DURHAM BUSINESS GROWTH

Upcoming events.

Welcome to the heart of dynamic networking and knowledge exchange at Durham Business Growth.  Our events are meticulously curated to empower entrepreneurs, professionals, and innovators with the insights, connections, and strategies they need to flourish in today's competitive landscape.

AI SOLUTIONS FOR SMEs - CONFERENCE - Thursday, 20th June 2024 - 9:00-15:30 - Ramside Hall, Ramside Hall, Carrville, Durham, County Durham, DH1 1TD
In an era of rapid technological advancement, the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become imperative for SMEs to thrive and remain competitive.  The AI Solutions for SMEs Conference aims to provide SMEs with the insights, tools, and strategies necessary to harness the power of AI effectively.

The conference will feature keynote speeches, panel discussions, and networking opportunities tailored specifically to the needs of SMEs. Expert speakers from industry-leading AI companies, successful SMEs, will share their experiences, best practices, and practical advice on leveraging AI technologies to drive innovation, streamline operations, and enhance competitiveness.

AMAZING NETWORKING - WHY IT MATTERS - Tuesday, 25th June 2024 - 9:00-12:30 - The Work Place, Aycliffe Business Park, Heighington Lane, Newton Aycliffe, DL5 6AH
Join Jeni Smith as she delves into the power of networking, knowledge transfer, and effective relationship management.  The content has been selected to provide delegates with the tools and ideas to scale their businesses through effective networking activities.

A BEGINNERS GUIDE TO VIDEO EDITING - Wednesday, 17th July 2024 - 9:00-12:30 - Durham, Frankland Lane, Durham, County Durham, DH1 5TA
Are you aiming to boost your business with video, ramp up your content on Instagram or Tik Tok, or launch your YouTube channel?

In this hands-on masterclass you'll learn how to edit high quality videos that will get you there faster, using the free version of CapCut video editing program.

In this hands-on masterclass you’ll be taken through a no-nonsense approach that will teach you how to edit and share video content for your business.

Plus we’ll take you through all of the cool features you need to know, to help you create great videos faster and easier.

ACCESSING GROWTH FUNDING FOR YOUR COUNTY DURHAM BUSINESS

Accessing Growth Funding for Your County Durham Business

For ambitious businesses in County Durham, lack of access to funding can be a major barrier to turning business plans into reality.

You may have bold ideas to develop new products, expand operations, or enter fresh markets - but bringing these initiatives to life requires capital investment.

As Durham County Council’s business support service, Business Durham can connect local businesses with a range of public and private funding streams tailored to your strategic growth goals.

Read on to learn more about the types of funding we provide access to and how it can help catalyse success for your County Durham business.

Funding to Turn Plans into Reality
With the right funding injection, businesses have the power to transform and grow in exciting new directions.

However navigating the complex funding landscape on your own can be difficult, and partnering with the wrong investors can negatively impact control and equity in your business.

Business Durham serves as an expert guide, opening doors to funding opportunities that align with your objectives and structure – whether you require:

  • Startup capital to get your new venture up and running.

  • Investment to scale up operations, production and workforce.

  • Loans to purchase new equipment, machinery or facilities.

  • Grants to support productivity and growth,  R&D, adopting new technologies or entering new markets.

  • Cash flow assistance to help stabilise and grow.

With established connections across the public and private funding community, we help businesses access finance without the hassle. Our advisers take the time to understand your funding needs and match you with the right capital to turn your plans into reality.

Types of Funding Available
Business Durham can advise and connect businesses with a diverse range of opportunities, including: 

Grant Funding
For initiatives such as productivity and growth, R & D, adopting clean technologies, developing new products or services, and exploring new market opportunities, grant funding covers a proportion of the costs.  We connect businesses with grants from sources like the Durham Business Growth Programme, Made Smarter, Innovate UK, UK Research and Innovation and much more.  Funding ranges from thousands to millions based on the project scope.

Loans
Affordable loan financing provides accessible capital to purchase equipment, expand facilities, bridge cash flow gaps, and more without diluting equity.  We facilitate access to loan options like the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund and other business-friendly lending streams. 

Equity Investment
For scaling companies ready to accelerate growth, our connections with angel investors, venture capital firms, and private equity firms provide access to substantial capital infusion in exchange for equity stakes.  Investment levels stretch into the millions for enterprises with high-growth prospects across tech, life sciences, advanced manufacturing, and other sectors. 

Innovation Support
For tech-driven businesses engaged in R&D and innovation, we open doors to resources like the Innovation SuperNetwork providing access to research partners, facilities, and funding.  These connections help translate ideas into realities.  We also connect innovators with events like Venturefest Northeast. 

Property and Infrastructure
As your company grows, lack of suitable workspaces and infrastructure can inhibit productivity and innovation.  We help businesses access capital from funds to invest in the right spaces, facilities and equipment.  In addition to funding, our advisers provide support on business planning, financial modelling, and investor pitch preparation to set your enterprise up for funding success.

Key Funding Criteria
While wide-ranging funding is available, most programmes look for certain criteria when evaluating businesses for support, including: 

  • Strong management team with industry experience. 

  • Innovative products, services or processes. 

  • Clear potential for high growth and job creation. 

  • Definable route to commercialisation. 

  • Cohesive financial planning and projections. 

  • Potential to increase productivity and economic impact. 

  • Ability to repay debt (for loans). 

Essentially, funders want to see that your business has solid leadership, a compelling plan, and potential for growth and financial sustainability. Our advisors help businesses understand requirements and present a strong case. 

Unlocking Funding for Your Business Goals
If your SME seeks capital to unlock your next stage of growth, Business Durham can help.  Our proven funding expertise and connections can open doors that provide your company with the investment necessary to: 

  • Develop groundbreaking new products or services. 

  • Adapt to fast-changing markets. 

  • Adopt productivity-enhancing technologies. 

  • Expand production capabilities and capacity. 

  • Enter new export markets across the UK and globally. 

  • Create more high-quality jobs across County Durham. 

Current Funding Opportunities For County Durham Businesses 

The Durham Business Growth Programme
This comprehensive 2-year initiative running until March 2025 aims to cultivate an environment where businesses can thrive, create quality jobs, and contribute to an inclusive, green economy.  It provides a strategic framework and support for companies seeking to elevate productivity and foster sustainable growth in the county. 

Learn More

Finance Durham
With £20 million available, Finance Durham offers flexible investment and loans from £150,000 to £2 million.  This fund enables early stage and established businesses across all sectors to finance their growth plans.  Equity, debt, and mezzanine funding packages are tailored to your specific needs. 

Email: info@financedurham.co.uk
Web: http://financedurham.co.uk
Telephone: 0191 731 8595

In short, funding provides rocket fuel for SMEs with the vision and drive to implement growth strategies and make a lasting economic impact. 

To explore funding options tailored to your business, contact our team today to start a conversation.  Together, we can determine the types and levels of capital investment that can help turn your plans into transformative realities.

To read the full article and find out more, click here.

Join the conversation here.

FREE ONLINE SERIES: GET EXCLUSIVE INSIGHTS FROM OUR EXPORT CHAMPIONS

Have you attended an Export Insights Board of Trade webinar yet? We hope you're enjoying them! Click here to see which UK CEO is up next.

Ready for more insightful discussions?  Well this month we are launching a brand-new series, but this time, our Export Champions are in the hot seat. 

Who are Export Champions?

They're a cohort of successful exporting businesses from across the UK that have agreed to give their time to support businesses who work with the Department for Business and Trade to grow overseas.

UK Export Academy Team, Department for Business and Trade exportacademy@businessandtrade.gov.uk

DEPARTMENT FOR BUSINESS AND TRADE (DBT) NORTHERN POWERHOUSE NEWSLETTER

TECHNOLOGY EXPORT OPPORTUNITIES IN THE NETHERLANDS - Wednesday, 19th June - 10:00-12:00 - Newcastle
Join us at TechNExt festival to learn from business leaders, fellow peers and industry experts on how to successfully grow your Tech business in the Dutch market.

FREE ONLINE MEETINGS TO HELP WITH VAT, GRANT FUNDING AND FINANCE WHEN SELLING GLOBALLY

Want to get your head around VAT?  Or perhaps you would like to explore grant funding options?

Throughout June we are hosting six webinars covering some key topics in the world of export finance.

Explore the sessions below and book to secure your free space!

Check out the events . . .

IT'S TIME TO GO BIG!  GET INVESTMENT READY WITH INNOVATE UK - Monday, 3rd June 2024 - 12:00-13:00
Join Innovate UK as they help you understand the different types of funding and finance available to your business.

TOP TIPS FOR UNDERSTANDING VAT IN EUROPE - Tuesday, 4th June 2024 - 14:00-15:00
Join tax experts SimplyVAT in this session which will support your understanding of VAT implications when trading with Europe.

BOOST YOUR EXPORT POTENTIAL WITH UK EXPORT FINANCE - Monday, 17th March 2024 - 14:00-15:00
Learn how the government's credit agency can support your export ambitions by exploring how your business may be eligible for trade finance and insurance.

