol by spreading the word about local temporary vacancies. If you are looking for temp (or new) staff, please send any local vacancies to who will promote them through our Ways2Work network. Some will also then appear on the Council’s feeds.  All that Employment Support do is aimed at helping residents into work and is free of charge. The Team are also preparing a series of short reports on the impact of Covid-19 on employment in different sectors in Bristol. If you are able to, please forward a paragraph – anecdote or statistics – to Chris at the above address, or if you prefer to me and I’ll forward them on.

2. Purchasing vouchers and gift cards to be used later in the year are ways to support Bristol businesses. Find out more about some potential options, courtesy of Visit Bristol, here.

3. Food redistribution organisations across England will benefit from 3.25m of government funding to help them cut food waste and redistribute up to 14,000 tonnes of surplus stock during the coronavirus outbreak. All food redistribution businesses and charities will be encouraged to bid for grants over the coming month, including those whose volunteer programmes have been affected by social distancing measures or those that cannot access their usual commercial support network; more here.

4. The 5m Prince’s Trust and NatWest Enterprise Relief Fund will offer grants to 18 to 30-year olds across the UK who are self-employed and/or running their own business. In conjunction with cash grants, the initiative will offer one-to-one support and guidance to anyone who needs it and who may be worried about their future; more here.

5. HMRC has produced a video to help you learn more about the support available to help you deal with the economic impacts of coronavirus. You can also register for live and recorded webinars; more here.

6. The UK Government’s Gigabit Voucher Scheme aims to make it easier for businesses and homes to get future-proof gigabit-ready broadband. Vouchers can be used by small businesses and the local communities surrounding them to contribute to the installation cost of a gigabit-capable connection. Businesses can claim up to 2.5k against the cost of connection either individually or as part of a group project. Residents can benefit from the scheme with a voucher worth 500 as part of a group project. But the offer is time-limited; businesses can find out more here. There’s never been a better time to take advantage.

7. The latest in Enterprise Nation’s continuing series of themed Lunch and Learn webinars (between 12pm & 12.30pm) to provide small businesses with a boost and to offer some advice: How to do PR in times of uncertainty on Tuesday 7 April, book here; How your small business can make a big difference on Wednesday 8 April, book here; Remote learning tech tips on Thursday 9 April, book here.

8.Innovate UK is investing up to 20m in business projects to develop innovative and ambitious ideas addressing the needs of society or industry resulting from the coronavirus outbreak. Businesses can attract up to 50k as an upfront grant payment to cover the full costs of a project lasting up to 6 months. Ideas should aim to help key industries and services disrupted by the pandemic and its aftermath. This fast-track competition is open for 10 working days, with a deadline of midday Friday 17 April to apply. Projects with strong potential could attract follow-on funding. Find out more here.