October 2020



Business Briefing Summary

Thank you to everyone who was able to join us for the business conference call on Friday 2 October.

The panel for the call included TWBC Chief Executive, William Benson, Greg Clark MP, representation from Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, Royal Tunbridge Wells Together Business Improvement District, Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, and the Federation of Small Businesses.

There was a wide variety of questions posed to the panel, ranging from ensuring compliance with Environmental Health regulations, to lobbying for business rates relief and business support initiatives being undertaken both in Tunbridge Wells and nationally. Thank you to everyone for submitting questions for the discussion.

Kickstart scheme

As mentioned on the call, the Government Kickstart scheme has recently launched. This scheme provides funding to employers to create new 6 month placements for young people on Universal Credit or at risk of long term unemployment. Funding will cover 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, associated National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions. There is also extra funding for training to support young people to build on their experience and move into sustained employment afterwards.

Businesses that can offer less than 30 placements need to apply via a ‘Gateway’ that will submit a group of applications to the Department for Work & Pensions on your behalf. This is being offered by a number of different organisations in the local area including: West Kent Partnership, Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce and the Federation of Small Businesses, who all have a slightly different offers for employers to be part of their scheme.

Local Restrictions Support

Government has also released guidance on a Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) if our area were to go into a local lockdown. The funding is only available for businesses that are required to close following statutory publication of local lockdown guidance that resulted in a first full day of closures on, or after, the 9th September 2020. Grants will be issued for each three week period that a business is closed following the implementation of statutory localised restrictions and business closures. Further information is available on the government website.

Useful Contacts

To speak to one of our Environmental Health colleagues about making your premises Covid-19 secure, please call on 01622 602450 or email on

To speak to the Council about becoming a member of the Safe Town Partnership in Royal Tunbridge Wells, please contact 01892 554423 or email
More useful links and business support opportunities are available from the organisations on the panel:

Kent and Medway Growth Hub: The helpline,03333 602300, is now funded until end 2020.
Federation of Small Businesses
Royal Tunbridge Wells Together
Tunbridge Wells Borough Council Business
Small Business Charter Leadership Programme
Locate in Kent Future Forward Programme
South East Local Enterprise Partnership Digital Skills partnership

If you have any further questions, please email the Economic Development Team at Tunbridge Wells Borough Council on

There is also COVID-19 business information available on the TWBC website.

If you are interested in listening to the original dialogue, you can do so on the Council Youtube channel
Instagram story of Tunbridge Wells on @visitkent Instagram

Are you in the tourism sector attracting visitors to your business?

Then you might be interested in receiving free training like making the most of local events or building a website. Just let Visit Kent know what you need with this questionnaire by 14 October.

Kent and Medway Healthy Workplace programme

The Healthy Workplace programme helps businesses of all sizes become healthier places to work. The programme is funded by Kent County Council and Medway Council and is managed and delivered by Medway Council across all of Kent.
We can help you to support health and wellbeing at work with relevant policies, training and guidance. 
More about the programme
Business helpline for Kent and Medway
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