A brand-new programme of free business support packages aiming to help organisations thrive in a Covid world has launched.
Stay Safe, Stay Open offers small businesses across Hertfordshire access to a wide range of free support which seeks to help enterprises navigate the changing advice and regulations, update risk assessments to ensure that they continue to trade safely, and plan for future success with financial support and continuity planning.
The support packages, which are free to access for eligible businesses in Hertfordshire, are being funded by the Hertfordshire Health Protection Board, and delivered in partnership by the Hertfordshire Growth Hub, the Better Business for All partnership, Visit Herts and Hertfordshire’s local authorities, including Watford Borough Council.
This support is available for businesses with premises in Hertfordshire operating in a number of sectors, however there is a distinct focus on the higher-risk consumer facing sectors as we move into autumn and winter including: Accommodation & Food services, Arts, Entertainment & Recreation, Retail, Hair & Beauty, and close contact services. The ventilation support will focus on businesses with limited natural ventilation that have large numbers of people in confined spaces, standing and mixing with each other including music venues, certain hospitality venues and leisure/sporting activities.
The following two, specialised support packages are available to access from today for eligible enterprises to make the most of:
Practical Health and Safety Consultancy, Operational and Business Planning Advice: Up to 8 hours of bespoke 1:1 support to review Covid-19 risk assessments and implement simple changes to bring you in line with the latest guidance. Experienced, personable, industry experts will run through the ‘customer journey’, providing practical business planning, operational, communications and training advice. This support is available for businesses with up to 50 employees in certain sectors with premises in Hertfordshire.
Funding to help improve ventilation: Are you concerned about the lack of ventilation and airflow in your venue or business premises as we move into the colder months? Access funding to pay for ventilation specialists who will audit your spaces and make recommendations for improvements that will help mitigate outbreaks without needing to reduce capacity. To determine if you meet the eligibility criteria, all businesses interested in applying must book an initial 1:1 advisory visit. Following the visit, eligible businesses will be referred to Hertfordshire Growth Hub and invited to apply for the ventilation funding.
Further to this, the following packages are already available, or will be launching in the near future:
Funded legal support package: Need help with HR, health and safety, commercial contracts, or tax? Hertfordshire businesses with fewer than 50 employees can access a year of free legal advice through funded membership to either Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce or the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) which includes including a 24/7 legal helpline, legal documents, templates, and policies available online.
Better business for all Trading Safely Toolkit: The Better Business for All partnership has produced a toolkit of resources to help businesses trade safely and comply with the law. These bitesize documents break down the advice into practical guides, checklists, and case studies with links to where organisations can find more local support and information.
Trading Safely Webinars and Workshops (Launching soon): Look out for a programme of webinars and events taking place online and across the county. The sessions will offer you the opportunity to hear from experts on a range of topics including regulation bidding for contracts, financial planning, and continuity planning, as well as ask questions and learn from other businesses facing similar challenges.
The Stay Safe, Stay Open business packages will also be supported by a consumer-facing campaign which is due to be launched by Visit Herts this winter. Campaign activity will aim to promote those venues across the county who are doing all that they can to keep everybody safe, as well as encouraging residents and visitors to support Hertfordshire businesses through the winter months in a safe and responsible way.
Eligible Hertfordshire businesses interested in learning more about the support available as part of Stay Safe, Stay Open, can find out more information at: https://www.hertsgrowthhub.com/news-blogs/51669-New-‘Stay-Safe,-Stay-Open’-packages-launch-across-Hertfordshire.
And, for further information, visitor economy businesses can also visit: https://www.visithertsbusiness.co.uk/.