Frequently Asked Questions
How are you funded?
The Growth Hub is part funded with £2,435,909 from the European Regional Development Fund and match funded by Cornwall Council, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership.
The Skills Hub is part funded with £1,560,000 from the European Social Fund and match funded by Cornwall Council and the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership.
How can you help me?
The information on this website is available to all businesses – you just need to register to gain access to all the resources.
If you’re starting a new business or have an established small or medium sized enterprise (less than 250 employees), are based in Cornwall or the Isles of Scilly and have an ambition to grow or improve efficiency, then we can offer you additional support.
Our Business Navigators will get to know your business and your individual needs and point you in the direction of suitable additional support and training, either from ourselves or from one of our partners.
If you are referred to one of our Business Connectors they will spend more time face-to-face with you to look at your plans for growth, create a practical action plan and introduce you to the right business support partners for you. Our specialist Skills Connectors on the other hand will offer you an informal skills health check to help you identify skills gaps, barriers to growth or areas of underperformance that could be overcome with training and additional skills. They’ll then refer you to the most appropriate training course, workshop or recruitment solution.
Is this business support?
We are here to guide you to the right support information from across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and nationally.
But we are not providing direct business advice or delivering support activity.
What training and skills opportunities can you help with?
There are LOADS of training providers in Cornwall and even more courses and workshops on offer. Picking through them and working out which one is best for you is tricky business; it’s time consuming and hard work but the Skills Hub has got it covered. We’ve got our finger on the pulse when it comes to what our universities, colleges, sector networks and private training providers have to offer so can cut through the nonsense and take the stress out of the search.
And the joy of being independent means that we are aren’t tied to any one training provider. Our service is unbiased and 100% focused on what is best for your business so can point you in the right direction regardless of who is delivering the course or running the workshop.
Can you help with funding grants?
We cannot provide funding ourselves but we can share our knowledge of available funding with you. We know what’s what when it comes to eligibility for various funding pots so can signpost and support you. With us by your side you can be sure that your time isn’t wasted and that you are maximising opportunities.
So what else do you offer?
By registering with the Growth Hub you not only get access to a wide range of business information, but you can also create your own profile and business directory listing, share your news and views and much, much more.
It all starts with registration. You have nothing to lose. So do it now!
What is the Knowledge Tank?
The Knowledge Tank is a list of organisations that offer business information, advice and/or support.
By completing the full registration you can be signposted to the best resources to assist you with your business development.
How do I get on the Knowledge Tank?
All organisations on the Knowledge Tank offer free or reduced cost business information, advice or support available to businesses and individuals looking to start a business.
The organisations may be local, national, European or International and may offer funding, information, advice or business resources.
If you offer free or reduced cost business information please get in touch with your organisation name, contact details, scheme name and a brief outline of what you can supply.
Can you recommend commercial providers?
We are impartial so we can’t refer you to commercial organisations, however, take a look at our Business Directory where you can find companies offering some of the specialist services you may need. Also, if you are registered with us, you can add your own business listing so companies can find you!
What else can I do on this site?
Who are you?
We are a team of experienced professionals with a wealth of knowledge and experience in business and skills support, communication and digital development. We are working with businesses in Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly to help them identify the right support and skills development to start or grow business. Want to meet the team?
How will Brexit affect the Growth & Skills Hub?
We have a contract to deliver the Growth Hub and the Skills Hub so for us, it is business as usual. We are committed to helping businesses in Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly and will continue to do so for the duration of the two projects.
State Aid FAQs
I have received a letter about State Aid. Is this an invoice?
No. This is not a bill or an invoice asking for payment. It is a standard letter for information purposes, to show the value of the State Aid you have received. Although the support from the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Growth Hub and Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Skills Hub is free to you, it does have a value that has been paid for by funders and this is the amount stated in your State Aid letter.
What is State Aid?
State Aid is defined on the Gov.UK website as “any advantage granted by public authorities through state resources on a selective basis to any organisations that could potentially distort competition and trade in the European Union”. In the context of the work we do, this broadly means any business support or grants, that have been funded by the UK government or the EU, that are designed to help improve a businesses’ position in the market.
Generally speaking, State Aid is not allowed in the EU because a business can receive support that give it an advantage over its competitors. Under the De Minimis regulation, however, businesses may receive State Aid up to the value of €200,000 in any rolling 3-year period without the need to formally notify the European Commission. If you are part of a group of companies, the €200,000 limit applies to all companies under the control of the parent company. So you will need to add all the State Aid received by each company in the group together, to get the total amount of State Aid received.
What services make up the value of the State Aid in terms of the Growth and Skills Hubs?
The value of the assistance is made up of pre-meeting research, the business review meeting or training needs analysis, research into and/or contacting other providers to assess suitability of referral, making referrals to business support providers and follow up calls.
Who does State Aid apply to?
State Aid applies to any business or individual who benefits from a project that is funded by Government, European Union or charitable funds (such as the Big Lottery Fund) that has been designated as State Aid. The project should tell you whether their support is subject to State Aid and supply you with a letter stating this. By signing the client agreement, you agree to receiving State Aid and our sample State Aid letter can be found here.
How do I know when to declare State Aid I have received?
You should declare what State Aid you have received when you are asked to do so by any support or training provider. They will also need to know the date of any previous support and how much you received. This is because the support provider must ensure that you are below the €200,000 limit before they can offer you further help. A sample of our draft Declaration Statement can be found here.
Why is there a value in Euros in my letter?
The State Aid is charged at the time of the intervention, in our case this is the time of the business review or training needs analysis. We are then required by the EU to calculate the value of the aid and convert this into the equivalent amount in Euros via the conversion rates published by the European Commission (see http://ec.europa.eu/budget/contracts_grants/info_contracts/inforeuro/index_en.cfm)
Do I have to pay this back?
If you receive more than €200,000 of State Aid in any rolling 3-year period, you could be liable to pay back, with interest, the support that took you over the threshold limit. The rolling 3-year period is this financial year, plus the two previous financial years. We will work with you to help you understand what State Aid you may have received within that period to help avoid you paying back support.
How long do I need to keep my State Aid paperwork for?
You need to keep your State Aid letters for 10 years from the date of the letter. This is partly because State Aid is calculated on a rolling 3-year period ie, this financial year and the two previous financial years, and partly as a record for future Government or European audits of the projects that you received support from. Following any business support that is subject to State Aid, you should receive a letter confirming the date it was incurred and the amount. For a sample of our post-intervention letter see here.
Where can I find more information?
You can find more information on State Aid at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/state-aid
I've forgotten my password!
No problem, you can reset your password here
How do I add and chat to a contact?
Adding contacts on our website is a great way to introduce yourselves and to get to know each other.
You can add a contact simply by viewing profiles and clicking on the Add Contact button to the right of their profile nav bar.
This will sent off an email to the person you wish to connect with, who can then decide whether they wish to connect with you.
If they do, you’ll receive a notification in your profile.
Now you can chat with them, re-visit their profile and click on the Chat button.
This will take you to the messaging tab on your nav bar, whereupon you can send your first message to them.
What's profile completeness all about?
There’s lots of opportunities to get noticed on the Growth Hub website and as we grow our community far and wide, it’s a really good idea for you to make the most of what’s available to you.
Let’s see if you can get to Growth Hub Zendom!
I can't upload my profile image?
Our website gives you the ability to customise your profile with a profile and cover image.
Because we have to adhere to server restraints, we need to ensure all images uploaded to our website are optimised, therefore sometimes we need to put restraints on the size of images and the image types that can be uploaded.
For profile images, we always recommend using the .JPG format, we will accept .GIF or .PNG too, but .JPG is the best format to use for photographic images of yourself.
The profile scripts ideally run well with images that are saved to 300-400 pixels wide by 300-400 pixel high.
For cover images, this increases to 1920 pixels wide by 400-450 pixels high.
If you use Facebook or LinkedIn, you can save your profile images from there and they should already be optimised for uploading to our site. But if you have an image you’d like to use, we recommend a file size no greater than 240-250Kb.
There are a number of online sites, that allow you to upload, resize and save optimised images, here’s one of them.