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Chamber News & Blog

Important announcements from the Chamber, our members, local Councils and other relevant business news will be posted regularly here.

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  • 21 September 2020 12:19 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Cue for QR codes: businesses urged to support Test and Trace

    Businesses and venues across Adur and Worthing are being urged to create a QR code to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

    As part of the government’s new measures on suppressing the disease, a range of firms - including those in hospitality, close contact and leisure - are now required by law to keep customer details for 21 days. 

    This is to support the national Test and Trace system and roll out of the NHS COVID-19 app which goes live across England and Wales on Thursday (September 24). 

    As part of that it will be mandatory for hospitality, leisure and close contact businesses, as well as places of worship and public buildings, to display a unique QR Code in their premises. 

    Details on generating a code are at

    Codes will then need to be clearly displayed (either on a screen or printed off as a poster) so that visitors can use the app to scan the code when they arrive.

    In addition to those required by law to display a unique QR code, other venues visited by members of the public are encouraged to follow suit.

    Cllr David Simmons, Adur District Council’s Executive Member for Health & Wellbeing, said: “We would urge all businesses to ensure that they have robust mechanisms in place to support contact tracing. This data is vitally important in helping us to manage and support them in the case of any workplace outbreak, as well as the wider efforts to suppress the virus.”

    Cllr Kevin Jenkins, Worthing Borough Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, said: “We have seen that businesses have continued to put a high level of measures in place and this has made a real difference in keeping people safe in Worthing.

    “We would really like to thank everyone for their cooperation and support in achieving this. But as the government has made clear, now is not the time for complacency so it’s vital that we all play our part in keeping our communities safe.”

    For information on the NHS COVID-19 app (including how to download it), visit:

    For further details, including links updated and simplified COVID-19 Secure guidance, visit

  • 18 September 2020 2:48 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Shoreham By Sea's Tom Foolery Coffee Company joins ranks of Small Biz 100

    Shoreham’s very own Tom Foolery Coffee Company will be given a spell in the limelight as part of this year’s Small Biz 100, a national campaign highlighting some of the UK’s most inspiring small businesses. 

    Marking 100 days building up to Small Business Saturday on 5 December 2020, the Small Biz 100 provides a major profile boost to small businesses across the UK, particularly at this challenging time. 

    Showcasing a daily celebration of the Small Biz 100 through social media, the campaign aims to support and celebrate a vibrant range of small, community driven businesses across the UK. 

    Tom Foolery Coffee Company was opened in Shoreham by Sea in May 2014 and quickly became a favourite destination for great breakfasts, brunches and, of course, the best coffee in West Sussex! It’s day in the national spotlight takes place on Saturday 26th September 2020 and it looks forward to celebrating with customers old and new to mark the day. 

    Tom Foolery Coffee Company Directors, Vanessa and Bob McCulloch, said: “We are hugely proud to have been selected to be part of Small Biz 100. It’s been a very challenging year for everyone and being part of Small Biz 100 is a real testament to all the amazing support we’ve received from all our staff, customers, and the fantastic community we have here in Shoreham by Sea. We look forward to celebrating with you all on ‘our day’, Saturday 26th September. We would like to pay special thanks to the brilliant Steph Young of Shoreham based-design company saydesignUK, and Daisy Heller for their invaluable help in developing our social media and online community”. 

    Among the other firms being recognised are a family run florist in Bristol, a beauty salon in Inverness, and a wine school in Chester. 

    Michelle Ovens MBE, Director of Small Business Saturday UK, said: 
    “Congratulations to Tom Foolery Coffee Company for joining the Small Biz 100! This campaign highlights the amazing, positive impact small firms have on communities across the UK. Given the phenomenally tough time small businesses have had, and the special role they played supporting communities in lockdown, it’s vital we continue to support them as this crisis continues. This year’s Small Business Saturday is going to be the most important one yet, and we’re determined it will also be the best.” 

    Now in its eighth year in the UK, Small Business Saturday has grown significantly each year, with a record turnout of 17.6 million people choosing to shop small on the day last year, generating an estimated £800m. 

  • 16 September 2020 12:13 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

     Lizzie Targets European Championships with Support from Charitable Foundation

    Worthing-based wheelchair athlete Lizzie Williams is receiving financial backing from a local charitable foundation to boost her dream of competing at the World Para Athletics European Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland in 2021.

    Lizzie already competes internationally in T54 wheelchair racing events and is aiming to represent Great Britain at next year’s showcase thanks in part to support from the Carpenter Box Charitable Foundation (CBCF).

