"That was a very good webinar this morning. Alan's knowledge and the general expertise within Hounslow are evidently 'setting the trend' on a very vital part of the UK economy.

You guys rock ! (to use a bit of Canadian vernacular)" - Peter Buckley


"I think you and the Chamber do a wonderful job and I am always keen to participate" -
Jags Sanghera 
Webinars coming up:
Demystifying Digital -
Get Your Business Growing
Wednesday, 10th February 2021 at 10:00am – 11:30am

Led by Hanna Thorpe and Jackie Mulligan this 90 minute workshop will help you come to grips with your new business model for growth and will help you understand how to integrate digital marketing so you see the results you want.

Whether you’re looking to launch for the first time online or simply trying to scale up your digital activity, the world of marketing, websites and all things digital can seem overwhelming. This session will talk you through a simple four-stage process for putting the foundations in place for your digital growth.

Step 1: Research
Step 2: Build your Ecosystem
Step 3: Manage the day to day
Step 4: Measure

This webinar forms part of Hounslow Council’s Covid-19 Business Support Programme.
Local Chambers Networking

Thursday, 4th March 10:00am - 11:30am

Cost:
Members- £10 per person
Non-Members – £15 per person

A great way to hear what Chambers are doing across a wider local area to support businesses and most importantly a way to grow your network and do more business.
These events are always popular so book early to guarantee your place.

Limited Numbers –  Only 20 places are available to each Chamber to enable us to manage the group effectively on zoom. A Wait list will operate and additional spaces may be released depending on overall capacity.
Hounslow Council is distributing hundreds of laptops to Hounslow’s pupils

Lockdowns have highlighted digital exclusion across the UK as well as in our own borough, with too many pupils not having access to a laptop to make a success of learning from home.

That’s why we have stepped in to buy hundreds of extra laptops and we have begun distributing these to pupils in the borough.

Our work to tackle digital exclusion was reported on by ITV News London this week.

Local organisations, like Hounslow Promise and Richmond Rugby club, have also been moving heaven and earth to supply extra laptops.

Can you donate a laptop?

Volunteers will be collecting donated laptops on Saturdays between 10am and 12 noon outside Christ Church, Turnham Green in Chiswick.

The devices will be refurbished by Richmond Rugby Club and sent to pupils in Hounslow.

CBILS Update

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) has been extended to 31st March 2021 and is a key pillar of the government’s support for businesses. It offers funding from £50,000 up to £5m and is suitable for established businesses that can demonstrate their ability to meet repayments for the loan level they apply for. If you are looking for a CBILS or any type of funding, we can help. Apply Now
The Bank of England has published its February Monetary Policy Report, the link to which is below. Also attached is a direct link to the Agents’ Summary section of said report.
 
MPR page including charts and tables file and visual summary
 
 
PDF version of the MPR
 
Take part in National Apprenticeship Week

National Apprenticeship Week 2021 takes place from 8-14 February 2021. This year, the theme is ‘Build the Future’, which aims to encourage everyone to consider how apprenticeships help individuals to build the skills and knowledge required for a rewarding career.

During National Apprenticeship Week 2021, Work Hounslow will be delivering a series of free webinars looking at how apprenticeships can offer a positive benefit to local businesses and help Hounslow residents kickstart their careers.


Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris has announced the completion of a £31m upgrade to Feltham station which will improve accessibility, deliver better local connections and increase capacity.
 
The upgrades include longer platforms, a new pedestrian and cycle bridge, and step-free entrance – and is part of the Government’s commitment to build back better from COVID-19.
 
Oasis Accountants & Human Capital Department Zoom Webinar

Speakers
Shankar Devarashetty, Director Oasis Accountants
Peter Lawrence, Director Human Capital Department 
 
Agenda

  • What are the People Management & Development issues faced by SME businesses 
  • Employer Tribunal Insurance
  • HR Employment Contract review - Adhoc Services

Date:  11 February 2021, Thursday
Time: 11:00AM:Key Topics 11:45AM:Questions 12:00PM:Finish
 
Zoom Webinar Details

Please click the link below to join the webinar:
Webinar ID: 830 1343 6811
Passcode: 875656
In March 2019, the UK introduced an EU Settlement Scheme to register EU nationals already residing in the UK prior to its departure from the EU. 
 

EU Settlement Scheme

EU nationals currently employed to work in the UK can continue to do so despite Brexit. The Government's EU Settlement Scheme was introduced to allow existing EU nationals residing in the UK to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). To make use of this scheme, employees must have been in the UK by 31 December 2020, with the subsequent deadline for applications being 30 June 2021. This means that employers will be able to retain any EU nationals who are already part of their workforce (by 31 December 2020) if they apply for settled status by 30 June 2021.

