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MHDC Stay Connected Pledge to tackle loneliness

‘Stay Connected’ Pledge

Tackling loneliness has always been a priority in Worcestershire, but now more than ever. We recognise that there are people of all ages who are feeling lonely and we want to encourage everyone to take simple steps to feel more connected, which we can all do, even at a distance.

To enable residents to identify what opportunities are available across Worcestershire for them to connect we have launched the ‘Stay Connected’ pledge that all providers can sign up to. This will show residents that as organisations you are committed to tackling lonelinessand supporting people to stay connected.

All we ask is that each provider ensure their activities are inclusive,welcoming and provides an opportunity for people to  connect with others, by putting in place some simple measures:

  • Ensure the activity is inclusive;
  • Identify any barriers to participation and where possible work with partners to address these e.g. arranging community transport, taking the activity out into the community, making the activity available online;
  • Welcome and introduce new members (this could include a ‘Welcome Pack’ given to members including information about the activity);
  • Offer a buddy scheme where existing members ‘class advocates’ support new members to feel welcome and included;
  • Ask members about t heir skill s and interests and if they would like to be more involved through volunteering;
  • Keep members informed of any activity changes via t elephone, email and social media;
  • Where appropriate  keep attendance registers to  contact  members if they have not attended after an appropriate amount of time to see if they need any support;
  • Provide info rm ation on tackling loneliness and signpost to other services;
  • Staff and volunteers complete the Making Every Contact Count (MECC) e-learning, and any other appropriate training e.g. loneliness awareness, inclusivity

As organisations you will beprovided with signposting info rmat ion and access to the MECC e-learning.

Once the measures have been put in place and you have signed and dated the pledge you will be awarded the ‘Stay Connected’ logo which is available in a numbe r of formats that you can use on any marketing and publications when promoting your activity. As an organisation you will also be listed as a partner on the Worcestershire Health & Wellbeing webpage which is accessible to the public (please see the link below).

htt ps:// www.worcest ershire.gov.uk/ info / 20526/ lonel iness and isolation

Your registration will be reviewed on an annual basis to ensure these measures are still being implemented and as organisations you are still committed to supporting people to stay connected.

If as an organisation you are able to fulfil these requirements and would like to be part of this initiative please sign and date the pledge below and return to

MWhistance@worcestershire.gov.uk

‘Stay Connected’ Pledge

Pledge of:

(please insert organisation name)

As an organisation we are committed to tackling lonelinessby ensuring our activities are inclusive, welcoming and provides an opportunity for people to connect with others, by putting in place some simple measures:

  • Ensure the activity is inclusive;
  • Ident ify any barriers to participation and where possible work with partners to address these e.g. arranging community transport, taking the activity out into the community, making the activit y available online;
  • Welcome and introduce new members (this could include a ‘Welcome Pack’ given to members including information about the activity);
  • Offer a buddy scheme where existing members ‘class advocates’ support new members to feel welcome and included;
  • Ask members about their skills and interests and if they would like to be more involved through volunteering;
  • Keep members informed of any activity changes via telephone, email and social media;
  • Where appropriate keep attendance registers to  contact  members if  they have not attended after an appropriate amount of time to see if t hey need any support;
  • Provide information on tackling loneliness and signpost to other services;
  • Staff and volunteers complete the Making Every Contact Count (MECC) e-lea rning, and any other appropriate training e.g. loneliness awareness, inclusivity

I agree to the pledge being reviewed on an annual basis to ensur e these measures are still being implemented and as an organisation we are supporting people to stay connected.

Signed by: …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Job Title: ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Date: …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

MHDC Coronavirus Update May 2021

Latest update

When we issued our last update we were just at the start of our journey back towards a more normal way of life.

Just over a month later and we appear to have successfully negotiated the first two steps of lockdown easing and are looking forward to the next set of restrictions being lifted on 17 May.

Infection rates in our district are low, at levels not seen since August 2020 (you can see the figures for yourself on the Worcestershire Coronavirus dashboard). Let’s make sure they stay that way by continuing to follow the lockdown easing guidance at each step.

In this update we have information on:

  • an update on the vaccine rollout and challenging vaccine misinformation
  • access to free rapid (lateral flow) testing
  • support if you are experiencing anxiety or difficult feelings as we come out of lockdown
  • information on our new economic recovery fund
  • Elections and Covid-19 update

Most of us will be looking forward to 21 June when it is planned all legal restrictions on social contact will end. But we are not there yet.

As Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England, said at the coronavirus press conference this week ‘we need to hold the line for a teeny bit longer’.

We’re almost there, let’s not put it all at risk. Let’s get back to what we love safely.


Join the millions already vaccinated

vaccine millions

So far 49,534 people have had at least their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine in our district. If you are over 40 you can now book your Covid-19 vaccine.

Vaccines are the way out of this pandemic and the best way to protect people from coronavirus. By coming forward for the vaccine when it is your turn, you are not only helping to save lives, but speeding up our return to a more normal way of life.

Vaccinated people are:

  • Less likely to get Covid-19 symptoms
  • Even more unlikely to get serious Covid-19 and have to be admitted to hospital or die from it
  • Less likely to pass the virus on to others (evidence is growing although more research is needed)

The first dose of both the Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine offer good levels of protection, but to get maximum protection everyone will need to get a second dose. Having your second dose will also protect you for longer.

If you have had your first dose then please make sure you go back for your second appointment.

It is essential that everyone continues to follow COVID-19 restrictions whether they have had the vaccine or not.


Beware vaccine misinformation

Vaccine 2

There is a lot of disinformation about the vaccine circulating on social media. Please make sure you are getting your information from reliable sources.

One of the biggest myths circulating right now is about the vaccine and fertility. The British Fertility Society has created a Covid-19 vaccine and fertility factsheet which explains why it is safe for people of childbearing age to have the vaccine. Please note, the advice in the factsheet about the vaccine and pregnancy is out of date as updated guidance was issued about Covid-19 vaccination in pregnancy on 16 April.

Another popular myth that is deterring some people is the claim the vaccine contains animal products.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has confirmed the Covid-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca and Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine do not contain egg or any components of animal origin.

The NHS Covid-19 vaccination page has more information on the safety of the vaccine and any potential side effects.

We know some of you have concerns about how fast vaccines have been developed. Here is a short explainer video on how it was possible to produce Covid-19 vaccines safely and at speed.


Get your free rapid (lateral flow) testing kits 

lateral flow

The Government is urging everyone without Covid-19 symptoms to carry out two rapid (lateral flow) tests a week at home. This will help identify the 1 in 3 people with Covid-19 who have the virus but do not realise it.

If you test positive you and anyone you live with must self-isolate immediately, report your test result and book a standard PCR Covid-19 test.

Find out more about what to do if you test positive for Covid-19. 

Rapid testing kits are available from pharmacies, some mass testing sites and some libraries. Visit Worcestershire County Council’s page on testing for people without symptoms for more information.

Watch Worcestershire GP Dr Jonathan Wells explain how to perform a rapid (lateral flow) test.


Looking after your mental health as we come out of lockdown

mental health

While some of us cannot wait for the 21 June and the potential end of restrictions on social contact, for others it is a time of anxiety.

Having spent so long staying at home and apart from others, the thought of returning to crowded spaces, or even just setting foot outside the front door, can result in difficult feelings.

If this is happening to you then it’s okay. There isn’t a right or wrong way to feel about this situation. The important thing is you do something about it.

The mental health charity Mind has produced some good information and self-help support on managing feelings about lockdown easing.

The pandemic has also disrupted our sleep patterns and increased our stress levels as we have adapted to a new way of living.

The Every Mind Matters website has a range of information on things you can try to help tackle some of these issues.

You are also encouraged to make your own free NHS online plan, with simple steps to help manage anxiety, sleep and to boost your mood.

Create your Mental Health Action Plan


£500,000 economic recovery fund unveiled

money

A £500,000 Economic Recovery Fund is being created to support the rebuilding of the district’s economy from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The money will be used to provide, amongst other things:

  • A programme to support businesses to take on apprentices, graduates and other trainees
  • An event development budget to support events that will generate footfall for the district’s town centres and money for marketing
  • A Town Centre Transformation Scheme which will include grants to help businesses improve shop fronts, support for businesses to trade online, marketing and branding activity and free parking after 3pm during April and May

Read more about our economic recovery fund.


Get back to supporting our traders safely

lockdown traders

Our traders have been through a lot this last year and it has been good to see people returning to our town centres since non-essential retail and outdoor hospitality restarted on 12 April.