UNLOCK YOUR POTENTIAL WITH THE BRITISH BUSINESS BANK! - Wednesday, 19th June 2024 - 14:00-15:00
Throughout 2022, 36% of smaller businesses sought external financial support, join this session to learn how the British Business Bank can support you.

EXPORT INSURANCE: MANAGE RISKS IN CHALLENGING MARKETS - Monday, 24th June 2024 - 14:00-15:00
UK Export Finance will take you through the importance of export insurance and the insurance products UKEF can provide to ensure you get paid when exporting.

FUEL YOUR VISION: GRANTIFY'S GUIDE TO GRANT FUNDING FOR INNOVATORS - Thursday, 27th June - 10:00-11:00
Join Grantify as they explore different grant funding options available, insights into avoiding pitfalls in the application process, where the opportunities are and why going global should be your next big step.

If you can't make the event live, then don't worry! If you book, you will have access to a recording that you can watch back at your leisure.

UK Export Academy Team, Department for Business and Trade exportacademy@businessandtrade.gov.uk

CHANGING RELATIONS DOMESTIC ABUSE WORKPLACE TRAINING

Webinar: the employer's role in supporting those affected by domestic abuse

A highly informative webinar that will explain why this is a business matter that should be addressed within your employee wellbeing support

Domestic abuse workplace training

DATE & TIME: Thursday, 27th June 2024 - 9:30-16:30
LOCATION: Salvus House, Aykley Heads, Durham, County Durham, DH1 5TS

Wondering why you should prioritise this issue?

1 in 3 women and 1 in 7 men are affected by domestic abuse in their lifetime.

For many years we have tended to see this as a private matter. But there are a range of ways this will be impacting your workplace:

  • Days of work missed

  • Productivity affected

  • Stalking and surveillance of employees whilst they are at your workplace

  • Employees leaving the workplace altogether and all the costs of recruitment, induction, teams being short-staffed this incurs

You may not have received disclosures but this does not mean it isn’t happening to those in your teams.

Could you get more from your staff by creating a more supportive workplace environment that proactively brings domestic abuse into the open as a topic you’re not afraid to address?

At just £95 per person, this is an ideal opportunity for your HR Lead, L&D Lead or some of your People Managers to come along and get a taste of our approach and if it is right for your organisation as a whole.

Delegates will receive lunch courtesy of Business Durham, as well as 2 informational resource books to take away.

Past training participants have said:

“Gave me more confidence to have those conversations.”

“Broadened the context in which I understand domestic abuse”

“Films were very powerful, backed up by quality resources”

“I found the interactive session very engaging. Can’t wait to share my experience and new knowledge.”

“Changing Relations training format is very different to what you might be used to - they use arts and media as a conduit for deep and meaningful reflections without invading anyone's privacy.”

Reserve your place today.

BOOK NOW FOR YOUR FREE INTERNATIONAL TRADE TRAINING . . .

With a new season approaching why not get stuck into our free training which could help grow your business overseas!

With over 40 webinars already live between now and May you can get ahead and book your free place now.  Explore our highlights below and click to secure your space.

Export Insights: Board of Trade Advisers
The Board of Trade is one of the government’s highest profile advisory bodies on trade.  This is an exclusive chance to hear from Advisers to the Board who will give their take on some of most important topics when looking to sell internationally.

Number of webinars: 4 (12th April 2024, 17th May 2024, 21st June 2024 & 19th July 2024)
Webinar duration: 30 minutes per session
Book now.

Develop your global market-entry strategy
Thinking of starting to sell overseas or perhaps selling into a new market? Undertaking carefully planned market research could be key to your success. Join this series to learn more!

Explore our full calendar now!

If you can't watch a session live don't worry, we will send you the recording to watch within four weeks - simple!

EXPLORE SEVEN WEBINARS TO CREATE A GREENER FUTURE FOR YOUR BUSINESS!

Earth Day is an annual event to demonstrate support for environmental protection - it's also a great time to think how your business could become more sustainable.

We are here to help, throughout May we are hosting our first Sustainability Month including seven webinars on key topics including:

Explore our full line up below and book your free space today.

Wednesday, 15th May 2024 - 10:00-11:00 - Climate change and your carbon footprint: Why is it important?
Dan Hill-Morriss from Carbon Footprint will give you clear understanding of why climate change and carbon emissions are important to any business, and the steps to take to create both commercial and environmental benefits.

Friday, 17th May 2024 - 15:00-15:30 - How to find the right export support for your business
For forty years, Dulas has pioneered the effective use of renewable energy.  Join this interactive session with MD, Ruth Chapman to hear her top tips on finding the right support to take your business to the world. 

Tuesday, 21st May 2024 - 10:00-11:00 - What does the EU's Carbon Adjustment Border Mechanism mean for your business?
Join George, Trade Policy and Strategy Director from Ernst & Young to learn about what the EU CBAM is, the implications for your business and preparing for upcoming changes in July. 

Thursday, 23rd May 2024 - 10:00-11:10 - What is the EU Packaging Directive, and what do you need to know about it?
Explore the legislation and guidelines around packaging your products when sending goods to customers across Europe. 

Thursday, 23rd May 2024 - 14:00-15:00 What is ESG and how can it help you grow your business?
Join Anouschka Jansen, Director of Sustainability Solutions at QIMA and learn why Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) standards could grow your business, while also benefiting the environment and community.

Don't forget, if you can't join a live event, as long as you sign up you will have access to a recording of the session for up to 4 weeks after.

UK Export Academy Team, Department for Business and Trade
exportacademy@businessandtrade.gov.uk

MAXIMISE CUSTOMER SATISFACTION WITH OUR NEW COURSE!

Hurry, first module free until 31st January!

Understanding and satisfying your customers is the key to thriving in today's competitive business landscape. 

That's why we're excited to introduce our new Consumer Insight Programme, which gives you the tools and techniques to maximise your customer satisfaction. 

In return for your feedback, the first 25 customers will be able to access the first module of this six-part course completely free

Watch below to find out more from your trainer, Elaine Morris...

 This is ideal if you're a small to medium-sized business that wants to learn cost and time-efficient techniques to understand your consumers. 

You can use insights from start-up to scale-up when you want to: 

  • Reduce the risk of new products/services by ensuring you're giving consumers what they really want.

  • Understand sales performance and how you can offer more to your customers.

  • Create consumer engagement by developing real connections and encourage brand advocacy.

  • Retain customers by keeping them loyal and anticipating future needs.

Act now before it's too late! 

The first module is free only to the first 25 customers until the end of January.

READY TO SHARE YOUR LOVE OF EXPORTING WITH SOMEONE SPECIAL?

Do you love growing your business overseas?

Want to give yourself, a colleague, friend or loved one the gift of international business growth this Valentine's Day?  The UK Export Academy is the perfect gift to share!

What is the UK Export Academy?

We are a training programme for UK businesses looking to grow their international sales, with hundreds of webinars available across the year.

With something for all skill levels, we cover the basics of selling overseas through to exciting topics in our Masterclasses.

The best bits? It's completely free and if you can't attend a session live, then you can catch up with the recording.

How do I share the love?

Why not spread the word of the programme and your love of selling overseas, and invite your special someone to book onto one of our welcome calls, hosted by our friendly Advisers Mark and Robin, to find out more about what we do.

Hope to see you, your colleague or your loved ones at one of our events soon!

UK Export Academy Team
Department for Business and Trade

INTERNATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES AND SUPPORT FOR YOUR BUSINESS GROWTH

Department for Business and Trade (DBT) Northern Powerhouse Newsletter

Exporter Spotlight: LoveRaw

We caught up with LoveRaw to talk about the business' international success and the support they have received from DBT,  who are now selling to 26 countries worldwide.  Find out more on how the company has recently signed contracts with Spar International, Tesco Ireland and Albert Heijn, and how their export sales percentage surged from five to 20 percent in just five years.  Read the full story here.

News and Updates

  • Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund II - The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund II will build on the success of the first and will deliver a £660 million commitment of new funding to smaller businesses.  The fund which now includes the whole of the North East aims to drive sustainable economic growth by supporting innovation and creating local opportunity for new and growing businesses across the North of England.  Read more here.

  • UK takes major step towards joining Indo-Pacific trade blocThe UK is one step closer to joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) later this year, as the new Trade Act received Royal Assent.  Further information here.

  • UK signs trade pact with second biggest US state – TexasThe UK signed a trade pact with Texas to boost trade and investment ties between the UK and Texas.  Texas has the second largest US state economy, making this the UK’s most economically significant trade pact with a US state to date. Click here for more information.

TEES VALLEY BUSINESS SUMMIT 2024

Book your exhibition stand today!

This year's Tees Valley Business Summit is on Thursday, 4th July 2024 at Teesside University back in the Olympia Building!  With over 600 attendees and a far-reaching promotional campaign across the North East, the event provides an exciting opportunity to showcase your business. 

Our Exhibition Stands are going fast, with a third of the stands available already booked.  Exhibit at the summit to:

  • Raise brand exposure: raise your profile and increase brand awareness with one of the largest events for SMEs based in the North East 

  • Create lead generation: identify potential customers who are actively seeking your products or services. 

  • Discover networking opportunities: build connections at the event with decision-makers, potential customers, suppliers, and key stakeholders within the Tees Valley.

