Webinars coming up:
Green Circular Economy Webinar
Friday 12th March from 10:00am - 11:00am

Our webinar is sponsored by Zapp World who have developed the most innovative method to sort out waste. Zapp World is a west London Social Enterprise, setting out to tackle the global climate change and waste management crises by empowering transformational change at scale, now. Their at-source and fuel-less ClearWaste technology treats all kinds of waste, anywhere, at no harmful cost to the environment.  It really is impressive!

The Green Economy is defined as “a system of economic activities connected with the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services that results in a better human wellbeing in the long term, to avoid exposing the future generations to significant environmental risks and to the ecologic shortage”, while the circular economy represents “a development strategy that provides for the economic growth without increasing the consumption of resources and reducing the impact on the environment.”

Speakers:
  • London Recycling Waste Board (LWARB)
  • Zapp World
  • Cllr Katherine Dunne, Cabinet member for Communities, Climate Change at Hounslow Council
  • Green Chilly – cooling technology
  • CLS – jute products
Office for Budget Responsibility forecasts updated:

The OBR now forecasts that the economy will return to pre-pandemic levels in the middle of 2022, six months earlier than previously estimated.

Click here for more details (courtesy of LCCI)
Covid-19 Business Grants latest news
 
As you may be aware the Government has announced a further one off payment for some businesses for the period 16 January to 31 March 2021. We are waiting for Government guidance before the Council can release any payments. 

When further information on these additional grants is available it will be circulated on this newsletter and THIS webpage will be updated.

Hounslow Council Covid-19 Business Support Programme

Join Hounslow Council’s Business Support ProgrammeThis project has been funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

Running until the end of March this is a programme designed to help every business in Hounslow. 

Upcoming events :

Pandemic overview (courtesy of London CSSC)
 
With ongoing reductions in the infection rates across London, over 2.2M vaccines being administered and the implementation of the national roadmap there is cause for optimism, but we must ensure this doesn’t lead to complacency as we begin to focus on recovery.
 
New variants continue to be tracked and remain a key factor in easing lockdown restrictions. In London, new neighbourhoods are undertaking surge testing to track these. As restrictions are eased in accordance with the national roadmap, it is vital that we don’t threaten London’s recovery, so the current restrictions need to be properly understood and behaviours are not eased prematurely.
 
Testing will continue to be a routine part of recovery. NHS Test and Trace is now encouraging firms of any size to register via their testing portal (link below).
 
  • In the most recent week of complete data, 19 February to 25 February, 5,865 cases were identified in London, a rate of 65 cases per 100,000 population. This compares with 7,803 cases and a rate of 87 for the previous week
  • In the same set of data, 54,676 cases were identified in England as a whole, a rate of 97 cases per 100,000 population. This compares with 69,257 cases and a rate of 123 for the previous week.
  • Up to and including 21 February 2021 1,746,338 people in London had received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 66,471 had received two doses.
  • You can see the full latest epidemiological data here and the latest SCG dashboard is attached.

Click here for more details.
 

Government Updates

  • BUDGET: In the 2021 Budget, relief has been extended for businesses on rates and VAT. Other measures include a new ‘restart’ grant to help retail, hospitality and personal care businesses reopen from April and the furlough scheme being extended until the end of September.
  • SURGE TESTING: On 2 March, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) announced additional surge testing and genomic sequencing is being deployed to a targeted area within Merton (Wimbledon Park) and Barnet (East Finchley) to monitor and suppress the spread of coronavirus as well as to better understand new variants.
  • VACCINE: PHE have submitted a pre-print report that shows that both the Pfizer and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines are highly effective in reducing coronavirus infections among people aged 70 years and over. In the over 80s, the data suggest that a single dose of either vaccine is more than 80% effective at preventing hospitalisation, around three to four weeks after the jab. There is also evidence which suggests the Pfizer vaccine leads to an 83% reduction in deaths. View the full report here.
  • BUSINESS ACCESS TO TESTING: The Business Secretary, Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng MP, wrote to all businesses on 25 Feb to encourage employers with 50 or more employees to register using an online portal for lateral flow testing kits to test their staff that cannot currently work from home, or who will return to the workplace as the economy opens up. The test kits are free of charge until 30 June 2021 for firms that register by 31 March.  The Department for Health and Social Care will also offer advice and guidance to support setting up testing facilities, along with a list a list of accredited private providers who can organise testing on businesses’ behalf. Companies with fewer than 50 employees can take advantage of community testing for their staff. Register here.
As part of the Budget, the UK Government has announced further support for you and your employees.