We are running our ‘let’s get back to supporting our traders safely’ marketing campaign to encourage people to back local businesses.

Where you spend your money matters. If every adult in the UK spent £5 in their local shops and businesses, instead of online retailers or multi-national chain stores, It would mean £13.5billion going directly back into local areas. You have the power to make a difference to the success of our high streets with the spending decisions you make.

Many of our local businesses are continuing to offer delivery and click and collect services as well.

Use the links to find out how you can support local businesses and a list of outdoor hospitality venues.


How to vote in next Thursday’s local elections

voting covid

On Thursday (6 May) elections will take place to Worcestershire County Council, for the West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner and there is also a by-election for The Malvern Hills Trust.

If you are voting in-person on the day then Covid-19 Secure measures will be in place to keep you, other voters and our staff safe.

You will be required to:

  • Wear a face covering when in the polling station unless you are legally exempt
  • Sanitise your hands on entering the polling station
  • Pay attention to floor markers which will help maintain social distancing
  • Bring your own pen or pencil. Clean pencils will be available on the day if you forget

Staff will also be carrying out extra cleaning.

Polling stations will be open from 7am to 10pm. It may take longer than usual to vote so please vote early on in the day if you can.

Some polling stations may have changed due to the need to maintain social distancing restrictions. You can find out where to vote using our online checker

If you are voting by post then please watch this short video on how to complete your postal vote. Royal Mail recommend you post your vote by 4 May so please don’t delay and get your postal vote in asap.

If you are worried your postal vote will not make it in time, then you can hand it in at your local polling station on polling day itself.


Jobs and training opportunities now all in one place

Worcestershire jobs

A new website has been launched by Worcestershire LEP and Worcestershire County Council to help people easily find jobs, training options and educational courses all within Worcestershire.

Worcestershire jobs is a free service that works by gathering all local vacancies and courses into one easy to use website. This allows anyone to quickly search for jobs, training opportunities or further educational courses at the click of a button.

Users can also enter keywords to filter their results based on the interests or skills they have.

Check out the site at www.worcestershirejobs.co.uk

Covid-19 Business e-Bulletin April 2021

A full range of business support measures have been made available to UK businesses and employees. 

Follow the links to see the latest updates from Government, find financial support for your business and click here if you are self employed.

The Government has set up a business support helpline on 0300 456 3565. This is available Monday to Friday from 9am to 6pm.Visit the Malvern Hills website for the latest Covid business advice. If you are not receiving this newsletter directly, please sign up to our regular email newsletter for the latest updates on business support.

Restart Grants Update
The Restart Grant is a new fund for businesses for what is hoped will be the final stages of Covid-19 restrictions. The government is providing Restart Grants of up to £6,000 per premises for non-essential retail businesses and up to £18,000 per premises for hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym businesses.We have now received confirmation of funding and guidance from government on how the grants will be administered. Because of changes to information required by government for the Restart scheme we will require all businesses to apply. The online application form for Restart grants will be added to our website here on the 12th or 13th April.

National Lockdown Business Support Grants Scheme Update
The Council continues to process applications for Covid business support grants for those business required to close or significantly impacted by the pandemic between November and March. The majority of eligible businesses have now been paid up until the end of March. Details on the scheme are available on our website here.

ARG Discretionary Grant Scheme Update
We have now received confirmation of additional funding for the ARG discretionary fund. The scheme has been on hold and we are now working to reopen the scheme and determine the process for delivering further support. It is anticipated that we will be able to process applications again very shortly and we will update our website here with more details as soon as they are confirmed.

Covid Testing for businesses and staff
You can order free rapid lateral flow tests to test your employees twice a week in the workplace.If you have 10 or more employees, from early April you’ll be able to order tests for your employees to collect from their workplace and use at home twice a week. You can do this if you cannot provide testing in the workplace. You must register by 11:59pm on 12 April 2021. If your business is closed or you cannot provide tests now, you should still register so you can order tests in the future. Find out more here.Anyone in England who does not have symptoms can now get regular rapid lateral flow tests to check for coronavirus. You can now get regular rapid tests at a test site or to use at home by collecting from a local pharmacy or test site or by ordering for delivery to your home – see the NHS website here. For more information on rapid testing for communities or businesses, please visit Worcestershire County Council’s rapid testing page

Recovery Loan Scheme Launched
A new Government-backed loan scheme is now launched to provide additional finance to those businesses that need it. With non-essential retail and outdoor hospitality reopening next week, Ministers have ensured that appropriate support is still available to businesses to protect jobs. From today, businesses – ranging from coffee shops and restaurants, to hairdressers and gyms – and can access loans varying in size from £25,000, up to a maximum of £10 million. Invoice and asset finance is available from £1,000. Find out more here.

