“I appreciate all the COVID-19 updates from the Chamber. It takes a crisis like this to really demonstrate the value you bring to members.” - John Coles, Kew Bridge Travel
Hounslow Chamber in conjunction with Chiswickbuzz webinars
All are free, run for 60 minutes and start at 10:00 am:

Health & Wellbeing - 16th July

Lockdown has now lasted for over 100 days, the retail/hospitality sectors are beginning to open – are you confident to return to a pub? Please register to take part in the discussion.

Panellists:
  • Ed Hussey, Menzies
  • Jacqueline McCouat, Anchor Counselling
  • Alex Willis – DoTerra

More to be announced

Skills & Training / Transform & Innovate - 23rd July

Last week 12,000 job losses were announced. Hounslow is going to be particularly hard hit owing to its proximity to Heathrow. Please register to have your voice heard.

Panellists:
  • Seema Malhotra, MP for Feltham & Heston
  • Tracy Aust, Principal of West Thames College
  • Alan Fraser,Director at Cranford Community College

More to be announced

Managing Debt - 6 th August
Panellists to be announced

If you have missed our webinars, you can watch them now:  https://hounslowchamber.org.uk/10015
Next phase of reopening  (courtesy of Cabinet Office)

The government has outlined the measures that will allow outdoor pools to reopen from Saturday 11 July and indoor gyms, swimming pools and sports facilities to reopen from Saturday 25 July, ensuring millions of people can get back into more sport and fitness activities.

Further guidance on grassroots sport and gym/leisure facilities reopening can be found here:  https://bit.ly/GymsLeisureReopening.

Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, also outlined that beauticians, tattooists, spas, tanning salons and other close-contact services can also reopen from Monday 13th July.

Existing guidance on close contact services will be updated here:  https://bit.ly/CV19CloseContactGuidance.

Finally, the Culture Secretary highlighted that performing arts can now take place outdoors from Saturday 11 July with a socially distanced audience present. The government will also work with the sector to pilot a number of small indoor performances with a social distanced audience to help inform plans about how best to get indoor venues back up and running.

Further guidance on performing arts reopening can be found here:  https://bit.ly/CV19PerformingArts.

Full details of the statement can be found here:  https://bit.ly/CSStatement
The Chancellor announced the introduction of the Job Retention Bonus. (courtesy of HMRC)

This is a one-off payment of £1,000 to employers that have used the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) for each furloughed employee who remains continuously employed until 31‌‌‌ ‌January 2021. The bonus will provide additional support to retain employees.

To be eligible, employees will need to:

  • earn at least £520 per month (above the Lower Earnings Limit) on average for November, December and January
  • have been furloughed by you at any point and legitimately claimed for under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • have been continuously employed by you up until at least 31‌‌‌ ‌January 2021.

Employers will be able to claim the bonus from February 2021 once accurate RTI data to 31‌‌‌ ‌January has been received. More information about this scheme will be available by 31‌‌‌ ‌July and full guidance will be published in the Autumn.

Recent changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme mean you can now bring previously furloughed employees back to work to suit the needs of your business.

From August, the level of the grant will be slowly reduced and employers will be asked to contribute towards the cost of employees' wages.

For the latest information on this scheme, join the following live webinar:

Extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and flexible furloughing  – We’ll take you through the changes, flexible furloughing, claim periods, key dates, and what happens when the scheme ends.


We've also added more dates for those who have not yet been able to join this popular live webinar:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme  – You can get the latest on who can claim, who you can claim for, how to make a claim, what you may be entitled to, and more.

Kickstart Scheme ( courtesy of Oasis Accountants)

This new scheme will pay employers who employ 16 to 24-year-olds (who are in receipt of Universal Credit or at risk of long-term unemployment), for a minimum of 25 hours per week, at the minimum wage. The jobs must be new additional jobs. The scheme will directly pay the employer the wages of these young employees for 6 months, a value of approximately £6,000.

*Employers can apply to take part in August, with the idea that employees can start in their new jobs by the Autumn. There is no cap on places available.

Traineeships/Apprenticeships

The government will pay employers a cash incentive to take on trainees and hire young people. These new incentives are in addition to the existing £1,000 payment already provided for taking on new 16-18-year-old trainees and certain other apprentices aged over 25.

  • Employers will also be paid £2,000 for every newly created apprentice place. 
  • A £1,500 payment will be made for taking on apprentices aged over 25 years old.
New funding for arts sector (courtesy of LCCI)

  • The Government has today given further clarity on the support that was originally announced on Sunday which will see the arts, culture and heritage sector benefit from £1.57 billion in investment.

  • The support will be delivered through a mix of grants and repayable finance, with £100 million of targeted support for the national cultural institutions in England and the English Heritage Trust and £120 million capital investment to restart construction on cultural infrastructure and for heritage construction projects.

  • The funding will also mean an extra £188 million for the devolved administrations - with the following allocations via the Barnett formula: Northern Ireland (£33 million); Scotland (£97  million); and Wales (£59 million).

  • Decisions on awards will be made by DCMS Arms Length Bodies, in particular the Arts Council England, British Film Institute, Historic England, and the National Lottery Heritage Fund, working alongside expert independent figures from the sector.
Please be vigilant. The scammers are still out there and always will be.

The latest scam has occurred in the pay and display car park at the rear of M&S in Hounslow - although it can and will occur ANYWHERE you use a debit or credit card.

The suspect will tamper with the pay machine (or ATM), they usually insert what is known as a Lebanese Loop   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lebanese_loop  This will retain your card and cause the machine to give an error. A 'kind person' will then come to your assistance and offer to help. They will usually instruct you to re-enter your pin which they will see and remember. The machine may or may not work but your card will be retained. The scammer will wait until you have gone for help and use a small tool to remove your card after you have left. 

If this happens. DO NOT leave the machine unattended until you cancel your card. use your mobile phone or get someone to call your bank/card provider and let them know what is happening. 

Once they have your card and the PIN they will keep using it until your account is EMPTY or the card is stopped. 

The 'Loop' is usually made of a length of cassette audio tape glued to a plastic facia that is attached over the card slot which double sided tape or glue and can usually be easily removed. When removed it will drag your card out of the machine. This is only recommended as a last option as the suspects can become violent when discovered. If you feel unsafe or threatened always call 999.

If at all possible without putting yourself at risk - try and obtain and description or images of the perpetrators and any car registrations.
Good News:
We are excited to announce the Museum’s outside spaces will be re-opening to the public every Thursday, Friday and Saturday 11am – 3pm, from 16th July – 29th August. 
 
The closure of our site, as well as many other playgrounds and activity venues during the pandemic, has had a huge impact for families in the Brentford area. We cannot wait to welcome families back to the Museum, providing them with a safe and playful space to enjoy.
 
Let me know if there’s anything else that would be useful. We have FAQs on our website here https://waterandsteam.org.uk/plan-your-visit/

Please click here to read the full press release
2020 continues to be a challenging year and some may question Business Awards going ahead. After much reflection we feel there are reasons to be optimistic. Please enter the Awards, based on your activity in 2019, using it as a means to celebrate the past, to mark the end of 2020, and to give you and your team a wonderful night out on 15th October 2020, to move into the Christmas season and to start 2021 in an upbeat frame of mind.

Please be assured that we will be adhering to Government guidelines to ensure we are all safe.

The Business Awards are open to ALL businesses in the London Boroughs of Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham, Hounslow and ALL our Chamber members, wherever you are based.


There are 19 award categories which you can enter now, just click the link to enter, fill out the form and submit. The deadline date for entries is 22 nd August 2020.
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