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Welcome to a special edition of the SVBS newsletter, outlining three important opportunities for South and Vale businesses.

This week, we're highlighting our upcoming webinar on how to increase your income with ShopAppy, our Tourism South East visitor economy survey, the Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF) expression of interest form and an update on our UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

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

We are aware that businesses are struggling in the current cost-of-living crisis, and we're doing all we can to help.

We've partnered with ShopAppy to provide an online marketplace for independent businesses located in South and Vale. By creating a profile, you'll be able to sell your products and services through the platform, with free access until March 2024. 

We'll be hosting a webinar on how to increase your income with ShopAppy, ideal for those who are interested in the scheme but are yet to sign up, and also for those who are already registered on the platform but want to know how they can make the most out of selling their products and services.

This free, one hour event is aimed at high street businesses, home businesses, micro businesses, small businesses, entrepreneurs and anyone looking to boost their income.
Date and time:
Thursday 27 July
11am - 12pm

Find out more about our partnership with ShopAppy on our website:
In collaboration with Tourism South East Research, we are inviting South and Vale based businesses to participate in a survey centred around the local visitor economy.

The deadline for completing this survey is Sunday 13 August at 11:59pm.
This survey will allow us to gain a better understanding of the sector, identifying the challenges faced by businesses and uncovering exciting opportunities for the future. The findings from this research will play a pivotal role in shaping strategies, materials and assets to support and improve the tourism sector, creating better experiences for both residents and visitors.

By taking part in this survey, you can contribute to the promotion of our rural districts as thriving destinations for tourism, leisure and well-being. Together, we can ensure that our local economy remains robust, supporting the vitality of town centres and high streets, and the viability of leisure, hospitality and cultural facilities.

This extensive research project is funded by the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.
The survey should only take approximately 20 minutes of your time. As a token of our gratitude, all submissions will be entered into Tourism South East's competition for a chance to win one of three £75 gift cards of your choice.

If you have any questions or need support in completing the survey, please contact or telephone 02380 625400.
We’ve recently secured funding through the government’s Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF). 

The fund supports the aims of the government’s Levelling Up White Paper and Future Farming Programme. It will fund capital projects for small businesses and community infrastructure that help to improve productivity and strengthen the rural economy and rural communities.

We’ll be making funding available to help achieve aims set out in our Corporate Plan, including action on the climate emergency, and improving community and economic wellbeing.

You can find more information about REPF via the links below:
We’ll be opening a grant scheme to allow organisations to apply for this funding later this year. In the meantime, we’re asking interested parties to complete an expression of interest form (EOI). 

Completed EOIs will help us to understand local demand and will inform the criterion for our final grant scheme that we expect to be available in Autumn 2023.

Please note - by submitting your ideas, you are not committing to undertake the project, and we are not committed to funding it or to offer funding in this area.
We’d like to thank all those who submitted an expression of interest for our UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF).

The expression of interest window is now closed, but if your business is based in a rural area, you may be interested in submitting an expression of interest for the Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF), outlined above.

UKSPF - next steps

We received over 70 expressions of interest and are currently in the process of completing our assessments. Whilst the expression of interest was not a formal funding application, we will be using the submitted information to help inform our programme. This may include making funding under interventions (outlined on our South and Vale webpages) available as grant funds, or contract opportunities. We advise you to keep an eye on the SVBS newsletter for further news as the schemes progress.

In the meantime, our team may be in touch with those who have submitted projects to provide advice, seek clarifications, or signpost to alternative funding over the coming weeks.

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