Covid-19: Health & Safety - Back to Basics Webinar
Monday 25th January at 11:00 am – 12:00 noon

Hounslow is now the worst London borough for Covid-19, one in 30 of us Londoners has the disease. This second national lockdown has a very different feel to the first. We need to get back to the basics. Please come along to learn more about the mass vaccination programme in the borough, the asymptomatic testing initiative and to put your concerns to the panel, made up of:

  • Kelly O’Neill - Director of Public Health at Hounslow Council
  • Mel Bruneau - Health & Safety Director at Hounslow Chamber
  • Graham Bellamy - Principal Regulatory Officer at Hounslow Council
  • Representative from West Middlesex University Hospital
Access to COVID-19 Grants & Funding
Wednesday 27th January 12:00 noon - 1:30 pm

Get your questions answered and understand the full range of business support measures available to you in your business. 

This event will help you find out how to access the support that has been made available, who is eligible, what schemes are open and how to apply.

You will also have access to a team of experts to help you solve any key challenges you have in your business. It’s a 15 minute speed mentoring session to get your questions answered and the advice and support you need across all key business areas; finance & funding, sales & marketing, strategy, HR & talent, legal, technology, websites & SEO. This will be conducted in breakout rooms so you can work on a 121 basis. Pre-book your 15 minutes speed mentoring sessions in advance.

Places limited and available on first come first served basis.
COVID-19 testing

As part of the latest national lockdown restrictions, certain businesses should be closed or severely restrict their activities as part of efforts to limit contacts between people to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

If your business is still open, please ensure that you continue to follow COVID-secure guidelines to protect your customers and staff.

Testing if you don’t have symptoms

Front line workers and those that must leave home to go to work have kept our community and economy going during this pandemic. To make sure they stay safe we recommend that employees get a test regularly, even if they are not displaying symptoms. This includes the following jobs and more:

  • Cleaners
  • Key workers
  • Taxi drivers
  • Delivery drivers
  • Employees at essential retail
  • Critical national infrastructure
  • Construction
  • Manufacturing
  • Childcare or education
  • Carers
  • Essential public services
  • People working in other people’s homes.

Businesses that are still open should encourage staff that are not displaying symptoms to get a free test twice a week at one of Ealing’s six testing centres.

One in three people with COVID-19 do not display any symptoms.

Employees don’t have to be an Ealing resident, but working in the borough of Ealing. At the moment tests are only available to people 16 years old and over.

Testing for those with symptoms

If you or your staff have COVID-19 symptoms this test is not for you. You should instead isolate with the whole household and book a test through the NHS immediately. You can do this by calling 119 or going to the NHS website.

Symptoms include:

  • New continuous cough
  • High temperature
  • Loss of sense of smell or taste.

Support and payments for those who test positive

People are legally required to self-isolate when they test positive for coronavirus or are identified as a contact, with fines of up to £10,000 for those who break the rules. This includes business owners, who threaten or prevent their staff from self-isolation.

If your staff test positive or are expected to isolate there is support available and they may be entitled to some payments as well. Find out more on the government’s website.

COVID-19 conflict and safety webinar

Safer Business Network is organasing COVID-19 - Conflict and Safety webinar on Thursday, 21 January 2021 from 12:30pm to 1:30pm.

With speakers from Safer Business Network, Met Police and Environmental Health the webinar will:

  • Explore what conflict is and how to manage conflict
  • Summarise key safety procedures in relation to COVID-19
  • Understand the police approach to enforcement.

You will also have the opportunity to ask questions that you have.

Courses for you

Marketing for small and starter businesses is a course by Ealing adult learning. It takes place from 21 January to 11 February, every Thursday from 6pm to 8pm. Learn a range of practical marketing strategies and techniques to successfully launch a new business or grow your small business. You can also develop marketing objectives, create a marketing plan and acquire the skills you need to increase business awareness and sales.

Recover & Grow is a new free six-week course from the London Business Hub and the Business School that can help you strengthen your business, build your resilience and set the foundations to grow. Eligibility criteria apply. Complete the registration form by 31 January 2021 to confirm your eligibility. 

Claims under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) are currently open for pay periods in January‌‌ ‌2021.

Claims for December are now closed, but if you find you need to make a change because you didn’t claim enough you can do this until Thursday‌‌ ‌28 January.

