This webinar is hosted in partnership with Hounslow Council’s Equality team

Business support for our BAME businesses webinar, as part of Black History Month - 29th October - 10:00am for 60 minutes

We are really pleased to announce that Sir Kenneth Olisa, OBE is able to be part of our panel. Sir Kenneth is the first black Lord Lieutenant of Greater London. This is one webinar you should not miss.

Panellists include:
  • Sir Kenneth Olisa OBE - Lord Lieutenant of Greater London.
  • Seema Malhotra - MP for Feltham & Heston
  • Beyant Ryatt - Hounslow Council, Commercial Manager, Procurement and Contracts Team
  • Carol Sam - Ealing Council, Business Growth & Inward Investment Manager
  • Nauzar Manekshaw - MD, Branduin Business Support

"I am so pleased you are holding this seminar, well done. This is a great subject to cover." - Cllr Hanif Khan, Hanworth Park Ward

If you have missed our webinars, you can watch them now:
Job Support Scheme (courtesy of the Cabinet Office)

The Job Support Scheme (JSS) will open on 1‌‌‌ ‌November and run for six months, until 30‌‌‌ ‌April 2021. The government has said it will review the terms of the scheme in January 2021. There are two variations to JSS – JSS Open and JSS Closed.

The UK government announced yesterday it will significantly increase the generosity and reach of its winter support schemes to ensure livelihoods and jobs across the UK continue to be protected in the difficult months to come, supporting jobs and helping to contain the virus.

In recognition of the challenging times ahead, the Chancellor said he would be increasing support through the existing Job Support and self-employed schemes.

JSS Open will provide support to businesses that are open where employees are working shorter hours due to reduced demand. Your employees will need to work at least 20% of their usual hours. You will continue to pay employees for the hours they work, and the UK government will pay a contribution of 61.67% of the usual pay for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £1,541.75 per month. You will pay 5% of the usual pay for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £125 per month, and can top this up further if you choose. This means employees should receive at least two thirds of their usual pay for hours not worked.

The caps are reduced according to the proportion of hours not worked. Further guidance on this will be available on GOV‌‌‌‌.UK shortly.

You will need to cover all employer National Insurance and pension contributions.

JSS Closed will provide support to businesses whose premises are legally required to close as a direct result of coronavirus restrictions set by one of the four governments of the UK. This includes premises restricted to delivery or collection-only services from their premises, and those restricted to providing food and/or drinks outdoors.

For JSS Closed, the UK government will fund two thirds of employees' usual wages for time not worked, up to a maximum of £2,083.33 per month. You will not be required to contribute, but you can top up the government’s contribution if you choose to. You will still need to cover all employer National Insurance and pension contributions.

You’ll be able to make your first JSS claim in arrears from 8‌‌‌ ‌December, for pay periods ending and paid in November. We’ll let you know more about how to make a claim by the end of this month.

Your employees will be able to check if you have made a Job Support Scheme claim on their behalf through their online Personal Tax Account. Employees can set up a Personal Tax Account on GOV‌‌‌‌.UK, by searching 'Personal Tax Account: sign in or set up'.

Job Retention Bonus (JRB)

You’ll be able to claim a one-off payment of £1,000 for every eligible employee you furloughed and claimed for through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), kept continuously employed until at least 31‌‌‌ ‌January 2021 and who meets the other eligibility criteria. You do not have to pay this money to your employee.

You will be able to claim the bonus between 15‌‌‌ ‌February and 31‌‌‌ ‌March. To do this you must have submitted PAYE information for the period up to 5‌‌‌ ‌February 2021 on time.

Further information on eligibility and when you can claim can be found on GOV‌‌‌‌.UK by searching 'Job Retention Bonus Guidance' and further guidance on the claim process will be published by the end of January 2021.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – closes on 31‌‌‌ ‌October

Please note that this scheme closes on 31‌‌‌ ‌October and you will need to make any final claims on or before 30‌‌‌ ‌November. You will not be able to submit or add to any claims after 30‌‌‌ ‌November.

From 1‌‌‌ ‌October, the UK government has paid employers 60% of usual wages up to a cap of £1,875 per month for the hours furloughed employees do not work.

You continue to pay your furloughed employees at least 80% of their usual wages for the hours they do not work, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. You need to fund the difference between this and the CJRS grant yourself.

