It will be interesting to see how the latest changes from 1 August translate into more footfall on our streets and in local businesses with relatively few still being unable to open. The restrictions applying to how businesses operate, for our protection as customers and for the protection of staff, will mean that it is much more difficult to bring in sufficient revenue to make ends meet, and some owners will face little choice but to close.
Encouraging people to visit all of the businesses now open again remains difficult, hence the government announcement of a reduction in VAT rates for hospitality businesses and the
Eat Out To help Out Campaign
. Cafes, coffee shops, pubs and restaurants who register for this can offer a discount of 50% up to £10 per head against the cost of food and non-alcoholic drinks on
Monday to Wednesdays between 3 and 31 August
. The venue then claims the difference from the Government.
is a link to a list of those in Mole valley - although some of my personal favourites are not listed! For those looking to add outdoor seating there is now a streamlined application process with MVDC in charge instead of SCC.
Surrey County Council, the Highways Authority has now announced temporary measures under the Active Transport programme, intended to help safe distancing and encourage more walking and cycling. For Leatherhead High Street this will include the positioning of planters to stop vehicles parking in space designated for shop queues, outdoor seating or one-way pedestrian walkways, and also allow the creation of a temporary cycleway. SCC has yet to undertake the legal formalities to extend pedestrianisation to Sundays and Bank Holidays, but intend to do this.
Today the Government has
that small and medium sized businesses will have access to grants of between £1,000 - £5,000 to help them access new technology and other equipment, as well as professional, legal, financial or other advice to help them get back on track. £250,000 has been allocated to
Coast 2 Capital
who will no doubt welcome applications
Wednesday’s Virtual Coffee event- Restart Your Business Session 9: P is for Pricing, led by Mark Peacock from
The Pricing Coach
went well, with an excellent presentation from Mark who
then answered a whole host of questions from a wide variety of business types. The video will shortly be found on our
5 August sees our next Virtual Coffee event - Restart Your Business Session 10: Starting with Video, led by Richard Horne of Here We Go Films. More details will be found shortly on our website, but suffice it to say that Google loves video and this can help your rise up the organic listings! Also on 5
August is our The Not a Pub Quiz with questions set by Jackie Adams from Jackie Adams Consulting, who won last month’s Quiz. The aficionados amongst you will recognise that this should have been Bob Knight’s month but they have swapped!
On Wednesday 19 August we have our next monthly Virtual Breakfast - Expanding Your Network and a Special Opportunity for our Newest Members. July’s breakfast was so successful - with some 40 Members and guests registered, and 14 new Members using the 2/3-minute slots to introduce themselves and their businesses - that we are repeating the same format. All new Members are reminded to book both the event (in the usual way) and also their 2-3-minute slot with
. After the introductions, there will be a chance to ask any questions, followed by the regular one-minute speed round of all other Members.
A further Virtual Coffee event will be held on Wednesday 12 August - Restart Your Business Session 11: Starting with Social Media, led by Olivia Lucas of Pink Spaghetti. More details will shortly be found on our website.
On 26 August is our Restart Your Business Session 12: Skills, Training And Apprenticeships To Support Your Post Covid Recovery Plan, with Stefanie Burlison from Nescot College.
NB: We are still looking for suggestions for further topics, and volunteers or nominations to lead on them!
Remember that one of the challenges for all businesses as they reopen is to get the message out that they have done so and to reassure customers that they are safe to use and operating in accordance with Government guidelines! How are you getting this message out there? If by using social media then as a Chamber we will support you in terms of liking, sharing, commenting or retweeting as appropriate...and please do the same for other local business and the Chamber posts!
Be sure to look at the
Members Offers & Discounts page
on our website. Surrey Hills Community Radio has an excellent offer for advertising at the moment and is open to interviews with our members too! If you have an offer out there or wish to promote something special please do send details to
. We are also now publicising Job opportunities for Chamber Members so please let us have any sits vacant too!
Finally, please do promote the benefits of
joining the Chamber
to your business colleagues and customers. If you have a window which needs one of our posters and a membership sticker do let us know, and we have flyers as well for anyone in a position to deliver some.