Guide East Devon business coronavirus update - 2 July 2020

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1. Introduction

East Devon District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Economy, Asset Management and Regeneration, Councillor Paul Hayward, introduces this week’s business update:

Thank you to everyone who submitted an application to the Discretionary Grant Scheme, which closed on 24th June.  Please bear with us while we work through the 190 applications received - our officers will be in touch as soon as possible. I’m pleased to say that there will be a second round of funding, open for online applications from noon on 6th July to 5pm on 17th July at www.eastdevon.gov.uk/discretionary-business-grant.

We are very keen to receive applications from businesses such as local food and drink producers and suppliers to the hospitality trade.  We know there are businesses which could benefit from this fund but have not yet made contact, so please do encourage any business contacts working in this sector to apply.

I would like to highlight two important resources which can help businesses at this time. Firstly, a virtual career and skills fair has been launched to help people find work and learn new skills, as well as helping businesses recruit staff. Visit heartofswlep.co.uk/jobs-launchpad to find out more. Secondly, BIP’s Growth Support Programme has been extended. It means free, one to one business support, tailored specifically to your needs, is available to East Devon businesses. See more below.

There is an urgent and growing need to support for our local businesses. With furlough due to come to an end soon, we’ll start to realise the impact of the pandemic on local firms, jobs and the economy.  We can all help to secure jobs for local people, by shopping locally.  Never has this been more important. Think carefully about that next internet purchase - can you buy it from a local trader to help secure local jobs? 

The creative arts sector is facing significant financial challenges, including our own arts and cultural centres, Thelma Hulbert Gallery (THG) and Manor Pavilion theatre. The call to arms from the whole cultural sector to Government to help provide financial support is absolutely essential to help with its recovery. The sector will play a crucial role in rebuilding our communities, lifting spirits and bringing people together.  With this in mind, THG aims to reawaken interest in the amazing Sir Richard Long exhibition on loan from the Tate and the important messages on climate change it is raising. The Manor Pavilion theatre is looking at how it can support local theatre groups with controlled rehearsals ready for when restrictions are eased.

And finally, I am delighted to see that Exeter Airport will be operational again from 4 July, providing essential regional connectivity and much needed support to our local economy. I would like to extend a warm welcome to LOGANAIR, which is a new operator of internal flights starting this month.