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.


Micro 'bounce back' loans for Coronavirus-hit SMEs

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced today that small businesses will be eligible for new loans worth between £2,000 and £50,000, which are backed by a 100% government guarantee

Businesses will be able to apply for these new 'Bounce Back Loans' for 25% of their turnover, up to a maximum of £50,000, with the government paying the interest for the first 12 months. The scheme opens from 9am on Monday (4 May) and loans should arrive within 24 hours of approval.

However, the Chancellor added that he would not be yielding to pressure to underwrite with 100% guarantees all the government’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans.

“We should not ask the ordinary taxpayers of today and tomorrow to bear the entire risk of lending almost unlimited sums…to businesses who may, in some cases, have very little prospect of paying those loans back – and not necessarily because of the impact of coronavirus,” he told Parliament.

“So I do not think it is appropriate to provide 100% guarantees on all of our schemes. Instead, these new Bounce Back Loans carefully target that extraordinary level of state support at those who need it most.

“And the £50,000 cap balances the risk to the taxpayer with the need to support our smallest businesses.”

Read the Chancellor’s statement in full here.
The Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan (information from the Cabinet Office)

Yesterday the Chancellor announced a new loan scheme - the Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan - to help small and medium-sized businesses affected by coronavirus.
The key details of the loan below:

  • The scheme will go live from Monday 4th May 2020 and cash will be released within days for eligible businesses. 
  • Businesses can borrow between £2,000 and £50,000.
  • The government will guarantee 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months.
  • Loan terms will be up to 6 years
  • The government will work with lenders to agree a low rate of interest for the remaining period of the loan.
  • The scheme will be delivered through a network of accredited lenders.
Please find the press notice here ( https://bit.ly/BounceBackPN ) and further guidance on the scheme here ( https://bit.ly/BounceBackGuidance ). The finder tool on gov.uk is currently being updated to include this scheme as well. 
HMRC news

Wages for furloughed employees are now being paid through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, just six working days after claims opened.

Payments for claims made on Monday 20 April will be in employers’ bank accounts by tomorrow (28‌‌ April).

If you have already made a claim

Don’t worry if you haven’t received payment yet – it takes six working days from when you claimed. Please don’t call us to chase payment as we won’t be able to update you before the six working days have ended.

You don’t need to do anything to receive payment. It will automatically be sent to the bank account you nominated in your claim.

Please retain all records and calculations for your claims in case we need to contact you about them in future, as we continue to check claims made through the scheme.

If you have not yet made a claim

You can still claim online for a grant for 80% of your furloughed employees’ salaries, up to a maximum of £2,500 per employee, per month. You will receive the funds six working days after you claim, provided your claim matches records that we hold for your PAYE scheme.

Please read all the available guidance before you apply. To find this, go to GOV‌.UK and search for 'Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme'.

HMRC will check claims made through the scheme and will act to protect public money against anyone who makes a dishonest claim.

Please continue to keep your furloughed employees informed and ask them not to contact us directly – we will not be able to provide them with any information.

A word about scams

Stay vigilant about scams, which may mimic government messages such as 'Stay at home' and 'Stay home, stay safe', as a way of appearing authentic and unthreatening. Don’t give out private information or reply to text messages, and don’t download attachments or click on links in texts or emails you weren’t expecting. You can forward suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC to phishing@hmrc.gov.uk and texts to 60599.

I wish you all the best at this challenging time.

Jim Harra
First Permanent Secretary and Chief Executive – HMRC

There was a brilliant typo in yesterday’s e-mail:

Do you, like me, find zoom meetings exhausting? Please click here to find out the reasons.

Staying safe using ZOOM – click here . (courtesy of Scottish Business Resilience Centre)
Zoom meeting scheduled for tomorrow (and every Wednesday) at 3.00 pm. Tomorrow’s session is about Wills and Powers of Attorney. This is a chance to ask questions and to learn about tax planning and more importantly to make those important decisions in an informed way.

Please join us with our panel Nigel George, Jakob Kotan and Daniel Flynn. When else would you get a chance to listen and question legal experts about things that matter to you but without being charged.

The details of the Zoom meeting is below.

When: Apr 29, 2020 03:00 PM London
Topic: Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney

Register in advance for this webinar:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. If you cannot join us but wish to have the recording please register and we shall send this to you.

Next week’s tea time Zoom meeting is on rights of Landlords during lockdown.
Good News:
courtesy of my brother in Macclesfield
The birds are singing!
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.