Welcome to the latest edition of the SVBS newsletter.

We are aware that you are waiting for an update on the Additional Restrictions Grant scheme (ARG) for South and Vale. Details were not finalised in time for this edition of the newsletter, but we are expecting an update soon and will get back in touch with you as soon as we have the information ready to share.

In the meantime, there are plenty of new resources available to explore. Within this edition, you'll find details of the Government's new 'Help to grow: Digital' scheme and we've outlined the opportunity to have your say on South and Vale's Joint Design Guide - a document that guides design and construction of new developments in the area.

Our next 'Networking in...' session takes place on Wednesday 2 February, and we're also excited to launch a new partnership with Natural Netwalking to provide a series of "netwalks" that will take place throughout South and Vale . Our first netwalking event will take place on Tuesday 8 March, and we'd love for you to join us for a healthy, outdoor, in-person netwalking experience!

There are lots more opportunities, events and resources to get stuck into this week, but as always, if you'd like to suggest content for the SVBS newsletter, please get in touch with us.

- Team SVBS

Government backs UK entrepreneurs with tech support and software to help them grow

The government’s Help to Grow: Digital scheme – designed to support smaller businesses in adopting digital technologies so they can grow – opened for applications on 20 January.

Under the scheme, eligible businesses can receive discounts of up to £5,000 off the retail price of approved Digital Accounting and CRM software from leading technology suppliers. This software will help them to effectively manage their finances and build customer relationships, ultimately levelling up the way businesses are run and helping them to scale up.

Businesses can also access practical, specialised support and advice on how to choose the right digital technologies to boost their growth and productivity through a new online platform.

Find out more on the Government website.

Draft joint design guide - have your say

South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils are asking for views on the draft Joint Design Guide - a document that provides guidance on how new development in our area can be designed and constructed to the highest quality and sustainability.

The guide provides steps and design principles that will be considered when deciding on all future planning applications – whether it’s a resident looking to build an extension or a developer building a large housing site.

The six-week consultation ends at 11.59pm on Tuesday 1 March 2022.

Have your say using the South and Vale comment form.

Networking in... 'Change your Breathing'

Join us at Networking in... South & Vale as we welcome Tracey Howes, a Functional Breathwork Instructor and founder of Blue Mind Social.

Wednesday 2 February   |   07:30 - 09:00

Tracey will be talking about changing your breathing to improve sleep and performance, and reduce anxiety. We’ll be focusing on the health benefits of correct breathing, with an exercise thrown in for good measure.

The first 40 businesses to register for this event can claim a half-price ticket for just £5, using the code 'SVBS'.

Register for the event on the Networking in... website.

Join us for our first Natural Netwalking event

We've teamed up with Natural Netwalking to host a series of walks for local businesses - a healthy and safe alternative to traditional business networking events and a great way to escape from virtual meetings!

Join us for our event at the Earth Trust in Little Wittenham.

Date and time:
Tuesday 8 March
10:00 - 12:00

During the walk, you will have a number of 15-minute chats to really get to know your fellow walkers and also the opportunity to hear from the Earth Trust about the work they are doing to protect the environment and the natural world.

Complimentary coffees will be available after the walk.

Tickets are free for Natural Netwalking members, and just £10 for non-members. Book onto our first walk here.

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