Hounslow Business Task Force at Ten - Free Webinars:
The next Task Force at Ten webinar is on Thursday 21 st  May at 10:00am
If you have missed our webinars, you can watch them now:  https://hounslowchamber.org.uk/10015

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced a £2billion investment in roads and rail. The Transport Secretary revealed Network Rail and Highways England had carried out millions of pounds of repairs and improvements in record time while the country was in lockdown.

He added that the government wants to "exploit" the drive to innovate quickly to continue tackling challenges in the country’s transport system.

And he pledged he would address the bureaucracy which meant Britain’s infrastructure work is currently the slowest and costliest in Europe.

The Transport Secretary said drivers and cyclists beginning to return to England’s streets would also benefit from a £1.7bn Transport Infrastructure Investment Fund to improve roads, repair bridges and fill in millions of potholes.

The government also outlined its vision to supercharge the electric car network by boosting the numbers of rapid chargepoints across England’s strategic road network. The vision aims to ensure every motorway service area will have a minimum of six ultra-rapid chargepoints by 2023. This means drivers will be able to charge their cars in around 15 minutes – three times faster than they can currently.

Mr Shapps added: “Both long term transport trends and present needs to level up means that infrastructure will be important in stimulating our recovery and supporting new jobs.

“Combining digital and infrastructure improvements can revive many of our small and medium sized towns which, over decades, have been left behind.


COVID-19 Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme
HMRC has published online guidance coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme which includes information about who can use the scheme and the records employers must keep. HMRC is working urgently to set up a system for reimbursement. Details about when the new Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme can be accessed and when employers can make a claim will be announced as soon as possible.

Extension of temporary changes to AGM rules and wrongful trading liability
On May 14, the government announced that the temporary suspension of wrongful trading liability will now continue until 30 June while temporary measures to give companies and other bodies flexibility around Annual General Meetings (AGMs) and other meetings will be made retrospective to 26 March

Reminder: Supporting your employees during coronavirus: domestic abuse
The order to stay at home can cause anxiety for those who are experiencing or feel at risk of domestic abuse. As an employer, you can play an important role in reassuring staff that they can still leave their home if they are experiencing domestic abuse and that there is still support available, including online support, helplines, refuges and the police. We encourage you to share this important message with staff using the information provided in the Home Office’s employer pack.

Plans to safely restart, reopen and renew the housing market
The Housing Secretary has set out the plan to safely restart, reopen and renew the housing market. Anyone in England can move house if they follow new guidance on home moving during the coronavirus outbreak .

Construction site working hours Q&A
The Government has published a written ministerial statement on planning and construction working hours. This statement expects local planning authorities in England to approve requests to extend construction working hours temporarily to ensure safe working in line with social distancing guidelines until 9pm, Monday to Saturday, unless there are very compelling reasons against this. Questions and answers on this announcement are available.  

How tests and testing kits for coronavirus (COVID-19) work
Information for members of the public, patients, professionals and industry about COVID-19 tests and testing kits, including how they work, the different types of tests and the specifications manufacturers need to follow is available. Find out more information here.

Attestation forms for travel to and within France
Information for UK nationals about which attestation form to use when travelling to and within France during the coronavirus (COVID-19) decree.
Self-employed Income Support

Cabinet Office: additional guidance

Announcements and comms assets that have been shared over the last few days:

1) Roadmap Taskforces:  https://bit.ly/RoadmapTaskforces
Further details of the five new ministerial-led taskforces that have been set up to develop plans for how and when closed sectors can reopen safely, following publication of the  UK’s roadmap to rebuild Britain .

2) Trade Credit Insurance:   https://bit.ly/CV19TradeCreditInsurance
The government will temporarily guarantee business-to-business transactions currently supported by Trade Credit Insurance, ensuring the majority of insurance coverage will be maintained across the market. This will support supply chains and help businesses to trade with confidence as they can trust that they will be protected if a customer defaults on payment.

3) Holiday entitlement and pay:   https://bit.ly/HolidayEntitlement
An explanation of how holiday entitlement and pay operate during the coronavirus pandemic, where it differs from the standard holiday entitlement and pay guidance. This guidance applies to those that have continued to work as well as those that have been furloughed.  

4) Self-Employment Income Support Scheme:   https://bit.ly/SelfEmployedSupport
The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme went live yesterday so self-employed individuals or members of partnerships whose business has been adversely affected by coronavirus can apply for a grant worth 80% of their average monthly trading profits, up to a maximum of £7,500, paid in a single instalment. You can check eligibility using the link above. 