Don't miss out on securing your spot, book your stand for £375 + VAT.

HELPING YOUR BUSINESS GROW - SPRING UPDATES 2024

On 1 February the Government launched a refreshed Help to Grow campaign providing a ‘one-stop shop’ of support and advice for small businesses, including the basics of setting up a business for the first time and on wider training and skills, mentorships, finance and funding. 

Spring Budget 2024

On Wednesday 6 March, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt delivered the Spring Budget 2024.  From VAT threshold changes to National Insurance reform, the Spring Budget had some good news for businesses.  This is part of the government's plan to grow the economy, ensure hard work is always rewarded, and ambition and aspiration are celebrated:

  • The Chancellor is extending the Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS) and renaming it as the Growth Guarantee Scheme.  This will run until the end of March 2026 and the scheme offers a 70% Government guarantee on loans to SMEs of up to £2 million in Great Britain, and £1 million in Northern Ireland.

  • The Government will increase the VAT registration threshold from £85,000 to £90,000 from April 2024.  This gives more room to grow before having to deal with VAT.  Over 28,000 businesses will benefit in 2024-25 from no longer being VAT registered.

  • Building on the 2 percentage point cut to Employee National Insurance at Autumn Statement, the Chancellor announced a second 2p cut from 10% to 8% from April.  Taken together with the cut to Employee National Insurance at Autumn Statement, this slashes the main rate of Employee NICs by a third and means the average worker earning £35,400 a year will be over £900 better off this year.

  • There has been a freeze on alcohol duty - a win for pubs and businesses in the hospitality sector.  The Chancellor said he was extending the freeze, benefiting 38,000 pubs across the UK, for a further year after keeping the duty unchanged in his Autumn Statement.

  • The temporary 5p cut in Fuel Duty was due to expire at the end of March 2024.  However, to support people and businesses with the cost of living, the Chancellor announced that Fuel Duty will remain frozen until March 2025.

  • The Government also plans to launch a new SME Digital Adoption Taskforce, which will investigate how best to support the adoption of digital technology in order to boost productivity.

FREE ONLINE SERIES: LEARN THE BUSINESS SECRETS FROM A RANGE OF TOP UK CEOs

In our brand new series you will get the chance to hear from top UK CEOs on their secrets to success when growing a global business.

With 4 sessions running every month from April to July you can drop into the topics that suit you, or join them all.

Take a look below to explore and press book to secure your free space.

Join our Export Insight series

Friday, 21st June 2024: How to up-skill your team for overseas growth - 15:00-15:30
Libby Hart, CEO of fashion brand LIBBY London, will give you top tips on how to ensure your team is ready for international growth.  Book your place here.

Friday, 19th July 2024: How Anya Hindmarch took her brand to the world - 15:00-15:30
Iconic fashion label founder and CEO Anya Hindmarch CBE will explore the transformative role of marketing in fuelling your expansion into new markets.  Book here.

UK Export Academy Team, Department for Business and Trade exportacademy@businessandtrade.gov.uk

IMPORTANT UPDATES: ECONOMIC CRIME AND CORPORATE TRANSPARENCY ACT CHANGES TO COMPANY LAW!

In October 2023, a new Act came into effect, granting Companies House increased authority to prevent fraudulent and misused companies or partnerships.  This law requires shutting down companies involved in fraudulent activities and penalises neglecting fraud prevention. 

The Act impacts a range of business structures, including: 

  • Private Limited Companies

  • Public Limited Companies (PLCs)

  • Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs)

  • Limited Partnerships (LPs)

  • Community Interest Companies (CICs)

  • Overseas Companies 

Key areas affected by this Act include: 

  1. Identity Checks: Stricter checks on business owners to enhance transparency of company ownership.

  2. Filing Accounts: Changes in how accounts and paperwork, such as Confirmation statements, are filed.

  3. Companies House Fees: Adjustments to Companies House fees.

  4. Prohibited Company Names: Regulations on prohibited company names.

  5. Data Protection: Measures against the abuse of personal information on the Companies House Register.

Understanding these changes is crucial for company directors and individuals in control. 

Companies House aims to implement the first set of updates on Monday, 4th March 2024.

Read more about the set of changes here!

Telephone: 03301 247 305
Email: letstalk@weareumi.co.uk
Online: www.weareumi.co.uk/webapp

DON'T FIND YOUR BUSINESS UNINSURED OR UNDERINSURED

We usually don’t want to think about insurance - personally or for our businesses.  Contemplating the worst and paying for unforeseen events isn't a pleasant thought. 

Yet, due to changing circumstances, areas such as property and contents including stock, plant and equipment, can often become underinsured. 

To help, we've pulled together the simple steps you can take to avoid insurance pitfalls, including how to: 

  • Assess your risks and needs

  • Shop around and consult a broker

  • Review and update your cover regularly.

Click here to avoid being uninsured or underinsured. 

You can also explore our 'Protecting Your BusinessHot Topic for support and insights covering Cyber Security, Business Insurance, and IP.

Telephone: 03301 247 305
Email: letstalk@weareumi.co.uk
Online: www.weareumi.co.uk/webapp

FIND OUT WHAT NEW HMRC RULES MEAN FOR YOU WHEN SELLING ONLINE

On 1st January, 2024, new UK regulations came into effect requiring online platforms to report on the income individuals and businesses make through them. 

To help, we've outlined the upcoming changes in Selling Online: What HMRC Digital Platforms Regulations Mean for You and below are some types of platforms and activities that will be affected: 

  • Freelance websites - Fiverr, People Per Hour and Upwork

  • Online marketplaces - eBay, Vinted and Etsy

  • Food delivery services - Uber Eats and Deliveroo

  • Taxi and private hire services - Uber and Bolt

  • Short-term accommodation - Airbnb and Vrbo 

Have a look at HMRC’s examples if you’re unsure whether you are trading, and use the online checker tool to determine if you need to register for Self Assessment. 

if you have any questions, please get in touch.

Telephone: 03301 247 305
Email: letstalk@weareumi.co.uk
Online: www.weareumi.co.uk/webapp

HELP PROTECT YOUR BUSINESS FROM CYBER CRIME!

As businesses across the world become increasingly digitalised, the risk of cyber attacks rises and the results can be incredibly damaging. 

With 43% of cyber-attacks targeting small businesses, it's important that you know how to protect yours. 

That's why we've pulled together the simple steps you can take to safeguard against cyber threats, including: 

  • Updating your software

  • Invest in an anti-virus software

  • Use strong passwords

  • Do not click on links from unknown email senders

  • Back up your data

  • And much more . . . 

Click here to make sure you know how to protect your business! 

Explore our 'Protecting Your Business' Hot Topic for support and insights covering Cyber Security, Business Insurance, and IP.

Telephone: 03301 247 305
Email: letstalk@weareumi.co.uk
We Are UMi website: https://www.weareumi.co.uk/

SUPERCHARGE YOUR BUSINESS GROWTH!

Achieve your growth goals faster and smarter than ever before. 

The UMi Go Further Group Coaching Programme is crafted to empower ambitious small to medium-sized business owners and leaders.

This is your final opportunity to join this transformative journey. 

Hear first hand from Kirsty about the immense value this program can bring to your business.

The 6 month programme starts 18th October is made up of a powerful combination of: 

  • Live fortnightly group coaching sessions – where the real magic happens.

  • 12 module self-study videos & workbooks – study at your own pace.

  • A peer group community – the collective power of like-minded individuals. 

Throughout which, you will be able to step powerfully into your leadership role, grow your business and focus on exactly what steps you need to take to achieve your goals. 

Hear from some businesses that have benefited hugely.

If this sounds like what you need, click here for more information, or if you have questions or want to check this is the right programme for you, book a free discovery call with Kirsty

You can also get a taster by watching the UMi Makes it Easy webinar showing you how to 'Avoid Mistakes When Scaling Your Business' she hosted last week. 

Act now before it's too late!

Further information can be found here.

MAKE SURE YOU'RE READY FOR UPCOMING CHANGES TO EMPLOYMENT LAW

Are you up to speed on all the recent and upcoming 2024 changes to employment law? 

Business compliance experts and UMi partners, Croner, has pulled together an overview of the recent & upcoming changes, outlining the impact on your business and employees, going through 2023 and beyond. 

Be prepared for upcoming changes, including:  

  • Proposed law limits on non-compete clauses to three months.

  • Discussions on legislation for pro-rata treatment of part-time workers.

  • Updates to GDPR, considering a 'common sense' data protection system.

  • Exemption for businesses with <500 employees from certain regulations.

  • Implementation of The Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Act 2023.

  • Employees will change to paternity leave.

  • And much more . . . 

Click here to make sure you know how each might impact your business!

If you wish to explore the implications of these changes for your business and determine the necessary steps, feel free to to give us a call (0330 124 7305), email (letstalk@weareumi.co.uk) or book an appointment.

YOUR GUIDE TO CRAFTING A WINNING FUNDING PITCH

If your business is looking for funding, you may need to prepare a funding pitch. 

Whatever the purpose, having a clear proposal to present will keep you on track and make you more credible to the funder. 

In this helpful guide, 'What to include in a funding pitch' we talk through what you need to include: 

  • Overview - covering what you do, your market and how you're run.

  • Project - details on the project that you need funding for.

  • Position - provide a window into your current business finances.

  • Viability - show the viability of the new project you need funding for.

  • Audience - tailor to the investor or creditor that you are speaking to.

 Click here to find out more! 

We understand the challenges of securing the right funding. To get some advice, book a One-to-One Financial Health Check with one of our team.

Telephone: 0330 124 7305
Email: letstalk@weareumi.co.uk
Online: http://www.weareumi.co.uk/webapp

UNLOCK FINANCIAL SUCCESS WITH UMI'S EXCLUSIVE FINANCE AND FUNDING BUNDLE

Trying to navigate the complex world of finance and funding for your business? 

This month's new Hot Topic: Finance and Funding will give you access a wealth of information that can help you make informed decisions and navigate the financial landscape effectively. 

What's covered this month:  

  • UMi Funding and Grants Finder

  • Understanding different types of business finance

  • Funding business growth

  • Using your cashflow statement for decision making

  • What to include in a funding pitch

If you're looking for funding opportunities and financial management tips, book your free Financial Health Check which includes a 30-minute one-on-one session with an UMi Business and Investment Adviser.

Telephone: 03301 247 305
Email: letstalk@weareumi.co.uk
UMi Sat Nav: https://tinyurl.com/mppweyuw

GUIDE YOUR BUSINESS THROUGH CHANGE WITH EFFECTIVE LEADERSHIP

We understand the critical role effective leadership and management play in the success of any business. 

Whether you're an experienced leader or just starting your managerial journey, this month our Hot Topic: Leadership and Management is designed to empower you with the knowledge and strategies you need, including: 

  • Leading an organisation through change

  • How to use strategic frameworks to make better business decisions

  • Leadership vs Management: What's the difference? 

  • How to spot when your company is languishing and how to overcome it 

  • What it takes to lead an employee-owned business

  • Podcast: Running a business without it becoming overwhelming

Click here to find out more.

If you're looking at how to improve your business' equality and diversity, feel free to give me a call, email or book an appointment.

Contact us:
Telephone: 03301 24 7305
Email: letstalk@weareumi.co.uk
Online here.

UNLOCK GRANT FUNDING FOR YOUR SUSTAINABILITY PROJECTS

Are you wanting to make your business more sustainable, but you're left wondering how you can fund the changes you need to make? 

We understand the importance of financing your projects, that's why we've pulled together national and regional sustainable funding schemes to help you, including: 

  • UK Government Green Funding Finder

  • Barclays Green Loans 

  • Green Business Loan Schemes - Wales

  • Low Carbon Transport Business Loan - Scotland

  • Green New Deal Fund - North of Tyne 

  • Green Business Grants - West of England

  • & Much more! 

Find out more here!

New schemes are being announced regularly and some may only be available for a short time, so we'll update you when we see anything we think you're eligible for. 

If you want some help to embrace sustainability and secure green funding, give me a call, email or book an appointment.
Telephone: 0330 124 7305
Email: letstalk@weareumi.co.uk

PREPARE YOUR BUSINESS TO BRAVE ANY STORM

Recent challenges brought about by rain and flooding show how vital it is for businesses to anticipate unpredictable weather conditions. 

UMi partner Croner shares how you can prepare or update adverse weather plans to keep your business functioning properly all year round, with help to: 

  •  Deal with travel disruptions

  •  How to prepare in advance

  •  What to include in an Adverse Weather Policy

  •  Mitigate school closures and emergency situations

  •  Manage pay during adverse weather

  •  And everyone's favourite . . . office temperature 

Equip your business with essential knowledge and tools to brave any storm, be it heavy snow, flooding, or extreme temperatures. 

Find out more here! 

Don't let unpredictable weather catch you off guard, if you need help to navigate your business through any weather-related disruptions, give us a call (0330 124 7305), email (letstalk@weareumi.co.uk) or book an appointment (https://tinyurl.com/4spchjvd).

DON'T MISS DBT'S BIG IN AMERICA DOCUMENTARY SERIES

The Department for Business and Trade's Big in America LinkedIn series is now live.

Big in America is a first-of-its-kind documentary series on LinkedIn. It follows five UK SMEs that are determined to crack the American market and export their goods and services.  Each fifteen-minute episode sees television personality Alex Polizzi mentor the businesses as they learn the ropes of the US market in preparation for a pitch to a major US business in New York City.  You can get a taste of what to expect by watching the series trailer.

Episodes are released fortnightly from 12th September to 7th November at 1pm and you can sign up using the links below to watch live, or on catch up.

Episode 1 (Willsow) – Live on catch-up to watch now

Episode 2 (See.Sense) – airing on 26th September 2023, 1pm

Episode 3 (Collctiv) – airing on 10th October 2023, 1pm

Episode 4 (Artemis) – airing on 24th October 2023, 1pm

Episode 5 (Spice Kitchen) – airing on 7th November 2023, 1pm

There will also be live Q&As with each of the SMEs at 2pm, directly after transmission - viewers will be able to attend and ask questions to the businesses featured during these sessions.

Keep an eye on DBT’s LinkedIn page as there will be other Big in America related content, including blogs and polls, over the coming weeks.

FIND OUT WHY IT PAYS TO BE SUSTAINABLE

There's never been a more crucial time to think about the environmental impact of your business. 

As well as benefitting the planet, sustainability can also help you build stronger customer loyalty, save on costs and ultimately boost your bottom-line. 

This month's Hot Topic: Sustainability, is full of tools and resources to help you make a positive impact, including: 

  • Cut costs with NatWest's Carbon Planner tool

  • Why is pays to be sustainable 

  • What is Net Zero, vs sustainability vs low carbon

  • How to reduce the carbon footprint of your business

  • How carbon offsetting can benefit your business 

Click here to find out more!

If you're a business owner looking to embark on your sustainability journey, feel free to give me a call, email or book an appointment.

If you're a business owner looking to embark on your sustainability journey, feel free to contact us:
Telephone: 0330 124 7305
Email: letstalk@weareumi.co.uk
Book an appointment here

ELEVATE YOUR RECRUITMENT: TOP TIPS FOR AVOIDING DISCRIMINATION!

A diverse and inclusive workforce starts with equitable recruitment practices. 

In today's dynamic business landscape, diversity isn't just a buzzword; it's a driving force behind innovation and success. 

There’s also legislation governing discrimination that employers need to be mindful of, otherwise, you could face claims of unlawful discrimination. 

Award-winning HR services provider Croner, share their Top Tips to Avoid Discrimination in Recruitment to avoid getting in hot water, covering:

  • Advertising a Vacancy

  • Shortlisting

  • Interviews

  • Making an offer

  • Probationary Periods

Find out more here

To speak to us about creating a more brighter and more inclusive workforce, give us a call, email or book an appointment.

Telephone: 0330 124 7305
Email: letstalk@weareumi.co.uk
Book an appointment here.

REGISTER FOR EXPERT MENTORING AND SUPPORT

The Department for Business and Trade is delighted to present this exciting opportunity to help support your business' growth; the UK Government's 'Help to Grow: Management' Course.

Help to Grow: Management is a training course for business leaders. Designed and delivered by industry experts and entrepreneurs at world-class business schools, this leadership course will help you learn how to take your business to the next level, increasing profitability, innovation and growth.

As part of the course you will:

  • learn from experts and entrepreneurs at accredited business schools

  • get 10 hours of 1-2-1 mentoring support to help you apply the learning to your business

  • learn about topics like developing a marketing strategy, financial management, and more

  • develop a plan to help your business grow

  • become more confident leading your business through current and future challenges.

The course is designed to fit around existing work and personal commitments.  It is 12 weeks long, with around 4 hours of training each week. It is 90% funded by the Government, meaning you'll pay £750 per person.

Click here to register your place on the course.

For more information about what you can expect to learn on the course, frequently asked questions and dates of upcoming courses near you, please visit www.smallbusinesscharter.org/help-to-grow-management.

BUILD A STRONGER BUSINESS WITH INCREASED DIVERSITY AND EQUALITY!

Diversity and equality are at the heart of building stronger, more innovative, and empathetic communities, both in the workplace and beyond. 

This month's new Hot Topic: Equality and Diversity will help your business drive positive change and foster an inclusive environment where diversity is celebrated and everyone's voices are heard. 

What's covered this month:  

  • Understanding the different types of discrimination

  • Top tips to avoiding discrimination

  • Disability Discrimination law in the workplace

  • Barriers facing Women in Business

  • Equal opportunities in the Workplace

  • How to engage young people in Business

Click here to find out more!

If you're looking at how to improve your business' equality and diversity, feel free to give me a call, email or book an appointment.

Call - 03302 01242 07305
Email - letstalk@weareumi.co.uk
Book an appointment here.

Partner Events

UMi - MEET THE TEAM

Growing a business isn’t always easy, it often needs more than a smart strategy. 

That's why we've added a range of specialist advisers to UMi Sat Nav to help you achieve your growth ambitions with personalised and actionable support. 

If you are looking to generate real growth, why not get in touch with my colleague and Growth Consultant, Dave Jones

With a wide breadth of experience supporting businesses combined with running his own, he has a particular passion for business finance, process improvement & project planning. 