    Lizzie was born with Osteogenesis Imperfecta (brittle bones), but her athletic ability and determination to succeed has seen her win numerous sporting accolades. Now she is training hard to achieve her dream of becoming a GB para-athlete next year.

    Even during lockdown, she has managed to continue her six days a week training regime at home, thanks to a ‘rolling road’ and creative adaption of equipment to maintain her strength and conditioning routines.

    The specialist equipment required for wheelchair racing makes it an expensive sport for participants, and so far Lizzie has managed to generate her own funding. Now though, she feels that the sponsorship from CBCF could be a game changer for her.

    “Now that I have the support of CBCF, it’s taken some of the pressure off me, knowing that every month there is a pot of money there that I can use to support my training regime and maintain my equipment” said Lizzie.

    “I am so thankful for their support and hope that sometime soon when we can race again, I will be able to show how much difference it has made to my performance.”

    When not racing, Lizzie actively promotes disability sport in the local community and over the last couple of years has worked with around 50 schools across West Sussex, sharing her story and supporting specific campaigns and sports days.

    Chartered accountants MHA Carpenter Box has offices in Worthing, Gatwick and Brighton and was one of the first businesses in Sussex to set up a charitable arm with a focus on supporting smaller local organisations and people who often find it difficult to raise funds. The foundation – which has now raised over £200,000 in total – is run by staff trustees along with one partner, who together decide on donations and grants.

  • 10 September 2020 10:10 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Coast to Capital Business Recovery Grants

    Coast to Capital are are pleased to announce that a new £2.1 million grant scheme, ‘Business Recovery Grants’ has been launched to provide businesses in West Sussex, Brighton & Hove, East Surrey, Croydon, or Lewes District with funding of between £10,000 and £170,000 (for projects of £20,000 to £340,000).

    The programme will provide up to 50% of an expansion project for organisations that can demonstrate a clear link to COVID-19 recovery and growth. In addition, Coast to Capital are looking for businesses to set out plans for job creation and job retentio
    to improve the unemployment rate in the local area. 

    Key details of the scheme:

    • Application window will be open until Friday 18th December 2020
    • Total of £2.1 million funding available
    • Grant range £10,000 to £170,000 (for projects of £20,000 to £340,000)
    • Grant funding must be matched by the applicant (at least 50% of project value)
    • Grant funding must be spent on capital items only (match can include revenue costs)

    Eligibility requirements for applicants:

    • Small to Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs), Social Enterprises, and Charities (1-249 FTE person workforce) are all eligible to apply for this funding
    • Organisations must be based and trading in West Sussex, Brighton & Hove, East Surrey, Croydon, or the Lewes District
    • Organisation must be established and trading for at least 1 financial year.
    • Applicants from all sectors are eligible to apply for this funding, but we will be prioritising applicants from the following sectors:
    • Hospitality
    • Travel &Tourism
    • Sports & Leisure
    • Entertainment & Arts
    • Food & Drink
    • Retail & Wholesale
    • Aviation & Supply Chain
    • Advanced Engineering & Manufacturing
    • Horticulture & Viticulture
    • Health & Life Sciences

    How to apply for the funding:

    • Check that your organisation meets all of the eligibility requirements listed above
    • Complete the Expression of Interest (EOI) form in the Related Resources section on this page
    • Email your completed EOI to
    • For any additional enquiries please complete a Request Form - but please first look at our list of FAQs in the "Related Resources" section of this page, as an answer to your query may already be on there.

    Click here to read more

  • 10 September 2020 10:03 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Kick-start Tourism and Restart and Recovery SME Grants

    Coast to Capital have launched a pre-application information page to help businesses prepare to apply for a Kick-start Tourism or Restart and Recovery SME grant ahead of the scheme opening on Tuesday 15 September at midday.

    The Kickstart Tourism grant is aimed at businesses within the visitor economy with fewer than 250 employees, while the Restart and Renew SME grant is aimed at all other businesses with fewer than 250 employees. Applicants for both must have been impacted by COVID-19 and must satisfy further eligibility criteria. Businesses can apply for grants of between £1000 - £3000 (up to £5000 in exceptional circumstances) toward professional services to help them adapt during the COVID-19 pandemic or to purchase new equipment. 100% of the money will come from government with no obligation for businesses to contribute financially.

    Businesses based in Croydon should register their interest here and businesses based in Lewes should visit this webpage.

