Business and Employment Advice
The British Library and Tower Hamlets Council
Start-ups in London Libraries (SiLL) & The British Library Intellectual Property Centre (BIPC)
Start-ups in London Libraries (SiLL) is a 3-year project, led by the British Library's Business and IP (BIPC) Centre. The project capitalises on existing public library infrastructure and resources, taking a hub and spoke approach led by the Business and IP Centre (BIPC) and supported by Tower Hamlets Council.
Start-ups in London Libraries workshops are now available as online webinars which are accessible remotely.
The British Library Intellectual Property Centre (BIPC) support small business owners, entrepreneurs and inventors. Their team are here to help you take the right steps to start up, protect and grow your business. Business owners, with plans to scale-up, can benefit from £10,000 worth of free support through the Innovating for Growth programme. Or if you want specialised start-up support they have a programme for that too.
Tower Hamlets Council
Tower Hamlets Enterprise Team
The council's Enterprise team are delivering a series of online masterclasses that will provide free
training and advice to businesses in Tower Hamlets. They have released their recent masterclass sessions online - direct links below.
The full play list can be found on the Tower Hamlets YouTube Channel - Business Masterclass - YouTube
Sign up to receive updates for current and future events
Local Rapid Testing Offer for Tower Hamlets Businesses
Covid-19 is still among us and infectious, which is why continued testing for the virus is vitally important. Rapid testing for people without symptoms of Covid-19 is now available.
Around one in three people who have Covid-19 have no symptoms and may be unknowingly spreading the virus. It is therefore important to increase rapid testing in workplaces / sectors that remain open during national restrictions.
By expanding testing, more positive cases will be found, helping workers who cannot work
from home unknowingly passing on the virus at work or at home. Increasing testing will
also ensure vital public and economic services can continue.
Businesses can register to order tests if:
- Your business is registered in England
- You employ 50 people or more
- Your employees cannot work from home
People who can work from home should continue to do so.
You can register online on the government website to order Covid-19 tests (rapid lateral flow tests) for your employees: www.gov.uk/get-workplace-coronavirus-tests
Do not use this service if you or your employees have symptoms or are self-isolating because you are a close contact of someone with Covid-19. This testing option is only to identify potential cases in people without symptoms and cannot be used instead of self-isolating.
Register online to order Covid-19 tests for your employees:
More information about rapid lateral flow tests is available online:
Hospitality Businesses – Licensing for Outside Space
Opportunities for local businesses to use outside space for their customers.
Tables and chairs licence is available that allows for part of the highway to be used for the consumption of food and drink, hopefully helping your business to get back trading with as many customers as possible.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Funding for Voluntary and Community Organisations
The council recognises the incredible contribution made by local Voluntary and Community Sector organisations (VCS) in helping people during the coronavirus pandemic. We know that demand on local VCS organisations is high, leading to immense pressure on both finances and staff resource.
The council is helping VCS organisations with free access to volunteers through our volunteering hub with Volunteer Centre Tower Hamlets. We will also continue to fund VCS partners, including organisations whose grants are due to come to an end, and will contact organisations that might qualify for a three-month rent holiday.
Financial support is also available through local, regional and national grant schemes, which can help organisations in Tower Hamlets with unexpected costs, loss of income or new projects.
Find out more
London and UK Business Support
ALLIA FUTURE BUSINESS CENTRE – GROW YOUR BUSINESS PROGRAMME
Our Grow Your Business programme is open to local and small businesses operating in, or creating opportunities in East London. We provide 3 months of specialist support and the tools to help your local business thrive and grow. The programme is open to all types of established local businesses; you could be running a café, a corner shop, a garage, florist or photography business.
Check out our social media links below:
NEWABLE ADVICE AND SUPPORT FOR BUSINESSES
Newable helps companies thrive by providing the essential resources they need to take the next step with their business.
Money - Whether that is patient capital to get help get ideas to scale. Or help finding finance to help with the peaks and troughs of trading, to hire new staff and operationalise growth plans.
Advice - No one can do everything on their own. Many need external support to get trading overseas or develop new management capability.
Space - Flexible workspaces and commercial developments to call home and from which to grow. Our website and Products & Services brochure provides further information.
