Webinars - all are free, run for 60 minutes:


Business support for our BAME businesses, as part of Black History Month - 29th October - 10:00am
Panellists include:
  • Seema Malhotra - MP for Feltham & Heston
  • Nauzar Manekshaw - Branduin Business Support

More details to follow.


Business Taskforce - 5th November - 10.00 am
Panellists include:
  • Cllr Shantanu Rajawat - Cabinet member for finance and corporate services at Hounslow Council
  • Tony Ryan - Branduin Business Support
  • Dawn Edwards - The Real Business Club
  • Nicholas Woolf - Nicholas Woolf Solicitors
  • Helen Roberts - CPGEXP
  • Alan Rides - Hounslow Chamber and West London Local Chambers
  • Shankar Devarashetty - Oasis Accountants

More details to follow.


If you have missed our webinars, you can watch them now: https://hounslowchamber.org.uk/10015
Prime Minister announces new local Covid Alert Levels (courtesy of the Cabinet Office)
 
On 12/10/2020 the Prime Minister set out how the government will further simplify and standardise local rules by introducing a three tiered system of local COVID Alert Levels in England.

He confirmed the levels will be set at medium, high, and very high

The “medium” alert level - which will cover most of the country - will consist of the current national measures, which came into force on 25 September. This includes the Rule of Six, and the closure of hospitality at 10pm.

The “high” alert level will reflect many current local interventions, but there will now be consistency across the country.

The “very high” alert level will apply where transmission rates are causing the greatest concern, based on an assessment of all the available data and the local situation.

Non-essential retail, schools and universities will remain open in all levels.

A postcode checker on gov.uk will show which alert level applies in each area and the NHS COVID-19 app will also direct people to this information.

Regulations for all three local alert levels will be debated and voted on in the House of Commons tomorrow. Subject to that vote tomorrow, they will come into force on Wednesday, subject to the approval of Parliament.

The PM also confirmed that the government will also provide Local Authorities across England with around £1 billion of new financial support.

Full details on what the COVID Alert Levels contain are set out below.

Local COVID Alert Level - Medium
This is for areas where national restrictions continue to be in place. This means:

  • All businesses and venues can continue to operate, in a COVID-Secure manner, other than those that remain closed in law, such as nightclubs.
  • Certain businesses selling food or drink on their premises are required to close between 10pm and 5am.
  • Businesses and venues selling food for consumption off the premises can continue to do so after 10pm as long as this is through delivery service, click-and-collect or drive-thru.
  • Schools, universities and places of worship remain open
  • Weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on the number of attendees
  • Organised indoor sport and exercise classes can continue to take place, provided the Rule of Six is followed
  • People must not meet in groups larger than 6, indoors or outdoors

Local COVID Alert Level - High

  • This is for areas with a higher level of infections. This means the following additional measures are in place:
  • People must not meet with anybody outside their household or support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place
  • People must not meet in a group of more than 6 outside, including in a garden or other space.
  • People should aim to reduce the number of journeys they make where possible. If they need to travel, they should walk or cycle where possible, or to plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport.

Local COVID Alert Level - Very High
This is for areas with a very high level of infections. The Government will set a baseline of measures for any area in this local alert level. Consultation with local authorities will determine additional measures.

The baseline means the below additional measures are in place:

  • Pubs and bars must close, and can only remain open where they operate as if they were a restaurant - which means serving substantial meals, like a main lunchtime or evening meal. They may only serve alcohol as part of such a meal.
  • Wedding receptions are not allowed
  • People must not meet with anybody outside their household or support bubble in any indoor or outdoor setting, whether at home or in a public space. The Rule of Six applies in open public spaces like parks and beaches.
  • People should try to avoid travelling outside the ‘Very High’ area they are in, or entering a ‘Very High’ area, other than for things like work, education, accessing youth services, to meet caring responsibilities or if they are in transit.
  • People should avoid staying overnight in another part of the UK if they are resident in a ‘Very High’ area, or avoid staying overnight in a ‘Very High’ area if they are resident elsewhere.
JOBS SUPPORT SCHEME EXPANDED FOR FIRMS CLOSED IN COVID-19 LOCAL LOCKDOWNS (courtesy of White Label)

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced the government’s Job Support Scheme (JSS) will be expanded to support businesses across the UK required to close their premises due to coronavirus restrictions.
 
Under the expansion, firms whose premises are legally required to shut as part of local or national restrictions will receive grants to pay the wages of staff who cannot work - protecting jobs and enabling businesses to reopen quickly once restrictions are lifted. The government will support eligible businesses by paying two thirds of each employees’ salary (or 67%), up to a maximum of £2,100 a month.
 
Under the scheme, employers will not be required to contribute towards wages and only asked to cover NICS and pension contributions. Businesses will only be eligible to claim the grant while they are subject to restrictions and employees must be off work for a minimum of seven consecutive days. The scheme will begin on 1 November and will be available for six months.
 
The government is also increasing the cash grants to businesses shut in local lockdowns to support with fixed costs. These grants will be linked to rateable values, with up to £3,000 per month payable every two weeks.
 
More information is available here.
         
