This year does not let up, but then neither does Covid-19. There is much useful information below, including available grants to help you and your business.
The UK Government has announced a new Tier 4 restrictions level for London
The new measures include the following key points:

Meeting friends and family: No household mixing, aside from support bubbles and two people meeting in public outdoor spaces.

Bars, pubs and restaurants: Hospitality closed, aside from sales by takeaway drive-through or delivery.

Retail: Essential shops can open. Non-essential retail must close, and can only open for click-and-collect and delivery.

Work and business: Everyone must work from home unless they are unable to do so.

Education: Early years settings, schools, colleges and universities open during term time. Registered childcare, other supervised activities for childcare purposes, and childcare bubbles permitted.

Indoor leisure: Closed.

Accommodation: Closed (with limited exceptions).

Personal care: Closed.

Overnight stays: You must not stay overnight away from home. Limited exceptions apply.

Weddings and funerals: Funerals of up to 30 people permitted. Wakes and other linked ceremonial events can continue in a group of up to six. Weddings of up to six can continue in exceptional circumstances.

Entertainment: Indoor entertainment closed. Some outdoor attractions may remain open.

Places of worship: Open for private prayer and communal worship, but cannot interact with anyone outside household or support bubble.

Travelling: You must stay at home and only travel for work, education, or other legally permitted reasons. If you must travel, you should stay local and reduce the number of journeys you make. You must not leave a Tier 4 area or stay overnight away from home. Residents in Tiers 1 - 3 should not enter Tier 4 areas. Do not travel abroad if you live in a Tier 4 area unless an exemption applies.

Exercise: You can leave your home to exercise by yourself, with your household or support bubble, or with one person from another household. Outdoor sport allowed but gatherings limit applies except for youth and disabled sport.

Residential care: You can visit relatives in care homes with COVID-secure arrangements such as substantial screens, visiting pods, and window visits.

Clinically Extremely Vulnerable: The Clinically Extremely Vulnerable are advised to stay at home as much as possible, except to go outdoors for exercise or to attend health appointments.

Changed rules for Christmas
The Prime Minister has said that, "Christmas cannot go ahead as planned." The planned relaxation of restrictions from 23 to 27 December will now not take place.

People in Tier 4 must not spend any part of the Christmas period mixing with other households, although bubbles remain.

Government will review the Tiers as planned on 30 December, but are clear there will be no relaxation for New Year.

A message from Leader of Hounslow Council, Cllr Steve Curran  
Responding to the Prime Minister’s announcement that London will move to Tier 4 from tomorrow (Sunday, December 20), Cllr Steve Curran, Leader of Hounslow Council, said:

"The news that London will move to Tier 4 restrictions from tomorrow is deeply unfortunate, but absolutely necessary. Yesterday, over 5,700 Londoners tested positive across our city. Over 280 were admitted to hospitals, meaning more than 2,500 of our neighbours, friends and families are in hospital with the virus. In Hounslow, cases have doubled in the last eight days.
“The Council and our partners are well prepared to continue protecting and supporting our most vulnerable residents, as we have throughout this pandemic. I know this return to a stricter lockdown, which will not be eased over Christmas, will be extremely difficult for many people, especially those who had made plans to visit or see family and friends. This news will also be devastating for the thousands of local businesses affected.

“However, we must all continue to play our part and stick to these new rules. You are putting lives at risk if you don’t. We need to work together to keep Hounslow safe and protect our NHS.

“For the latest information and to find out about the wide range of support available visit our website:
Tier 4 Guidance for Businesses

To reduce social contact, the regulations require some businesses to close and impose restrictions on how some businesses provide goods and services. If you live in a Tier 4 area, you must follow the rules below from Sunday 20 December. This means that

  • You cannot leave or be outside of the place you are living unless you have a reasonable excuse.
  • You cannot meet other people indoors, including over the Christmas period, unless you live with them, or they are part of your support bubble.
  • Outdoors, you can only meet one person from another household. 

These rules will not be relaxed for Christmas for Tier 4: you cannot form a Christmas Bubble in Tier 4.

New grants are becoming available, through Hounslow Council, for businesses in the borough adversely affected by the coronavirus. 

(Where a grant scheme is not yet live for applications we recommend bookmarking the page, and visiting regularly).

Additional Restrictions Grant – (ARG)
This grant is available to businesses that are able to demonstrate an income reduction greater than 25% based on income credited to a business bank account for the following periods. Businesses liable for business rates can access this grant for the period of national restrictions from 5th November 2020 to 2nd December 2020.

Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open) – (LRSG(O))
This grant is available to businesses liable for business rates that have not been required to close and are able to demonstrate an income reduction greater than 25%. 

Local Restriction Support Grant (Sector) – (LRSG(S))
This grant is available to businesses which have not been allowed to reopen since the first national restrictions where introduced in March 2020. Due to the low number of businesses eligible for this grant in the borough we will contact those businesses directly with instructions for accessing the grants.