Reopening Hospitality in Malvern Hills
Following the recent announcement that outdoor hospitality is expected to reopen on Monday 12th April, we would like to understand when hospitality businesses are planning to open back up. If you are from a hospitality business within Malvern Hills district, please complete our short survey here.

Community Renewal Funding
The UK Government are providing £220 million of additional funding for 2021/22 through the UK Community Renewal Fund (CRF) to support people and communities most in need. It also intends to help the UK move smoothly away from the EU structural fund programme and is a pilot programme to prepare for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.Worcestershire County Council has been nominated by government as the lead authority and they are now inviting organisations to submit applications that deliver on the priorities identified in the Community Renewal Fund prospectus and Worcestershire’s local Priorities as detailed in the Invitation to Bid Document.The call for projects for the Community Renewal Fund is now live. The application deadline is 10 May 2021 at 5pm. Find out more about Community Renewal Fund here.

Worcestershire Jobs website launched
Worcestershire Jobs is a completely free service that has been launched by the Worcestershire LEP and Worcestershire County Council to help people easily find jobs, training options and educational courses all within Worcestershire. The online jobs portal works by collating all local vacancies and courses into one easy to use website. This allows anyone to quickly search for jobs, training opportunities or further educational courses at the click of a button.Users can also enter keywords to filter their results based on the interests or skills they have. You can access the website here.

Help to Keep Malvern Hills Workforce Safe
To help organisations and businesses keep their staff safe, Worcestershire County Council have pulled together some resources including posters, leaflets, and social media communications to help them reinforce messages within the workplace. As you do not have time to search through multiple websites for posters and leaflets they have done it for you and you will find these plus draft social media posts and a range of translated material here. If businesses would like to know more about the number of Coronavirus cases in Worcestershire in detail, please see Worcestershire data dashboard on the County Council’s website.

Support for the reopening of outdoor hospitality
Worcestershire Regulatory Services (WRS) have recently issued guidance for hospitality businesses on opening outdoors safely. This has been sent directly to most hospitality businesses and includes guidance on what can be considered an open outdoor structure, and collection of customer details.We will update our website shortly with this guidance or contact WRS if you have queries.

Are you in the tourism sector in Worcestershire?
If so, join us for a look at the future of tourism and hospitality in Worcestershire! This free event will be held on Thursday 29 April from 9.30am to 11.00am and is open to businesses in the tourism and hospitality sector and will include a choice of workshops run by @TheHospitalit10. Sign up here by Friday 16 April.

New Government Scheme: Help to Grow
Take your business to the next level with the Government’s new Help to Grow programme. The Help to Grow programme aims to support medium sized businesses to learn new skills, reach customers and boost profits. The programme offers two distinct packages delivered through online learning platforms, 1:1 sessions with mentors and a peer network.Management – improving business performance and growth potential.Digital – online advice and money off software to save time and reduce costs.See the website here for information and registrations.

Entries are now open for Worcestershire Apprenticeships Awards 2021
Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership and Worcestershire County Council have announced that the popular apprenticeship celebration event, the Worcestershire Apprenticeships Awards are returning in 2021. Apprentices, employers, schools, careers leads and training providers in Worcestershire are being encouraged to submit their nominations via the new online nomination process, before the 16 July deadline. The Worcestershire Apprenticeships Awards will be taking place on 18 November 2021.Click here to find our more and apply online.

Innovation in Farming
To improve productivity and reduce the negative impact of agriculture on our environment, we need to think about innovation and invest in research and development.It’s also vital that we work with farmers, researchers and businesses to help turn novel ideas into smart solutions which work for them. Happily, that is exactly what Defra and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) are doing through the Farming Innovation Pathways competition, which is open for applications. Read this Defra blog post for an overview.

