COVID-19 Updates to Business & IP Centre Services
BIPC Newcastle is doing its best to remain open for business during these difficult times
Due to the current COVID-19 lockdown conditions, services from the City Library are still very limited, so we won’t be able to run normal BIPC services from the library at present. BIPC staff are still delivering some services from home to answer your enquiries and deliver one-to-one meetings by video call. We will continue to update this page with any changes to what we can currently offer, until services are back to normal again.
IMPORTANT UPDATE FOR BUSINESSES IN NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE: The latest round of business support grants are now available.
Click here for information and to apply.
Experts in Residence
IP Surgeries – We are now running a limited number of IP Surgeries, currently weekly as follows:
- Tuesdays at 9.45am
- Wednesdays at 9.45am (or 10.00am on alternate weeks)
- Fridays, at 10.00am
We are using a video call platform called Jitsi Meet, or in some cases Microsoft Teams, and the session can last up to one hour. Please request to book these appointments as normal, by completing a contact form at this page, and we will get back to you with the next available time slots.
If you are not available at the time of these sessions members of the team who normally deliver IP Surgeries are still on hand to answer enquiries, so if you have any questions regarding IP please do get in touch. We will do our best to answer your questions by email, but please bear in mind that in this unusual time it may take longer to respond than normal.
Partner delivered sessions – The rest of the Experts in Residence sessions delivered by our partners are now running again and we also have some new experts. These sessions are free for anyone to book. The only exception is Gavin Knights (Digital Video Expert) – he is only available for support through the Citylife Business Support project.
Please click the link for the expert you are interested in seeing and fill in the contact form at the bottom of the page. We will refer you to the chosen expert and they will then contact you to arrange a suitable appointment time (this is likely to be a remote appointment).
Citylife Business Support
We are delivering a funded project called Citylife Business Support to provide businesses with up to eight hours of enhanced support from one of our experts (or divided between two experts). This support is for existing SMEs in Newcastle, North Tyneside or Northumberland. Click here to view our Citylife Business Support page for more details.
We subscribe to a range of market research and company information databases, normally available from the public computers in the Business & IP Centre.
We can only provide you with remote access for:
- Kompass EasyBusiness: contains company information. You can access this database from any location in the UK with a Newcastle Libraries membership. If you are not a member, join Newcastle Libraries online (it’s free) then login to your online account on the library catalogue to access Kompass EasyBusiness.
- COBRA (Complete Online Business Reference Advisor): Provides detailed business information guides and business opportunity profiles (BOPs). If you are looking to start a business a relevant BOP can provide you with a template for the type of business you are looking to start. Click this link to access COBRA. You will need to enter your library membership number (see above for how to join if you are not already a member).
Our team does have access to our other market research and company information databases and we can use some of them to carry out a limited amount of research for you.
- IBIS World: Database of UK market research reports. We can send you a limited number of reports from IBIS World who have generously allowed us to download reports during lockdown.
- Mintel: Another database of UK market research reports. Sadly the restrictions on the Mintel database mean we are not able to send you reports – we can only verify if we have access to a report that you will be able to view once the library is open again.
- D&B: Company information database. If you are looking for information on a specific company, or if you are looking to generate a company list, we may be able to help.
Contact us if you would like to know more.
BEST is a funded project which aims to reduce energy use and costs for SMEs in Newcastle, Gateshead, North Tyneside, Northumberland and Sunderland. The Business Energy Saving Team (BEST) can provide your business with a fully-funded energy efficiency audit, to identify ways that you can save energy, thereby saving you money and helping to reduce your carbon-footprint.
This service is now running as normal. Please visit the BEST website for more details.
Newcastle City Council – grants and support for businesses
Details of support for existing businesses in Newcastle upon Tyne can be found on the Newcastle City Council website. Here you will find:
- Details of grants that are available,
- Links to further government schemes and initiatives
- Guidance on what support is available
And as businesses look to reopen, welcome back more staff, or change how they operate there are a number of areas you may need to consider ensuring both staff and customers remain safe. Click here for more advice.
COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Toolkit
The North East Growth Hub website has a COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Toolkit, which provides businesses with the latest advice, guidance and support available from government including:
- Financial support available for businesses
- Official guidance for employees, employers and businesses
- Advice on effective home working
- How to care for staff/suppliers/customers and prevent the spread of COVID-19
Free business and IP webinars
British Library Business & IP Centre webinars: The British Library BIPC is currently running a wide range of business and IP webinars on offer. There is a charge for some of these and some are only suitable for those located in London. But many are free and suitable for anyone and we will try to list details for all the free webinars they offer on our Events page.
Citylife webinars: As part of the Citylife Business Support scheme NewcastleGateshead Initiative (NGI) and GX Project are delivering a series of free webinars to support businesses through the current challenges surrounding COVID-19. You can also get a link to watch back any of the previous webinars. In addition, there are also webinars being delivered by BIPC Experts in Residence – these are listed on our own Events page.
NEPO Business Club webinars: For those companies looking to bid for major public sector contracts or looking for supply-chain opportunities, NEPO (North East Procurement Organisation) have taken their ever-popular NEPO Business Club events online. These free webinars will help you to identify new contract opportunities and to develop your bid-writing skills.
PNE Enterprise webinars: PNE Enterprise are a long-time partner of BIPC Newcastle and provide business and start-up advice appointments for us. They are currently running free webinars on different business topics. They also run a regular free start-up business courses, currently being delivered online.
If you are not sure how we can help just contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please bear in mind that in this unusual time it may take longer to respond to enquiries than normal.