    Funding is extremely limited and we expect the scheme to be very popular, so you should complete the gateway diagnostic tool as soon as possible after the scheme opens. We are not operating a waiting list so decisions will be made on a first come, first served basis. The gateway diagnostic will close when the limit has been reached. 

    How you’ll be assessed:

    Grants will be awarded on a first come first served basis. All decisions will be final, with no opportunity to appeal. Eligibility checks will also take the following into account:

    • Your potential to respond/adapt/strengthen from the impact of COVID-19 
    • Your ability to identify opportunities to rebuild following the impact of COVID-19    
    • Your ability to deliver within the timescales available (one month)
    If you would like to be notified by email when the fund is open, please complete this short Expression of Interest form.  

    Click here to read more about this grant

  • 03 September 2020 2:26 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Small Business Growth Grant 

    The Small Business Growth Grant is available to local micro businesses of up to 10 employees. Grants of up to £2,500 are available, with a 50% match funding contribution required (exclusive of VAT).

    For example, if you want to purchase some equipment that costs £1,500 - a contribution of £750 would be required from your own funds and you can apply for £750 from the grant fund. Any added VAT would not be refunded and is not counted within the project cost.

    You must be able to demonstrate how the project will develop your business and what difference it will make.

    Payment will be retrospective. Applicants will need to ensure they have total funds available upfront and are in a position to commence the project straight away. Once approved, applicants will also be required to supply relevant paid invoices within 30 days. 

    Click here to read the Small Business Grants Guidance Notes 

    Apprenticeship Grant

    The Apprenticeship Grant is available to individual businesses of up to 50 employees. A one off payment of £1,000 per apprentice is available towards the cost of taking on an apprentice. Individual businesses can apply for up to two grants.

    Click here to read the Apprenticeship Grant Guidance Notes 

  • 20 August 2020 9:38 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Funding: Live Music – short time scale

    An Emergency Grassroots Music Fund is now open, but for one week only (closing - Monday 3 August).  Please share with any music venues you are in contact with ASAP. Many thanks. Davina   - Arts Council

     The £2.25 million Emergency Grassroots Music Venues Fund seeks to ensure the survival of grassroots music venues from now until 30 September 2020.

    This funding is available to venues whose main function is to present live music events for a public audience in the grassroots part of this sector.
    It’s open to live music venues across all music genres, and also to multi-arts venues that host other events and entertainment other than music within which music forms a major part of their activity.

  • 20 August 2020 9:36 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    COVID bounceback plan agreed by Greater Brighton

    A regional green infrastructure ‘new deal’ and an online cultural showcase are just two ways in which Greater Brighton could boost growth and help the area bounce back from COVID-19.

    Like much of the UK, the City Region - which covers much of the Sussex coast and reaches north to Gatwick - is predicted to be hit hard by the global pandemic with official estimates of an 11 percent loss of productivity in the next 12 months.

    However experts commissioned by the Greater Brighton Economic Board (GBEB) believe the diverse nature of the regional economy means the area could be back on track within the next three to five years.

    This will be helped by growth in digital gaming, staycations and the independent food sector, all of which have been boosted by lockdown and are significant elements of the Greater Brighton economy.

    To support key aspects of the economy recovery in the coming years, the report by consultants Hatch recommended the board consider using its resources to lobby for a number of interventions. 

    This includes supporting the creation of an online virtual stage to support arts, festivals and conferences; establishing a High Street Recovery Commission to bring landlords together to reimagine town centres; funding an Artists Resilience Fund, to coordinate grants for individual performers; and setting up a Green Infrastructure New Deal, which is bold and ambitious enough to attract government investment.

    Greater Brighton leaders welcomed the report at a virtual meeting held last week (July 14, 2020) and agreed to work collectively on ways in which it could support the regional economy.

    Cllr Daniel Humphreys, Chairman of Greater Brighton, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has, and will continue to have, a huge impact on the global economy. Yet thanks to the creativity and entrepreneurial spirit of Greater Brighton residents, and the real diverse nature of our businesses there is lots to be positive about in the City Region.

    “The onus is on us as decision makers and business representatives to think about how we can use our influence to support the regional economy over the next couple of years. We know it will not be easy but we are confident that by working together we can deliver real benefits to the more than one million people living in Greater Brighton.”

    The Hatch report noted that since March an estimated 7,700 businesses have had to temporarily close while, like elsewhere in the UK, around a third of workers aged 18-24 have been furloughed or lost their jobs.