£20 million SME Brexit Support Fund
The Government has announced a £20 million SME Brexit Support Fund to support small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) to adjust to new customs, rules of origin, and VAT rules when trading with the EU.SMEs who trade only with the EU, and are therefore new to importing and exporting processes, will be encouraged to apply for grants of up to £2,000 for each trader to pay for practical support, including training and professional advice, to ensure they can continue trading effectively with the EU. More information about the SME Brexit Support Fund can be found on GOV.UK.

Digital support for your Business
Through Digital Boost, you can receive free mentoring, workshops and courses to help you understand digital technologies and the potential impact on your business. The Digital Boost project is supported by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.Over 1,000 expert volunteers are on standby to communicate with you and answer your questions.Learn more about Digital Boost here.

Set your course post Covid
Worcestershire Business & IP Centre (BIPC) in partnership with the British Library have collaborated to create a Reset.Restart webinar programme. This is aimed at supporting companies refocus their business plans in response to the challenges of Covid.  People will initially enrol on the first webinar ‘From good ideas to good business’. Participants are then invited to attend all four elements of the programme, after which they qualify for a two hour, bespoke 121 session. The programme is aimed at early stage businesses who have been trading up to three years, and are Worcestershire based.Find out more and register here.

Incentive payments for hiring a new apprentice
Employers will receive £3,000 for new employees of any age who start their apprenticeship from 1 April 2021 to 30 September 2021.The incentive payment is in addition to the £1,000 employers already receive for hiring an apprentice aged 16 to 18 years old or under 25 with an education, health and care plan or who has been in the care of their local authority.For more information contact Worcestershire Apprenticeships here.

Business opportunities at Commonwealth Games
The search is on to find suppliers who can deliver nearly £5million worth of catering services for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.  With just over 500 days to go until the start of the Games, the official procurement process to find catering suppliers of all sizes to provide services to spectators, athletes, officials, volunteers, and workforce, is now open. Catering contracts are expected to support approximately 2,000 jobs during Games time and will be a much welcome boost to a sector that has suffered during the global pandemic.The invitation to submit initial bids is April 2021, with the final tender in May 2021. The contract will be awarded in the summer of 2021. Interested businesses are encouraged to apply via the procurement portal here.

Worcestershire to benefit from ‘Project Gigabit’ launch
We are delighted to share with you the news about ‘Project Gigabit’ and inclusion of Worcestershire amongst the earliest areas to benefit from the launch of this £5bn scheme: You can read more here.

Worcestershire Works Well Webinar
Improved employee health and wellbeing has been shown repeatedly to improve profitability and productivity of businesses. Worcestershire Works Well is a free accreditation scheme designed to support businesses to improve the health and wellbeing of their employees.To help you gain a further understanding of Worcestershire Works Well we have launched a free webinar on 21st April 12-1pm Register here.
Contact Us
Economic Development Team
Malvern Hills District Council
The Council House
Avenue Road
Malvern
Worcestershire
WR14 3AF
ecodev@malvernhills.gov.uk
www.malvernhills.gov.uk/business 

Covid-19 Business e-bulletin March 2021

A full range of business support measures have been made available to UK businesses and employees. 

Follow the links to see the latest updates from Government, find financial support for your business and click here if you are self employed.

The Government has set up a business support helpline on 0300 456 3565. This is available Monday to Friday from 9am to 6pm.

Visit the Malvern Hills website for the latest Covid business advice. If you are not receiving this newsletter directly, please sign up to our regular email newsletter for the latest updates on business support.

Restart Grants Update

The Restart Grant is a new fund for businesses for what is hoped will be the final stages of Covid-19 restrictions. It will replace the monthly Local Restrictions Support Grants and these will close at the end of March. The government is providing Restart Grants of up to £6,000 per premises for non-essential retail businesses and up to £18,000 per premises for hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym businesses.

Non-essential retail will be eligible for the following –

  • Rateable values of 15,000 and under will receive £2,667
  • Rateable values of 15,001 to 50,999 will receive £4,000
  • Rateable value of 51,000 and above will receive £6,000

Hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care & gyms will be eligible for the following –

  • Rateable values of 15,000 and under will receive £8,000
  • Rateable values of 15,001 to 50,999 will receive £12,000
  • Rateable value of 51,000 and above will receive £18,000

Further guidance from government is awaited so details on how the grants will be administered, when and whether a new application will be needed, will follow on our website here.

