Information, support and advice
Government Energy Bill Relief Scheme
It has been announced that new support for businesses facing rising energy bills through a new Energy Bill Relief Scheme.
This will provide a discount on wholesale gas and electricity prices for all non-domestic customers, including all UK businesses, the voluntary sector like charities and the public sector such as schools and hospitals. It will apply to energy usage from 1 October 2022 to 31 March 2023.
Support with money and debt for businesses
Citizens Advice has information and advice if your small business can not afford its energy bills.
Free, impartial legal guidance for businesses on trading standards law
Business Companion offers free, impartial, legal guidance to businesses on the basics, concise guidance and also detailed advice if required.
Enterprise M3 Growth Hub
The Enterprise M3 Growth Hub is an expert advice and resource network which helps businesses achieve results quickly through a free personal, tailored service focused on business start-up, growth and innovation. For further information click here.
IncuHive offer free business support to all of its resident members. Prices for space start from £49 plus VAT. For further information click here.
Enterprise First Business South
If you are looking for support to either start a business or grow an existing one, they can help in the following ways:
- free start up courses
- one to one advice
For further information visit here.
Businesses should sign up to our free business bulletin to make sure that they receive the latest information on business support, funding, training and events. Sign up here.
Visit Winchester Partnership & Marketing Programme 2023-2024
Visit Winchester has launched a new partnership programme that is offering businesses across the local visitor economy the chance to work more closely in partnership with the Visit Winchester team to shape and grow the local visitor economy. The main aims are to raise awareness of the Winchester district and generate additional tourism visits and spend.
Brexit Information for Businesses
The UK has left the EU, and the transition period has ended. There are new rules for businesses trading with the EU and all information can be found at www.gov.uk/transition.
Supporting businesses through the transition Enterprise M3
The information below is the latest guidance for businesses. You can also find out more information on the dedicated EM3 UK transition advice page and/or use the checker tool available here.
- Border Operating Model
- Importing and Exporting
- Moving Goods
- Marketing Goods
- Northern Ireland specific guidance
- Business information
- Business Support Helpline
- Data, Intellectual Property and Copyright law
- Sector specific guidance
Enterprise M3 Growth Hub are providing a range of support and advice to businesses affected by the UK's departure from the EU Customs Union. Their advice page will be providing support and documentation services to exporters and importers.
Visit the Government webpages for further information about the EU Exit.
You can also sign up for Government email alerts on Brexit
University of Winchester holds Help to Grow: Management
Regional business leaders are being urged to sign up to a new executive development programme accredited by the Small Business Charter. The University of Winchester is one of the first business schools in the UK to deliver the Government's Help to Grow: Management Scheme.
The scheme, which is part of the UK Government's Plan for Jobs, aims to support senior managers of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to scale up as the country recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic and to hone existing and develop new skills to thrive in the post-pandemic world. Courses should cost £7,500 each, but the 90 per cent UK Government subsidy means employers will pay just £750.
You can book your place with the University of Winchester Business School and find out start dates, here.
Hampshire Chamber of Commerce
The Hampshire Chamber of Commerce is a membership organisation, owned and managed by local businesses whose goal it is to protect and promote business interests. They help to make businesses become more successful by providing networking opportunities, business support and advice.
To speak to someone directly, call 01329 242 420 or email email@example.com
Hampshire Digital Network
Hampshire Digital is a new and free Hampshire-wide network for marketers, strategists, digital experts, and general business owners to connect, share ideas, meet new people, and help each other out with all things digital.
From veteran digital marketers to those stepping out into the world of digital for the first time, the Hampshire Digital network is a diverse bunch. Anyone in and around the county can join – the only criteria is that you have a genuine interest in digital marketing.
Give an Hour campaign
In as little as an hour, you could change the course of a young person’s life just by sharing your story or helping them to understand more about the world of work.
The Give an Hour campaign invites you to make a difference to the young people in your area by giving as little as one hour of your time. They would particularly like to hear from you if you own or work in a small or medium sized business. Hear from some of the employers who are already engaging with young people in their local areas, here.
It might feel like an hour is too short to have a real impact, but they know from experience that an hour can create new perspectives and inspire new ideas. Just to hear someone’s career story or be able to speak to someone who can listen and give advice. Could you be that someone?
Find out more here.
Project Gigabit - Broadband
Project Gigabit is the government programme to deliver gigabit capable broadband across the UK by 2030. The latest documents set out a proposed procurement pipeline for Phases 1 and 2 with modelled premises numbers, multi-million pound investments and target timelines to reach communities that would otherwise be left behind.
Broadband cabinets have been updated in some postcodes in the following areas across the Winchester District. For a full list of cabinets and postcodes that have recently been upgraded, click here.
The Rural Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme
Gigabit-capable broadband connections offer the fastest and most reliable speeds available.
Homes and businesses in rural areas of the UK may be eligible for funding towards the cost of installing gigabit-capable broadband (up to 1000Mbs) when part of a group scheme known as a 'Community Fibre Partnership'.
Use the following guide to see if your business can benefit from The Rural Gigabit Voucher scheme:
The Rural Gigabit Voucher scheme is a government funded programme which provides funding to rural communities with inadequate broadband provision. The programme will deliver gigabit capable networks with full fibre to the premises.
What is meant by 'rural'?
There are specific definitions of rural communities which the Department of Media, Culture and Support apply in administering this scheme.
The easiest way to check whether your premises is classified as rural is using the online checker on the Gigabit Voucher website.
This will also indicate which suppliers are delivering the scheme in your area which will be important when you reach the stage of seeking quotations.
How much funding is available?
The standard Government Rural Gigabit Voucher scheme will allocate vouchers to the value of £1500 per residential premises and £3500 for each small to medium-sized business (SME); so, the more businesses included in your 'Community Fibre Partnership', even those working at home, will increase the value and scope of your project.
What is defined as 'community'?
The minimum requirement to qualify for this scheme is two premises, however owing to the work involved in preparing an application, it is likely that larger bids will be more cost effective to develop.
Remember, the more businesses included in your 'Community Fibre Partnership', even those working at home, will increase the value and scope of your project.
There is however no specific size or scale that your project needs to be as this will be dependent upon the geographic layout of your community and relation of proposed premises to existing network infrastructure.
It is suggested that a broad community approach is adopted including involvement of the parish council where possible.
The most important element of establishing a bid will be to organise a group of individuals who are willing and able to develop the bid. Ideally this will involve a person with a level of technical knowledge and/or an individual who is able to help work up and establish the business case.
What is the process for applying?
There are several technical steps you'll need to work through to develop your project including identifying the scope of your programme.
There is a community led broadband schemes page on GOV.UK which sets out the steps which you will need to consider before a bid can successfully be completed.
Sparsholt Business Training
Sparsholt College provides training to business, industry and employers, offering professional accreditation courses as well as one-day workshops and training courses.
SMEs who don't have enough staff to warrant a specialist course can benefit from workshops and courses with individuals from different sectors and industries, where they can share ideas and best practice with colleagues and bring that back to the workplace. For larger groups, courses can also be run in the workplace.
Professional qualifications are delivered in small groups by experienced trainers, working to industry body accreditation standards, which are externally verified for quality assurance. A wide range of courses cover a variety of industries.
To find out more and view the current training calendar, click here.
To get in touch email:firstname.lastname@example.org
Hampshire School for Social Entrepreneurs
Social enterprise means generating your own income through selling your services and or expertise. The income derived is reinvested in your charitable or social purposes. Action Hampshire gives information and support to social enterprises and also run the Hampshire School for Social Entrepreneurs.
Action Hampshire understand that the business development needs of social entrepreneurs are very similar to those of private entrepreneurs but there are also key differences such as legal structures available.
For further information, please contact Action Hampshire.
The Entrepreneur Handbook
The Entrepreneur Handbook is a UK information website providing expert advice and guides on every aspect of starting and growing a business including sales, finance, marketing and much more.
A peer-to-business lending platform connecting businesses and investors, where businesses get fast business loans and investors earn great returns on their investments. Funding Circle has funded over £570m in business loans so far.
For more information you can visit their website.
Starting a business?
- Find out about writing a business plan with Start Ups UK or Discover Business
- Work on your time management
- HMRC have a range of short e-learning courses such as Working for Yourself
Need to find a business?
For local Trading Standards approved traders, go to the Buy With Confidence web pages available in the column on the right.
The local branch of the Hampshire Chambers of Commerce holds a member directory.
Fire Safety in the workplace
Employers and persons in control of a premises have a duty to ensure that a fire risk assessment is carried out. Hampshire fire and rescue have produced some guidance to help businesses, including how to carry out a fire risk assessment. It is also important to ensure that your employees have suitable training in what to do in the event of a fire.
A publication called "Do you have Paying Guests?" has been issued by the Department for Communities and Local Government and seeks to address difficulties that the hospitality industry, specifically bed and breakfasts, guest houses and self catering properties, have faced in understanding the new rules. It explains the risk assessment process, sets out sources of further advice and guidance and offers some practical information for owners on what may represent appropriate and proportionate fire safety measures in these types of premises.
For more information, click here.
Community First Employee Volunteering
Employee Volunteering is when a company’s employees offer their time and expertise for the benefit of local voluntary and community groups during work time, all with the support of their employer. Volunteering is promoted, encouraged and recognised by the company.
Community First works with local charitable and voluntary organisations so that local businesses can get involved in the community, from sharing skills of employees to helping out on a one-off project.
To find out more, please contact Janet Duggan on email@example.com or on Tel: 0300 500 8085. Alternatively, take a look here.
Providing benefits to the Armed Forces Community
Worthy Down Garrison and Winchester City Council are encouraging local businesses to provide benefits to the Armed Forces Community as part of the Armed Forces Covenant. Benefits could include:
• supporting the employment of veterans young and old
• supporting the employment of service spouses and partners
• offering a degree of flexibility in granting leave for service spouses and partners before, during and after a partner’s deployment
• supporting employees who chose to be members of the Reserve forces
• offering a discount to the members of the Armed Forces Community
If you are interested in finding out more about how you could help please contact Lieutenant Colonel Mark Cox AGC(SPS), Worthy Down Support Unit | Bld 10, Worthy Down, Winchester, Hants, SO21 2RG | Mil: 94271 2295 | Civil: 01962 887295 | e-mail: WDTrgSpUnit-HQ-CO@mod.uk