At Hounslow Chamber, we value the safety of our members, contacts and employees. Given the evolving status with COVID-19, we are closely monitoring the situation. If you have the following symptoms , or have been in close contact with anyone who has had them, we hope you stay safe:

  • Temperature
  • New persistent cough
  • Shortness of breath
Here are some helpful suggestions with input from Wandsworth Chamber
Cloud-based Storage - For accessing all your files from any device where you have an internet connection
Microsoft Sharepoint and Microsoft One Drive
Both these services come with Office 365 and are great for storing all your files in the cloud and then allowing you to share them with other users in your organisation. Sharepoint allows users or groups of users to access the same set of files in the same location and even allows for two people in different locations to work on the same Excel file at the same time. 
Conference and video calling
Microsoft Teams and Skype for business
Again both these services come as part of the Office 365 package. Microsoft teams are a more complete package for inter-team communications and group video calls within your organisation. You can also do conference video or voice calls to other outside landlines and mobile numbers if this feature is active. 
Business Interruption Loan Scheme
A new Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank, will enable businesses with a turnover of no more than £41 million to apply for a loan of up to £1.2 million, with the government covering up to 80% of any losses with no fees. This will unlock up to £1 billion pounds to protect and support small businesses.
Bank Loans and Overdrafts
We advise that you should get in touch with your bank ASAP and start by arranging an overdraft facility. This should be a starting point and should ease up cash flow problems in the short term. 
Statutory Sick Pay for 14 days fully refunded by Government
For businesses with fewer than 250 employees, the cost of providing 14 days of statutory sick pay per employee will be refunded by the government in full. This will provide 2 million businesses with up to £2 billion to cover the costs of large-scale sick leave.
HMRC dedicated helpline
A dedicated helpline has been set up to help businesses and self-employed individuals in financial distress and with outstanding tax liabilities receive support with their tax affairs. Through this, businesses may be able to agree on a bespoke Time to Pay arrangement. If you are concerned about being able to pay your tax due to COVID-19, call HMRC’s dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559. Many businesses are concerned about their cashflows. We will recommend speaking to HMRC and agree to defer any PAYE, VAT and CT liabilities for the next 2 months (but agree in advance with HMRC, they know everyone is in it together and should be accommodating) if you are struggling with cashflows.
Cash Grants by local authorities
There will be a £3,000 cash grant to 700,000 of our smallest businesses, delivered by Local Authorities, and worth a total of £2 billion.
Business Rates relief for small businesses
Finally, the government is temporarily increasing the business rates retail discount in England to 100% for 2020-21 for properties below £51,000 rateable value. Nearly half of all business properties will not pay a penny of business rates.
Further Advice
For Further Advice please refer to the below link by the National Federation Small businesses Ltd. 
If you have any advice or can offer businesses some help in dealing with the Coronavirus outbreak that you would like us to share please let me know. In the meantime, we will be updating our website with helpful tips and links to useful information.
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.