DAILY BUSINESS BRIEFING FROM PRIME MINISTER'S COVID-19 PRESS CONFERENCE (courtesy of White Label)

Yesterday Prime Minister Boris Johnson said at the daily press conference that measures for the self-employed will be unveiled by Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak today (26 th March).

BUSINESS SUPPORT PACKAGES: LATEST INFORMATION & UPDATES

ADDITIONAL NEW GUIDANCE RELEASED TODAY
 
Business Premises closures:
Guidance on the closure of all retailers that sell non-essential goods and other non-essential premises, as part of further social distancing measures has been updated to include additional details to the list of businesses and premises that must remain closed. Guidance has also been added on work carried out in people’s homes. The guidance is available here .

Companies House accounts filing extension
Companies House have announced that businesses will be given an additional three months to file accounts to help companies avoid penalties as they deal with the impacts of COVID-19. Full guidance on applying for an extension can be found here
Hounslow Chamber members are offering the following services:
John Rose of HR Department is here to help - Free HR advice for 4 weeks

  1. At the HR Dept we have a team assimilating the fast moving changes as the Govt responds to the Covid-19 crisis and producing some great information for employers, which I can apply to my clients specific business needs.
  2. For the next 4 weeks and to help other business owners in my local area, I will help with all their people related problems FREE.
  3. As I will have resource limitations, this offer is on a first come first served basis.

If you want advice on people issues call John on 07551 108433 or

John is also holding a free seminar on 30 th March at 1.30 pm – 2.30 pm to try to give answers to your queries on people matters arising from the Covid-19 cisis. Please register here: https://bit.ly/HRadvice-covid19
University of West London is able to offer general access to their talent, albeit virtually.

  • They can still deploy the business school students and MBA students to undertake projects, and virtual opportunities from ‘placement’, internships, live project briefs across all areas.
  • Organizations can draw on staff talent for consultancy, project working, contract research
  • The food lab is still offering the ERDF funded 12 hours of product development consultancy, and where possible follow on development work
  • Their understanding is that Innovate UK is still progressing with funding, including KTPs: so planning for innovation and taking the opportunities this situation presents (so not just focusing on what we can no longer do, but what we can do differently).
  • The Apprenticeship programmes are still running, as we have moved our duction delivery to online (not just stopped). This may be a time where the impact of 20% off-the-job is more easy to accommodate without the same level of short-term impact on capacity, and could build capability to tackle the post-pandemic regeneration.
  • They are looking to run some online short courses – resilience may be a useful one!

More generally if business have ideas or challenges they want to tackle UWL is happy to be contacted to see if there are ways they can help. 
In the first instance contact Matt Snowden on matt.snowden@uwl.ac.uk
Joslyn Hill is offering non-profit making organisations free comms support during this pandemic and they’d also like to offer all Hounslow Chamber of Commerce members a free, one hour consultation on their communications strategy during this challenging time. See information below:

In light of the escalating Covid-19 (Coronavirus) situation, Joslyn Hill Communications is making its crisis communications team available to all non-profit organisations that require communications support on a pro bono basis. 

Effective immediately, Joslyn Hill can help:

  • Identify what information needs to be communicated to key audiences, and when
  • Share information about changing policies and procedures on business continuity, including events, meetings and travel
  • Deliver consistency of information shared in a rapidly evolving situation
  • Build confidence that the situation is being managed effectively
  • Prepare and manage media enquiries about business operations and potential risks within the organisation

If you are a non-profit organisation that requires immediate support,
Nick Kift from Anglo Scottish Asset Finance,an independent finance broker with access to more than 130 funders, is able to offer CBILS – Covid-19 finance options through some of our financial institutions. Please click here for more infomation .
Pragmatic parking guidance
(information from London Councils)

London boroughs have agreed to adopt a pragmatic approach to issuing parking penalty notices in order to help critical workers travel in the capital during the coronaviris pandemic.

Cllr Julian Bell , Chair of London Councils’ Transport and Environment Committee said: “NHS staff, the emergency services, carers and community volunteers are leading the fight against coronavirus in the capital and we are all incredibly proud of the work they are doing. The last thing they need is anxiety caused by trying to find a safe place to park.

“All key workers using cars or other vehicles to get around can be reassured that borough parking teams are on their side. We ask that they look to their local council to find out what this means for them.”

London Councils has this week issued new guidance to all London local authorities. London boroughs will be putting this guidance into practice locally on a temporary basis and will keep it under review.
South Western Railway - update

Closed the majority of our ticket offices – Waterloo, Clapham Jct, Richmond, Wimbledon, Surbiton, Woking, Guildford, Portsmouth, Basingstoke, Salisbury, Southampton Ctl and Bournemouth ticket office will remain open but will only accept card payments.

  • Removed catering from trains
  • Closed lost property office
  • Stopped accepting cash payments at ticket machines – you can still continue to buy tickets online and on the SWR app.
  • Restricted the operations of contact centre – which will have a significant impact on ability to process delay-repay applications.
Good news:

405,000 people who have signed up to the NHS Volunteers scheme,

Late yesterday afternoon we were contacted by Matt at the Holiday Inn, Brentford Lock, who have had taken the difficult decision to close temporarily. They had some fresh fruit and veg, which needed to find a home, as otherwise it would have had to be thrown away. We managed to contact Cllr Guy Lambert, who, in turn, contacted Open Kitchen in Hounslow. They served nearly 200 hot meals yesterday to help the most vulnerable.  In the words of Guy “Big thanks to Matt and to Sally for thinking of us”.

If any hotels/restaurants have surplus food supplies for whatever reason please let us know and we will try to get it to those who need it.
Hounslow Chamber of Commerce is the primary support, networking, and representation organisation in west London for SMEs.

We support the interests, the commercial aspirations and the investment for some 18,000 firms - from Chiswick to Feltham, Heathrow to Osterley and Brentford to Bedfont - the Chamber is the voice for all businesses located in the borough.