Speak to Dave and he'll offer you specialist one-to-one support with how to: 

  • Refresh & evolve your business plan

  • Improve your sales & marketing techniques

  • Retain & attract a talented team

  • Build resilience in your supply chain 

Book your free 30-minute consultation with Dave Jones now for straight talking advice on how to grow your business.

GET EXPORT READY WITH UMI!

Are you looking to unlock the immense potential of international markets? 

This month's new Hot Topic: Exporting gives you access to a collection of tools and resources designed to supercharge your exporting success. 

Whether you're a seasoned exporter or just starting out, this bundle will provide you with: 

  • Export Readiness Checklist

  • Export Support Schemes

  • Shipping Tool

  • Import/Export Procedure Tool

  • Exporting Success Podcast 

  • On-Demand Webinars 

Click here to find out more! 

If you are a business owner needing help in exporting, feel free to give us a call (0330 1247 305), email or book an appointment.

UMi - UNLOCK THE SECRETS TO SALES SUCCESS

Ahead of the long weekend, catch up on our podcast series where we speak to industry experts and people just like you, who are on their own incredible business journey. 

In the latest episode we speak with founder and CEO of Just Williams, Jess Williams on how to unlock the secrets to sales and marketing success

Jessica shares her invaluable insights, strategies and experience to keep you ahead of the curve in this rapidly evolving landscape. 

Listen to find more from Jessica about:  

  • What led her to start Just Williams. 

  • The best decisions she made in her early stages. 

  • The challenges encountered and how she overcame them. 

  • Her best tips and advice to help improve your business sales. 

  • What’s next for her in her entrepreneurial journey.  

We have more than 25 episodes covering a range of business topics from entrepreneurship and leadership to marketing and innovation, so if you're want a bit of inspiration or to get some ideas to bring to your business, give them a listen.

EXPAND YOUR INTERNATIONAL SALES USING TECHNOLOGY

There is a wealth of opportunity in export markets, but many business leaders are put off by the challenges, particularly those arising from a technology perspective. 

In this article, we introduce innovative TradeTech you can use to improve your international customer journey and make more global sales, by using technology to: 

  • overcome barriers to international trade

  • localise your offering to suit new international markets

  • communicate clearly with foreign customers

  • smoothing friction in your customer journey 

Click here to get started! 

If you’ve found yourself feeling frustrated by the complexities of digital trade, be assured you’re not alone. 

Get it touch and we can help you go further.

Telephone: 0330 1247 305

Email: letstalk@weareumi.co.uk

Online: www.weareumi.co.uk/webapp

ELEVATE WORKPLACE WELLBEING TO INCREASE OVERALL PRODUCTIVITY!

By transforming the wellbeing of your workplace, you can boost employee morale, improve staff retention and increase your overall productivity. 

This month's new Hot Topic: Wellbeing gives you a collection of valuable insights, tips, and best practices that will empower your team and foster a culture of wellness, including: 

  • Health & safety responsibilities as a employer

  • A guide to support your employees mental health

  • Mental health first aider: Does my business need one?

  • Mental health awareness in the workplace

  • Menopause in the workplace

  • Tackling stress in the workplace

  • How to implement resilience training

Click here to find out more! 

If you're looking to unlock the secrets to fostering a healthier, happier, and more productive work environment, feel free to get in touch!

Telephone: 0330 124 7305
Email: letstalk@weareumi.co.uk
Book an appointment here.

A GUIDE TO SUPPORTING EMPLOYEE MENTAL HEALTH

Stress, anxiety and burnout can all take their toll on your employees performance, impacting your business success. 

Mental health issues cost employers an estimated £45bn every year, which equates to around £1,300 for every worker in the UK labour force. 

To help you achieve a supportive and nurturing work environment, here's a guide to supporting your employees' mental health and wellbeing, with the insights and strategies so you can effectively: 

  • Create a culture of openness

  • Keep the conversation going

  • Listen to staff

  • Promote a healthy work-life balance

  • Encourage physical activity 

Find out more here

To speak to us about supporting your employees wellbeing within your business, give us a call, email or book an appointment.

Telephone: 0330 124 7305
Email: letstalk@weareumi.co.uk
Book an appointment here.

GET SERIOUS ABOUT TRADING INTERNATIONALLY WITH OUR EXPORT READINESS CHECKLIST

We understand the immense potential and growth opportunities that exporting can bring to your business. 

If you're ready to expand your horizons through international trade, use our Export Readiness Checklist, a powerful tool designed to ensure your success in the global market. 

It will help you ask the key questions, including: 

  • Does your business have a well-established industry reputation?

  • Is your business financially stable?

  • Does your team have export experience?

  • Have you undertaken market research?

  • Do you have a contingency plan in place?

  • Do you have capacity to cope with demand?

  • Are your prices going to be competitive? 

Click here to get started! 

Once you’ve read through our checklist and believe you have a solid business case for exporting, then there is nothing stopping you from getting started. 

Get it touch and we can help you go further.

Email: letstalk@weareumi.co.uk

Online: www.weareumi.co.uk/webapp

CUT YOUR CARBON AND CUT YOUR COSTS!!

We are excited to introduce you to a powerful new tool that has the potential to transform your business and make a positive impact on the environment. 

NatWest is proud to present the Carbon Planner - a groundbreaking online resource designed to help you reduce your carbon footprint while simultaneously cutting your costs. 

There are many ways in which Carbon Planner could help your organisation, and not only in moving forward with your climate journey, but also to: 

  •  Understand the impact of your day-to-day activities.

  •  Prioritise actions you can take to reduce emissions.

  •  Share data with key stakeholders to help influence change.

  •  Reduce inefficiencies and costs across your organisations.

  •  Gain added confidence in your climate decisions.

  •  Inspire your workforce to get behind a focussed plan.

Click here to get started.

Watch this video for an overview of the Carbon Planner and what it does.  Get a feel for how it works and whether it could support your organisation to reduce emissions.

If you are a business owner looking to become more sustainable, get in touch and we can help you and your business go further.

Telephone: 0330 124 7305
Website: https://www.weareumi.co.uk/webapp/
Email: letstalk@weareumi.co.uk

EXPAND YOUR GLOBAL REACH WITH THE PERFECT INTERNATIONAL TRADE PARTNER!

In today's interconnected world, finding the right partner for international trade is crucial for success. 

However, navigating the complexities of global markets can be daunting.  That's why we've curated this insightful guide to help you make informed decisions and build relationships that will drive your business forward. 

In this guide, you'll find expert advice on the key factors to consider when selecting an international trade partner. It covers essential aspects such as: 

  • Complementary Products or Services

  • Financial Stability

  • Market Knowledge

  • Quality Standards

  • Communication and Support

  • Logistics

  • References and Reputation

Click here to get started!

Once you've researched and spoken with some potential partners, you will be able to negotiate your agreements. 

Get in touch and we can help you go further.

Telephone: 0330 124 7305
Email: letstalk@weareumi.co.uk
Website: https://bit.ly/3PvOAEy

ACT NOW TO SECURE GRANT FUNDING!

Businesses urged to Act Now to claim vital grant funding

Only a few months remain for firms to utilise the North East Business Support Fund.

Businesses are being urged to submit growth-based grant applications, as the deadline for a much-used fund approaches.

For over a decade, the North East Business Support Fund has provided a protective shield for business owners, helping SMEs de-risk investment in growth.

The fund’s success has been staggering, supporting nearly 5,000 SME businesses with over £9.1m in grants distributed across the region.

Grants are still available – subject to eligibility criteria - but only if businesses ACT NOW as Fund deadlines now loom – scheduled to finish in March 2023.  Focus remains on supporting the B2B sector however growth is also important to demonstrate to increase application success.

The programme will continue to offer grants for business improvement projects that use External Expertise and the financial support will remain the same:

County Durham businesses can access up to 40% of Grant Funding for projects costing between £2,500 and £8,000 with Northumberland and Tyne & Wear businesses accessing up to 35% funding for projects costing between £3,000 and £8,000.

Please note that this Fund continues to be an extension to the North East Business Support Fund and therefore are unable to provide funding to businesses who have already accessed support from the programme - this includes:

  • Businesses who have received a Grant from the North East Business Support Fund since February 2018.

  • Businesses in Northumberland or Tyne and Wear who have received a Covid Response (SME restart and Recovery / Kick-starting Tourism) Grant.

NBSL business support manager, John King, said: “The success of the North East Business Support Fund has been incredible and we are working hard to maximise the opportunity this grant offers to SMES across the region.  This tranche of funding must be allocated before the end of March 2023 and we want to see every penny spent on helping our regional business community evolve.

“NBSL prides itself in taking the hassle out of grant applications and are proud to be an ally to the North East’s plethora of exciting SMEs, champing at the bit to realise their potential.”

To ACT NOW and take advantage of the final months of the North East Business Support Fund, visit the fund website here or contact the experienced grant management team at NBSL on 01670 813 322 or contact us at info@nbsl.org.uk.

