Hounslow Business Task Force - Free Webinars:

Hounslow Chamber has been supporting Hounslow businesses since 1909. We are hosting our next Business Task Force webinar on Thursday, 30 th April at 10:00 am, in conjunction with Chiswickbuzz , in our continuing commitment to our businesses across the borough and wider community.

Our expert panel is here to give you that advice and help.

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

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced a multi-million pound support package to keep the flow of goods and services running smoothly in and out of the UK and around the country throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
 
Speaking at today’s Downing Street press conference, he announced a raft of measures, including:
 
The funding will ensure the ongoing supply of critical goods into the country during the COVID-19 pandemic, with up to 31 routes eligible for support, subject to discussions with operators.
 
Mr Shapps told the press conference that the UK is working closely alongside French and Irish partners and today pledged in a joint statement to “strengthen partnership and share best practices”, to ensure the continued movement of freight across the continent.
High Street shops to be protected from aggressive rent collection and asked to ‘pay what they can’

High street shops and other companies under strain will be protected from aggressive rent collection and asked to pay what they can during the coronavirus pandemic, the Business Secretary has pledged.

Alok Sharma said while the majority of landlords and tenants are working well together to reach agreements on debt obligations, some landlords have been putting tenants under undue pressure by using aggressive debt recovery tactics.

To stop these unfair practices, the government will temporarily ban the use of statutory demands and winding up orders where a company cannot pay their bills due to coronavirus, to ensure they do not fall into deeper financial strain.

The government is also laying secondary legislation to provide tenants with more breathing space to pay rent by preventing landlords using Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (CRAR) unless they are owed 90 days of unpaid rent.

This will further safeguard the high street and millions of jobs by helping to protect them from permanent closure during this time. However, while landlords are urged to give their tenants the breathing space needed, the government calls on tenants to pay rent where they can afford it or what they can in recognition of the strains felt by commercial landlords too.

Business Secretary, Alok Sharma, said: “I know that like all businesses they are under pressure, but I would urge them to show forbearance to their tenants. I am also taking steps to ensure the minority of landlords using aggressive tactics to collect their rents can no longer do so while the COVID-19 emergency continues.”
Testing for essential workers (courtesy of the Cabinet Office)

Please click here for a letter from the Department of Health and Social Care outlining how every essential worker who needs a test for coronavirus can get one.

Essential workers can now book tests for themselves and their household via a new online portal on gov.uk . This will make the process of getting an appointment quicker and easier, while reducing the burden on employers. The online booking service will apply to England and Scotland only, but full details on how to access testing in all nations and who is eligible can be found here:

New member, Emmie Faust, would like to offer a half-price 90 min strategy session to online businesses that are looking to scale and grow. The normal charge £600+ VAT but is now heavily discounted to £300+ VAT. Emmie is able to add value in the following:

  • Digital Strategy and Planning
  • Digital Marketing -measuring what is working and spending budgets effectively
  • Strategic Partnerships
  • Opportunities in the marketing
  • SWOT analysis
  • Identifying the issues in the business that are holding you back from scaling
  • Cost efficiencies
  • Getting ready to secure investment 

Emmie offers business growth consultancy and mentoring to help founders scale a profitable digital business.  
or contact emmie@emmiefaust.com  Please click here for Emmie’s bio.
Londoners warned over scams from ‘coronavirus crooks’ (courtesy of the Strategic Coordination Group, which is part of the London Resilience Forum)

Londoners are being warned to remain vigilant for unscrupulous criminals exploiting fears about Covid-19 with moneymaking scams. Boroughs are asking the public to continue looking out for scammers targeting older and vulnerable people who are isolated from their family and friends. 

Scams include: 

Fake and counterfeit goods
  • Criminals targeting care homes and others taking money for fake or non-existent Covid-19 test kits. The only real source of Covid-19 tests remains the NHS.
  • Fake sanitisers, face masks and Covid-19 swabbing kits sold online and door-to-door. These products can often be dangerous and unsafe. There are reports of some potentially harmful hand sanitiser containing glutaral (or glutaraldehyde), which was banned for human use in 2014.

Doorstep crime
  • Criminals targeting older people on their doorstep and offering to do their shopping. Thieves take the money and do not return
  • Doorstep cleansing services that offer to clean drives and doorways to kill bacteria and help prevent the spread of the virus.

Online scams
  • Email scams that trick people into opening malicious attachments, which put people at risk of identity theft with personal information, passwords, contacts and bank details at risk. Some of these emails have lured people to click on attachments by offering information about people in the local area who are affected by coronavirus
  • Fake online resources – such as false Coronavirus Maps – that deliver malware such as AZORult Trojan, an information stealing program which can infiltrate a variety of sensitive data. A prominent example that has deployed malware is ‘corona-virus-map[dot]com’

Donation scams
  • There have been reports of thieves extorting money from consumers by claiming they are collecting donations for a Covid-19 ‘vaccine’.

Cllr Danny Thorpe, London Councils’ Executive Member for Crime & Public Protection, said

“While the Covid-19 emergency has brought out the best in the vast majority of Londoners, unfortunately there are also coronavirus crooks seeking to exploit people’s concerns during this difficult time.  

“Boroughs have zero tolerance for this reprehensible behaviour. We’re taking robust action against these criminals – and Londoners can help by staying vigilant and reporting any consumer crimes to the authorities.”
Do you, like me, find zoom meetings excoriating? Please click here to find out the reasons.

This event will provide a focus on Personal Resilience and Staying Connected to your Remote Teams with an update on HMG Schemes (Furloughing and CBILS) but also covers a range of current challenges being experienced by businesses.
Chair: Rob Lewis (Mission Performance) & Dave Gosling (Menzies LLP)

Hounslow Giving are working with Hounslow Council to co-ordinate the needs and asks within The Borough of Hounslow during the COVID-19 crisis. We are matching volunteers, donations or money and equipment with those individuals and groups most at need.
Good News:
Magpie and Crown streaming quizzes to brighten up lockdown
#Care4YourCrews
On 23 April 2020 London Councils celebrated the amazing people who work in waste and are keeping services running despite the challenging circumstances! From bin collection crews to street cleaners to office staff & everyone else behind the scenes. Social media posts were shared by various Councils with a wonderful collage created that included Recycle 360 crew from Hounslow, see if you can recognise them!
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.