Christmas Support Payment for Wet Led Pubs (PUBS)
This grant is available for pubs which derive more than 50% of their revenues from drink sales.

Applications are also still live for the following :
Local Restrictions Support Grant (closed) – (LRSG(C))
This grant is available to businesses liable for business rates that have been required to close.

Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer, has today announced the furlough scheme has been extended until the end of April 2021.
In a move the government says will give businesses and employees certainty into the New Year, the government will continue to contribute 80% towards the wages of staff furloughed. Employers will only be required to pay wages, National Insurance Contributions (NICS) and pensions for hours worked; and NICS and pensions for hours not worked.
Mr Sunak has also confirmed the government-guaranteed COVID-19 business loan schemes are to be extended until the end of March.
Today’s announcements come as the Chancellor confirmed the date of the next Budget, which will take place on 3 March. The government has said the Budget will deliver the next phase of the plan to tackle coronavirus and protect jobs.
The Chancellor said: “Our package of support for businesses and workers continues to be one of the most generous and effective in the world – helping our economy to recover and protecting livelihoods across the country.
“We know the premium businesses place on certainty, so it is right that we enable businesses to plan ahead regardless of the path the virus takes, which is why we’re providing certainty and clarity by extending this support, as well as implementing our Plan for Jobs.”
Business Secretary, Alok Sharma, added: “While our loan schemes have provided a vital lifeline to millions of firms across the country, we know business owners need additional certainty as we head into the New Year.
“Extending government-backed loan schemes will give companies right across the UK the finance they need to support, protect and create jobs as we build back better from the pandemic.”
You can read more on the furlough scheme extension here.
Extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
This scheme has been extended until the end of April 2021. The full guidance for claims from November onwards, including how you can check if you’re eligible and how to calculate and make a claim online, can be found here.
Import tariffs suspended on COVID-19 products to fight virus
Tariffs suspended on a wide range of goods in the fight against COVID-19 including face masks, gloves and other protective equipment. Read more here.
TfL guidelines for Tier 4

The Government has announced that London is now under Tier 4 coronavirus restrictions, meaning that you must not leave your home and only travel for work (where you cannot work from home) or for other legally permitted reasons.
The Government’s message is only travel if you must, stay local and reduce the number of journeys you make.
If you do need to travel, please walk or cycle where possible.
To aid social distancing for those who do need to travel, we are continuing to run as full a service as possible on the public transport network. An enhanced cleaning regime is also in place to help keep everyone safe.
Please check before you travel on for the latest service information, plan ahead and travel in the quiet times using quiet routes. 
If you do need to travel please ensure you follow all Government guidance, including washing your hands before and after your journey, maintaining social distancing and observing the law on wearing a face covering over your nose and mouth for the duration of your journey.
Chiswick Cycleway update 

The majority of our temporary Cycleway 9 works are now complete, and we thank you for your patience during this time.

New traffic lights are being introduced on Chiswick High Road before Christmas and the temporary cycle tracks will open as soon as possible after that. We had hoped to open the cycle tracks sooner, but we identified some technical problems with the new traffic light cables yesterday, which require additional work. Ensuring the safety of everyone is our number one priority and we will be making sure all aspects of the cycle track meet our stringent safety requirements before opening it.

In the New Year, the final works on Chiswick High Road will be done, including moving the detectors in the road’s surface that operate our adaptive traffic lights. Once these works are done, the traffic lights will adjust automatically, in real-time, in response to traffic conditions, which will help to reduce congestion.

Our priority is that the Capital can recover from the pandemic to be a healthier and more sustainable place for everyone who lives, works and visits it. This means we need to provide facilities which help enable more people to walk and cycle, rather than travel by private car. It also means we need our buses to operate reliably so they become an even more attractive and viable mode of transport for people who are unable to walk or cycle, and for longer journeys.

Our efforts in delivering the Streetspace programme for London are paying off, with the latest data released last week showing a significant increase in walking and cycling since the start of the pandemic. However, there has also been a worrying increase in journeys by private car. Projects such as the temporary cycle tracks along Chiswick High Road are essential in helping London avoid a car-based recovery from coronavirus.

I hope this update is helpful. To find out more about the scheme click here
Kickstart growth with West London Creative Producers, a FREE peer mentoring programme for creative businesses and producers in West London, whether screen, digital, games or music. Through a series of facilitated sessions with a small group of fellow creatives, participants build lasting relationships with people who also face the challenge of developing their businesses through uncertain times. Together, we will solve problems, share insights, devise strategies for dealing with obstacles and support one another through challenging times. We are starting 29 January. For or full details and to apply: 
Mayor of London unveils £25m skills boost to help Londoners

A £25 million investment in training has been announced today by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, to help thousands of Londoners into jobs identified as crucial to the capital’s economic recovery from Covid-19.

