Thank you to everyone who was able to join us for the business conference call on Friday 2 October. If you missed the call but are interested in catching up, you can do so on YouTube, via the following link: Tunbridge Wells Borough Council Business Briefing - 02 October 2020
The panel for the call included Tunbridge Wells Borough Council Chief Executive, William Benson, Greg Clark MP, representation from Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, Royal Tunbridge Wells Together Business Improvement District, Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, and the Federation of Small Businesses.
There was a wide variety of questions posed to the panel, ranging from ensuring compliance with Environmental Health regulations, to lobbying for business rates relief and business support initiatives being undertaken both in Tunbridge Wells and nationally. Thank you to everyone for submitting questions for the discussion.
If you have further questions, please email us on email@example.com and we will pass it onto the relevant panel member. There is also Covid-19 business information available on the Tunbridge Wells Borough Council website.
As mentioned on the call, the Government Kickstart scheme has recently launched. This scheme provides funding to employers to create new 6 month placements for young people on Universal Credit or at risk of long term unemployment. Funding will cover 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, associated National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions. There is also extra funding for training to support young people to build on their experience and move into sustained employment afterwards.
Businesses that can offer less than 30 placements need to apply via a ‘Gateway’ that will submit a group of applications to the Department for Work and Pensions on your behalf. This is being offered by a number of different organisations in the local area including: West Kent Partnership, Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce and the Federation of Small Businesses, who all have a slightly different offers for employers to be part of their scheme.
Government has also released guidance on a Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG), if our area were to go into a local lockdown. The funding is only available for businesses that are required to close because of the formal publication of local lockdown guidance that resulted in a first full day of closures on, or after, the 9th September 2020. Grants will be issued for each three week period that a business is closed following the implementation of statutory localised restrictions and business closures. Further information is available on the link above, on the government website.
A number of useful links and business support opportunities are available from the organisations on the panel:
- Kent and Medway Growth Hub: The number for their helpline is 03333 602300.
- Federation of Small Businesses
- Royal Tunbridge Wells Together
- Tunbridge Wells Borough Council Business
- Small Business Charter Leadership Programme
- Locate in Kent Future Forward Programme
- SELEP (South East Local Enterprise Partnership) Digital Skills partnership
For any further questions, please email the Economic Development Team at Tunbridge Wells Borough Council on firstname.lastname@example.org.