Hounslow Business Task Force at Ten - Free Webinars:
We are hosting our next Business Task Force webinar on Thursday, 7 th May 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 relevant advice to help you though these difficult times. 
If you have missed our webinars, you can watch them now:  https://hounslowchamber.org.uk/10015
Record cargo movements

In the last week of March Heathrow saw a 409% increase in cargo only air traffic compared to the average seen before the pandemic.

That trend has continued and last week (w/c 20.04.20) Heathrow had an average of over 74 cargo-only daily movements. The airport saw 520 cargo-only ATMs last week – over a 1000% increase on the weekly average pre-COVID-19.

Over 40% of the UK’s pharmaceutical products such as medicines, vaccines and respirators, are imported via Heathrow, and at this difficult time for the nation, it is imperative that our vital supply lines stay open, making sure that cargo flights carrying this essential medical equipment, as well as food supplies remain able to touch down in the UK.

As part of that increase, Virgin Atlantic is set to deliver over 45 million items of personal protective equipment (PPE) into the UK on board special cargo-only flights which have been chartered by the Department of Health and Social Care and the NHS throughout May, June and July.

We’re proud to be working closely with Virgin Atlantic and other airlines to keep the UK’s vital supply lines open during this challenging time. This outbreak has drastically changed the aviation sector and we’re playing our part by prioritising freight operations. This focus means that critical medical supplies are getting into this country, ready for use by our frontline NHS workers.

Over 160 tonnes of medical supplies and PPE have already been transported, including 66 ventilators, over two million face masks, 600,000 face shields and visors, one million disposable gloves, 38,000 items for eye protection, 75,000 protective coveralls and isolation gowns and over 25,000 battery operated or manual ventilators.
Protecting rough sleepers

Since the beginning of the month, we have been working extensively with external outreach organisations, local authorities and Government to triage and relocate rough sleepers at the airport into suitable temporary accommodation.

In line with Government guidelines, Heathrow is applying the necessary social distancing measures at our airport which sees us strictly limiting airport access to passengers, colleagues and those wit a reason for entry in order to safeguard their health.

All new arrivals at the airport who are struggling to find accommodation will be helped to contact StreetLink or directed to local outreach for support to ensure their safety.
The Bounce Back / Micro Company Loan Scheme

The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak has announced a new Government-backed lending scheme targeted at small businesses. The fast-track finance scheme will provide loans with a 100% government-backed guarantee for lenders under the name of The Bounce Back Loan Scheme.

The scheme, which will provide loans of up to £50,000, will help bolster the existing package of support available and has been designed to ensure that small firms who need vital cash injections to keep operating can get finance in a matter of days.

The key details of the scheme are:

  • The government will provide lenders with a 100% guarantee for the loan and pay any interest for the first 12 months.
  • The maximum loan will be 25% annual turnover subject to a cap of £50,000.
  • Loan Amounts from £2,000 up to £50,000 max.
  • No repayments will be due during the first 12 months
  • The loans will be easy to apply for through a short, standardized online application.
  • The loan should reach businesses within days - providing immediate support to those that need it as easily as possible.
  • The scheme will launch for applications on Monday 4 May and businesses will be able to access these loans through a network of accredited lenders.
  • Loan available up to 6 years 

The government will work with lenders to ensure loans delivered through this scheme are advanced as quickly as possible and agree on a low standardised level of interest for the remaining period of the loan:

Eligibility & Documents

You can apply for a loan if your business:

  • Based in the UK
  • Negatively affected by a coronavirus. Covid19 fact-find
  • The business was not an ‘undertaking in difficulty’ on 31 December 2019.
  • Filed Accounts for 2019
  • Latest Management Account
  • Cashflow forecast for the next 12 months 
  • Last 6 months bank statement
  • The current list of Debtors & Creditors
  • Preferable a profitable company as on Dec 2019
  • Directors Details – Home Address, Homeowner or Tenant, Years
  • Staying at that address, less then 3 years all Address. Director Asset & Liability statements
  • Directors and Company needs to have a good credit history

Who Cannot Apply

The following businesses are not eligible to apply:

  • Banks, insurers and reinsurers (but not insurance brokers)
  • Public-sector bodies
  • Further-education establishments if they are grant-funded
  • State-funded primary and secondary schools
  • If you are already claiming under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).

Our mailing address is:

£6.1m funding boost to support BIDs and help high streets and town centres through pandemic
Hundreds of Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) across England will share £6.1million of funding to spend on projects that will help their local economies through the uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic, High Streets Minister Simon Clarke MP confirmed today (1 May).

Many BIDs are now playing a crucial role during these challenging economic times, offering hands-on support to those businesses affected, including advice services, increased security to protect businesses that have closed, and providing key intelligence to local and central government on the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on their local economies.

High Streets Minister Simon Clarke said: “BIDs are uniquely placed and have a proven track record of success in supporting local businesses, empowering communities, championing our town centres and driving forward the renewal of our high streets.

“It’s only right that during these unprecedented times we give them all the necessary support they need to continue operating, so that they can carry on their vital work now and crucially when we move into the recovery phase from the current crisis.”
Taking care of your health
Despite the coronavirus pandemic you should still visit the hospital in a serious or life-threatening emergency, or childhood illnesses and injuries.

NHS staff have worked hard to put in place measures that enable you and your family to access care safely.

You should also continue to attend appointments for ongoing treatment, unless these have been postponed or you have been told not to attend during this time. 

Otherwise, you should only visit your GP, hospital or other NHS care provider in person, if you have been told to do so by a healthcare professional. This helps to keep you safe, keep others safe and protect the NHS.

For medical advice, the NHS 111 online website will tell you when and where to get help and can arrange for you to be contacted by a nurse, if required.

Only call 111 if you are unable to get help online. In an emergency, dial 999.
Message from NHS Hounslow CPG:

  • The big message in terms of the NHS is that General Practice is open. If you have any symptoms for which normally you would have gone to the GP, please call and make an appointment. You will have a telephone/video consultation and only be seen in person if you absolutely need to be. GPs are able to prescribe using electronic prescriptions etc so going to the practice will be minimised.
National Careers Service Jobs Hour Campaign (courtesy of the Cabinet Office)

Currently local face-to-face appointments have been paused and employment support from local JCPs has also been stopped. This has left a significant gap in ground level careers and employment support during a time when many jobs have been lost.

As such, the National Careers Service main social media accounts are coming together with local contractors and key partners to deliver a joined-up jobs fair on a digital platform to support those who need help.

London employers should be aware that they can use this facility to maximise the reach of their current vacancies.  Please see the campaign promotional material.
Hounslow Soup Kitchen needs your help – please click here
Good News:
courtesy of Chiswick Calendar
Fuller's Wisteria

Thanks also to Ruth Todd for this picture of the wisteria at the Griffin brewery.

'What is interesting about this plant is that is that it was from one of only two plants of its kind introduced into this country just over two hundred years ago.

'John Reeve, a tea inspector with the East India company, obtained them from the merchant Consequa’s garden in Canton.

'One was brought back by Captain Wellbank probably in 1815 and given to Charles Turner of Surrey (who owned Fullers brewery along with Smith and Fuller).

'The one in the brewery could have been a further cutting from Turner's original plant, given the date of planting at the brewery is given as 1818'.
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.