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

The tracking app which forms the key final part of the government’s Test, Track and Trace strategy for emerging from the COVID-19 lockdown will go into live trials on the Isle of Wight tomorrow (5 May).

Speaking at today’s Downing Street press conference Health Secretary Matt Hancock confirmed that, now testing capacity had been increased and an ‘army of contact tracers’ was being built, the government was focusing on the tracking app.

From Tuesday, health professionals on the Isle of Wight would receive the app, and it would be rolled out to all of the island’s 80,000 citizens from Thursday.

“This is at the forefront of helping get Britain back on her feet,” Mr Hancock said. “Where the Isle of Wight leads, Britain will follow.”

However, the Health Secretary emphasised that the latest step was ‘not the end of social distancing’, which would only happen once the government’s five tests had been met.

Bounce Back loans launched today
Britain’s small businesses are able to apply for the new quick and easy-to access ‘Bounce Back’ loans of up to £50,000 from today – with the cash expected to land within days.

Thousands of small firms and sole traders – including high street staples like hairdressers, coffee shops and florists – are expected to be eligible for 100% government-backed Bounce Back Loans to help them make it through the coronavirus outbreak.

From 9am this morning, small business owners can apply to accredited lenders by filling out a simple online form, with only seven questions.

The government has also agreed with lenders that an affordable flat rate of 2.5% interest will be charged on these loans. And any business that has already taken out a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan of £50,000 or less can apply to have these switched over to this generous new scheme.

Self-employed invited to get ready to make their claims for COVID-19 support
HMRC has announced it will begin contacting customers who may be eligible for the government’s Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS).

Those who are eligible will be able to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of their average trading profits up to a maximum of £7,500 (equivalent to three months’ profits), paid in a single instalment.

HMRC is also inviting customers, or their agents, to go online and check their eligibility for SEISS.
In order to receive quick confirmation from the eligibility checker, individuals should:
  • have their Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) and their National Insurance Number to hand
  • make sure their details are up-to-date in their Government Gateway account

Once the online check is complete, eligible customers will be given a date when they can submit their claim. They will also be encouraged to update their contact details.

HMRC has also announced that the claims service will open on 13 May ahead of the original timetable. Those eligible will have the money paid into their bank account by 25 May, or within six working days of completing a claim.

£600m top-up to local business grant funds scheme
A discretionary fund has been set up by government to support small businesses previously outside the scope of the business grant funds scheme.

The Business Secretary Alok Sharma and Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government, Simon Clarke spoke to local authorities in England on Friday to set out that up to £617million would be made available.

This additional fund is aimed at small businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs and local authorities will be asked to prioritise businesses in shared spaces, regular market traders, small charity properties and bed and breakfasts that pay council tax rather than business rates. But allocation of funding will be at the discretion of local authorities.

Businesses must be small, under 50 employees, and they must also be able to demonstrate that they have seen a significant drop of income due to Coronavirus restriction measures.

There will be three levels of grant payments. The maximum will be £25,000. There will also be grants of £10,000. local authorities will have discretion to make payments of any amount under £10,000. It will be for councils to adapt this approach to local circumstances.
More information on the £600m top-up to local business grant funds scheme (courtesy of LCCI)

The Business Secretary Alok Sharma and Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government, Simon Clarke spoke to local authorities in England yesterday to set out that up to £617 million would be made available.

This is an additional 5% uplift to the £12.33 billion funding previously announced for the Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund (RHLGF), so up to £617 million. We will confirm the exact amount for each local authority next week.

This additional fund is aimed at small businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs. We are asking local authorities to prioritise businesses in shared spaces, regular market traders, small charity properties that would meet the criteria for Small Business Rates Relief, and bed and breakfasts that pay council tax rather than business rates. But local authorities may choose to make payments to other businesses based on local economic need. The allocation of funding will be at the discretion of local authorities.

Businesses must be small, under 50 employees, and they must also be able to demonstrate that they have seen a significant drop of income due to Coronavirus restriction measures.

There will be three levels of grant payments. The maximum will be £25,000. There will also be grants of £10,000. local authorities will have discretion to make payments of any amount under £10,000. It will be for councils to adapt this approach to local circumstances.

Further guidance for local authorities will be set out shortly
Raise the Bar Campaign who are trying to get the rateable value limit for Small Business Grants raised from £51,000 to £150,000

Hounslow Soup Kitchen needs your help – please click here
Free Webinars:
Tea time free Zoom Meeting
Lease Health Check
with James Harrison and a panel of solicitors

Questions about your lease and the terms that could help you during this time?
Negotiate your rent
A rent review at this time?
How to get out of a lease
Important terms of the lease you should know about
webinar " Achieving Sales Targets Despite Lockdown".

Your salespeople are looking to you for leadership. Show them what you are made of…

If you are a B2B sales company, join Paul Glynn and Ashley Marchment’s sales webinar and discover how to take advantage of this COVID19 lockdown to achieve sales targets

Achieving Sales Targets Despite Lockdown
Thursday 7th May - 2pm 
5th May 2020
14:00 - 15:30


Join us to learn how you can regain your focus and control and come out of this crisis stronger, clearer and healthier.

In this summit you will hear from specialist experts who have dedicated their lives to helping people regain their clarity focus and energy. Find out how you can build strong personal foundations that will not only help you cope but will build a new you, ready and able to face anything.
May 12th 2020
10:00-11:00


In this workshop you will learn how to spot opportunities and how to craft an offer that attracts customers. You will also learn how to leverage the internet to expand your markets and capture more clients on a consistent basis.
May 26th 2020
14:00-15:30


Join us and learn from businesses that are thriving during Covid-19. Meet them up close and learn about what they are doing and how they gained success at such a difficult time. Meet the business owners and learn how they guided their team and grew their sales. You will have an opportunity to put your questions to these business owners and learn how you can use their success as inspiration.
Good News:
Mould Making UK is able to join the cause of printing visor masks for the NHS. They are happy to have their printer on loan from W est Thames they are looking forward to donating the visor heads. Hounslow Chamber of Commerce is happy to have been able to introduce Mould Making UK to West Thames College.

Something different this month from John Coles of Travel PA. “ Rather than my regular newsletter, I thought it would be fun to invite a selection of friends to share their personal travel stories. The result is an eclectic mix of memories old and new, destinations near and far. I truly enjoyed receiving these stories and compiling the newsletter. I hope you will enjoy reading them.” I was privileged to ask to contribute and so enjoyed looking through years of photographs – thank you, John!
 
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.