National Lockdown Business Support Grants Scheme Update

The Council continues to process applications for Covid business support grants for those business required to close or significantly impacted by the pandemic between November and March. The majority of eligible businesses have now been paid up until the end of March. Details on the scheme are available on our website here.

ARG Discretionary Grant Scheme Update

Due to demand and limits on funding available we have temporarily closed the ARG Discretionary Grant scheme to new applications.

In the budget the Chancellor announced additional discretionary grant funding for councils to support businesses that do not qualify for the main business support scheme. We are still awaiting confirmation of additional funding so that we can revise our ARG scheme accordingly. We will update our website here with more information as soon as we have it.

Reopening Hospitality in Malvern Hills

Following the recent announcement that outdoor hospitality is expected to reopen on Monday 12th April, we would like to understand when hospitality businesses are planning to open back up. If you are from a hospitality business within Malvern Hills district, please complete our short survey here.

Covid Testing for businesses and staff – Register soon!

Businesses of all sizes, including those with fewer than 50 employees, can now register to order free lateral flow tests for their employees – click here for more information. The lateral flow tests will remain free until the end of June but note that registration closes on 31 March. More information on rapid workplace testing is available on an online portal for businesses here as well as information to plan and deliver a testing programme

For more information on rapid testing for communities or businesses, please visit Worcestershire County Council’s rapid testing page 

Enterprising Worcestershire Grant Funding Available

The Spring Call for the Enterprising Worcestershire Grant Fund is now open and offering grants from £1,000 up to a maximum of £15,000, at a funding rate of 60% / 40% (60% provided by the SME).

You could use this to invest in new equipment, have a website built or purchase software, whatever will help to develop your business in the early years. The scheme will enable SME’s to establish and grow whilst making a positive contribution to the Worcestershire economy and employment rates across the County by creating more sustainable SME’s. Different from the previous program, the maximum grant fund has been considerably increased allowing SME’s to make a much more significant investment. For more details click here.

Show your support for Comic Relief with Fleet Line Markers

Be part of something Spectacular for Comic Relief Day, 19th March, 2021. Fleet Line Markers are teaming up with Malvern Rugby Football Club to raise money for Comic Relief and they will be painting a pitch full of ‘Red Noses’ to support this special day.

Sponsor a Red Nose & see your ‘Company Name’ or ‘own’ name painted as part of it.  Further details are available on Just Giving website here or to reserve your Red Nose please contact 01684 573535 or email iainc@flmuk.com. Listen to Ian Courage talking about on BBC H&W Radio here.

Help to Keep Malvern Hills Workforce Safe

To help organisations and businesses keep their staff safe, Worcestershire County Council have pulled together some resources including posters, leaflets, and social media communications to help them reinforce messages within the workplace. As you do not have time to search through multiple websites for posters and leaflets they have done it for you and you will find these plus draft social media posts and a range of translated material here. If businesses would like to know more about the number of Coronavirus cases in Worcestershire in detail, please see Worcestershire data dashboard on the County Council’s website.

Support for the reopening of outdoor hospitality

The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Robert Jenrick has written a letter to local authorities outlining that in Step 2 of the Government’s roadmap (no earlier than 12 April) hospitality venues will be allowed to serve people outdoors and the measures to support the safe re-opening of hospitality businesses. Hospitality businesses can apply for pavement licences via Worcestershire Regulatory Services here

Here2Help Mentoring Scheme Webinar

Following the success of the mentoring pilot programme, the Here2Help Business team are pleased to start recruitment for the next cohort of mentors and mentees.

On the 22nd March 2021 11-12 they will be hosting a webinar with guest speakers featuring 2 mentors-mentees pairings from our pilot programme.  They will be talking about their experiences and how the programme has supported them in implementing various strategies for their business including growth plans, building resilience, efficiencies, marketing programmes and much more.  For more details and to register click here.

WBC Business Advisors Programme

Free business advice for local businesses but register before the end of March. The programme covers the following themes

  • General Business Support – Blue Orchid sessions will be centred around overcoming barriers that are hindering growth, but they also have COVID specific support.
  • Adoption of Technology – Borwell are offering a comprehensive service on the use of IT and upgrading your current system, this will be focused on software and hardware.
  • Financial Support – Perrigo are experts in finance and tax and can show you how to stay on top of all your financial information and streamline your processes.
  • Achieving Carbon Net Zero – Shrewsbury Business Consulting have in-depth experience and detailed knowledge of the issues and challenges surrounding carbon reduction in SMEs.

