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GROWING YOUR BUSINESS INTERNATIONALLY Thurs 15th July 2021 10.30am-11.30am. Free to attend. Join Lucy Hall – Facebook Lead Trainer and #Shemeansbusiness Trainer, founder of Digital Women and SocialDay. Learn how to identify strategies to grow your business internationally; understand the Facebook tools available to reach international audiences and more. www.kentinvictachamber.co.uk/events/business-internationally/
- VIRTUAL BUSINESS NETWORKING / KENT INVICTA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Tues 13th July 2021 10.30am-12pm. Free to attend. This week’s guest speaker will be Jonathan Goodwin from Warp Design. www.kentinvictachamber.co.uk/events/vbn-13th-july-2021/
- SIGN UP YOUR BUSINESS FOR LOCAL REWARDS FOR FREE!
Polly Barnfield OBE, CEO of Maybe*, the tech company that has developed Local Rewards, said: “Our research revealed that 66% of shoppers look online for inspiration.
“The Local Rewards guides group all social media content by location to encourage people to browse their local businesses, and when they reopen they will be rewarded for their local spend. Our aim is to enable shoppers to have a better shopping experience, discover new places and provide businesses with the tools to reward their customers.
“High Streets need infrastructure that until now has only been available for online businesses. They need to communicate with shoppers in real-time and be able to showcase what’s available.
“In order to compete, high street businesses need to up their digital game, promote their physical stores and collaborate. Our platforms help them collectively to do that.”
Sign up for FREE on www.localrewards.chat
- 30.03.21 MAYBE PLATFORM – LOCAL REWARDS SHOPPING GUIDE NOW LIVE FOR BUSINESSESS AND RESIDENTS, PLUS FREE SUPPORT FOR LOCAL BUSINESSES A new virtual shopping guide that showcases live content from Ashford and Tenterden businesses is now live. It enables shoppers to find businesses in their local areas, view the latest social media content and shop with them for rewards. With UK high streets set to see the reopening of non-essential retail in April, the guides make it simple to support local and will help businesses to connect with nearby shoppers. Every purchase by a registered shopper in participating businesses benefits other registered businesses nearby. It does not require any apps to be downloaded and is completely free for shoppers and businesses to access. The guides, better known as Local Rewards, have been created by Maybe*, a social media management platform, that helps businesses use social media to increase their digital activity and boost sales. The Maybe* platform provides all the tools and training businesses might need to increase revenue through social media engagement, even for those that already understand the basics. Ashford Borough Council is sponsoring 1,000 local businesses across the borough to sign up for a Maybe* account using the voucher code ASHFORDBOROUGH95. The account grants them free access to live webinars, training tools and insight tools for 12 months, as well as one to one support from the Maybe* experts. You can read more about Local Rewards and create a Maybe* account by clicking 'sign up your business' here: https://www.localrewards.chat
- 02.07.21 ABC JOB CLUB Job Club staff can assist with: Online job searching, Creating email accounts, Registering with online jobs sites such as Universal Jobsmatch, Indeed, Jobs in Kent etc., Updating CV's, Completing application forms, Careers advice, Interview skills and techniques. https://www.ashford.gov.uk/benefits/welfare-reform/job-club
- 02.07.21 APPRENTICE INCENTIVE PAYMENTS – HM GOVERNMENT EXPIRES 30th Sept 2021 The government has increased the incentive payment for hiring a new apprentice. The incentive payment is in addition to the £1,000 employers already receive for hiring an apprentice. Employers will receive £3,000 for new employees of any age who start their apprenticeship from 1 April 2021 to 30 September 2021. You can apply for incentive payments for these apprentices from 1 June 2021. Full details are available on the government’s website. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/incentive-payments-for-hiring-a-new-apprentice
12.04.21 RECOVERY LOAN SCHEME OPEN The Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS) provides financial support to businesses across the UK as they recover and grow following the coronavirus pandemic. Businesses can access loans varying in size from £25,000, up to a maximum of £10 million. Invoice and asset finance is available from £1,000. You can apply to the scheme if Covid-19 has affected your business. You can use the finance for any legitimate business purpose – including managing cashflow, investment and growth. However, you must be able to afford to take out additional debt finance for these purposes. Closing Date 31.12.21. You can read more on the Recovery Loan Scheme here: www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/recovery-loan-scheme/
- 12.04.21 NEW UK GIGABIT VOUCHER LAUNCHED The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for communities and businesses in rural areas to have improved broadband connections. Announced on 19 March as part of the wider £5bn ‘Project Gigabit’ programme, the UK Gigabit Broadband Voucher will provide micro-grants of up to £1,500 for households and up to £3,500 for businesses in the hardest to reach rural areas (with current speeds of less than 100Mbps) to support the cost of installing new gigabit-capable connections when part of a group scheme. You can read more on the Gigabit Voucher Scheme here: www.gigabitvoucher.culture.gov.uk
