Companies House is aiming to introduce the first set of measures under the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act on 4 March 2024. The introduction of these changes needs secondary legislation so this date is still dependent on parliamentary timetables. It will not be earlier than 4 March.
The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act
The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act gives Companies House the power to play a more significant role in disrupting economic crime and supporting economic growth. The act received royal assent on 26 October 2023.
Article added 23rd January 2024
Town centre businesses - upgrade, repair or refurbish your shopfront!
North Devon Council's Town Centre Enhancement Scheme awards small grants to support existing independent businesses that would like to replace, improve or carry out repairs to their shop fronts or for other potential enhancement projects.
The aim of this scheme is to encourage businesses to upgrade, repair and refurbish shopfronts in North Devon’s town centres in order to emphasise both the individuality of the business premises and, where appropriate, the historic character of the town centres.
This is a capital grants scheme based on the award to North Devon Council within the UK Shared Prosperity fund investment plan for 2022/2024 within the ‘improvements to town centres and high streets’ strand.
The Council will contribute up to 50% of total eligible project costs, with businesses expected to match their contribution. The maximum grant available is £2000 or 50% of eligible project costs; whichever is the lower amount. The grant is ideal for supporting small repair or improvement projects such as fascia repairs, signage, painting and decorating, guttering, lighting and more.
As the grant is paid in arrears applicants will initially need to pay for the total project upfront.
There is an open-application approach with no set deadlines throughout the year, meaning applications will be determined on their own eligibility and merit on a first-come, first-served basis.
For further information, visit North Devon Council's website
Article added 8th January 2024
Free Cyber Security Support
If you - or any of your contacts - are involved in running a small to medium sized business, a local charity, a public sector or local community group, and you are concerned about the security of your IT systems or website, the South West Cyber Resilience Centre SWCRC may be able to help.
Superintendent Mark Moore from Devon and Cornwall Police, heads up the South West’s CRC. They are a not-for-profit organisation, funded by the Home Office and regional policing. They exist to help south-west based small to medium sized businesses, charities, voluntary groups and public sector organisations, with their cyber security.
Cyber security can feel complicated, expensive and unmanageable. It can be hard to know where to start, or how to improve resilience. Professional cyber security support is often costly and, for many, obtaining such assistance can be well beyond their financial means. These regional CRC’s have been set up by Government to help small to medium sized businesses, groups and organisations who find themselves in just this position.
Much of what is on offer to you from the CRC is absolutely free.
Should you wish to sign up you can do so at Membership | Cyber Resilience Centre for the South West (swcrc.co.uk)
Article added 8th January 2024
Torridge District Council relaunch their Town Beautification Scheme
Following on from last year’s successful town centre beautification scheme the new funding pot will once again be offering small grants to businesses on a matched funding basis. In 2023 the scheme was focused on town centres and distributed nearly £18k across 24 applications brightening up shop and business frontages, including the reoccupation of three empty premises, creating five new jobs.
In round 2 there will also be an opportunity for submissions from the gateways into town centres to ensure that the approach is also appealing, as well as the town centre itself. The money for the scheme will once again be provided through the government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund and will be limited to capital improvements up to maximum grant of £1000 with a 50:50 match funding arrangement.
The project is aimed at encouraging the creation of more attractive towns and enhance their character and appeal while increasing footfall. Encouraging new businesses and projects to occupy currently redundant units is another aim of the scheme. Examples of the type of work businesses might consider includes the possible replacement of shop windows and doors, new signage, painting of shop fronts, replacing gutters and downpipes, and other refurbishments.
The launch date for the scheme has been announced as the 10th of January 2024 with a deadline of noon on Wednesday the 7th of February for the receipt of applications.
For more information on eligibility please contact Kirsty Defranceski (Town Centre Project Officer) at Torridge District Council on 01237 428919 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to discuss the scheme further.
Article added 4th January 2024
Small Business Owners! Ready to level up in 2024?
The team at the Heart of the South West Growth Hub are delivering a Spotlight on Digital Tech Workshop Session at the Exeter Science Park in January and they have provided the following summary:
Let us help you navigate digital technology at our 'Spotlight on Digital Tech' event on 24th January 2024 from 9am – 1pm at Exeter Science Park. Join our FREE workshop: "2024 – Your Digital Business Plan of Action!" led by the fantastic Kate Doodson of Cosmic, covering:
- 2024's Top Business Trends & Challenges
- AI made simple for YOUR business
- Quick tips on Automation
- Making data-driven decisions
- The NEXT big thing in Digital Marketing
With guest speakers including Bigwave Marketing talking about ‘Social Media Trends’. Plus networking opportunities, Q&A & light refreshments inc breakfast pastries provided. Secure your spot now! Book via Eventbrite
Article added 21st December 2023
Skills Bootcamps: Free, flexible courses of up to 16 weeks
Skills Bootcamps are available to those who are unemployed, employed (looking to change career), and self-employed. Skills Bootcamps can be co-funded by employers to enable upskilling of employees.
The programme is funded by the National Skills Fund and includes Skills Bootcamps in:
- Professional Services
Skills Bootcamps are part of the Government’s Lifetime Skills Guarantee, helping everyone gain skills for life. Skills Bootcamps in Devon and Cornwall are led by Devon County Council.
*Skills Bootcamps are free to individuals who wish to upskill and change career. Employers who wish to upskill their staff are expected to part-fund the cost of the training.
For further information, visit the Train 4 Tomorrow website
Article added 23rd December 2023
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