Business and Economy

Support and advice for businesses

Photo of a laptop

Posted on: 25 March 2020

Devon County Council has pledged that it will do everything it can to help local businesses through the coronavirus outbreak and ensure a strong recovery for the local economy.

The authority is encouraging businesses to visit the Heart of the South West Growth Hub to find essential information on available support and advice.

The Growth Hub, which is delivered by the County Council on behalf of the HotSW Local Enterprise Partnership, can help provide businesses with details of the Government’s proposals on Business Rate Relief and how eligible businesses can apply for loans.

The Government is offering a package of support for business and the County Council is offering its support to district councils to deal with enquiries about business rate relief.

In order to replace postponed jobs fairs that had been arranged for former employees at Flybe and Axminster Carpets, a virtual careers fair has been launched and opened up to all those across the Heart of the South West area who are currently out of work. It has been launched by a partnership of the Heart of the South West LEP and local authorities, and is led by Devon County Council.

The County Council is also ensuring that businesses in its supply chain are promptly reimbursed, reducing payment terms from 20 days to 5 days until further notice to ensure that cash flow is maintained for suppliers as the council maintains its critical services.

Photo of Councillor Rufus Gilbert

Councillor Rufus Gilbert

Councillor Rufus Gilbert, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Economy and Skills, said: “Businesses are the backbone of our communities and we will do everything we can to support the local economy.

“The coronavirus is a devastating blow for all businesses, particularly the tourism industry at what is a crucial time of year.

“But this isn’t just about the economy, it’s about livelihoods and wellbeing of the workforce across the county.

“This is an unprecedented situation and requires a response to match.

“Fast-tracking payments to our suppliers may seem like a small contribution, but prompt payment could make the difference for a small, local supplier trying to pay staff and stay solvent.  It could also make a difference for vulnerable citizens in need of services from those suppliers.”

Among other agencies offering support is the Digital Skills Partnership, which is providing information on home working/remote working for businesses. Social Enterprise Cosmic, which specialises in website development and IT training is also offering training sessions on working from home.

Posted in: Business and Economy | DCC Homepage