The recent announcement to substantially increase the national minimum wage by April 2024 brings both opportunities and challenges for businesses and employers across the UK. While this significant boost aims to elevate the standard of living for millions of workers, it's imperative for businesses, charities and organisations, especially smaller ones, to strategise and adapt to this change proactively. Here are some viable strategies to navigate this shift:1. Budgeting and Financial Planning: Businesses should reassess their financial models and budgets to accommodate the increased wage bill. Analysing cash flows, identifying areas for potential savings or efficiency improvements, and revisiting pricing strategies...

West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) has launched a competitive commissioning round to identify partners to deliver key elements of its multi-million-pound investment plan which will benefit the local economy and support businesses’ sustainability goals.The Council is inviting suppliers to submit tenders to deliver two leading projects; Decarbonisation and Growth & Innovation. Both projects have been allocated £625k from the Council’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF). The Fund, which is managed for the Government by the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities supports the Government’s levelling up agenda.Among the plans for the UKSPF funding include providing business support and revenue grants...

Empowering small businesses, local entrepreneurs and aspiring business owners is the aim of North Northamptonshire Council and West Northamptonshire Council’s Build Your Business programme which is being rolled out across the area.Delivered by both Councils and the Business & IP Centre Northamptonshire (BIPC), with a total of £600,000 funding from the Government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) over a two-year period, the dynamic business support initiative is accessible to businesses free of charge.It offers a diverse range of modules and has already seen local businesses use the opportunity to access workshops, webinars, one to one support, mentoring and more which...

A new business support contract has gone live as of today from North Northamptonshire Council to help support retail businesses across Kettering, Corby, Wellingborough, Rushden and East Northamptonshire.North Northamptonshire is home to a wide range of small and independent retailers who continue to feel the impact of the pandemic and changing consumer habits.Business Support measures to drive employment growth has been identified as a key priority in the North Northamptonshire UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) Investment Plan.Funding is available through the UKSPF to deliver a comprehensive programme of support to retail businesses across North Northamptonshire until 31st December 2024. This...

Whether you want to grow your business, develop your management skills, enhance your workforce or connect to inspirational business events the University of Leicester School of Business can support you.Help to Grow: Management – starting 21 September If you’re a senior manager in a business with 5-249 employees looking to develop your business and enhance your leadership skills then our fully-funded Help to Grow: Management course can help. You will study 12 modules over 12 weeks with a time commitment of 4-5 hours a week and develop a growth action plan to lead your business to its full potential.Distance Learning We have...

In a Harvard Business Review article in June 2019 companies with higher ethical standards experience greater customer loyalty, satisfaction, and referrals. So what is ethical selling and how do you apply it in your business. A new workshop is being delivered by Rupert Turton from Action Coach Oakham and Kettering to help local businesses understand more about ethical selling and it's one not to be missed! The Workshop is open to all businesses in the Northamptonshire area as Rupert delivers this 90 minute workshop adding value to local businesses by applying 3 steps. If you are a business looking to increase their sales...

The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) is urging businesses to protect themselves from rogue business rates agents.New rateable values for business properties came into effect in April 2023. Councils used these new values to calculate business rates bills.Businesses can challenge their valuation if they think it’s incorrect. They can use a rating agent do this.But some rogue agents submit inaccurate information. This could result in penalties or increased rates bills.Be cautious of anyone who guarantees they can secure big business rates reductions.Alan Colston, Chief Valuer at the VOA, said: “The vast majority of agents are reputable and provide a good service....

Growing firms in the South East Midlands will find out how they can successfully bid for up to £300,000 for capital projects at an exciting free event next month.SEMLEP will unveil details of two new funding streams that are opening soon to growing businesses across Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes at its Show Me Success business conference.The event will also give firms the chance to connect with other ambitious business leaders, hear from leading speakers, access university-led business masterclasses and take advantage of expert support from SEMLEP Growth Curve advisers.SEMLEP chief executive Hilary Chipping said: “This is an important event...

We're delighted to be organising a Procurement Workshop in July for businesses, charities and organisations looking to tender or bid for local procurement opportunities.The workshop will be delivered by the Procurement Team from North Northamptonshire Council who will be able to explain how local businesses who can serve the supply requirements of North Northamptonshire Council can apply for public sector contracts.NNBN Director Simon Cox said "We're delighted to be sponsoring this workshop for people wishing to understand more about tendering opportunities and public sector contracts and are inviting those with an interest in tendering and bid writing to attend our workshop.""It's key, especially after...

The University of Leicester School of Business has supported over 250 small-to-medium sized businesses on the fully-funded Help to Grow: Management Course since September 2021.If you’re looking to develop leadership and management skills, optimise your business model, drive efficiencies or build greater engagement with your employees and customers this course can make a real practical difference.Largely delivered online but with 4 half-day in-person workshops in Leicester, managers and business owners in SMEs with 5-249 employees are invited to take advantage of this opportunity to join the next start date on 5th May.The programme is 90% government-funded and 10% funded through...

Time is running out for businesses to access a free intensive support programme designed to help them achieve sustainable long-term growth.Across the South East Midlands, hundreds of firms have risen to new heights with support from SEMLEP’s Growth Curve programme since its launch at the beginning of 2020.But with funding for the programme coming to an end, businesses only have 100 days left from Wednesday, March 22, to take advantage of free support from Growth Curve advisers.SEMLEP Growth Hub manager Vicky Hlomuka said: “This programme has provided invaluable support and training for local businesses, putting them on track for future...