TfL news:

From Monday 23 March, all road user charging schemes in London will be temporarily suspended until further notice.

Making non-essential journeys risks lives. Please only travel if your journey is absolutely essential. If you do travel, follow the expert advice on hand washing and other health measures. We are operating reduced services and closing a number of stations so that we can keep things running for critical workers.

If you absolutely must travel, always check  Journey Planner  and our  travel tools .

Please continue to help TfL’s hardworking staff and maintain this action in the weeks and months ahead.

Stay safe and thank you for not travelling.
HMRC help: 

The Chancellor, on 20 th March, announced further measures to support people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19.

The Chancellor’s statement can be found at  GOV.UK .

Updated guidance for employers, businesses and employees is available at:

Community Action from Hounslow:

HOUNSLOW

  • A new community hub will be set up over the coming days, which will act as a focal point for queries from residents and businesses, and help manage the ongoing coronavirus support effort. Hounslow Council will provide more information as soon as it’s up and running.
  • Hounslow Community Foodbox is a volunteer run charity that provides emergency food and support and advice to those who are in need and live in the London Borough of Hounslow. If you would like to make a financial donation If you would like to donate please contact Philip Jones at treasurer@hounslowfoodbox.org or 07743 547262
  • Volunteering Hounslow has a dedicated Coronavirus resource outlining how you can help during the outbreak.
West London Business is hosting a free webinar: 

Local authority/ NHS/ Police emergency response to coronavirus in West London , which takes place tomorrow, Tues 24 March at 10AM.
 
Speakers include:
 
  • Cllr Julian Bell, Leader of LB Ealing
  • Ruth Cadbury, MP for Brentford and Isleworth
  • David Clare, North London Lead, Federation of Small Businesses (FSB)

Sally Smith from Hounslow Chamber has registered to attend and will raise some of your queries.

This session is free to register and participate here . To ensure you receive a viewing link, please register before 9am tomorrow.
The Government announces further support for businesses

Courtesy of Hounslow Chamber members: Bright Graeme Murray


On 20 th March the Government announced further support for businesses together with additional details to those announced on 18th March.

To view the updated government advice for businesses please visit their website here.


Support for businesses through deferring VAT and Income Tax payment

Income tax
  • Self-employed individuals - Income Tax payments due in July 2020 under the Self-Assessment system will be deferred to January 2021.
  • This is an automatic offer and no penalties or late payment interest will be charged in the deferral period.


VAT
  • The deferral will apply from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020. Businesses will not need to make a VAT payment during this period
  • Taxpayers will be given until the end of the 2020 to 2021 tax year to pay any liabilities that have accumulated during the deferral period.
  • This is an automatic offer with no applications required.
  • VAT refunds and reclaims will be paid by the government as normal.



Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

  • This is to be a grant to provide support to all UK employers to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis
  • HMRC will set up a new online portal through which employers will provide details to include:
  • A list of affected employees, to be classified as ‘furloughed workers,’
  • The employees details and earnings

  • HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month.
  • The grants will initially be for 3 months to be back dated to 1 March 2020.
  • HMRC are working urgently to set up a system for reimbursement.
  • Employers will need to notify the employees of this change.



The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

  • A change was announced to increase the interest free period from the first 6 months to the first 12 months.
  • The guidance now includes further details on how to access the scheme
  • The scheme will be available from early in the week commencing 23 March.
  • The full rules of the Scheme and the list of accredited lenders is available on the British Business Bank website. All the major banks will offer the Scheme once it has launched. There are 40 accredited providers in all.
  • The Government says that you should talk to your bank or finance provider (not the British Business Bank) as soon as possible and discuss your business plan with them. This will help your finance provider to act quickly once the Scheme has launched. If you have an existing loan with monthly repayments you may want to ask for a repayment holiday to help with cash flow.

  • This scheme will be available to all UK based businesses with turnover of no more than £45 million per year.
  • Support for larger companies is being offered under a new Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility, where the Bank of England will buy short term debt.



It is business as usual at the BGM Group and we will continue to monitor government announcements and provide we hope timely updates as the situation evolves via email, our websites, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts.
 
Please contact your BGM advisor or email communications@bgm.co.uk if you would likeany assistance.
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)  – more details from James Cowper Kreston

Further to recent announcements regarding the above scheme, more information is coming though with regards to the information that businesses will have to provide to apply for the scheme. A full announcement is expected shortly but to get a head start the following information that will require: 

  • Current lending,
  • Type of funding (Overdraft, Revolving Credit Facility, Term Loan Asset Based Lending)
  • Amount of funding
  • Repayment profile 

  • A copy of last year’s statutory accounts
  • This year’s most recent management accounts 
  • Short / Medium term forecast sensitised for Covid-19. 


Time to Pay arrangements  
The current positions on TTP are: 

  • The timing of the request to HMRC should ideally be once a tax liability has been established but before it falls due for payment. 
  • At this stage the default response from HMRC to cash flow problems arising from coronavirus appears to be to allow two months deferral of tax payments due, specifically we have seen this for VAT. 
  • HMRC would prefer an upfront payment, as part of a TTP Arrangement, but seemingly understand if this is not possible or desired by the taxpayer. 
  • If a two month deferral is granted, HMRC will contact the business after one month to ask either for full payment in one months’ time or a payment plan which commences one month later. Further deferral may be possible depending on specific circumstances. 
  • If the business has a direct debit arrangement for tax payments with HMRC, it should be cancelled (after the deferral is agreed) as HMRC are unable to refund payments received.
Hounslow Council has made the decision to step up its response to the coronavirus to protect the most vulnerable and focus on frontline services.

This will see the temporary closure of public buildings and services from when they close today (Friday 20 March) and will be fully in place by the morning of Saturday 21 March, until further notice.

These currently include the following buildings and services:

  • Libraries (the Library at Home service will continue) Please visit hounslowlibraries.org or hounslow.gov.uk for further updates.
  • Leisure Centres and Pools - Isleworth, Heston, Hanworth, Chiswick and Brentford
  • Osterley Sport and Fitness Centre
  • Public halls – Chiswick town hall, Feltham assembly hall, Heston village hall, Isleworth public hall, Wellington day centre
  • Hogarth House
  • Community Halls 
  • Member Surgeries
  • Resident access to SpaceWaye (open for trade waste businesses from 8am to 3pm seven days a week. Last entry is 2.45pm)
  • All schools will be closed, with the exception of those being used for vulnerable children and those of key workers. These have yet to be designated.
  • Bridge Road Depot public MOT testing service
  • Gunnersbury Museum also closed on Wednesday 18 March.

Hounslow House remains open, though please don’t come in person unless you think it’s absolutely necessary. Many queries can be managed on our website, and there will be increasing support for telephone and video appointments, including for housing, revenues and benefits from Monday 23 March.

Important services that keep the borough running, including waste collection, street cleaning, bulky waste collection, mobile and online library services, and many that support and protect our most vulnerable residents will continue as normal.
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.