Information released by the Government on 8 October 2020 shows that, from 30 March 2019 to the end of September 2020, over 4 million applications have been made to this scheme — almost 3.7 million of those applications came from England, 204,700 from Scotland, 67,200 from Wales, and 66,300 from Northern Ireland.


Brexit implication for Employment Law
Points-based immigration system

The Government has announced that from 1 January 2021, EU and non-EU citizens entering the UK will be treated in the same way when they are seeking to work in this country. While there will be several routes they can seek to take in order to come and live in the UK, the route that the majority are expected to use is the “skilled worker route”. Under this new system, non-citizens who seek to work in the UK, following the end of EU free movement on 31 December 2020, will need to attain 70 points in relation to specified criteria. 50 of these points are mandatory, whilst 20 are tradeable.


Mandatory points are awarded as follows: 50 Points
  • Job offer from an approved sponsor — 20 points.
  • Job at the required skill level (RQF 3 or above (A Level and equivalent)) — 20 points.
  • English language to a required level (this will need to be evidenced by completing a test or having a degree in English language similar to an English bachelors) — 10 points.
  • The general salary threshold set by the Government on advice of the independent Migration Advisory Committee at £25,600, or
 

Tradable points are as follows: 20 Points
  • Salary of £20,480 to £23,039 or at least 80% of the going rate for the profession (whichever is higher) — 0 points.
  • Salary of £23,040 to £25,599 or at least 90% of the going rate for the profession (whichever is higher) — 10 points.
  • Salary of £25,600 or above or at least the going rate for the profession (whichever is higher) — 20 points.
  • Job in a shortage occupation as designated by the Migrant Advisory Committee (MAC) — 20 points.
  • Education qualification: PhD in a subject relevant to the job — 10 points.
  • Education qualification: PhD in a STEM subject relevant to the job — 20 points.
 
Crucially, employers wanting to take on foreign workers from 1 January must apply for a sponsorship licence as soon as possible.
 
Employers

  • EU nationals already working for the business to apply for “settled status”/ILR Under the EU Settlement Scheme before the deadline of 30 June 2021.
  • Provide assistance, if possible, to those who wish to apply.
  • Explore increasing the skills levels of current staff members, something that may encourage their retention and progression into roles that may be difficult to fill in future.
Menzies business diagnostic tool can help you to build a tailored action plan, by rating the key cornerstones of your business. Following completion of the quick questionnaire, you will receive a summary to help you evaluate your business. Menzies advisory team will also be offering a free hour consultation to discuss the report and how to use this to your advantage.



USEFUL RESOURCES

Tuesday 9th February - 09:30am
Sarah Barron, our property VAT specialist will provide an update on the changes to VAT in the construction sector, followed by a Q&A session.

While the climate of uncertainty is far from over, businesses that begin planning for the longer term may be in line for post pandemic rewards.

Covid-19 has brought about many challenges, few managers would disagree. It is extremely difficult for credit managers to plan ahead due to uncertainties about when the pandemic might end and if business activity will bounce back quickly or not.

What is Mediation? Is it Meditation spelled wrong? Is it legal recognised? Is it an effective dispute resolution alternate? How long does a Mediation process last? Is Mediation expensive? How can I use Mediation to resolve my dispute? Radanks is hosting a Live Q&A session to answer all these questions and more. Let expert Mediators help you understand Mediation.
radanks.com

An exciting new project has been launched to help and support employees in the west London to develop their job-related skills, improve their technical knowledge and build their career prospects.

NLET is proud to offer this new offer for the Hospitality, Retail, Health & Social Care sectors that will enable eligible employees to gain qualifications and knowledge in a flexible and accessible way from basic skills English/Maths to sector based qualifications at Levels 1,2 and 3.

The project is completely FREE to all eligible employees and their employers. Please contact: londonlearning@nletrust.org or 020 8570 7766

Please click here for more details:

Hounslow Chamber of Commerce is still a key Gateway for Kickstart. The Chancellor has removed the minimum placement criteria for small businesses so that they can apply directly for Kickstart Placements. This is whilst maintaining the Gateways already in place.

When we registered as a Gateway, we made sure the Employers have a choice of organising their own Employability Skills training and retaining the full £1,500 grant or contributing part of it to access extensive wrap around support from a choice of local providers in the borough. The Chamber’s Gateway offer has already secured over 130 placements from just under 50 Employers and will continue to be open to all.

Having worked with DWP on the scheme for the past four months, we are able to support those with only a few placements by taking away much of the administration from them and keeping the process streamlined.  We are also able to respond within 24 hours (usually much less) to any questions raised. Feel free to talk to us!
November issue of Let's Talk Business out now

West London Local Chambers & Hounslow Chamber of Commerce are the primary support, networking, and representation organisation in west London for SMEs.

We support the interests, the commercial aspirations and the investment from businesses in Ealing, Hounslow and Hammersmith & Fulham - the Chamber is the voice for all businesses located in the borough