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Free support for local businesses struggling with rises in the cost of living

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As business operational costs continue to rise, local business owners across Devon, Somerset, Plymouth and Torbay are being urged to find out how they can benefit from free support to boost their resilience and help with the recent rises in the cost of living.

The combination of rising costs of commodities, energy and fuel, recruitment difficulties and rising inflation is making life difficult for many businesses. However, help is at hand with organisations dedicated to helping local businesses access the support they need.

One way that businesses can find out what help is available is to attend a Business Resilience event in Yeovil on 23rd November, which is being hosted by Devon County Council’s ‘Heart of the South West, Thrive’ programme, in partnership with South Somerset District Council.

This free event, which includes a networking lunch, aims to bring together businesses from across Somerset and provide practical support and guidance in response to the recent rises in the cost of living.

Businesses looking to boost their finances can discover more about the grant funding available to them and attend a workshop on “How to Create a Successful Funding Application” to raise their chances of making a successful application. They will also hear from a panel of expert guest speakers including an assessor from Innovate UK.

Business Owners and Managers who can’t attend in person can still sign up for other events including an online version of the workshop ‘How to Create a Successful Funding Application’ on 9th Dec: How to Create a Successful Funding Application - Business Information Point (

They can also access other free support through the Heart of the South West Growth Hub’s Thrive project which offers business planning to build resilience, along with workshops, webinars and 1-to-1s available from partners and sign up to the fortnightly newsletter to hear about future events.

Local business Devon Sea Salt received business development guidance as well as financial advice after contacting the Growth Hub helping to get the business back on track after what had been a very turbulent time due to the Coronavirus pandemic. 

Chris Hambley, Owner of Devon Sea Salt said “The Growth Hub really enabled us to gain the expert knowledge we needed to move the business forward. The pandemic threw the whole year of planning off-track, and the growth hub was invaluable in enabling us to pave a new way forward for Devon Sea Salt.’

David, Hynd, Programme Manager for the Heart of the South West Growth Hub says, “Here at the Growth Hub we speak to business owners daily who are struggling with rising business costs. In response to the many requests from these businesses, we’ve put together this business cost guidance: Cost of Living Resources & Tools - Growth Hub (

We can also offer advice on how to access funding, business planning and specific business challenges. I would urge ALL businesses worried about the future to spend some time investigating what help is available.”

Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for economic development, Councillor Rufus Gilbert, said, “Businesses, like everyone, are finding it a really difficult time right now with rising costs and recruitment challenges.  Our Heart of the South West Growth Hub is supporting local businesses with the skills and knowledge they need to navigate these difficult times, to access additional support and funding, and to help them develop their businesses.”

The Heart of the South West Growth Hub Service for All is receiving up to £781,965 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Growth Hub Service for All project is operating under the name Thrive. The accountable body for this programme is Devon County Council, working with business support providers including; BIP, Cosmic, and North Devon +. Our full privacy policy can be found on the Growth Hub website.


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