Business Resilience Fund

Good new for organisations making plans for their COVID-19 recovery strategy!

Brunel University London has launched a brand new initiative, the Business Resilience Fund (BRF​​) to support businesses, public sector and other organisations to prepare for their Covid-19 recovery plan. 
Local business owners can get advice and fast-track funding to collaborate with experts at Brunel to support their recovery from the impacts of the pandemic. Simply submit a request for support here, outlining the challenges your business is facing as a result of the pandemic and the areas where support is required for discussion with our researchers.  

Once accepted, you will be invited to an online meeting to flesh out a project to identify your business needs, then matched with suitable academic experts who will lead this work and help you apply for between £5,000 and £10,000. All the financial aspects and research is managed by our academic experts at Brunel. Both the organisation and experts will monitor the work and report on it’s progress to the Research Support and Development Office (RSDO) throughout the process. 
Teresa Waller, Director, RSDO said: “The Brunel Business Resilience Fund is a new initiative to support businesses, charities and other organisations to respond to the challenges they are facing due to the Covid19 pandemic. In these unprecedented times, the BRF will enable us to work with partners to help them adapt to the new economic climate and emerge stronger and more resilient.” 
More information is available here or you may like to contact one of the Business Development Managers directly in RSDO:
The Bank of England has today published the December 2020 Agents' Summary of Business Conditions. Please see below the link to the digital version:

New FREE Business Support Programme for Richmond's brand new My Growth Pod Platform
Calling all Richmond businesses - Richmond Council’s Phoenix Enterprise Programme was launched last week! 

2020 has had a dramatic impact on thousands of small businesses across the borough with many business owners having to reinvent their business, repurpose their offer and rebuild their company. It has never been so important to gain access to business support that you need to help you through this crisis. 
Richmond Council are excited to share more details on the Phoenix Enterprise Programme which has been built on our Brand New Business Support Platform 
As every business is unique and requires specific input; they have created 3 areas of business support:
  1. Start Up & Grow for general businesses
  2. Creative Richmond for all creatives
  3. Richmond Hospitality for all hospitality, leisure & entertainment businesses

The FREE programme of business support on our brand new platform will help self-employed & small businesses through these challenging times. The programme will support pre-start, start up and SME’s across all industries and there are specific programmes of support for the creative and hospitality & leisure industries. 
The Phoenix Enterprise Challenge will be the most comprehensive programme of business support ever delivered in Richmond. Whether you are thinking about starting up a business or have recently started up or you are ready to take your business to the next level; Richmond Council has plenty on offer for you.

Gain access to a FREE personalised business growth plan
Take the online Health Check Questionnaires and the system will automatically generate a personalised growth plan for YOUR SPECIFIC business. All you have to do is take action and grow your business. 
FREE training for you and your staff
They have workshops, focus groups, business clinics, Q&A Implementation sessions and everything you need to bounce back from Covid-19.
Make new connections
Join Richmond Council's networking and meet new people as well as work on your business at the same time. 
Get FREE support
Apply for a private one2one session (Places are available on a first come first served basis). Call upon one of the mentors and learn via the peer-to peer support. They have everything you need to transform your business to take it to the next level.
Kickstart your business for 2021 join the Phoenix Enterprise Programme today!

It's all about you bringing your business to new heights for 2021. 

You're going to love it!
Supreme Court decision on expansion

Back Heathrow supporters attended the Supreme Court yesterday on behalf of our campaign. We went in hope but not in any certainty after the shock decision of the Appeal Court in February.

I’m pleased to tell you that the Supreme Court judges unanimously overturned the decision of the Court of Appeal on every count.

Hence Heathrow’s expansion, the jobs, apprenticeships and local benefits that come with it, are back on. Thank you for sticking with us, and for campaigning with us in perhaps the toughest year we’ve ever had.

As you know, the CBI, the TUC and over 100,000 local residents have backed the campaign for a new runway for many years – with the support of a 296-vote majority in Parliament. We now have the support of the most senior court in the land too.

There is a long way to go to create the local jobs, apprenticeships and community benefits we want to see. Having cleared every legal hurdle, the next step is a detailed planning application.
New Year? New Job! - Free Video / Image CVs Online Now
With thousands of job losses due to Covid, you can help friends or family members get back on their feet now. 
Perhaps you've had to release staff from your business or maybe you have started looking for opportunities yourself. At Houslow Chmaber, we are here to help you.
Stand out from the crowd and get an immediate Job Interview Now.
Get your FREE Video & Image CV from
See Sample CVs below:
Create Yours Now for FREE & secure your personalised domain name. 
At Hounslow Chamber, we are proud to help get you back to work and support our local communities.
If you have friends or family members looking for work, forward this email & help them get that Interview. 
It could be the best Christmas present ever!
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