SBP Newsletter April 2021 – Southend Business Partnership

SBP Newsletter April 2021 – Southend Business Partnership

The March Southend Business Partnership Briefing, on the theme of Digital portals enabling our economic post Covid recovery, saw presentations from Smart Southend, iDEA.org.uk, BEST Growth Hub, and Hemingway regarding Southend Place Branding. The recording of the briefing can be found on Youtube.  The next briefing will be on the 17th June 2021; reserve your ticket now via eventbrite.

We hope to be able to update you over the coming months on the opportunities arising from the recently announced Thames Freeport https://thamesestuary.org.uk/freeport-bid/, just upriver from us, creating new jobs and supply chains and more locally progress being made on the further development of Airport Business Park . In addition will be focusing on potential rejuvenation of Southend’s High Street where recently Royals Shopping Centre has been placed on the market for sale.

Ahead of the next stage in the Covid-19 Recovery Roadmap from the 12th April, Southend BID have made available many templates, including the new ‘Be Kind’ poster, that are free to download and print for use in your business premises. These will help reinforce your Covid secure safety measures and help keep both customers and staff informed.

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council has been confirmed as a Kickstart Gateway.  If you are able to offer a 6 month, 25 hours a week fully funded work placement to a 16-24 year old, contact the Kickstart team for more information.

Essex Opportunities is a new a website aimed at adults and young people to promote careers, employers, industry sectors, education, skills, training opportunities, apprenticeships and jobs.  Brought to you by Southend-on-Sea Borough Council and Essex County Council, Essex Opportunities is seeking support for both the Employer Spotlight and Training Providers Spotlight pages.  For more information on this free opportunity to promote your apprenticeships, traineeships, careers, and courses contact Essex.opportunities@essex.gov.uk.

South East Local Enterprise Partnership have a Request for Quotation closing on the 12th April 2021, Developing cultural and creative offers in High Street projects.  The aim of this project is to develop a better understanding of, and economic modelling for, embedding cultural and creative organisations within high streets.

Southend Pass, the new annual parking pass, which will cost £8.50 per month, will be available for use from 1 April 2021. It includes three hours parking every day in each of the four new zones, in any Council owned car parks, or on-street pay-by-phone or pay and display parking bays.  Anyone wishing to buy a pass can do so by downloading the new Southend Parking app.

Grants and Funding Opportunities

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council have now launched the application form for the Restart Grant (April 2021) and is available on their website to applicants. Full details including eligibility criteria can be found here.  It is recommended that business owners read through this guidance as the criteria around the grants differs from the Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) schemes, mainly on the basis that eligibility is based on sector and also those not being mandated to close.

The Government has announced £23m funding to support the fishing and seafood industry, with cash grants for seafood and aquaculture businesses across the UK that suffered a financial loss due to delays related to export of fresh or live fish and shellfish to the EU during January 2021. The eligibility criteria has been expanded to target catching and shellfish aquaculture businesses which have been affected by reduction in demand from the hospitality sector.  Southend-on-Sea Borough Council Regulatory Services team are also available to help with managing changing regulations following Brexit, contact environmentalhealth@southend.gov.uk.

Businesses based in and around Southend town centre can now apply for a grant of up to £5,000 to enhance their shop fronts. Possible works that the grant covers can include new shop front units, repairs of a shop front fixture that is visible from the street (including the first and second floors of premises), improved signage and external lighting.  Find out more here.

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council has announced plans to offer 0% loans to owners and potential owners of vacant units in Southend High Street. Funded through the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) Local Growth Fund, businesses and landlords of vacant units can apply for loans between £1,000 and £50,000.  Find out more here.

The SME Brexit Support Fund, to help smaller businesses with changes to trade rules with the EU, is now open for applications.  Small and medium enterprises can apply for up to £2,000 to help with training or professional advice to help with adapting to new customs and tax rules when trading with the EU. Applications will close on the 30th June 2021 or earlier, if all funding is allocated before this date.

I do hope the above information has proved helpful and feel free to feedback to me on any matters on which you would welcome further coverage.

Jamie Langstone
JLangstone@savs-southend.co.uk