07.04.21 APPLY FOR AN HMRC GRANT TO HELP YOUR BUSINESS WITH CUSTOMS DECLARATIONS & COVER THE COST OF THESE ONLINE TRAINING COURSES. The SME Brexit Support Fund could give you up to £2000 to help with training or professional advice, if your business has up to 500 employees and no more than a £100 million annual turnover. The £20 million SME Brexit Support Fund enables traders to access practical support, including training for new customs, rules of origin and VAT processes. Small and medium sized businesses that trade solely with the EU – and are therefore new to importing and exporting processes – are encouraged to apply for the grants.To be eligible, businesses must import or export goods between Great Britain and the EU, or move goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. For more info go to: https://kentinvictachamber.lpages.co/customs-training-programme/
- 06.04.21 KICKSTART SCHEME OPEN The Government’s Kickstart Scheme will subsidise six-month work placements for people aged 16-24 and on Universal Credit. You will also receive an additional grant of £1,500 to support the required employability skills training for your placement. The Kent & Medway Chamber of Commerce can help you successfully apply for a Kickstart grant and give you the option of accessing extensive funded and part-funded employability skills training for your placement. Using the Chamber as your Kickstart provider, you have the choice to deliver your own in-house employability skills training or tap into their cross-funded skills provider network. Their network can not only help you access funded training, but ongoing support across all areas of your business such as apprenticeships, internships and much more.You can read more and register youtr interest in the Kickstart scheme here: https://www.kentinvictachamber.co.uk/kickstart-scheme/
- 06.04.21 WORKPLACE TESTING PROGRAMME If you have already registered for this scheme you can order until 19th July 2021, however, if you have not previously registered you are no longer able to order free rapid lateral flow tests. https://www.gov.uk/get-workplace-coronavirus-tests
- 06.04.21 IMPORT / EXPORT SERVICES FROM THE KENT & MEDWAY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE The Kent & Medway Chamber of Commerce can help your business with a range of import and export services, including export documentation, customs declarations, rules of origin & certification services, and advice & consultancy. In addition, the Kent & Medway Growth Hub offers free EU transition advice by calling 03333 602300 anytime between 08:30-17:00, Mondays-Fridays. You can read more Chamber of Commerce import/export services here: https://kentinvictachamber.co.uk/our-services/international-export-bcc-accredited
- 30.3.21 UK tourism businesses registered ‘We’re Good To Go’ get global ‘Safe Travels’ stamp VisitBritain has today announced that tourism businesses in the UK registered to the ‘We’re Good To Go’ industry standard scheme can now be automatically issued with the international ‘Safe Travels’ stamp from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC). The WTTC stamp enables travellers to recognise destinations around the world which have adopted global standardised protocols - so they can experience ‘Safe Travels'. VisitBritain is coordinating the Safe Travels stamp issue in the UK, on behalf of the WTTC, for businesses registered to the We’re Good To Go scheme, with those who welcome international visitors particularly encouraged to apply. You can read more and apply for the We're Good to Go and Safe Travels schemes here: https://goodtogo.visitbritain.com
- 29.03.21 Kent Invicta Chamber Survey – www.kentinvictachamber.co.uk/kent-medway How can we support you with employment and recruitment issues? By telling us what is impacting your business, and how you are affected by employment and recruitment issues, we can better understand how to support you and the local business community, as well as those that have recently lost their jobs. Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with leading recruitment business HR GO Recruitment,(www.hrgo.co.uk/employers) is carrying out vital fieldwork to establish how it should respond to, and assist with, the employment needs of local businesses. We would like to ask you to share your recent employment and recruitment experiences, and plans for the immediate future, by completing our Kent & Medway Employment Outlook survey. (www.kentinvictachamber.co.uk/kent-medway-employment-outlook/) The survey's findings will also be shared with the Kent & Medway Employment Task Force* and will influence their response to the rising levels of unemployment caused by Covid-19. It is essential that your business’ needs are better understood as the Taskforce strives to support the business community and help local people get back into work over the coming year.
- 20.02.21 SMARTER CHOICES ENERGY INITIATIVE www.smarter-choices.uk Smarter Choices has been government-funded to provide straightforward building energy-saving solutions. To develop this new service, SMEs with energy bills above £20,000 per year can now access a limited number of free energy assessments and free measurement & verification equipment for pilot projects which proceed to installation. You will get a free impartial building energy assessment, with no obligation to make any purchase. Handholding support will help you identify financing for the improvement measures recommended by the assessment. Following installation, Smarter Choices may provide free monitoring equipment fitted alongside the improvement measures, saving you money.
15.02.21 Ashford Borough Council
The helpline is open 08:30-17:00 Mondays-Fridays and can provide support with any business issue you face