  1. Extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)
  2. You can now make February CJRS claims
  3. VAT deferral
  4. Where can I get further support?
  5. Protect yourself from scams


Extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has been extended until the end of September 2021.

The UK Government will continue to pay 80% of employees’ usual wages for the hours not worked, up to a cap of £2,500 per month, up to the end of June 2021.

For periods in July, CJRS grants will cover 70% of employees’ usual wages for the hours not worked, up to a cap of £2,187.50. In August and September, this will then reduce to 60% of employees’ usual wages up to a cap of £1,875.

You will need to continue to pay your furloughed employees at least 80% of their usual wages for the hours they do not work during this time, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. This means, for periods between July and September, you will need to fund the difference between this and the CJRS grants yourself. You can also top up wages above the 80% if you wish, but you are not required to do so.

You must continue to pay the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and pension contributions on subsidised furlough pay from your own funds.


CJRS eligibility from May

For periods from 1‌‌ ‌May 2021 onwards, you will be able to claim for eligible employees who were employed by you and on your PAYE payroll on 2 March 2021. This means you must have made a PAYE Real Time Information (RTI) submission to HMRC between 20 March 2020 and 2 March 2021, notifying us of earnings for that employee.

You and your employees do not need to have benefitted from the scheme before to make a claim, as long as you meet the eligibility criteria.

For more information on the extension to the scheme and the support available, search 'Job Retention Scheme' on GOV‌‌‌.UK.


You can now make February CJRS claims

You can now submit your claims for periods in February. These must be made by Monday‌‌ ‌15‌‌ ‌March.

You can claim before, during or after you process your payroll. If you can, it’s best to make a claim once you’re sure of the exact number of hours your employees worked so you don’t have to amend your claim later.

Check if you and your employees are eligible and work out how much you can claim using our CJRS calculator and examples, by searching 'Job Retention Scheme' on GOV‌‌‌‌‌.UK.

What you need to do now

  1. If you haven’t submitted your claim for January but believe that you have a reasonable excuse for missing the deadline of 15 February, check if you can make a late claim by searching 'claim for wages' on GOV‌‌‌‌.UK.
  2. Submit any claims for February no later than Monday‌‌ 15‌‌ March.
  3. Keep records that support the amount of CJRS grants you claim, in case HMRC need to check them. 


VAT deferral

If you deferred VAT payments due between 20‌‌ ‌March and 30‌‌ ‌June 2020 and still have payments to make, you should pay by 31‌‌ ‌March 2021 if you can.

If you cannot afford to pay by 31‌‌ ‌March this year, you can now use the online VAT deferral new payment scheme to spread your payment.

The new scheme lets you pay your deferred VAT in equal monthly instalments, interest free. You can spread your payments across a number of months depending on when you join – the earlier you join, the more months you have to spread your payments across.

  • 11 instalments if you join by 19‌‌ ‌March
  • 10 instalments if you join by 21‌‌ ‌April
  • 9 instalments if you join by 19‌‌ ‌May
  • 8 instalments if you join by 21‌‌ ‌June.

You can join the scheme quickly and simply online without the need to call HMRC. To find out more information, including the things you need to do before joining, go to GOV‌‌‌.UK and search 'VAT deferred'.

The online service will close on 21‌‌ ‌June 2021 – if you want to join the scheme online, you must do so before this date.

If you’re on the VAT Annual Accounting Scheme or the VAT Payment on Account Scheme, you’ll be able to join the new payment scheme later in March. We will share more information on this shortly.

If you have a Time to Pay arrangement already in place for your deferred VAT, you cannot use the online scheme. If you need to amend your Time to Pay arrangement, contact HMRC to do this.
#Keep It Local in Hounslow 2021

We are back with the #Keepitlocal campaign in Hounslow. Its all about supporting local businesses and we are encouraging residents to do their shopping locally.

‘Keep it local’ showcases independent businesses from across the borough whether you are looking to buy gifts, goods or services, you can help our wonderful businesses by spending locally. 

If you would like your business featured email: TownCentre.Management@hounslow.gov.uk . To keep an eye on the campaign, follow our Twitter account @LBofHounslow and @investhounslow

Click here to find out businesses who took part in the campaign in 2020 
Counting Down to Re-opening – some tips from KallKwik

Click here to see more details.
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