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Business Support and Advice

There is a huge range of support and advice available to businesses – some of it is generic, some of it very specific. The links below should take you to useful organisations that will be able to deal with most of your queries.

COVID-19 - Advice for Businesses

This is a confusing and disturbing time for everyone but businesses are facing particular difficulties. However, there is some support and practical advice available. On 31 October, the Prime Minister announced a four week lockdown (external link) for England, running from 5 November to 2 December. However, people and businesses across the UK are being provided with additional financial support (external link) as part of the government’s plan for the next phase of its response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Please use this link to access information about COVID-19 support for local businesses.

BREXIT - Check, Change, Go

The Brexit Transition period comes to an end on 31 December 2020, which means there will be new rules for businesses and citizens from 1 January 2021. Is your business Brexit ready? If you are confused about the implications of Brexit on your business, the government has produced a handy checklist (external link) which gives you a list of actions personalised to your business. Bresilience.com (external link) provides companies with information, resources and a detailed checklist to help understand the issues surrounding international trade after Brexit. A useful Staffordshire Chamber webinar (external link) also covers some of the important information your business need to consider if you trade, or are thinking of trading, overseas.

Upcoming events

Note: Events listed below are set up by external organisations. A mention here does not imply endorsement by the Council.

Due the current COVID 19 advice from government regarding events and meetings, this section is suspended until further notice.

Business Boost

The Newcastle Business Boost Awards is an annual competition open to all small businesses in the borough. Although the competition will not be running in 2020, there are some exciting new plans developing for the 2021 Awards. Go to the Business Boost Awards website for full details and how to enter the competition when it is launched in 2021. 

General business advice

The Stoke and Staffordshire Business Helpline is a good first point of contact for any queries relating to business advice. Tel: 0300 111 8002 or e-mail business enquiries

Another general site for information about running and growing a business is  the Great Business website.

If you are looking to take your business to the next stage and need help with any aspect, Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce run a business mentor scheme which can provide experts in a variety of fields to work with your business on the issues where you need help.

If you are thinking about starting your own business, see the information on the ‘Business Start up’ page.

Specific help for...

Innovation and diversification (products and services)

The Business Innovation Centre (BIC) provides advice and support for innovative ideas from all business sectors. It also runs a range of innovation workshops throughout the year.

Both Keele University and Staffordshire University  operate knowledge transfer partnerships, which provide access to university skills and expertise to help companies develop.

The Innovative Product Support Service programme supports existing small businesses through the early stages of developing a new product or process aiming to bring it closer to the market. Examples of the type of funded support include: Product Design, Engineering analysis, Market Research, Intellectual Property Advice, Electronics Development, Commercial Reviews, New Product Development & Planning, Development & Implementation of Sensor Technologies. For further information please contact Project Manager Mike Shields on 01902 321105 or e-mail Mike Shields.

The Staffordshire Digital Innovation Partnerships (SDIPs) programme is designed to drive transformation through digital innovation in the region. The programme will create 36 Partnerships between Staffordshire SMEs and Staffordshire University. Projects will improve business processes and support the development of new to market products and services through the use of innovative digital technologies. There are three strands -  Digital Innovation Partnerships (DIPs) supporting development of new processes, services or products; Business Intelligence Partnerships (BIPs) helping businesses to unlock the power of the data they collect; Social Challenge Innovation Partnerships (SCIPs) focussing on prototype solutions to social challenges

The Keele Research and Innovation Support Programme (KRISP) brings academics, professionals and students from Keele University together with local businesses to develop new products, services and processes. The second phase will enable a further 200 local businesses to be supported between June 2019 and December 2021. To find out how your business can benefit, contact 01782 733001 or business.gateway@keele.ac.uk

Environmental Performance

"Businesses who understand the environment are businesses with bright futures" according to the Staffordshire Business & Environment Network (SBEN). SBEN provides a range of services to businesses to help improve competitiveness, profitability and environmental performance.

Trade waste

All businesses produce waste in various quantities. However, no matter how much is generated from commercial premises it is classified as trade waste. Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 a person that requests the collection of waste other than from a domestic household is liable to pay a reasonable charge for the collection and disposal of the waste to the organisation which arranges for its collection. Find out more about trade waste collection services from the Council. 

Training, apprentices and other human resource issues

Training courses for businesses from Newcastle-under-Lyme College.