UMi - MAKE BETTER BUSINESS DECISIONS, MORE QUICKLY

UMi ONLINE EVENTS - WEBINAR SERIES - COST OF TRADING CRISIS

Taking smart, decisive action is your best route through the #CostOfTradingCrisis.

Since our survey a few weeks ago, we've been designing support specific to the challenges you've told us you're facing.

So, starting next week alongside our partners, we’re launching a FREE SIX-WEEK WEBINAR SERIES to help you:

  • Build Business Resilience

  • Stress Test Your Performance

  • Reduce Your Trading Costs

  • Minimise Energy Consumption

  • Maximise Your Income

  • Prepare Continuity Plans

  • Negotiate Better Deals

  • Retain Your Talent

  • Anticipate Business Recovery

Sign up and select which of the webinars you would like to attend.  Full details of the online events and how to book, can be found here.

Don’t worry if you can’t attend live. Register and we'll send you the recordings.

To speak to us about these events or a specific challenge, give us a call (0330 1247 305), email us (letstalk@weareumi.co.uk) or book an appointment.

EXPLORE FREE TRAINING WEBINARS SUPPORTING THE SERVICE SECTOR TO GROW OVERSEAS

As a business in the service industry we would love to invite you to our upcoming webinars specifically focused on selling services internationally. 

Now is a great time to join the UK Export Academy (UKEA) as we have just had a makeover and launched our brand new homepage and events calendar, meaning that our website is much easier to navigate - it's just waiting for you to explore!

What is the UK Export Academy?

The UKEA from the Department for Business and Trade (DBT) is a training programme delivered at no cost for UK businesses of all sizes looking to grow their international sales.  By signing up, you will gain access to a vast range of virtual and in-person workshops held across the UK for both goods and service businesses.

Click here to explore our full events calendar and to book your space!

UK EXPORT ACADEMY EVENTS 2023

Grow your export knowledge with our Essentials sessions or build on your existing skills with our Masterclasses, Sector and Market events.
Upcoming events include:

  • Understanding Export Controls

  • How to Sell your Services Overseas

  • International Marketing: a beginner's guide

Exporting can help you grow your business by finding new customers and increasing your sales.

Over 6,000 businesses have already joined the UK Export Academy, our free training programme designed to give you the confidence and know-how to sell overseas, in your own time.

How it works

  1. Register in minutes - Create your account, receive your own welcome pack and get new event alerts.

  2. Create your programme - Pick online and in-person events that are right for you.

  3. Learn from the experts - Benefit from live presentations from experts, workshops and networking opportunities.

What’s involved?

Whether you’re new to exporting or looking to develop your knowledge even further, there is an event for you and your business. Customise your learning journey at a pace that suits you, all designed and delivered by specialist trade experts.

Essentials

  • for new exporters

  • learn the basics to get started

  • build your Export Action Plan

Masterclasses

  • for more experienced exporters

  • build on your existing exporting skills

  • key topics delivered by industry experts

Sector & Market

  • join a sector-specific event

  • find opportunities in global markets

  • get export updates from sector experts

View all events here.

LAUNCH OF TRADE AGREEMENT UTILISATION PAGE

The UK has signed over 70 trade agreements, the benefits of most of which can be enjoyed right now.  Each agreement is designed to make it easier for you to sell goods or services internationally.

A new Trade Agreement Utilisation page on great.gov.uk was launched in November.  If your business sells, buys, uses, supplies, or receives goods or services from other countries, then you can benefit from using a trade agreement. If you don’t already trade with other countries, trade agreements can make it easier for you to start.

You can use this new page to find out more about trade agreements, how to use them, and why they will benefit your business.

FREE TRADE AGREEMENTS - WE'D LIKE TO HEAR FROM YOU!

North East Traders and Free Trade Agreements

As a key part of the UK's future trade strategy, the Department for Business and Trade (DBT) aims to ensure that business awareness of the UK's new and upcoming Free Trade Agreements is as high as possible.  This short survey will help guide the Department's understanding and future work on Free Trade Agreements.

Eligible businesses who respond to the survey will have the opportunity to receive FREE follow up advice and support.  A member of our Free Trade Agreements team will arrange a 30 minute call to discuss how FTAs may affect your businesses exporting processes.

NORTH EAST BUSINESS SUPPORT FUND - GRANT APPLICATIONS ARE NOW CLOSED

After three years and supporting over 1,340 businesses, applications to the North East Business Support Fund in County Durham, Northumberland and Tyne & Wear have now closed.

The funding has been incredibly successful and we're hoping to have news about new grant funding programmes in the very near future - keep an eye out for our newsletters over the coming months and you'll be the first to hear about any grant funding programmes that could help to support your business. 

If you've got any questions about this, you can email info@nbsl.org.uk and one of our team will get back to you.

KARBON HOMES - SILVERTALK

Did you know that around half a million older people in the UK go at least five or six days without seeing or speaking to anyone at all?

The team at Silver Talk want to change this.  But to do it, they need your help!

They’re on the lookout for new friends on the phone volunteers to join the team and help bring companionship and a listening ear to one of their service users, through a 30-minute social telephone chat once a week.

For as little as 45 minutes a week, you could really change someone’s life.

You will be provided with a mobile phone to make the calls.

Full training is given to make sure you’re confident dealing with any situation that may arise.

Karbon will cover the cost of a DBS check which can come in useful in other areas of life.

Interested?  You can apply here, where you can also find a full volunteer role description.

Alternatively, you can reach the team either by email silvertalk@karbonhomes.co.uk or by calling 0191 223 8662.

NBSL: FUNDING AND SUPPORT TO REDUCE BUSINESS COSTS

Growth plans on hold due to spiralling business costs?

With all manner of operating costs on the rise, it’s crucial that businesses use any opportunity to maintain efficiency and ensure growth plans remain on track.

If you're investing in new processes, products or technology, take a look at just some of the ways we can support you.

North East Business Support Fund

Operating across Northumberland, Tyne & Wear and Durham, this Fund can help towards the cost of projects that help improve efficiency or growth.

We’re encouraging SMEs to apply without delay as the Fund enters its final year of operation.  Grants can be used towards the cost of a project that brings in any external expertise to help move the business forward - from marketing and web design specialists to financial or human resource consultants.

County Durham businesses can access up to 40% of Grant Funding for projects costing between £2,500 and £8,000 with Northumberland and Tyne & Wear businesses accessing up to 35% funding for projects costing between £3,000 and £8,000.

Funding will be proactively targeted at Business-to-Business organisations in the remaining months of the programme.  Due to a limit on the number of Business-to-Consumer organisations that can be assisted and the high level of recent demand, only the strongest Business-to-Consumer applications will receive support. It may be also worth noting that this is an extension to the current Fund and therefore we may be unable to provide funding if you have received a North East Business Support Fund grant since February 2018.  Visit the dedicated NBSF grant website here.

North Of Tyne Innovation Recovery Grant

With a 50% grant available, this Fund can support eligible projects costing between £10,000 and £20,000 (excluding VAT), meaning a grant of between £5,000 and £10,000 is available to eligible SMEs and social enterprises across Northumberland, Newcastle Upon Tyne and North Tyneside.

To be eligible for funding your project needs to be 'innovative' - all that means is that it’s changing something for the better in your business - it could be a new product, an improved service, or a new way of working, it just needs to be something you’ve never done before.

Perhaps you’re looking at new IT systems and software to improve efficiency or thinking about working with a marketing consultant to launch a new product?  Maybe you're buying new equipment to automate a manual process, move into a new market or manufacture a new product.  These and hundreds of other projects could be eligible for funding.

If you’re a business that regularly evaluates the value you deliver and are thinking of a project that will improve what you do - then you’re being innovative and we may be able to help with this grant.  Visit the Innovation Funding website here.

Control costs through your carbon footprint

How do we reduce costs, save money and protect the environment is the first question posed at our most recent skills programme now available: ToNetZero.

Funded through the North of Tyne Combined Authority, this jargon-busting programme is a new skills programme helping you recognise the impact you could have on your carbon emissions and how you can develop your skills to spot ways of making changes with the potential to save costs.

Providing you with skills to design and implement your own plans, we’ve also lined up specialist speakers to inspire and encourage your ideas.

The programme is a flexible, fully funded skills programme supporting micro/SMEs and key staff over the age of 19 living in the North of Tyne and aims to develop your understanding, knowledge and skills through interactive, online workshops with each participant receiving eight hours of 1-2-1 support to help implement their own development plan for the business.  Find out more about ToNetZero here.

Building resilience thanks to NEBSF grant

With 2022 starting strongly, business resilience and operational efficiencies have become business critical to most businesses at the moment.

Thanks to the support of the North East Business Support Fund, NECS have been able to bring in external expert, Absolute Quality Consultancy & Training Ltd (AQCT) to support the development of a Business Resilience Strategy.

With AQCT’s support, Gary accessed grant support from business support agency NBSL via the North East Business Support Fund - which is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund and the Northern Powerhouse. “It was stress-free to apply for the grant,” says Gary.  “NBSL led me through the simple application process, it was very straight forward and the team came back with a decision to approve the grant within days.”

“The support received from the North East Business Support Fund and NBSL has been excellent and the grant has empowered our team to turn adversity into opportunity - identifying and unlocking new possibilities and would recommend any business use this Fund to help build company resilience.”

