Items of Interest

1. The UK Government’s new 100% government backed loan scheme for small business is now live. Through the Bounce Back loan scheme, 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 from the official site here, and further guidance from Enterprise Nation here.

2. Following a UK Government announcement late last week, a discretionary fund is being set up for certain small businesses previously outside the scope of the coronavirus business grant funds schemes. This additional fund – with grants of up to £25,000 – is aimed at small businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs and will prioritise businesses in shared spaces, regular market traders, small charity properties that would meet the criteria for Small Business Rates Relief, and bed and breakfasts that pay council tax rather than business rates. Full details of the scheme are to be confirmed by UK Government, and BCC will communicate more on it in due course; more here.

3. An emergency business resilience support servicein Bristol is now live, providing assistance to micro businesses (less than 10 employees), including the self-employed/freelancers, in business sectors/activities across the city facing particular difficulty as a result of the current coronavirus lock-down. The website can be accessed here, or phone the helpline 0800 917 9324 (9am-5pm, Mon-Fri) or email

4.The UK Government is hosting a series of live webinars on aspects of business support available during the coronavirus outbreak. A number of YouTube videos are also available; more here.

5.Power to Change, the independent trust that supports community businesses in England, is launching up to £12 million of emergency support to provide both immediate and medium-term help for community businesses facing a loss of trading income during the coronavirus crisis; read more here.

6.Normally taking place in restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars across Bristol, the next instalment of Belly Laughs will be held in the comfort of your own living room. Belly Laughs At Home on Sunday 10 May will be a night of Bristol-based comedy raising money for four good causes; read more here.

7.Sustain, the alliance for better food and farming, have been compiling regional and national lists of platforms selling and delivering products and produce from small food organisations, and a webpage with useful resources for food enterprises wanting to move/sell/deliver online; more here and here.

8.Business can source social distancing advice posters for their premises here and here.

9. The deadline to apply for the School for Social Entrepreneurs/Lloyds Bank Trade Up Programme has been extended to 1pm, Thursday 7 May. The programme is for early stage social enterprise looking to make their businesses more resilient by increasing their trading potential; more here.

10. Bristol Green Capital Partnership will be hosting its first ever online Green Mingle on Thursday May 7 (5.30pm-6.30pm); more here.

11. The week-long Get Creative Festival 2020 begins on Saturday 9 May. Supported by the BBC, among others, the festival shines a light on all the great cultural activity that takes place on a regular basis in local communities and encourages people to try their hand at something new and creative. This year will necessarily be a little different; more here.