Taskforce for safe return to global travel launched
A new Global Travel Taskforce to support the travel industry and the safe recovery of international travel has been launched. The taskforce will consider further how government can support the sector to meet these challenges posed by COVID-19 to international travel. Work will begin with industry on how to safely reduce the self-isolation period with testing. The taskforce will also consider a wide range of other measures to support the travel sector, including developing a global framework to make travelling easier.
 
ADDITIONAL UPDATES AND GUIDANCE
 
New guidance on £9bn Job Retention Bonus
Further information has been published on how businesses can claim the government’s Job Retention Bonus.
 
Self Assessment customers to benefit from enhanced payment plans
HMRC has increased the threshold for paying tax liabilities to £30,000 for Self Assessment customers to help ease any potential financial burden they may be experiencing due to the coronavirus pandemic.
 
Government to protect small businesses with action on late payments
Consultation launched aimed at giving Small Business Commissioner more power to support businesses and resolve late payment issues.
 
Companies House to resume compulsory strike off process
From 10 October, Companies House has said it will resume striking off companies it believes are no longer in business.
 
Restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services
Working safely guidance has been updated on the operation of soft play and indoor play areas and taking payment in licensed venues.  
 
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
30 November 2020 is the last day you can submit claims for periods ending on or before 31 October 2020. After this date you will not be able to submit any further claims or add to existing claims. More here.
 
Cyber safety guide to help small businesses work securely online
The National Cyber Security Centre’s re-launched Small Business Guide sets out five key areas for businesses to help improve their cyber security. There is also guidance that helps small to medium sized organisations prepare their response to and plan their recovery from a cyber incident. 
The London Business Hub are delighted to announce that applications for the London Business Hub’s COVID-19 Recovery Grant will OPEN on Friday,16th October at 10.30am.
 
Funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), eligible SMEs will be able to secure grants of between £1,000 – £5,000 to help them access professional, legal, financial or other advice and /or new technology and other minor equipment to address their immediate needs in response to the impact of COVID-19.
 
You can apply for 100% of the costs, but please note that funding will be paid in arrears. Therefore, after you have accepted the offer and have purchased and received the support or items that the grant has been approved for. In all instances we need to see copies of supplier’s invoices and a copy of the statement from the dedicated bank account for the business, evidencing that payment has been made to the relevant suppliers. Eligible applicants will have one calendar month, from the date of the grant offer letter, to accept the offer and purchase and receive the support/items that the grant has been approved for and submit a grant payment claim. Please note that the VAT element of any support or purchase is not eligible for grant support.
     
Please also be aware that the grant cannot retrospectively fund activity that has already started. Your application must include a quote for the activity you wish the grant to fund but you cannot commission the work until your application has been confirmed as successful and you have received an offer letter.
 
All information and criteria to assess your eligibility and prepare for the grant application are now available.
 
If you are interest, please take a moment to read our project information page and FAQs. As part of the process you will be asked to provide information on the cost and details of your project/service or item.
 
How much grant funding is available in London?
The London LEP Area has the following funds to allocate:
Visitor Economy: £ 377,210
Wider Economy: £1,081,112
 
To keep up to date on all the latest news from the London Business Hub, please register for our newsletter or visit our brand new online portal at https://www.businesshub.london where you will find all the free, impartial, practical advice that you need to start, sustain and grow your business.
Claim a grant through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme
Applications for the second Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant close on 19 October 2020. Make your claim today!

The scheme is now open. Make your claim from the date we give you. If you’re eligible and your business has been adversely affected on or after 14 July 2020, you must make your claim for the second grant on or before 19 October 2020. Claims for the first grant are now closed.

Find out more here
£2,000 worth of construction training for free!

MIT Skills in partnership with Ecoworld London are offering a 4-6 week construction training programme with a guaranteed 2-week work experience placement and a job interview. Applicants must be Hounslow residents and over 18. The training will take place in Brentford and recruitment is underway now for the next course which will start in October. For more information please email here and put "Referred from Work Hounslow" in the subject box.
Adult and Community Education courses starting in November
 
Learn how to manage your own business with #LearnHounslow
Call us on 0208 583 6000 to book your place onto a course today.
Find out more👉www.hace.ac.uk
Feltham Works - Hounslow Road will open in both directions on Today

Hounslow Road will open to traffic in both directions on Thursday 15 October. 

From Thursday, all buses will return to their original routes through Feltham town centre except the 490 which will continue on its diverted route.

The new traffic signals at New Road and Hanworth Road will still be operated using temporary signals until Wednesday 21 October when TfL will commission the permanent signals.

Next month, the new bus stops on Hounslow Road will be open, along with the ramps that link to a new station entrance. When the bus stops are open the 285 will no longer call at Feltham Station and the 490 will revert to its original route and stop at the new bus stops on Hounslow Road. 

Thank you for your patience and understanding whilst these works were taking place.
Update on phase 2 of the scheme

Phase 2 of the scheme is almost complete.

Hounslow Highways will return in November to Bedfont Lane to complete the area in front of the new shared pedestrian and cycle bridge. Once the bridge is open and the temporary footbridge has been removed, Hounslow Highways will complete the section of footway by the platform on the southern side of the railway.
For further information on the full programme of works at Feltham

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