    Among the hardest hit sectors are manufacturing (estimated £770 million losses in 2020 - 23% total value), education (£638 million - 38%), arts & entertainment (£148 million - 42%) and wholesale and retail trade (£431 million - 21%).

    With no support, the region’s estimated year of recovery to achieve pre-COVID Gross Value Added (GVA) levels, the measure of the value of goods and services produced in an area,  is 2028.

    But, the report suggested that if GVA growth was doubled, then Greater Brighton could get back on track within three to five years - but this would require a number of sectors to continue to develop.

    The report says: “There are…many positive stories that signal the Greater Brighton region may be more resilient: the strong advance manufacturing base has only been marginally hit; the region’s strength in pharmaceuticals and medtech has led to revenue growth for many companies; and the strong gaming development cluster in Brighton and data application development cluster in Crawley have both boomed.”

    It noted there would also need to be a focus on areas like retail, food and accommodation, which did not contribute as much financially to the local economy but were essential to its attraction and make-up.

    The report also noted there were real opportunities, such as the increasing trend for working from home leading to London-based businesses looking to relocate away from capital.

    To read the report in full, visit this link.

  • 20 August 2020 9:32 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    New Chair appointed at Coast to Capital

    At our Board meeting in July, we were delighted that Julie Kapsalis was appointed as Coast to Capital Chair. Julie has held the position of Vice Chair for the past year and has been on the Coast to Capital Board for over six years during which time she served as the Chair of the Investment Committee and Diversity Champion.

    Julie is Managing Director of Chichester College Group with responsibility for a portfolio of commercial businesses. She is a board member of the Institute of Economic Development, Gatwick Diamond Business and is the immediate past Chair of Chichester Chamber of Commerce and Industry. We are looking forward to working with Julie in this capacity and will be sharing some of her ideas for the future in coming weeks.  

  • 20 August 2020 9:26 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    #WELCOMEBACKAW: support your town centres post-lockdown

    Welcome back - that’s the key message from town centre traders as our community spaces look to bounce back from lockdown.

    Adur & Worthing Councils have joined forces with businesses across the area to assure visitors that all efforts are being made to make shopping, going out and relaxing in our town centres a safe and relaxing experience.

    A month-long campaign - titled #WelcomeBackAW - features a dozen businesses and organisations and the measures they have taken to adapt to the new normal.

    Among those included are pubs, restaurants, cafes, taxi drivers, hairdressers, galleries and attractions, such as the Worthing Observation Wheel

    The campaign comes after a Councils survey, which received more than 700 responses, showed more than half (53%) of respondents said they would like to visit shops, restaurants or cafes but were concerned about the risks.

    It also showed 20% said they were ambivalent about going out, 17% are happy to go out and just 9% said they would definitely not be going out. 

    Armed with those figures the Councils together with traders are reaching out to residents with details of the measures taken to adhere to the government’s guidelines on safe towns.

    One major trader, Andy Sparsis, founder of Proto Restaurant Group which owns The Fish Factory and The Fat Greek Taverna, said he welcomed the move.

    He said: “Like everyone we take the pandemic very very seriously. It has affected all of us which is why we have put in measures in our restaurants to make them safe and help our customers have a relaxing, fun time out. This campaign will give us all the chance to tell residents just how seriously we are taking their safety and I welcome it.”

    In the next few weeks a number of traders will be profiled telling residents about their businesses and the measures they have taken.

    Cllr Kevin Jenkins, Worthing Borough Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, said: “It is still vitally important that we all observe measures to combat COVID such as social distancing and washing our hands at least 20 seconds but it is also now possible that we can access our town centres, enjoy shopping or having a meal whilst supporting our businesses safely. They are the lifeblood of our local economy and I personally will be doing as much as I can to support them.”

    Cllr Brian Boggis, Adur District Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, said: “We have all been affected by this terrible virus and as a Council we will remain on high alert. That is why we are behind this safe return to activity in our town centres. We understand we all need to do all we can to answer the genuine concerns residents have and that is why #WelcomeBackAW gives traders the platform to do just that.”

    The campaign will also continue to stress the need for individuals to adhere to safety measures such as washing hands, wearing face masks where required and keeping to social distancing measures.

    It will be supported by the government’s Reopening High Streets Safely Fund, which has provided grants from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to councils across England to support the safe reopening of high streets and other commercial areas.

    #WelcomeBackAW is part of And Then, the Councils short, sharp programme of interventions and assistance to help the communities of Adur and Worthing bounce back from the impact of lockdown.


    Founded in 2018 and based in vibrant Warwick Street in Worthing town centre, Finch Bar & