A testimonial from Matilda Goes, Director at Spa de Sal:

"Thank you for the e-newsletters which are always relevant and informative. I have managed to take advantage of business mentoring, business training and now have applied for funding through the London Mayor’s Pay it Forward scheme. All this through the information you have provided."
Webinars - all are free, run for 60 minutes:
Clean Air Day - 8th October - 10:00am

Panelists include:
  • Chris Smith, Meld Energy – net zero consultancy and project developer
  • Jack Alexander – Idling Action London
  • Jane Wiest – Parcels not Pollution
  • John Rayment - GWR Kia
  • Matthew Kamau – TfL
  • Cllr Katherine Dunne - Cabinet member for Communities, Climate Change, Hounslow Council

Road traffic congestion in outer London is now higher that it was last year. The city of London is deserted but outside the congestion zone, it is on the increase. People are preferring to use their cars rather than public transport. In London cycling is up by 120%, but will this remain now that autumn is setting in? Please come along to our Clean Air webinar on 8th October to learn more what you and your business can do to improve the air pollution in Hounslow from encouraging employees to use active travel, using cleaner motor vehicles, improving indoor air quality as well as reducing your emissions footprint.  All of which will not only benefit the local environment but also improve your businesses sustainability credentials.

If you have missed our webinars, you can watch them now: https://hounslowchamber.org.uk/10015
New measures for cafes, bars, pubs and restaurants in Hounslow
By law all pubs, bars and restaurants must operate table-service only, except for takeaways, and close at 10pm.

  • Businesses selling food or drink (including cafes, bars, pubs and restaurants), social clubs, casinos, bowling alleys, amusement arcades (and other indoor leisure centres or facilities), funfairs, theme parks, adventure parks and activities, and bingo halls, must be closed between 10pm and 5am. This will include takeaways but delivery services can continue after 10pm. 
  • In licensed premises, food and drink must be ordered from, and served at, a table.
  • Customers must eat and drink at a table in any premises selling food and drink to consume on site.
  • Businesses will need to display the official NHS QR code posters so that customers can ‘check-in’ at different premises using this option as an alternative to providing their contact details (more information below)
  • Businesses and organisations will face stricter rules to make their premises COVID Secure (from 28 September):
  • A wider range of leisure and entertainment venues, services provided in community centres, and close contact services will be subject to the COVID-19 Secure requirements in law and fines of up to £10,000 for repeated breaches.
  • Employers must not knowingly require or encourage someone who is being required to self-isolate to come to work.

Businesses must remind people to wear face coverings where mandated.
Creating a coronavirus QR poster for your business
It is now mandatory for businesses to ensure they have NHS QR code posters visible on entry.

Owners should create a poster and display a QR code if they are a business, place of worship or community organisation with a physical location that is open to the public or an event which is taking place in a physical location.

If you have more than one venue, you need to create a separate QR code for each location. You can add multiple locations in the service.

Customers and visitors will be able to check-in on entry with their phone instead of filling out a check-in book or tool specific to a business. This will allow NHS Test and Trace to contact customers with public health advice should there be a COVID-19 outbreak.

To create your QR code visit gov.uk/create-coronavirus-qr-poster.

Posters must be displayed clearly at every entrance in a minimum size of A4, no higher than 130cm off the ground to ensure it is within easy reach for wheelchair users. Ensure your posters are in a visible and safe position, making it easy for customers to scan and where they cannot be easily removed.

Businesses who are already using their own QR system are being encouraged to switch to the NHS Test and Trace QR code. An alternative check-in method must be maintained to collect the contact details of those who don’t have the app, for example a handwritten register.

NHS app 
About the App

NHS COVID-19 app is part of the NHS Test and Trace service and will be used, alongside traditional contact tracing, to help notify you if you have come into contact with someone who tests positive for Coronavirus. It will allow you to report symptoms, order a Coronavirus test and check in to venues by scanning a QR code. Download the app now from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store. To find out more about the app and how it will help to reduce the spread of the virus, visit: covid19.nhs.uk

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has unveiled the government’s plan to protect jobs and support businesses over the coming months, including a new Job Support scheme which will start in November.
Delivering a speech in Parliament, the Chancellor announced a package of measures including:
  • a new Jobs Support Scheme which will run for six months, during which time workers must do at least one third of their normal hours, and the government and employer will pay one-third each of the lost hours
  • an extension of the Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS). An initial taxable grant will be provided to those who are currently eligible for SEISS. The initial lump sum will cover three months’ worth of profits for the period from November to the end of January next year, worth 20% of average monthly profits, up to a total of £1,875. An additional second grant may be made be available for self-employed individuals to cover the period to the end of April 2021
  • the cut in VAT to 5% for the tourism and hospitality sectors to be extended to the end of March next year
  • a new Payment Scheme for businesses who deferred their VAT bills, giving them the option to pay back in smaller instalments rather than a lump sum next March
  • a Pay as You Grow flexible repayment system for firms repaying a Bounce Back Loan
  • extended payment terms for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)
  • extension to end of November for applications for the government’s coronavirus loan schemes
  • measures put in place to protect businesses from insolvency will also be extended
The announcement comes after the Prime Minister set out further measures to combat the spread of the virus over the winter.
The Chancellor said: “The resurgence of the virus, and the measures we need to take in response, pose a threat to our fragile economic recovery. Our approach to the next phase of support must be different to that which came before.
“The primary goal of our economic policy remains unchanged - to support people’s jobs - but the way we achieve that must evolve.”
For more detail on the announcement, go here and for the Chancellor’s full speech go here. You can read the Prime Minister’s statement to the House of Commons yesterday here.
New job support scheme (in simpler terms)
On 24 September the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a new emergency Job Support Scheme, set to replace the current furlough support package. The Job Support Scheme is designed to protect viable jobs in businesses who are facing lower demand over the winter months due to coronavirus and help keep their employees attached to the workforce. The scheme will open on 1 November 2020 and run for six months.

How will the Job Support Scheme work?

  • The Government will subsidise the pay of employees who are working fewer than normal hours due to lower demand.
  • It will apply to staff who can work at least a third of their usual hours.
  • Employers will pay staff for the hours they work.
  • For the hours employees can't work, the government and the employer will each cover one third of the lost pay.
  • The grant will be capped at £697.92 per month.
  • All small and medium-sized businesses will be eligible.
  • Larger business will be eligible if their turnover has fallen during the crisis.
  • It will be open to employers across the UK even if they have not used the furlough scheme.

The self employed will also continue to receive support through an extension to the Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS).

Covid-19 support (fuller version courtesy of HMRC)

Additional government support has been announced this week for businesses and employees impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19) across the UK.

This includes a new Job Support Scheme to protect the jobs of millions of people returning to work, extending the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, extending the VAT cut (from 20% to 5%) for the hospitality and tourism sectors, and help for businesses in repaying government-backed loans.

Further information on these new schemes is available in this email and on GOV‌.UK, by searching 'Winter Economy Plan 2020'.

Our phone lines and webchat are 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.  

Job Support Scheme

A new Job Support Scheme will be introduced from ‌‌1‌‌ November to protect jobs where businesses are facing lower demand over the winter months due to coronavirus (COVID-19).
Under the scheme, which will run for six months, the government will contribute towards the wages of employees who are working fewer than normal hours due to decreased demand.
You will continue to pay the wages for the hours your staff work. For the hours not worked, you and the government will each pay one third of their usual wages (capped at £697.92 per month). You will need to meet your share of the pay for unworked hours and all your National Insurance contributions and statutory pension contributions, from your own funds. This means that employees will receive at least two thirds of their usual wages for the hours not worked. 

To be eligible, employees must: 

  • be registered on your PAYE payroll on or before 23 September 2020. This means a Real Time Information (RTI) submission notifying payment in respect of that employee must have been made to HMRC on or before 23 September 2020
  • work at least 33% of their usual hours. The government will consider whether to increase this minimum hours threshold after the first three months of the scheme.

Further eligibility criteria is available on GOV‌.UK by searching 'Job Support Scheme factsheet'.

The Job Support Scheme will be open to employers across the UK even if you have not previously applied under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) which closes on 3‌1‌‌ ‌‌October.

The Job Support Scheme will start from 1‌‌ November and you will be able to claim in December. Grants will be paid on a monthly basis.  

The scheme will operate in addition to the Job Retention Bonus. You and your employees can benefit from both schemes in order to help protect viable jobs. 

For information on what is covered by the grant, which employers and employees are eligible, and how to claim, search 'Job Support Scheme factsheet' on GOV‌.UK.

Extension to the reduced rate of VAT for Hospitality and Tourism

The government has extended the temporary reduced rate of VAT (5%) to tourist attractions and goods and services supplied by the hospitality sector. This relief came into effect on 15 July 2020 and will now end on 31‌‌ March 2021 across the UK.

VAT Deferral New Payment Scheme

If you deferred payments that were due between 20 March and 30 June 2020, then these payments need to be made to HMRC by 31‌‌ March 2021. You can use the New Payment Scheme to spread these payments over equal instalments up to 31‌‌ March 2022. Alternatively, you can make payments as normal by 31‌‌ March 2021 or make Time To Pay arrangements with HMRC if you need more tailored support.

New Self Assessment Self-Serve Time To Pay Scheme

If you deferred paying your July 2020 Payment on Account, you will need to pay the deferred amount, in addition to any balancing payment and first 2020/21 Payment on Account, by 3‌1‌‌ ‌‌January 2021. This may be a larger payment than you usually pay in January.

If you're unable to pay your Self-Assessment (SA) bill in full by 31‌‌ January 2021, you can set up a Time to Pay payment plan of up to 12 months online without speaking to us. If you have SA tax debts of up to £30,000, you'll able to access this Time to Pay facility through GOV‌.UK and will get automatic and immediate approval. If your SA debts are over £30,000, or you need longer than 12 months to repay your debt in full, you will still be able to use our Time to Pay arrangement by calling HMRC. 

Other business support schemes:

Changes to CJRS – what you need to do from 1‌‌ October

From 1‌‌ October, HMRC will pay 60% of usual wages up to a cap of £1,875 per month for the hours furloughed employees do not work. 

You will 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 will 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 your furloughed employees' National Insurance and pension contributions from your own funds. 
Statement from the Chiswick Flower Market

It is with great regret that the organisers of the Chiswick Flower Market have decided to cancel the October market, which was due to take place next Sunday 4th October. The decision was taken in the light of the worsening national Covid-19 situation and in consultation with London Borough of Hounslow’s Director of Public Health, local businesses, our traders, local residents and our marshals. Whilst open-air markets can be held legally, we felt that it would not be appropriate to go ahead at this time.
The September market brought great benefit, both economically and socially to the area. We hope to return in November with a bigger and better market, with strengthened safety measures.
Please note that on our website www.chiswickflowermarket.com most of the traders have online shops and you can support them by purchasing your flowers and other horticultural goodies direct from them.
We hope to see you in November and wish everyone a safe experience through the next months.
The Chiswick Flower Market Team
Good News:
University of West London becomes Brentford FC’s first New Stadium Founder Partner

Five-year partnership agreed with London’s top university for student satisfaction*
Brentford Football Club is delighted to announce that long-term partner the University of West London (UWL) has extended its relationship with The Bees.

Please click here for more details.
The Brentford Projectclick here for September’s update.  
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