Welcome to the latest edition of our South and Vale Business Support newsletter!

Our business rates team are required to carry out mandatory counter fraud checks with the government’s National Fraud Initiative (NFI) on all applications. This process has caused some delays to grant payments for eligible applicants.

Unfortunately, many applications (even those from established businesses) have initially failed the NFI checks for a variety of reasons. This means the rates team are required to request bank statements and further proof of trade from some businesses before the checks can be passed.

We assure you that the team are working as quickly as possible to process applications and will be in touch direct with any applicants that are required to provide additional documentation.

Circular business models can create more value for your business and a better experience for your customers.
The idea is that you keep your products in use for as long as possible, either by giving them a longer life by either ensuring they have multiple users, or by hiring, leasing, and sharing.

We've teamed up with fellow Oxfordshire Greentech members QSA Partners to host this workshop. Together, we’ll explore recent examples and take you through the first steps of implementing circular business models in your own business.

The workshop comes hot on the heels of furniture retail giant IKEA making national news by implementing a circular business model by launching a buy-back and re-sale scheme to reduce the number of products going to landfill. IKEA are offering customers vouchers to spend in-store in return for their unwanted furniture, creating value for the company whilst also reducing waste.

But circular models aren't just useful for big businesses! Join us for the webinar to find out how similar models can be used everywhere, from start-ups to growing SMEs.

Topics include:

  • Why are circular business models important?

  • What is a circular business model? How they work & some examples

  • How can my business create a circular business model? The steps and main factors in the process

  • Practical exercise in getting started: Identifying new values
Register your interest for the Skills for Business programme

The European Social Fund's Skills for Business programme offers Small & Medium Sized Enterprises up to 12 hours of training and development consultancy, worth the equivalent of £1800, free of charge, to support OxLEP’s commitment to supporting local businesses, helping the local economy and boosting skills.

The support could range from advising businesses on assistance with understanding and brokering apprenticeships, the Kickstart Placement Scheme, recruitment, retention and upskilling of staff, work placements, assisting businesses with developing processes and documentation or signposting to relevant services.

If this is of interest to your business, please complete the 'Engagement form' here.
Are you working from home and missing face-to-face meet-ups?

Netwalking is the new active alternative to traditional indoor business networking.

The Natural Netwalking team host an array of local walks to encourage us to get out into the open air, away from our working environment and into a comfortable space with like-minded people.

There are 3 types of Netwalk to choose from:

  • Early morning
  • Relaxed start morning
  • After work (early evening)
The walks last for approximately 1 to 1.5 hours (3 to 4 miles), with relaxed partner-swapping opportunities during the walk. The event is then followed by a visit to a local café or pub for further conversations.

Find a walk happening near you.

Find out more by reading the Business and Innovation Strategy Action Plans 
on our SVBS website.

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