Read the full NECS grant journey here and see if we could help your business build resilience for the future.

The North East Business Support Fund (NEBSF) is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund and Northern Powerhouse as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.

The project is delivered by NBSL.

DBT UPCOMING WEBINARS

All the webinars are free to UK companies.

You can expect to:

  • receive help and advice to sell overseas with confidence

  • gain new skills and knowledge

  • discover solutions to specific challenges to exporting

  • get your exporting questions answered by the experts

How long are the webinars?

Our experts usually present for 25 minutes and allow 35 minutes for answering your questions and helping you find solutions to any barriers you may face.

Look through the list to find the webinars you would like to attend.

Each link will connect you to a webinar registration form so you can receive your unique link to join the upcoming webinar.

MARKET BRIEFING WEBINAR: EDUCATION LANDSCAPE & OPPORTUNITIES IN LATAC

Webinar: Exploiting Education Opportunities Overseas (including EdTech) - Intellectual Property and Contractual Considerations

For companies involved in the EdTech sector this introductory webinar focuses on entering new markets, protecting your technology, and contractual considerations.  This introductory session, with the opportunity for questions, will be looking at some of the key intellectual property and contractual considerations when trading in tech abroad such as:

  • Routes into international markets from direct selling, incorporation, franchising, agency and distribution

  • Internationalising terms and conditions

  • Navigating local regulatory compliance

  • The categories of IP

  • Myths and reality

  • Cost and risk

View recording here.

NEWS FROM THE DBT

New Helpline for EU Exports - DBT now have a national helpline to help with paperwork and regulations for exporting to EU.  Please see here.

Free Trade Agreement (FTA’s) Support - We have signed FTA’s with a number of countries and more will be signed next year.  This changes the export opportunities and can raise a number of questions for exporters.  So at DBT North East we have contracted out this support to “The Funding Forum” see here.  They have been issued with new internal email addresses and be part of our team.  Please send enquiries to Paul Sparks initially, then if relevant I’ll connect you with the correct person to continue FTA support.

If you export to FRANCE - Starting 1st January, VAT on imports in France will no longer be collected by the customs authorities but rather will be automatically reverse-charged on the importer’s French VAT returns.  This means it will not be possible to import goods into France without a France VAT number as all companies acting as importers of record in France will need to have a valid French VAT number and file VAT declarations.  Foreign companies can register for VAT in France even if they are not established in France or elsewhere in the EU. DBT France will be partnering with RM Boulanger, a company specialised in cross-border formalities and tax matters, if you need any support with this please let me know.

Paul Sparks International Trade Adviser, Department for Business and Trade.

GOV.UK - NEW EXPORT STRATEGY

The new Export Support Service (ESS) - New phone and online support for exporting to EU can be found here.

New UK Tradeshow Programme providing funding of £2k to £4k per tradeshow - more information here.

Launch of the ‘Made in the UK, Sold to the World’ campaign - further information here.

UK EXPORT FINANCE (UKEF) - GOVERNMENT BACKED FINANCE & INSURANCE

You might not be aware of “UK Export Finance” (UKEF) which can help you with funding for exporting and overseas projects (see here) and also the information below which includes a number of links.  If any of this is of interest to you please let Paul Sparks know and he will put you in contact with the North East representative for a free chat.

The “trade finance” support is exclusively for businesses with a turnover of £6m or more.  Whereas “export insurance” can be companies of any size, (it’s the buyers finances & trading history that is crucial).

UK Export Finance (UKEF) is the UK’s export credit agency and a government department, working alongside Department for International Trade.

Having finance and insurance backing from HM Government through UKEF gives you the edge you need to win and fulfil contracts and withstand risk of non-payment in international markets. UKEF supports exporters to:

  • access export finance

  • manage payment risks

  • win export contracts by offering competitive terms to buyers. UKEF works with banks and other financial institutions to support exports for any size of company and across all sectors, from capital goods to services and intangibles such as intellectual property.

Access export finance

If the terms of a contract require a bond, such as performance guarantees or advance payment guarantees, UKEF’s Bond Support Scheme can guarantee a UK exporter’s bank up to 80% of the bond’s value, significantly reducing the size of the deposit needed.

UKEF’s Export Working Capital Scheme can partially guarantee to cover the credit risks for lenders associated with export working capital facilities.  This means UK companies can export if they win a contract higher in value than usual, or win more overseas contracts than usual.

UK suppliers to exporters can now also access UKEF financing, further spreading the benefits of trade.  Becoming part of an export supply chain can help smaller companies get their products and services into new markets.

Managing payment risks

UKEF helps exporters manage the uncertainties of trading overseas.  Export insurance is readily available in most cases from the commercial sector but securing the right cover can be a challenge in some markets.

UKEF’s Export Insurance Policy extends to cover exporters who are unable to uphold the contract for reasons beyond their control, such as country risk or issues within a supply chain.

Offering competitive terms to buyers

UKEF helps exporters win contracts by providing attractive financing for overseas buyers, either in the form of guarantees on commercial loans or by lending to them directly.  This competitive, long-term financing is particularly relevant to buyers in new and emerging markets, but is also used for larger and longer-term projects that the private sector does not have the capacity to support.  UKEF can offer support in over 60 pre-approved local currencies, enabling more overseas buyers to buy from the UK and pay in their own currency.

BREXIT & UK TRANSITION - IMPORTANT INFORMATION

The UK has now left the EU single market and customs union.  Whilst many aspects of Brexit are still unknown there are some things that will happen whatever the final outcome of the negotiations.  We’ve attached some guides to help you with this, every business will be affected in some way, even if it is just the way you store and process customer details etc.

The central point of information for all official government announcements and guides is https://www.gov.uk/transition

As well as DBT there are other government departments providing information to help with the transition.  The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) have produced a range of webinars, access these live and on demand, scroll down the page after opening the page.

North East England Chamber of Commerce (NEECC) – Brexit Support Week starting 16th Nov, see this and other events here.

The North East Growth Hub has some great resources here.

DBT are getting a range of questions on how the end of the transition period will affect them, if you have any specific concerns about the end of the transition period please send email us and we will try to get you an answer or point you in the right direction.

DEPARTMENT FOR BUSINESS AND TRADE

The Department for Business and Trade Trade has added many new events, both recorded and future events, including trade missions, webinars, etc. some are region specific and others available to businesses across whole of UK, please see https://www.events.great.gov.uk/ehome/trade-events-calendar/all-events/index.php and keep checking this as new events added all the time.

DEPARTMENT FOR INTERNATIONAL TRADE - OVERSEAS BUSINESS TRAVEL

Please see on the left the PDF which provides updated guidance on overseas business travel following Brexit, such as new visa systems, work permits etc and also updated guidance on Recognition of Professional Qualifications which you might need to get officially recognised in order to continue to provide services in EU or EFTA countries.

ARE YOU PREPARED TO TRADE UNDER THE NEW RULES?

With the UK now an independent trading nation, DIT has online tools and resources which are the go-to source of information for all businesses who trade internationally.

They are also a great starting place for businesses looking to seize new global trading opportunities.

Exporting goods from the UK

If you export goods out of the UK, visit the Check How to Export Goods online tool to find information on UK borders, and duties and customs procedures for over 160 markets around the world.

To export dual-use controlled items from the UK you must have a licence issued by the UK, except if you are exporting from Northern Ireland to the EU or Channel Islands.  Find out if your items need a licence. 

Check which tariffs apply to imports into the UK

Use the tariff look-up tool to find the tariff information you need, including commodity codes, duty and VAT rates.

Where to find more information

If you have any questions about the new trading rules and can’t find answers online, fill out an enquiry form and one of our experts will point you in the right direction.

IMPORTING GOODS FROM JANUARY 2021: THE UK GLOBAL TARIFF

The UK has left the EU.  The transition period ended on the 31st December this year and the UK left the single market and customs union.  Businesses should take action now.

Here’s what you need to know if your business imports goods from overseas.

What is the UK Global Tariff (UKGT)?

The UKGT is the UK’s independent ‘Most Favoured Nation’ tariff.  This is a schedule of taxes to be paid on goods imported into the UK from January 2021.  The UKGT will replace the EU’s Common External Tariff.

The UKGT will not apply to goods imported from a country that the UK has a trade deal witha country that is part of the Generalised Scheme of Preferences or where an exception applies.

What should I do next?

  1. Learn more about the UK Global Tarif

  2. Plan ahead by looking up the tariffs you will need to pay using the tariff look up tool.

  3. If you import goods from the EU, learn more about the import process and border controls with the EU from January 2021.

  4. Visit GOV.UK/transition for more information about what you need to do to prepare for the changes coming into effect from January 2021.

You can also find information and advice about trading internationally (outside the EU) here.

HM GOVERNMENT: BUSINESS READINESS BULLETIN - BREXIT: NEW RULES ARE HERE

The UK has left the EU, and the Brexit transition period has ended.  There are new rules for businesses doing business with the EU from 1st January, and you need to take action now.  All information on Brexit can be found at here.  This bulletin is issued by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and provides the latest information for businesses.