Make sure you have the latest information by joining the live Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme webinar, which includes:

  • who can claim 
  • who you can claim for 
  • how to calculate what you can claim
  • how to make a claim.

We are also running monthly webinars on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme. Get the latest information on: 

  • who can claim 
  • who you can claim for 
  • how to make a claim 
  • what you may be entitled to, and more.

During these interactive webinars you can ask questions using the on-screen text box and download handouts giving detailed examples and links to more information.

Afterwards we’ll also send you a link to a video recording of the webinars, in case you'd like to see any of it again.

We will continue to update our webinars to reflect the latest information as it becomes available.
It’s been mandatory to wear face coverings on public transport for seven months. Figures show strong public support for the measure, with around 90 per cent compliance at the busiest times of day. The vast majority of passengers are wearing a face covering over their nose and mouth when on public transport and in stations, unless they are exempt. Only a selfish minority who are not exempt are continuing to ignore the regulation and put themselves and their fellow passengers at risk. We have expanded our team of enforcement officers, and they are handing out more fines to customers who don’t comply and prosecuting those who do not pay.
A new cohort of TfL enforcement officers completed training in December, boosting our enforcement team to around 500. They work alongside our policing partners from the Metropolitan Police Service and British Transport Police to carry out enforcement operations on our transport network every day. They are ensuring compliance of coronavirus safety regulations, as well as tackling aggression, fare evasion and providing greater visibility and reassurance. The new recruits are now in operation on the transport network and we are regularly carrying out operations at stations with low compliance.

Over the last seven months:

  • around 128,000 people have been stopped from boarding services until they have put on a face covering
  • around 9,300 have been prevented from boarding
  • around 2,100 have been ejected from services
  • around 1,700 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) have been issued to those who have travelled on the network without a face covering and who are not exempt

Customers who do not pay their fine within 28 days face prosecution, and around 650 people have been prosecuted for not wearing a mask on the network. Fines have been as much as £660 for those convicted for a first offence, with one repeat offender having to pay £1,170.

Our latest customer survey found 75 per cent are supportive of face covering enforcement, rising to 86 per cent among those aged 65 and over.

The Government's message is that everyone must stay at home unless for a legally permitted reason. A reasonable excuse for leaving home includes travel to work where it cannot be done from home, to shop for necessities, seek medical assistance, visit a support bubble or for education. We are continuing to run as full a service as possible for those who must travel, and Londoners are also encouraged to use London's network of safe walking or cycling routes where possible and to use our travel tools to plan journeys by public transport during the quieter times. These are currently between 08:15 and 16:00 and after 17:30 on weekdays, and before noon and after 18:00 on weekends on public transport.

The enforcement of face coverings complements other rigorous measures we taking to support a safe, reliable and clean network that gives people who need to travel the confidence to do so. The enhanced cleaning regime deployed at the start of the pandemic using hospital-grade cleaning substances, continues to make the network cleaner than ever, and more than 150 ultraviolet light sanitising devices were installed on escalators on the Tube network in October. Good hand hygiene also remains essential and more than 1,100 hand sanitiser units across the network continue to dispense free Dettol hand sanitiser.

Weekend travel information

The key Government requirement is to stay at home and only certain journeys are legally permitted on public transport. If you are not certain about the Government’s rules, please check their website for further information.
If you are using public transport for a legally permitted reason, we have tools to help you plan your journey, including information on the quiet times to travel. Please travel at these quiet times if at all possible to ensure that social distancing can be maintained. The quiet times are between 08:15 and 16:00 and after 17:30 on weekdays and before noon and after 18:00 on weekends. 
We have also published information about quiet stations and stops. The information will be updated regularly which will also help maintain social distancing.
You must wear a face covering over your nose and mouth at all times when on the transport network, unless exempt. The overwhelming majority of people are complying with this requirement and the British Transport police and our own officers are on the network to check compliance. Fines of up to £6,400 exist for anyone who does not comply. 
Please also wash or sanitise hands before and after travel.
Thank you for helping to keep everyone safe during this period.
Keeping in touch with your customers is as important as ever and we can help you do this by designing, printing and posting out a mail shot for you. We can even create an email campaign to send to your mailing list.

November issue of Let's Talk Business out now

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