The caps are proportional to the hours not worked. For example, if your employee is furloughed for half their usual hours in October, you are entitled to claim 60% of their usual wages for the hours they do not work, up to £937.50 (half of £1,875 cap). You must still pay your employee at least 80% of their usual wages for the hours they don’t work, so for someone only working half their usual hours you’d need to pay them up to £1,250 (half of £2,500 cap), funding the remaining portion yourself. For help with calculations, search 'Calculate how much you can claim using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme' on GOV‌‌‌‌‌.UK.

You’ll also continue to pay employer National Insurance and pension contributions from your own funds.

You must keep the records that support the amount of CJRS grant you have claimed in case HMRC needs to check it. You can now view, print or download copies of your previously submitted claims by logging onto your CJRS service on GOV‌‌‌‌.UK.

Claimed too much in error?

It’s important that you check each claim is accurate before submitting it, and we would also recommend checking previous claims and repaying any amount over-claimed, so you will not have to pay interest and penalties if we subsequently discover you have claimed too much.

If you have claimed too much CJRS grant and have not already repaid it, you must notify us and repay the money by the latest of whichever date applies below:

  • 90 days from receiving the CJRS money you’re not entitled to
  • 90 days from the point circumstances changed so that you were no longer entitled to keep the CJRS grant.

If you do not do this, you may have to pay interest and a penalty as well as repaying the excess CJRS grant. For more information on interest search 'Interest rates for late and early payments' on GOV‌‌‌‌‌.‌‌‌UK.

How to let us know if you have claimed too much

You can let us know as part of your next online claim without needing to call us. If you claimed too much but do not plan to submit further claims, you can let us know and make a repayment online through our card payment service or by bank transfer – go to 'Pay Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme grants back' on GOV‌‌‌‌‌.‌‌‌‌‌‌UK.

Further support

Guidance and live webinars offering you more support on changes to CJRS, JSS and JRB, and how they impact you, are available to book online – go to GOV‌‌‌‌‌.UK and search 'help and support if your business is affected by coronavirus'.

Our phone lines and webchat remain very busy, so the quickest way to find the support you need is on GOV‌‌‌‌‌.UK. This will leave our phone lines and webchat service open for those who need them most.
Heathrow News - (courtesy of Heathrow External Affairs)
This week saw the launch of pre departure testing facilities in Terminal 2 and Terminal 5 at Heathrow. Facilities run by our partners Collinson and Swissport were opened to passengers travelling to Hong Kong who required COVID-19 test before departure, using a LAMP test. LAMP testing produces a result in around 60 minutes and is part of a more rapid range of testing technologies which may prove the key to reopening all sectors of the economy, not just aviation. Unsurprisingly, we have since received enquiries from other airlines, countries and organisations asking whether they can use our facilities too - demonstrating the demand which exists for the safe resumption of aviation. 
In addition to our testing facilities opening, trials of CommonPass also took place at the airport, making Heathrow part of a global trial for a digital health pass which would allow passengers to securely carry their COVID-19 test result in a standardised format recognised around the world. This is another key step towards the creation of a common international standard, which Heathrow has been calling for since the crisis began.

We welcomed the formation of the Global Travel Taskforce and were encouraged by the Secretary of State for Transport’s comments this week that an arrivals testing regime would be in place by December 1st, shortening the existing 14 day quarantine. We support the decision to opt for a test and release model which is private sector-led and passenger-funded, and that does not impact on the NHS in any way. A test on day five, which the Government’s own conservative evidence said would be ‘highly effective’, and which is already in place in Germany, should be the starting point. We are also encouraging the Government to take a lead in moving to pre-departure testing to open up vital US trade routes as soon as possible. We are hopeful that more concrete progress will be made in the coming weeks which will safeguard public health, whilst kickstarting the economic recovery. The Government is well aware of what is at stake if progress is delayed – more job losses in every corner of Britain, as trade, business and investment remains grounded.
Chiswick Flower Market
We are delighted to say that the November market will go ahead as planned next weekend! It’s a tough time for everyone but we need to help our local businesses and bring some joy and greenery into our lives.
There will be enhanced Covid precautions and early opening for older and more vulnerable people.
We will again have a mix of stalls selling plants, cut flowers (more this time), bulbs, house plants and horticultural accessories at the Old Market Place (outside the police station) from 09.30am – 3.00pm on Sunday 1st November.
Photograph by Frank Noon
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