Venue: Virtual Meeting Through Microsoft Teams
Apologies for absence.
To consider the extent, if any, to which the public and press are to be excluded from the meeting.
There were no items where the public and press were to be excluded from the meeting.
Declarations of Interest, if any.
There were no declarations made.
RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting held on12th October 2020 be agreed as a correct record.
Public Statements - [A period not exceeding 20 minutes for statements from up to 5 members of the public on matters within the Committees remit, proposing action(s) which may be considered or contribute towards the future development of the Committees Work Programme].
There were no public statements made.
To support the report presented to the Panel an overview of Business Support available across the Borough was provided by the Head of Service for Business Doncaster and Dan Fell, Doncaster Chamber.
The areas highlighted by Doncaster Council included:
· Responsibilities of the Local Authority and Business Doncaster;
· Concentration on business support;
· Recovery support for businesses that had been affect by the 2019 flooding;
· Recovery support for businesses that had been affect by Covid 19 Pandemic;
· Delivery of business support programmes;
· Close partnership working with Doncaster Chamber including Webinar delivery for the business community during the Covid 19 pandemic;
The areas highlighted by Doncaster Chamber included:
· Chief Executive officer held to account by the Chamber’s Directors;
· Areas of support to businesses included:
o creating better business in Doncaster and working with partners;
o legal and financial support;
o International trade and export advice;
o Brexit support;
o Support for public sector partners;
o Opportunities for Doncaster including ensuring businesses were work ready for young people to thrive;
o Doncaster Chamber self-funding therefore was always seeking to increase the membership base;
o Staff reorganisation whilst retaining expertise;
o Financial position during Covid and not having access to LEP investment in South Yorkshire. As membership fees increase then new staff could be employed;
Following the introductions the following areas were addressed by the Panel:
Business support by DMBC over previous 2 years – the Local Authority changed it’s Business Support offer to focus more on inward investment with support for larger employers but both the Flooding in 2019 and Covid – 19 pandemic required the Local Authority to again assist with support for all businesses alongside with the Chamber.
It was noted that the Business Doncaster role had changed however Doncaster’s inward investment was continuing.
Government grants - The Business Doncaster Team along with Business rates had undertaken large support for the business community ensuring there was uptake on the financial support available.
Sheffield City Region recovery action plan – collectively, the Local Authority, Sheffield City Region and Doncaster Chamber had worked together over the previous 12 months to provide a more comprehensive business support offer. This included the development of this plan ensuring money was drawn down from Central Government for the region. As a result of this work and additional 4 advisors would be working with the Local Authority, which Doncaster Chamber could also utilise to support Doncaster’s business community.
A new framework of support had also been developed, for example if a business required specialist support with supply chains, the Local Authority could signpost to the correct support with funding from the Sheffield City Region.
Redundancies - It was noted that as Furlough ends and businesses restart, redundancies would be mitigated.
Businesses that have received support during the Covid pandemic – it was noted that the Local Authority interacted with 70% to 80% of Doncaster’s businesses and was aware of their potential and difficulties. During the previous 12 months nearly 900 companies had been supported by the Local ... view the full minutes text for item 13.
The Senior Governance Officer presented the Overview and Scrutiny work plan and the Council’s Forward Plan of Key Decisions. She reminded the Panel that it’s work for the 2020/21 year was nearly complete and asked Members to give consideration to areas they may wish to address moving forward.
RESOLVED: That the report, be noted.