News Update for Businesses on April 1st

Stratford News Update for Businesses -  April 1st 

The clocks went forward, the sun shone briefly and it was utterly brilliant to behold! It also brought people out and about into the town – perhaps as a sign of things to come. Today, normal weather service has been resumed for Easter (in the traditional way) and we hope that everyone has a good break.

Here’s a round-up of some of the things that will be of interest to our businesses:

  • Government Restart Grants - update
  • Meaningful Change
  • Good to Go - covid safe reassurance
  • Hospice Dragon Boat race
  • Child Exploitation Awareness
  • Business News – Foster Frame
  • Food Festival Applications
  • Sunday Times Best Places to Live
  • Business advice news


Government Restart Grants
Here’s the latest update from SDC on the Restart Grants announced in the Chancellors Budget.
The final guidance was published by BEIS on 22nd March but, as we have mentioned  in the past, SDC are reliant on our software provider Civica to then develop the system to allow us to make the grant payments. Work is in progress.

Meaningful Change
Meaningful Change is a multi-agency campaign aimed at helping to positively change the lives of those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in Stratford. The campaign aims to raise funds via a number of donation points located within the Town Centre or via the Meaningful Change website. 
Funding that is raised will be distributed between local organisations, focussing financial support to helping to positively change the lives of those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in Stratford-upon-Avon.
How you can support the campaign?
Meaningful Change is reaching out to local retailers within Stratford-upon-Avon Town Centre to support the campaign by installing a mobile contactless donation device their store; this can be table top or podium device provided by Goodbox or in your window.
If you are not able to commit to this but would like to support Meaningful change in other ways, you can contact Meaningful Change by emailing   More info at



Good to Go: re-opening planning

To reassure customers and check you are covid safe register with the We're Good to Go scheme backed by

“We’re Good To Go” is the official UK mark to signal that a tourism and hospitality business has worked hard to follow Government and industry COVID-19 guidelines and has a process in place to maintain cleanliness and aid social distancing.
Apply now. The form will take about 20 minutes to fill in.
Upon successful completion of the application, you will be sent a secure link to download your certificate, mark and a toolkit with practical steps for telling your customers that your business is “Good to Go”.

Apply for We're Good to Go Status here


Hospice Dragon Boat Race
The Shakespeare Hospice has been able to bring back the first of its outdoor fundraisers and hopes the Dragon Boat Race will be something fun for people to look forward to. It could also be a great way to release some of that pent-up energy by getting a team together and getting out on the water. Previous events have been highly competitive and drawn big crowds - and this year’s event on Sunday, September 19, is already getting entries. The date coincides with Stratforward’s Food Festival and as BID members, the Hospice will be working with us so both events add up to a great weekend for Stratford. Details of the whole event are here:

Child Exploitation Awareness
It’s a sad fact that this is necessary, but to increase the awareness of child exploitation (CE) in Warwickshire, WCC, in partnership with Warwickshire Police, Barnardo’s and the Police and Crime Commissioner, is re-launching the Something’s Not Right campaign with a new partnership website .
The campaign would like to get local businesses, and in particular licensed premises, involved in the campaign. A toolkit has been produced a toolkit and contains social media messages, cover photos, hashtags and GIFs that we would love local businesses to share on their social media platforms next week to show support for child exploitation awareness. 

Your business news - Foster Frame
2021 marks the 50th Anniversary of the creation of Foster Frame (it’s actually June 2021, but we can’t resist a good story). The business was established by Mr Foster (now deceased) in 1971. Nicky bought the business 20 years ago and has continued as the sole trader.
As lockdown ends, and as they head towards their 50th we’ll raise a glass to toast their longevity.

Please send us your stories about your business. Your stories are part of what makes Stratford the place it is. 

Last week’s Herald also contained news of new businesses opening in town as well. If you haven’t seen the article, it is well worth a read.

2021 Stratford Town Centre Food Festival Applications
Bookings will be open next week for the 2021 Town Centre Food Festival that takes place on 18th and 19th September.  Application forms will be available next week on this website. 

Sunday Times Feature
Stratford-upon-Avon was featured in the Sunday Times best places to live survey!  Admittedly, it did place Stratford in the Retirement category (something new for 2021)!

£1,000 apprenticeship incentives for businesses
Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are now being offered a £1,000 incentive plus fully funded apprenticeship training to help businesses reshape their workforce to meet the demands presented by the pandemic. 

Read more about WCC's Warwickshire Apprenticeship Progression Programme

“Roadmap out of lockdown” advice webinars
Following the government announcement of the four-step roadmap, a series of sector-themed webinars have been timed to coincide with the key roadmap dates. Organised by the county and district councils, along with partners such as Warwickshire Police and Warwickshire Fire and Rescue, more details on the business sessions and dates can be found here.

Also, details on 'Build Back Stronger' webinars focusing on staff needs and welcoming workforces back from homeworking and furlough are detailed here.

Look out for this webinar if you work in personal care sector in Stratford District. Webinar available Weds April 7, 1pm with guidance/support. Experts will be giving advice & taking questions from anyone in the sector looking to safely reopen 12 April.

Government advice & information

Coronavirus updates:
Business Rates Relief Fund for businesses that have not already received business rates relief
Additional Restrictions Grants update 
Restart Grants for non-essential retail, hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym businesses (available after 6 April)

Brexit updates:
SME Brexit Support Fund is open for applications 
Revised timetable for the introduction of import border controls 
For all Brexit updates

For the latest official business guidance, we recommend you keep a close eye on the following websites: