Whether you are thinking about opening your business in Rugby, or have been trading in the town for a while, we hope that you find this page of information, contacts and networking groups useful.

Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) extended

Warwickshire County Council has extended its Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) to support owners and staff at town centre businesses with their health and wellbeing.

The programme will be available to businesses with 10 or fewer employees operating in the towns of Warwickshire who may need help. This includes access to information, support and guidance (including coaching and counselling where appropriate) on a wide range of topics including work, career, relationships, family, money management, debt and health and wellbeing.

The support will be available on an on-going basis subject to funding. Companies and individuals interested can access the service by contacting business@warwickshire.gov.uk.

Work begins on Rugby’s first co-working space

Work has started on transforming Chestnut House on North Street into Rugby’s first co-working space.

Bloom.Space offers more than just a desk and high speed WiFi. Members have access to a wide range of expertise, mentorship and our network of 100+ alumni. Bloom.Space Rugby will be a bright, safe, well kitted-out space of individual work stations and private meeting rooms, in a flexible environment to meet startups, small businesses and freelancer needs.

New Retail and Hospitality Fund (now closed)

Warwickshire County Council is establishing a small number of Covid-19 recovery and investment programmes as part of an initial £5 million package of funding approved by council to support the immediate economic recovery in the county.

The Retail and Hospitality Recovery and Investment Fund offers grants of £2,000 to £7,500 towards the costs of capital investments. It is designed to help micro and small businesses in the retail and hospitality sectors fund capital investment projects which sustain their business, safeguard jobs and support its future growth.

Eligible costs include refurbishing or refitting property to increase footfall or improve visitors’ experiences, creating an online sales presence, investing in dedicated IT and computer software, and the purchase of minor equipment.

Grants are only available towards the costs of tangible capital assets for businesses with a minimum of one year’s trading history.

Before applying, please read the guidance notes and the application form can be accessed here

The closing date for applications is Friday 11 September.

 

Free Digital Town Centres Training

Stories Marketing will be running a series of seven free workshops in the Autumn, starting on 23 September. The Digital Town Centres training is open to all Warwickshire retailers to help you reach and connect with current and new customers through online and social media tools. Covid-19 has shown that now customers are online more than ever before and it’s imperative for you to learn how to embrace digital to grow your business. Book your place via the Eventbrite website.

Take Action Tuesday  

A new online support line is launching on Tuesday 11 August, for local start-up businesses, or those looking for support to grow out of the Coronavirus crisis.

The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce’s Accelerated Growth team will hold one-to-one conversations with owners and managers of companies of all sizes and sectors every Tuesday between 11am and 1pm.

The 121 Take Action Tuesday calls will offer 20-minute slots for businesses to book in with Chamber business advisers who will be able to offer information on everything from business planning and marketing to grant funding.

The support line is part of the Coventry & Warwickshire Business Support Programme and is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and by Coventry City Council.

You can book directly via the Chamber Event website

Greener businesses

The Coventry and Warwickshire Green Business Programme has now been extended to June 2023 and an additional £1.25m of funding for small to medium sized businesses is available for energy efficiency measures.

This programme supports businesses with fewer than 250 employees based in Coventry and Warwickshire who want to save money on energy, waste and water bills and maximise low carbon opportunities.

It provides grants and free energy and resource efficiency audits to help identify where energy, water and waste savings can be made, as well as low carbon product development.

The Coventry and Warwickshire Green Business Programme is partly funded by the European Regional Development Fund and is being delivered by Coventry City Council, Coventry University, and Coventry University Enterprises Ltd.

Since the programme started in 2016, it has achieved the following:

  • £2m in grants have been awarded to 213 small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs)
  • There have been over 12,349 tonnes of CO2 savings
  • 60 new jobs have been created
  • 88 SMEs have received non financial support
  • 940 organisations have joined the Green Business Network.

For more details on the programme, download the leaflet here 

Commercial Property

To secure your next shop, office or light industrial unit in Rugby town centre, the following property consultants and surveyors can assist you buy, sell or rent commercial property in the town. From historic listed buildings to contemporary purpose built shopping centres there is a variety of spaces available.

George & Co

Phillips Sutton

Hartnell Taylor Cook

Holt Commercial

Johnson Fellows

Harris Lamb

If you are a company looking to move to the district or have plans to grow your business in the area, you can benefit from the free and confidential services from Warwickshire County Council which includes:

  • help with your property search
  • a directory of business grants, loans and finance
  • expert local insight
  • introductions to local networks and organisations including the Federation of Small Business (FSB), Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, Leamington Business Forum and Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP).
Budget Announcement on Business Rates  

In addition to the 0.5% cut in interest rates, the Chancellor announced in the budget on 11 March that shops, bars, cinemas, restaurants and hotels – with a rateable value of less than £51,000 – would be exempt from liability for business rates for the next financial year.

For businesses with rateable values of between £12,500 and £51,000, it will lower their costs compared to the current year. However, even if businesses are included in this business rates ‘holiday’ they are still required to pay a BID levy as these are two separate items.

Business rates are set by the Government and collected by the local authority, whereas the BID levy is a local charge to businesses, agreed by ballot and spent locally on services for town centre businesses within the BID area.

Meeting Rooms

Whether you need a venue big enough for a conference or just a meeting room you can find it in Rugby town centre. We have a selection of locations, sizes and facilities to meet your business needs, some of which are detailed below.

In addition to hosting music and sports events, private celebrations and weddings, the historic Rugby School also has eleven venues that cater to up to 700 people for conferences and events. Atmospheric, historical buildings, manicured grounds and first-class facilities are the back drop to a bespoke event that the team can create for you. A full brochure is available from their website. https://www.rugbyschool.co.uk/commercial/events-venue-hire/conferences-celebrations

Oxygen Graphics has a bright space (pictured above) that comfortably accommodates up to 12 people above their design studio in Albert Street. With free Wi-Fi and a 42” screen the space is ideal for team meetings, brainstorming and training. The meeting room hire of £40 per half day and £75 per full day also includes hot and cold drinks from the coffee machine and mini fridge in the room.

Tailoring for self-employed individuals who need an ongoing office space and small groups of up to six people for meetings with more privacy than a coffee shop can offer, Draper Hinks has two rooms available to hire. Both rooms are quiet, airy spaces that are available for £20 per half day and £40 for a full day. The Regent Street location is at the heart of the town, with on street parking (metered) and Rugby train station is a 10 minute walk away.

Useful Contacts

Our local government offices and agencies provide a variety of advice and support to business owners.

Networking

Rugby has a thriving network culture and here are just some of these business groups that you can join;


BNI

Business BUZZ

Coventry & Warwickshire PA Forum

Federation of Small Businesses

Socially Shared

The Athena Network