BOXED COMMUNITY - VIRTUAL CO-WORKING SPACE
Boxed Community is a virtual co-working space for freelancers, business owners and remote workers. We provide support and development for entrepreneurs, freelancers and remote workers through ongoing learning programmes, business and personal development support, industry networkers and access to fellow members internationally. We run face-to-face activities in our community for a more comfortable, intuitive and exciting way of working collaboratively.
Boxed Community is offering one free month, which will include an onboarding session with the founder, to trial the virtual co-working space and a 25% discount on membership fees for all early adopters.
Find out more
Enterprise Nation is a vibrant community of small businesses and business advisers that exist to shortcut your route to trusted business support.
FACEBOOK – SKILLS AND TRAINING
Facebook and Be the Business, the government-backed productivity movement, have teamed up to help small businesses rebuild and recover, with a programme aiming to engage 250,000 businesses across the breadth of the UK over the next 12 months.
Access Facebook and Be the Business’ free virtual training sessions to boost your digital skills to help your business recover and grow.
Find out more
KICKSTART EMPLOYMENT SCHEME
The Kickstart Scheme provides funding to create new job placements for 16 to 24 year olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long term unemployment. Employers of all sizes can apply for funding which covers:
- 100% of the National Minimum Wage (or the National Living Wage depending on the age of the participant) for 25 hours per week for a total of 6 months
- associated employer National Insurance contributions
- employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions
Employers can spread the start date of the job placements up until the end of December 2021.
Contact the Kickstart Team
APPLICATIONS NOW OPEN FOR EVO PROGRAMMES 2021
EVO is a new series of initiatives and programmes to support purpose-driven businesses and founders on each step of their journey.
This year we are offering 4 different types of programmes to suit a wider range of purposes:
EVO Start - A 4-week intensive and explorative programme, open to ambitious early stage businesses that want to hone their business concept whilst embedding a positive social and environmental impact from the start. Delivered online, every Tuesday, beginning on the 25th May to 15th June 2021. APPLY NOW
EVO Adapt - Evo Adapt is an experiential two-day decelerator through which founders will have a vital opportunity to reflect on their motivations and goals as a business and refocus on themselves as leaders and pioneers. Delivered in-person (subject to Covid 19 restrictions) on the 29th & 30th July 2021. APPLY NOW
EVO Scale - Evo Scale is our flagship 3-month programme aimed at empowering purpose-driven enterprises to accelerate their businesses and achieve their social and environmental goals. Delivered online, every Wednesday, beginning on the 24th March to 23rd June 2021. APPLY NOW
EVO Pioneers - A unique opportunity for early-stage entrepreneurs with an impact focus to access a free deskspace at selected workspaces at The Trampery and also benefit from a whole host of dedicated support to help you develop your ideas and grow your business. The next Evo Pioneers programme will run from April – September 2021. APPLY NOW
LLOYDS BANK ACADEMY – LEARN FOR BUSINESS PROGRAMME
Our world is becoming more and more digital. Whether you want to improve your daily life, boost your business, or grow a charity, the Academy has the skills for you. Everything is free, easy to follow and open to everyone.
From using social media to attract customers to staying safe from fraud, these lessons can help improve your business – and they're completely free. Find out more here.
NATWEST ENTREPENEUR ACCELERATOR
The NatWest Accelerator and Fintech Accelerator programmes have been tailored to empower established businesses looking to grow. It’s an amazing journey that is fully-funded, and you don’t even have to be a NatWest customer. Find out more
NATWEST BUSINESS BUILDER
NatWest Business Builder is a fully funded digital programme to help business owners get themselves started at their own pace.
It has been developed to support businesses and entrepreneurs at all stages (whether you’re just starting out or an established business looking to make a change). It's free and you don’t have to be a NatWest customer to join. Find out more
GRANTS AND FINANCIAL SUPPORT
FIND TAILORED BUSINESS GRANTS WITH SWOOP GRANT FINDER
Looking for financial support without extra debt? Swoop is an online funding platform that has helped over 40,000 businesses find the relevant funding for their business. Swoop allows you to search through a range of grant providers, showing you options that could match your business needs.
As part of the response to Covid-19, national, local authority-level and privately funded grants and schemes have all been made available to help support businesses through the crisis. From the headline Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, Bounce Back Loan Scheme and Local Restrictions Support Grant through to the coronavirus Future Fund, the package of financial assistance for businesses is diverse and welcome.
Find Business Grants
CREDIT PASSPORT® - SUPPORTING SME’S WITH THEIR FINANCIAL HEALTH
Available Free to SMEs, these products are enabled by Open Banking technology and regulated by the FCA, to provide SMEs with the ability to present a more accurate picture of their financial performance and viability. Crucially, the products also make it possible for lenders to produce faster, more informed lending decisions, and match businesses with the right financial products.
The comprehensive suite of services includes:
- Funding Application Portal
- Pre-Crisis Funding Credit Report
- Covid-19 Liquidity Calculator
- Credit Passport Improve and Share, available on a paid £20 per month PLUS plan
For our local businesses - you can try the PLUS plan free for one month with this code: TOWERH2021
BASIC PAYE TOOLS – FOR BUSINESSES WITH FEWER THAN 10 STAFF
This free software allows you to perform most payroll tasks, including working out the tax and National Insurance for your employees and sending this information to HMRC.
If you have payroll software that cannot do certain tasks, you can use Basic PAYE Tools alongside it to:
- check a new employee’s National Insurance number (NVR)
- send an Employer Payment Summary (EPS)
- send an Earlier Year Update (EYU)
FIND CORONAVIRUS FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR YOUR BUSINESS
Coronavirus (COVID 19) support is available to employers and the self-employed, including sole traders and limited company directors. You may be eligible for loans, tax relief and cash grants, whether your business is open or closed.
Use this business support finder to see what support is available for you and your business.
NEW £1 MILLION KICKSTART FUND FOR FREELANCERS – OPENING SOON
The Genesis Foundation will soon be launching a new fund for freelance talent in the creative sector to create future-facing projects in response to Covid-19.
A panel of cultural leaders will commission the projects, including Kwame Kwei-Armah, Artistic Director of the Young Vic theatre, and Marie-Sophie Willis, Chief Executive of The Sixteen choir company.
Find out more
BOOK A 1:1 SESSION WITH AN EU POST-BREXIT ADVISER
The London Business Hub is now also offering FREE 1-2-1 advice and guidance to businesses to support them with the changes that impact them from 1st January due to Brexit.
We are also now pleased to announce we have a panel of specialist advisers on board covering a range of subjects including immigration and employment of EU nationals in the UK, employment of UK nationals in the EU, and business travel, tax, VAT, corporate law and import and export support. Our specialists are only accessible though the LBH/EU advisers. They will refer businesses to this specialist panel where relevant.
Businesses can book an appointment with an EU adviser here
LONDON BUSINESS HUB - HELPING LONDON’S BUSINESSES TACKLE THE CHALLENGES OF BREXIT
2021 has been a difficult year so far for London’s SMEs. Alongside the continuing impact of the pandemic, small businesses are now facing the challenges and changes of Brexit.
We know that tackling Brexit is a daunting task in the current environment, and London’s businesses need guidance and support more than ever.
That is why the London Business Hub has created the Brexit Business Resource Hub. These free resources are designed to offer practical advice and guidance to businesses and help them mitigate disruption and take advantage of new opportunities.
Our Brexit Resource Hub provides a range of free support for businesses including:
- Brexit Workshops with expert advisers to equip SMEs with the knowledge they need to navigate the new business landscape.
- Free personalised advice from expert Brexit Advisers help SMEs understand new requirements for doing business with countries in the European Union.
- Brexit Ready podcast series to facilitate business to business guidance on how to navigate the new trading relationship with the EU.
- In-depth guides to the post-Brexit trade deal on issues such as trade in goods and services, GDPR and preparing for a new post-Brexit commercial environment.
- Brexit blogs to help businesses navigate the latest information and updates on the transition.
SME BREXIT SUPPORT FUND – OPENING SOON
SMEs who trade only with the EU and are therefore new to importing and exporting processes will be encouraged to apply for grants of up to £2,000 for each trader to pay for practical support including training and professional advice to ensure they can continue trading effectively with the EU.
It can be used to help you get professional advice so your business can meet its customs, excise, import VAT or safety and security declaration requirements.
You can use the grant for training on:
- How to complete customs declarations.
- How to manage customs processes and use customs software and systems.
- Specific import and export related aspects including VAT, excise and rules of origin.