NEW £20 million SME Brexit Support Fund

The new £20 million SME Brexit Support Fund offers support to help small businesses adjust to new customs procedures, 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, can apply for grants of up to £2,000, to pay for practical support including training and professional advice to ensure they can continue trading effectively with the EU. 

You can use the grant for training on:

  • how to complete customs declarations

  • how to manage customs processes and use customs software and systems

  • specific import and export related aspects including VAT, excise and rules of origin 

It can be used to help you get professional advice so your business can meet its customs, excise, import VAT or safety and security declaration requirements. 

Your business may be eligible if you have up to 500 employees, and no more than £100 million annual turnover. 

Applications for the SME Brexit Support Fund will open soon.  For more information on how you can use the grant, who can apply and how to apply, click here.

Importing and Exporting

NEW: Step-by-Step guides to importing and exporting goods between Great Britain and the EU: There are new rules for importing and exporting goods between Great Britain and countries in the EU.  Whether you’re completing customs declarations yourself or have an intermediary to do it for you, these guides will take you through each step and set out your options.

NEW: DEFRA’s Trader showcase sites for the latest information on exporting and moving goods from GB to the EU and NI: DEFRA's Showcase sites are a one-stop-shop of useful information and documents for traders who export live animals or animal products.

UPDATED: Importing from and re-exporting union goods to the EU Resources such as trader support packs and flowcharts, have been updated to include a new ‘Importing and re-exporting union goods to the EU – Flowchart'. For more information, click here.

UPDATED: Report goods arriving at a UK port on a commercial vessel:  Guidance for the ship’s master or ship’s agent of commercial vessels on reporting goods arriving in at a UK port, has been updated with information about ‘an account of stores held on board’. For more information, click here.  

UPDATED: List of customs agents and fast parcel operators: The list of agents and operators who can help submit customs declarations has been updated. For more information, click here.

Marketing goods

UPDATED: Using the UKCA marking: Guidance has been updated to include further instructions regarding the height of the UKCA marking.  For more information, click here.  

UPDATED: Using the UKNI marking: Guidance has been updated to include further instructions regarding the height of the UKNI marking.  For more information, click here.

Trade

UPDATED: UK trade agreements with non-EU countries: The list of trade agreements has been updated to reflect the fully ratified UK-Egypt and UK-Singapore agreements.  For more information, click here.

Business Support Helplines

NEW: Brexit transition helplines: A list of government helplines organised by theme and key actions for businesses has been published.  To view this, click here.

There are new rules for businesses doing business with the EU from 1st January, and you need to take action now.  To help you, a helpline has been set up.  For English businesses, the Business Support Helpline can help you identify the actions you need to take.  Similar helplines are available for Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

For more information for:

  • businesses in England, call 0800 998 1098

  • businesses in Scotland, call 0300 303 0660

  • businesses in Wales, call 0300 060 3000

  • businesses in Northern Ireland, call 0800 181 4422.

For more information, including opening hours, click here.

Webinars and Podcasts

  • NEW: The National Cyber Security Centre is running a series of free cyber security webinars and talks aimed at UK businesses of all sizes, educational institutions and charities. For more information, click here.

  • NEW: Exporting goods from Great Britain to the EU via the short straits: A webinar and Q&A session on the issues arising from goods moving from GB to the EU, via the short straits, has been published.  To view these, click here.

  • Video content to keep your business moving: short on-demand videos covering the new rules on exports, imports, tariffs, data and hiring are available to view here.

  • DEFRA are hosting a series of webinars covering importing food and drink, including composite food and fishery products from the EU to Great Britain (GB) from 1 April 2021.  For more information and to register for relevant webinars, click here.

  • Webinars for businesses that trade with the EU: Click here to view a list of webinars you can sign up to watch live or on demand. 

Sector-specific guidance

Emissions Trading

UPDATED: Participating in the UK Emissions Trading Scheme (UK ETS): Guidance explaining who the UK ETS applies to, and what is required of businesses that are covered, has been updated.  Information on auctioning has been updated to include information on the Auction Reserve Price, the Cost Containment Mechanism and the Auctioning Regulations. For more information, click here.  

Fishing & Fisheries

NEW: Scottish seafood taskforce to solve ongoing problems with exports: A new seafood taskforce has been established, drawing together senior political figures, industry representatives and UK Government officials, all working to solve ongoing problems with exports.  For more information, click here.  

UPDATED: How to export wild caught marine fishery products to the EU from 1 January 2021: The latest edition of the ‘One-stop-shop' guidance is now available. For more information, click here.

HM GOVERNMENT'S BUSINESS SUPPORT WEBINARS

Government departments are hosting a series of webinars to help businesses understand the support available:

NEW EXPORT SUPPORT SERVICE

The Export Support Service is a new government helpline and online service where all UK businesses can get answers to practical questions about exporting to Europe.  It gives access to cross government information and support all in one place.  If you are a UK business you can use this free service, no matter the size of your business or which part of the UK you are based.  DBT will continue to work with businesses and business representative groups from all sectors, in all parts of the UK, to help make the service as useful as possible for businesses.  You can access the Export Support Service here or by calling 0300 303 8955 where you will be put in touch with a member of our dedicated export support team.  You can also ask a question online.  The export support team will reply within 3 working days.  They might ask for more information.

INSTITUTE OF EXPORT & INTERNATIONAL TRADE: NEW SME BREXIT SUPPORT FUND

Claim up to £2,000 towards training and advisory services

To help you adapt to new rules for trade with the EU, the IOE&IT has launched a SME Brexit Support Package of training and support, fundable by new government grants.

The government this week announced an additional £20 million available through the SME Brexit Support Fund.  Provided you meet certain eligibility criteria, you can get £2000 funding towards the costs of training and/or professional advice, to help you with changes to trade rules with the EU.

To help you adapt to new rules for trade with the EU, our SME Brexit Support Package is a good place to start.

One of our experts will provide a day's in-house training for your business (via virtual classroom), looking at the specific impacts new rules and regulations could have on your business.  They will create a one-page action plan with you to help ensure you're ready to continue EU trade.

The one-day training will cover the following core topics to help you, as an SME, continue trading:

  • EU:UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA)

  • Exporting to the EU

  • Importing from the EU

  • Rules of Origin for duty free trade

  • Incoterms for EU trade

  • Commodity codes

  • Trade and customs documentation

  • Customs procedures

  • Product regulatory compliance

  • Summary and wrap up

Book your support package today.  Our team will help you through the grant application process.

  • £1950 inc. VAT for non-members

  • £1750 inc. VAT for IOE&IT members

The SME Brexit Support Fund can also be used against several of the Institute's one day training courses to ensure key members in your team have the knowledge they need to be able to continue to trade with the EU:

Due to COVID-19, courses are currently being offered through a virtual classroom.  You can view all the courses here.

CE MARK, 6 MONTH COUNTDOWN TO UKCA & UKNI

From the 31st December 2021 it will be mandatory to use the new UKCA marking (UKNI for Ireland) for products that currently require CE Marking, new guidance has been produced by UK Government.  Please see detailed step by step guidance and one page guides for both UKCA and UKNI as well as a FAQ document.

Work is currently being done to translate guidance into other languages so that businesses can make their overseas clients aware of the changes, as there is currently little awareness within the EU of these planned changes.

ROYAL MAIL - NEW REQUIREMENTS WHEN SENDING INTERNATIONAL ITEMS

Electronic customs data is now required when sending items abroad

Electronic customs data is now mandatory when you send items/goods abroad (excluding personal correspondence).  You are required to provide customs data to us electronically in addition to the physical customs declaration (CN22 or CN23).  This has been effective since 1 January 2020.  Failure to comply is likely to result in delays, having items returned or even destroyed.

As of 1 June 2021, all Royal Mail shipping systems will require mandatory electronic customs data, to ship items internationally.

How to make it easy

Depending on how you are posting your items internationally, this will dictate on how you provide electronic customs data.

One of the ways to provide the required data is to use a shipping platform which meets the compliance requirements.

Royal Mail has shipping platforms such as Click & Drop* and Pro Shipping* or you can integrate you system with API Shipping.  These platforms capture and generate customs data files plus automatically create the required labels to send items abroad.

* Other competitor shipping systems also available

For Online postage, please ensure you complete the electronic customs form fully and completely.  This will pre-advise customs data to the receiving overseas postal authority and generate a physical customs form to attach to your item. 

Franking customers must include a self-adhesive S10 barcode on all untracked items (International Standard & International Economy) containing goods plus a clearly completed customs form (CN22/CN23).  Barcodes are available from www.royalmail.com/mailsupplies.  For tracked items an additional barcode is not required but clear and legible customs declarations must be completed.  Royal Mail will take care of customs pre-advice to the overseas postal authority.  See more on our International Services on account and franking page

If you are sending gifts/goods via a Post Office fully complete the relevant customs form (CN22 or CN23) clearly and legibly and attach it to your item. The Post Office will advise you of the correct customs form. Untracked items (International Standard and International Economy) should use the customs form that carries a barcode. If sending using one of our tracked and signature services an unbarcoded CN22/CN23 should be used. Royal Mail will take care of customs pre-advice to the overseas postal authority.

For further information, please visit the Royal Mail website.

 

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