Support for businesses

Government outlines plans to help cut energy bills for businesses

New support for households, businesses and public sector organisations facing rising energy bills has been announced.

Through a new Energy Bill Relief Scheme, the government will provide a discount on wholesale gas and electricity prices for all non-domestic customers (including all UK businesses, the voluntary sector, e.g., charities and the public sector, e.g., schools and hospitals) whose current gas and electricity prices have been significantly inflated in light of global energy prices. This support will be equivalent to the Energy Price Guarantee put in place for households.

It will apply to fixed contracts agreed on or after 1 April 2022, as well as to deemed, variable and flexible tariffs and contracts. It will apply to energy usage from 1 October 2022 to 31 March 2023, running for an initial six-month period for all non-domestic energy users. The savings will be first seen in October bills, which are typically received in November.

As with the Energy Price Guarantee for households, customers do not need to take action or apply to the scheme to access the support. Support (in the form of a p/kWh discount) will automatically be applied to bills.

For more information, please visit GOV.UK.

Training Opportunity - Taming the Carbon Monster

Are you looking to understand the steps to reduce operational costs through energy-saving measures? Do you want to make your business more resilient to future crises? Or find ways to exploit the new business opportunities being found by low carbon business leaders?

Through our Buildbackbetter fund, we’re providing subsidised places for Oxford based SMEs on this exciting new programme run by Oxford Brookes Business School, Oxfordshire Business First and Oxfordshire Greentech.

The programme costs just £50 for Oxford-based companies and runs fortnightly from October 5th to December 14th.

Visit the Oxford Brookes website to begin your journey to becoming a resilient, future-proofed company 

FSB Celebrating Small Business Awards – Open Now

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is celebrating the achievements and contributions of small businesses and the self-employed across the UK.  As the largest event of its kind in the small business calendar, the high-profile FSB Celebrating Small Business Awards are FREE to enter and open to all.

With winners from each category securing a spot at the prestigious UK final and a chance to be crowned the UK Small Business of the Year, it’s an opportunity for widespread recognition. Entrants will be judged by a panel of leading business experts with a wealth of experience in their industry.

The closing date is Thursday 9 February 2023.

Apply now.

OxLEP (Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership)

Advice and Training

OxLEP provide free and tailored assistance to place, grow and support business within the Oxfordshire area. They have a number of free online courses to support you, including how to improve your marketing and access to grants.

For more information, please visit the OxLEP website.


OxLEP also provide a range of grants. For more information go to the OxLEP grants page.

Visitor Economy Grant Scheme – now open

OxLEP Business is delivering the £500,000 visitor economy grant scheme. This will be open to eligible businesses across two funding rounds – one recently launched in  October this year and the second expected in April 2023, should funding still be available. 

To register your interest in the grant scheme, please complete the Business Support Tool using the OxLEP website.

If you have any questions, please email:

Business and Intellectual Property Centre grant finder

The BIPC have a Grant Finder database that’s free to use.

For more information, please visit the Oxfordshire County Council website.

NatWest Carbon Planner

NatWest has some very useful information for you to see how changes in the economic climate could affect your sector, and what you can do to adapt and prepare. It is accessible for anyone, not just NatWest customers.

It includes tips on saving on property costs, adapting your business, financial tips and reducing fuel costs.

For more information, visit the NatWest website.

Tips for managing finances for small businesses

The Federation of Small Businesses has five top tips for managing finances for small businesses.

For more information, please visit the FSB website.

Be the Business

Be the Business provides targeted support and guidance for UK business leaders developed from real business experiences and created to be accessible for you.

For more information, please visit the Be the Business website.

Some useful links

Enterprise Support