Southend Business Partnership - Feb 2021 Newsletter

The latest Southend Business Partnership Newsletter for Feb 2021

Whilst challenges remain with some good news regarding Covid-19 vaccines there is as usual a lot to update you on since last month’s newsletter which is covered below.


Southend Business Partnership (SBP) Briefing

​The next SBP briefing will take place on 25 March 2021 via MS Teams. The briefing will be themed around digital. Speakers’ details will be updated shortly. In the meanwhile please register your place at Eventbrite.  

Shop Local - Totally Locally Southend-on-Sea

Calling all Southend-on-Sea independent businesses! With the support of Totally Locally - an award winning not-for-profit organisation- we've got the opportunity to create a virtual high street for Southend. The project is about creating town based websites that bring together independent businesses. Customers can buy from multiple local businesses, choose click & collect or delivery and pay in one go at the checkout. This one stop shop allows people to discover more of their local independent businesses and gives the business owner another platform to get their products out there. If your business is based in Southend and you'd like to hear more, please register your interest ASAP by filling in this simple form.

Supporting Young People and Job Seekers

  • Cash boost for new trainees
    The UK Government has announced funding boost to get more young people into work. Employers can now apply for a £1000 cash boost to help them take on new trainees. The cash boost – which is available until 31 July 2021 - will help businesses with the cost of providing a high-quality work placement for a trainee. This includes providing facilities, uniforms or helping with travel costs. Businesses offering new traineeship opportunities will receive the £1,000 bonus for every trainee they take on with up to a maximum of 10 trainees. Employers can claim the cash incentive for all work placements that have been completed since 1 September.
  • RE:Generation 2031 Project is part of the Creative Estuary Programme to deliver the Thames Estuary Production Corridor. It will provide funded job placements and mentoring support to young people so that they have the opportunity to develop a career in the creative sector. If you have suitable employment opportunities and would like to be involved, please contact the project team.
  • FSF Over 25s Programme, a partnership between Job Centre Plus, Southend Adult Community College and the Council, will be launched to enable over 25s back into work. The first course will begin on the 22 February and will cover three pathways: 1) Logistics, manufacturing, construction and warehouse; 2) IT Digital & Business Admin; and 3) Customer Services, Supermarket Retail and domestic cleaning. If you can give an industry talk, provide an industry mentor, host a recorded virtual tour, provide “industry specific tips for interviews” to the candidates, or offer real job interviews for candidates, we’d like to hear from you! Please contact Amir Girnary (Skills Officer). 
  • BT have launched an initiative called ‘Stand out Skills’, which focuses on helping job seekers of all ages. It will provide free daily support and focus on helping people discover their potential. The initiative will be available on BT’s social media accounts daily for 28 days from 19 January and on their new hub. You can also watch their one minute introduction to Stand out Skills at YouTube.
  • The Essex Apprenticeship Levy Transfer Service website has now gone live. The website aims to bring together businesses to help fund apprenticeship training costs in full. This is a centralised portal that matches businesses on their criteria and removes the barriers businesses can face when trying to gift their surplus levy. The portal is managed by a dedicated team, who vet all applications and provide support and guidance to businesses. The new service will help us increase apprenticeship opportunities in Essex across a number of sectors.


Economic Opportunities

  • Highways England has revealed the major jobs boost the Lower Thames Crossing will give to Kent and Essex. Delivery of this transformative project will support 10,000 jobs in the peak year of construction. Over the six-year building phase, it will employ more than 22,000 people, ranging from highly skilled engineers, architects and designers, to other essential staff such as caterers, sign makers and IT support. Over 100 businesses have already registered on a new SME directory that will be given to the main works contractors. You can still sign up to the directory here.
  • Purfleet Regeneration Project Supply Chain
    Haven Gateway's i-Construct Network recently delivered a webinar on the Purfleet Regeneration project for SMEs, aiming to connect business to a network of client groups and potential supply chain partners. The project is a joint venture between Urban Catalyst and Swan Housing Association - in partnership with Thurrock Council. If you have missed the session but would like to follow up please email

Business Support Programmes

  • South East Business Boost (SEBB) is offering free 12 hour support programme to eligible businesses in Essex, Kent and East Sussex. These online, live and interactive workshops delivered by industry experts – leading onto one-to-one business mentoring - will be run throughout February and March 2021, covering topics such as getting businesses online, social media, how to sell and adapting your business. The first session starts on 12 February 2021. Places are limited, book yours now at SEBB website.
  • Mercury Creatives programme are now open for applications and close on the 9 February. To be eligible you will need to live or be based in Essex, East Sussex, Kent or Suffolk, be registered as self-employed or as a business/ charity/ company and have a turnover of less than €200,000 euros of state aid (i.e. Arts Council Funding). Further details can be found at Mercury Theatre website.
  • Google Digital Garage sessions have been agreed between the team at Google and the Digital Skills Partnership regions, focusing on support to SMEs and Charities across the South East. We’ll be bringing 12 sessions in total, agreed between the regions and the Digital Garage team, with the first one on 3 March - Setting Up and Growing Your Charity Online. All sessions will begin at 11am; you can register for one or many of the sessions, from here
  • EU Transition Knowledge Hub website has just gone live, offering FREE advice on the impacts of Brexit on business. Whilst the site is still being developed in full, you can now call to speak to a Brexit Advisor or book for many of the webinars starting on 9 February 2021. Visit the Hub now to find out more.

Your Say Southend

  • Health and Wellbeing Strategy for Southend is out for consultation. Between now and 2 March, there is the opportunity to review the draft strategy and to provide feedback. To access the strategy and to complete the short survey, please click here to visit the Your Say Southend portal. Your comments will be considered when producing the final version of the strategy. If you have any questions, need assistance in completing the survey or would like to receive an alternative version of the survey, please email us.
  • Southend Adult Social Care is looking for a diverse group of people to join and help shape the future of our social care services. They are particularly keen to work with three different groups of people - older adults, adults and all age carers. There will be one group session a week over five weeks starting late January via Zoom. We are unable to pay you for your time. If you would like to be part of the conversation please email us. Alternatively call us on 07494 394081 or 07825 938820.

I do hope the above information has proved helpful in these continuing very challenging times and feel free to feedback to me on any matters on which you would welcome further coverage.

Published: 18th February 2021