We have developed an economic recovery plan and earmarked a budget of over £300 million to support economic recovery in the county. This includes a number of new or extended programmes to support businesses and the new Warwickshire Recovery and Investment Fund.
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
We have provided three loans to Coventry and Warwickshire Reinvestment Trust to extend the delivery of the government-backed CBILS scheme in Warwickshire.
We have extended our start-up contract with Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce to meet the additional demand from people looking to start a new business.
Survive, Sustain and Grow
Survive, Sustain and Grow is a new support programme for businesses most affected by the Covid-19 crisis. Open to all small businesses in Warwickshire with a focus on retail, tourism, hospitality and leisure, the programme offers a tailored one-to-one recovery support package through a network of specialist consultants.
Employee Assistance Programme
We have extended our EAP to support business owners and the employees of high street small and micro-businesses (employing 10 or less) to provide information and a confidential telephone number for help with mental health and well-being.
Digital Training Programme for Retail, Hospitality and Tourism Businesses
We have again extended our training programme to help retail, hospitality and tourism businesses reach and connect customers through online and social media tools. The popular programme is delivered by Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce in junction with Stories Marketing.
Adapt and Diversify Grants
We have established a new Adapt and Diversify grant scheme for retail, hospitality, tourism and leisure businesses and certain identified businesses in their supply chains that have also been affected by Covid-19. The scheme offers grants of £2,500 to £5,000 to access specialist external advice and up to £20,000 for projects which involve specialist advice and the purchase of equipment or the refurbishment of property.”
Retail and Hospitality Recovery and Investment Grants
We ran a grant scheme to support small businesses in the retail and hospitality sectors with the costs of capital investments which help sustain the business, safeguard jobs and support future growth. £222,427 was awarded to 40 businesses, helping safeguard 170 jobs.
The retail and hospitality grants form part of a wider package of finance for businesses funded by WCC.
Warwickshire Recovery and Investment Fund
Warwickshire County Council is creating a new £140 million fund to stimulate the county’s economy, create jobs, support local businesses and bring investment into the county.
The Warwickshire Recovery Investment Fund (WRIF) specifically addresses a gap that has been identified in the market for access to finance. The aim is to distribute £140 million over the next five years, offering loans and other financial investments to existing and new businesses to help their long-term recovery and growth.
The investment is a fundamental part of the Council’s COVID-19 Recovery Plan – and together with other support from the Council – is expected to create over 3,000 new jobs and safeguard many thousands more.
Warwickshire Skills Hub
We have established a number of skills programmes to support businesses as well as the Coventry and Warwickshire Redundancy Support Service.
Town Centres Tech Challenge – looking for ideas
The Town Centres Tech Challenge aims to identify and support up to four scalable digital initiatives that can be implemented across the county focusing on supporting and promoting our town centres as places to visit, enjoy and engage with safely. This will encourage the recovery of our town centres and help to stimulate the local economy.
Funding was available for projects within the range of £10,000 to £80,000 for a mixture of new or existing solutions.
Applications are currently being assessed and further details will be made available once successful projects have been selected.
Further initiatives to be launched soon
Funding has also been allocated to support further initiatives which will be launched over the coming weeks. This includes:
- Art Challenge Fund – Commissioning local artists to deliver schemes in our towns which help create attractive spaces to encourage shoppers to visit whilst at the same time supporting safe movement and social distancing.
We are also working with partners and a specialist tourism marketing consultancy to plan and deliver a new Visit Warwickshire marketing campaign which promotes the county as a safe, open destination for visitors.
Further programmes and initiatives are in development. Our economic recovery programme is part of a wider business support offer.