Skip to main content
We’re here with practical marketing information for your business.

Search

A marketing strategy will help you identify your best customers, understand their needs and implement the most effective marketing methods.

The internet has transformed business marketing. No matter what you do, the internet is likely to be at the heart of your marketing strategy.

Social media is firmly established as a marketing tool. Having a presence opens up new lines of communication with existing and potential customers.

Good advertising puts the right marketing message in front of the right people at the right time, raising awareness of your business.

Customer care is at the heart of all successful companies. It can help you develop customer loyalty and improve relationships with your customers.

Sales bring in the money that enables your business to survive and grow. Your sales strategy will be driven by your sales objectives.

Market research exists to guide your business decisions by giving you insight into your market, competitors, products, marketing and your customers.

Direct marketing can be a highly successful way to generate sales from existing and new customers. Find out how to target them in the best way.

Exhibitions and events are valuable for businesses because they allow face-to-face communication and offer opportunities for networking.

PR

Favourable media coverage can bring a range of business benefits. But how do you attract the attention of editors, broadcasters and journalists?

Time is running out for COVID-19 grant schemes

4 August 2020

The Local Government Association (LGA) has warned that local economies risk missing out on more than £1 billion in emergency COVID-19 funding if the government goes ahead with plans to close three grant schemes this month.

The government has written to councils to say it will shut three funding schemes - the Small Business Grants Fund, the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business Grant Fund and the Discretionary Grants Fund - on 28th August 2020. Any unclaimed funds will have to be returned to the government.

The schemes have seen councils provide billions in grants to businesses struggling with the economic shock caused by the pandemic. But the Local Government Association (LGA) has estimated that there could be an underspend of £1.37 billion if the schemes close this month.

The LGA is urging the government to keep the Discretionary Grants Fund scheme open so councils can try and ensure as many businesses benefit as possible and redistribute any unspent resources from the other two schemes back to councils to reinvest in supporting businesses and local economies.

Councils have distributed almost £11 billion to almost 880,000 eligible small businesses through the Small Business Grants Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business Grants Fund since March. Many set up dedicated teams and redeployed staff so they could process applications as quickly as possible.

Other businesses which fell outside the scope of these original schemes - such as bed and breakfasts, market traders and charities - have also been given cash grants by councils as part of the Discretionary Grants Fund, introduced in May.

The LGA said the government deadline to shut this discretionary scheme will not allow enough time for the remaining grant to be paid out.

Cllr Richard Watts, chair of the LGA's Resources Board, said: "It was a huge task to set up these schemes from scratch and the funding has been a lifeline to struggling businesses worried about the future. Shutting the discretionary scheme would be a mistake by the government at this time. Councils need more time and flexibility to ensure as many businesses can benefit from this funding.

"The government also needs to commit to redistributing any unspent resources from the original schemes, including any clawed back, to councils to be spent on local efforts to help further support businesses and reboot local economies."

Tej Parikh, chief economist at the Institute of Directors (IoD), said: "For many small businesses, the fight is far from over. It would be deeply disappointing if this support was withdrawn before time … With reopening and adjustment costs ahead, money will be tight for small businesses. Councils have been working to get the money to the front line and should be given the resources to kickstart local business recoveries across the country."

Written by Rachel Miller.

Stay up-to-date with business advice and news

Sign up to our lively and colourful newsletter for new and more established small businesses.