To find out more click here

Worcestershire Works Well Webinar

Improved employee health and wellbeing has been shown repeatedly to improve profitability and productivity of businesses. Worcestershire Works Well is a free accreditation scheme designed to support businesses to improve the health and wellbeing of their employees.

To help you gain a further understanding of Worcestershire Works Well we have launched a free webinar on 21st April 12-1pm which will cover;

  • How the scheme works
  • How WWW reps support your business
  • Experiences from current WWW Members
  • An opportunity to ask any questions you may have

Registration for the event is now open for Members and Non-members.

Please note that Worcestershire Works Well is open to all public, private and third sector organisations located in Worcestershire that have a minimum of 5 employees.

Register here.

Entries are now open for Worcestershire Apprenticeships Awards 2021

Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership and Worcestershire County Council have announced that the popular apprenticeship celebration event, the Worcestershire Apprenticeships Awards are returning in 2021.

Apprentices, employers, schools, careers leads and training providers in Worcestershire are being encouraged to submit their nominations via the new online nomination process, before the 16 July deadline. The team will be following the latest guidance around the safety of events and will decide whether the awards will be physical or virtual later this year. The Worcestershire Apprenticeships Awards, in either scenario, will be taking place on 18 November 2021.

Click here to find our more and apply online.

Government announces £20 million SME Brexit Support Fund

The Government has announced a £20 million SME Brexit Support Fund to support small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) to adjust to new customs, rules of origin, and VAT rules when trading with the EU.

SMEs who trade only with the EU, and are therefore new to importing and exporting processes, will be encouraged to apply for grants of up to £2,000 for each trader to pay for practical support, including training and professional advice, to ensure they can continue trading effectively with the EU. More information about the SME Brexit Support Fund can be found on GOV.UK.

Business opportunities at Commonwealth Games

The search is on to find suppliers who can deliver nearly £5million worth of catering services for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.  With just over 500 days to go until the start of the Games, the official procurement process to find catering suppliers of all sizes to provide services to spectators, athletes, officials, volunteers, and workforce, is now open. Catering contracts are expected to support approximately 2,000 jobs during Games time and will be a much welcome boost to a sector that has suffered during the global pandemic.

The invitation to submit initial bids is April 2021, with the final tender in May 2021. The contract will be awarded in the summer of 2021. Interested businesses are encouraged to apply via the procurement portal here.

Malvern based W5G supports trials of 5G private Network at The Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC)

The private 5G network powered by Malvern Hills Science Park based W5G and BT will be installed at MTC’s manufacturing research facility, located at its Ansty Park site in Coventry. The 5G connected workshop environment will enable enterprises of all sizes to explore multi-edge computing and robotics applications, and benefits, including a live 5G-connected robotics demonstration later in the year. Find more information here

How to trade with the EU and Northern Ireland

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has produced a toolkit for small and medium-sized enterprises to help them identify the decisions and actions they need to make to continue trading with the EU and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA).

The document, available here, provides an overview of actions to take outlines support, helplines and resources that may be useful for SMEs and signposts to more detailed guidance on government websites.

Workforce and labour supply handbook

The Home Office in partnership with the Association of Labour Providers (ALP) have created a handbook intended to help employers and providers of contingent labour to understand the new immigration system and ensure compliance with right to work legislation. The handbook covers existing workers and new applicants and determines what actions to take to help secure continuity of labour supply. The handbook can be accessed from the ALP website here.

New retail platform Love Where you Live Worcestershire

A new website designed to make it easier than ever to shop local online has been launched across Worcestershire. 

Love Where You Live (LWYL) was developed by local businesswomen Gillian Davies, who wanted to create a convenient online space where local businesses could sell their wares at a time when reduced footfall and now the Covid-19 pandemic has affected sales for many. 

LWYL Worcestershire is currently home to 70 retailers (and growing) selling over 600 products, all of which have been made or sourced by independent businesses in Worcestershire – from art and clothing to jewellery, experiences and homeware.  Some of the retailers include Oldfields Cider, Hussingtree Gin, The Malvern and Ross and Ross gifts. 

