Items of Interest

1.Read Mayor Marvin Rees’ recent blog on how businesses are being supported during the COVID-19 outbreakhere.

2.The UK Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme officially opened today (20 April); further details here.

3.And a new package of funding tailored for firms in some of the most dynamic sectors of the UK economy – ranging from tech to life sciences – will help them through the current crisis so they can continue to develop innovative new products. The package includes a new 500 million loan scheme for high-growth firms called the Future Fund, and 750 million of targeted support for SMEs focusing on research and development; more here.

4.Click here for further information on financial help if you’ve lost your job or had a drop in your income because of COVID-19. The page includes a useful benefits calculator.

5.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 keep your food and drink business operating on Tuesday 21 April, book here; Using social media in uncertain times on Wednesday 22 April, book here; Building a customer-focused business on Thursday 23 April, book here; and Starting a business during the COVID-19 crisis on Friday 24 April, book here.

6. Babbasa Youth Empowerment CIC’s Skill Swap online festival taking place between Monday 27 and Tuesday 28 April will allow participants to rest, reflect, learn and share in a variety of ways; further details here.

7.View a map showing where you can pick up essential shopping here; you can also click through (at the top of the page) to a map of local independents delivering and providing remote services.

8.View a range of information for retailers from the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) here.

9.The Bristol Bike Project, with assistance from Bristol City Council, are currently offering a 100 discount and free D-lock and lights for any key worker. If you’re a key worker in need of a bike for transport, or an urgent repair on your bike, email, include your phone number, and they will get back to you to arrange an appointment; more here.

10.The #LightItBlue and #MakeItBlue campaigns have been organised by the events and entertainment industry, to salute NHS staff risking their own health to care for others during the COVID-19 pandemic; find out more and how to help here.

11.  Under the Laughter in Lockdown banner, the Bristol Slapstick Festival is in the process of releasing a decade’s worth of previously unseen footage onto its YouTube channel. Latest content includes performances by John Cleese, Rory Bremner and Tim Vine; more here.