5) Safer Transport Toolkit:   https://bit.ly/SaferTravelToolkit
As people are starting to return to work, we have created a Safer Transport toolkit for stakeholders to share to help inform the public on the necessary steps they should be taking to stay safe when they travel using any form of transport. 
SMEs are being denied Business Interruption Insurance claims

despite having Denial of Access and Public Authority restrictions as part of the policy. One of our companies thought you would be interested in seeing this Letter to Association of British Insurers
We have today announced the latest stage of the Mayor’s Streetspace for London scheme. It will open up new walking and cycling corridors to help London’s transport network cope with the impact of coronavirus and social distancing, as people start to return to work.

We are encouraging people to continue working from home wherever possible. However, given the impact of social distancing on the public transport network, we want to help Londoners walk and cycle as much as possible.

  • We are creating one of the largest low-traffic areas in the world
  • New walking and cycling corridors are planned for London Bridge to Shoreditch, Euston to Waterloo, and Old Street to Holborn. These would be limited to buses, pedestrians and cyclists
  • In the past week we have added around 5,000 square metres of extra space on footpaths across London – including on Earl’s Court Road – giving people space to safely walk and queue for local shops while maintaining social distancing

A car-led recovery would have a damaging effect for Londoners. Before the pandemic the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) had had a transformative effect on air quality. Since the crisis, traffic levels on roads that we manage have fallen by as much as 60 per cent and nitrogen dioxide is down by more than 50 per cent in central London. As some Londoners return to work it is essential the central London road charging schemes are reinstated to deter unnecessary car use and help London to continue to be an active, green and healthy city.

From 18 May:
  • The Congestion Charge (CC) and the ULEZ are being reinstated to prevent significant increases in pollution and congestion
  • Meanwhile, to help to continue to support the vital role of NHS and care home staff, we will be extending the CC reimbursement scheme temporarily. We still encourage NHS and care home staff to travel by walking or cycling wherever possible, including using our current offer of free Santander Cycles membership for NHS staff, but for those who do choose to drive at this time, the full reimbursement will cover journeys by NHS staff and for care home employees who work in the CC zone
  • The wider Low Emission Zone, which discourages the use of the dirtiest heavy diesel vehicles and large vans, will also be reintroduced

From 22 June:
  • We will increase the CC to £15, and extend its hours of operation to 07:00 to 22:00, seven days a week. These conditions are part of the Government’s bailout deal with TfL

More details can be found in the Mayor’s full press release here .

And finally, some encouraging news. The following is taken from a survey carried out for the Robert Peston programme. These results imply people are prepared to accept some level of risk in order to complete their daily activities.
Andrew Hatch | Community Partnerships Specialist (West)
Transport for London | City Planning | Local Communities & Partnerships
The Future of Business

Covid-19 is having a dramatic & life changing effect and will change the way we do business forever.

Join the conversation and be part of this interactive event to guide, help & support each other.
It’s never been more important than now that we work together, help each other through these changing & challenging times. 

Click to register https://bit.ly/2XKqqeS
Business webinars

Event name: Brunel Go for Growth Programme , for registered London Businesses.
Start date: 3rd June 2020 from 15:00 to 17:00 (BST)
Brunel Hive and Co-Innovate  is   launching a 6-week business growth programme,  delivered via Zoom , to help you and your business adapt and deal with these challenging times. The programme is firmly built on entrepreneurial learning styles, with insights from academics, business coaches and business leaders on how to adapt to the challenges and reinvigorate your business to serve the changed market needs.
Participants will focus on adapting and developing the business growth in relation to six key areas:
Webinar 1: 3 rd June 2020 
Adapt Your Strategy and Business Model for Growth
Webinar 2: 10 th June 2020
Manage Your Cash flow to Survive and Thrive
Webinar 3: 17 th June 2020
Transitioning Your Sales & marketing messaging and approach 
Webinar 4: 24 th June 2020
Nurture Your People through Uncertainty
Webinar 5: 1 st July 2020
Build a Strong Mind-Set and Leadership skills to lead the Change
Webinar 6: 8 th July 2020
Exceed Customer service expectations to retain Current Clients

Good News:
The number of people becoming infected with coronavirus each day in London has fallen to 24

Shared from Sky News: Coronavirus could be 'wiped out in London in weeks' - but what's the picture in the rest of England? https://news.sky.com/story/coronavirus-virus-could-be-wiped-out-in-london-in-weeks-as-rate-of-infection-is-slowing-say-researchers-11988579

"Not sure the bedroom is to my taste, but if you have that amount of money I am sure you can re-decorate!"
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.