To find out more about how you can join the Love Where You Live Community, visit: www.lovewhere.co.uk 

Reset.Restart Webinar Programme

The Reset.Restart webinar programme helps companies refocus their business plans in response to the challenges of Covid. The programme is aimed at early stage businesses who have been trading up to three years, and are Worcestershire based.

Interested businesses should enrol on the first programme ‘From good ideas to good business’. Participants are then invited to attend all four elements of the programme, after which they qualify for a two hour, bespoke 121 session.

From good ideas to good business – the Business Model Canvas (1 of 4) – This interactive introduction to the Business Model Canvas will overview the elements that make up a thorough business rationale.

Marketing – Getting your business ‘out-there’ (2 of 4) – This interactive webinar will work through and start answering the questions needed to identify the valuable difference your business offers

Finance – Making & keeping your business profitable (3 of 4) – This live online training will enable you to read and use the financial information to help you manage your business growth.

Business Plans – how to translate your ideas into action (4 of 4) – This live online learning will share models to complement the Business Model Canvas helping you develop your own plan for a post Covid world

People Make Places: Ticket to Ride Fund

Would your business like to support community transport projects with funding?

We are launching the next round of funding for our People Make Places: Ticket to Ride Fund and we are offering the opportunity for interested businesses to support new projects coming forward.

This fund aims to support sustainable community transport projects across the district that are citizen-led and community-based. We have made a pot of £140,000 available over the next three years (across six rounds of funding) to support these initiatives. The maximum amount pledged to a project will be £50,000 or 50 per cent of the total project costs. We have already funded projects for the first round.

This is a great opportunity to be part of a project that aims to boost connectivity of communities by improving local people’s ability to travel to services and opportunities for social interaction. Also, to increase social mobility, promote independence and self-care, as well as to empower communities by creating an environment where people stay healthy for longer.

More information on new projects will be available in the spring but if you would like to know about what has already been funded, please visit our Crowdfunding webpage.

If you would like to support a future project please contact Amanda Smith at amanda.smith@malvernhills.gov.uk

Tell us how your business has been affected

The ED team wants to fully understand the impact of the Coronavirus on specific businesses and the wider economy. This will help us tailor our service to you and feedback to Government to help shape their ongoing response.  

If you would like to talk one-to-one with a member of the ED team about your business experience and effects of Covid-19, please email us with your contact details ecodev@malvernhills.gov.uk

Contact Us

Economic Development Team
Malvern Hills District Council
The Council House
Avenue Road
Malvern
Worcestershire
WR14 3AF

ecodev@malvernhills.gov.uk
www.malvernhills.gov.uk/business

Stay at Home

Stay at home

We know that people over 60 can be badly affected by the virus. It can make you very poorly, need hospital care and even cause death. This is, of course, very worrying. It also has implications for our NHS. It leads to pressure on our services and creates a rising demand for intensive care beds. We need to act now, to prevent this situation becoming any worse.

How can you help?  How can you protect yourself and others?  Please follow national restrictions during the lockdown period and then any new guidance from 2nd December. You should also keep your distance, wash your hands regularly and wear face coverings where needed. These measures are our best defence against the virus. We know it can be hard, keeping a distance from others, avoiding travelling to places, not meeting up with friends or family. But the virus spreads when we mix and have contact and don’t stay apart. Stay local, don’t visit areas with higher levels of restrictions. If we can stay local, stop visiting areas with greater numbers of infections, we can protect ourselves and others.

Please ensure you self-isolate as soon as you have a symptom of Covid-19. The symptoms to look out for are;

  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

If you have any of these, no matter how mild your symptoms, please self-isolate immediately and book a test. You can do this online https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling 119.

With a second national lockdown in place, the County Council’s Here2Help service is on hand to help residents who require extra support.

A phone number has been set up to help fill out the form for those who can’t access the internet. The dedicated number is: 01905 768053 and is open Monday – Thursday 9:00 – 5:00pm and Friday 9:00 – 4:30pm.

Guidance for those who are clinically extremely vulnerable has been updated to include additional measures to keep this group safe during lockdown. This information is available on the Here2Help shielding advice page on the county council’s website. The Government is encouraging people in this group to register for support on the national website where they, for example, can get access to priority supermarket deliveries.

For more information, please visit: www.worcestershire.gov.uk/here2help