Items of Interest

1.The University of Bristol is considering running a series of short (one hour) online courses, at least one being on the theme of retailing and consumer behaviour in uncertain times. Initial feedback from our business impact survey (which, if you haven’t already done so, you can take here) suggests that there is an appetite for this type of support in the context of economic recovery from the pandemic, and in terms for instance of marketing and advertising. Please let us know if you think this would be useful and whether you’d be likely to participate, and we will continue to work on the proposal with the University.

2. The UK Government has announced a new 100% government backed loan scheme for small business. Going live on Monday 4 May, businesses will be able to borrow between 2,000 and 50,000 and access the cash within days, and loans will be interest free for the first 12 months, with an online application process through a short and simple form; more here.

3.Join the Black South West Network (BSWN) and colleagues for the first in a series of virtual webinars for local Black and Asian businesses, Friday 1 May (2pm-3.30pm); book here. 

4. If you’re a creative freelancer and/or sole trader in Bristol, please contribute to BCC Arts Development Team’s survey, which will help the team get the most up to date picture of how the current situation is impacting the sector, where any gaps are, and influence where best to focus future support and advocacy. Take the survey, which closes on Thursday 7 May, here, and please send it onto any of your contacts or networks it would be relevant to. If you need help to access or fill in the form, phone the Arts Development Team on 01179 222716, or email artsdevelopment@bristol.gov.uk.

5. The UK Government has updated its coronavirus guidance for apprentices, employers and training providers; more here.

6. The UK Government has launched a free-to-use online skills toolkit that people currently at home because of lockdown can use to develop their skills; find out more here and here.

7. Please note that the Ocean fund offering advertising support to retailers and SMEs most severely affected by the Covid-19 crisis, mentioned in the last bulletin, is currently closed. There is a possibility that registration for it will reopen, and anybody interested is advised to follow Ocean on Twitter; more here.

8.View the second edition of new local music magazine Loud here.