Fully funded training courses to help your business grow are available through Skills Support for the Workforce. Eligibility criteria apply but both basic skills and higher level skills are included in the programme. For more information contact skills support.

Learndirect business offers a range of courses for your staff, leading to nationally recognised qualifications. You can also assess your leadership and management skills and create your own tailored plan for personal development.

Business crime

Explore ways of improving the effectiveness of your security and crime prevention arrangements with the Secured by Design interactive guide.

Businesses in and around Newcastle town centre may be interested in joining the Partnership Against Business Crime (PABC) a unique partnership dedicated to reducing the impact and cost of crime against businesses in both daytime and night time economies.

Relocation

The Borough of Newcastle-under-Lyme offers a first class location for your business, whatever its size. Excellent communication links, a mixed land and property portfolio and a great quality of life adds up to a superb opportunity for the future of your business. The Council has different types of property and land available and a range of sizes to accommodate businesses in different stages of growth. Details of other land and premises available in the area, using an interactive database, can be found on the 'Make it Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire' website.

For additional information to help with investment decisions, for example area profiles and census data, details about local education establishments, see the ‘Useful Links’ section.

Health and Safety Issues

The Environmental Health team make over 800 pest control visits each year to local businesses, including factories, offices, shops and school.  They regularly treat ant infestations, wasps’ nests and control rats and mice for commercial clients.

Certain workplace injuries, accidents and dangerous occurrences must be reported to the relevant health and safety enforcing authorities. These accidents are called ‘reportable’, and can now be reported directly to the HSE Incident Contact Centre.

Sector specific support

Tourism businesses

Destination Staffordshire is a dynamic partnership of visitor attractions, accommodation, eating establishments, artists, tourism businesses and councils that are working together to drive tourism in Staffordshire. Working in partnership with Winning Moves they are able to offer a specialised package of support for tourism businesses in Staffordshire.

Exclusively for small to medium tourism businesses across Staffordshire, the programme will provide tailored support for businesses to help improve your bottom line. Eligible businesses will have access to services under the programme including 1-2-1 consultancy, as well as a series of inspirational workshops and masterclasses that will give you practical tips and actions that you can apply in your business straight away. Check out Destination Staffordshire Support for Tourism Businesses delivered by Winning Moves Ltd for the full programme.

Creative industries

The creative sector continues to grow and develop in the area. Factory is Staffordshire’s dedicated business support programme for the creative sector, delivered through a series of bespoke support activities including: one to one business advice & guidance, business development workshops, sector driven events, networking opportunities, experienced mentors, tradeshow exposure and competitive market intelligence to help drive your business forward.

Rural businesses

The Rural Enterprise Programme operates across Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire’s rural areas which includes a large part of Newcastle-under-Lyme borough, grant applications for Rural Enterprise Programme are now closed.

Medical technology and healthcare businesses

Opportunities, events and networking for medical and non-medical companies wanting to grow their business from Medilink West Midlands.

Professional and business services

Finest - The North Staffordshire professional services network.

Town centre businesses

Businesses in and around Newcastle town centre have recently voted in favour of making the town a Business Improvement District (BID). This will generate around £280,000 a year for the next five years which will be used to fund activity identified in the business plan. The Newcastle BID website provides information about the BID and details of the support activities available for town centre businesses.

Businesses in Kidsgrove can become part of 'Go Kidsgrove', the town centre partnership for Kidsgrove.

Food related businesses

All food businesses are legally required to register with their Council at least 28 days before they intend to start trading.  Registration is free and involves completing a simple form to confirm the business's trading name, address, ownership, type of food activity and the opening date.  Registration is a one off process and the food business only needs to notify the Council if there are any significant changes.
 
Allergic reactions to food can be life threatening. In Britain, there are about six reported deaths each year due to food induced allergic reaction or anaphylaxis. Most of these fatal reactions are triggered by food eaten out. If your business involves food, check out this guidance for caterers and managers.

When problems arise

If you feel your business is getting into financial difficulties, contact the Stoke and Staffordshire business helpline as soon as possible on 0300 111 8002 or e-mail business enquiries to be put in contact with organisations that may be able to help you.

If you are struggling to pay rent, talk to your landlord as soon as you realise this is an issue - they may be willing to offer more favourable terms. For issues with rates contact the Council's business rates team on 01782 715500

In the worst case, if you are considering insolvency, look at the advice from the Insolvency Service. The Law Donut site also has concise information about the questions you need to be considering.


Last updated  25 November 2020

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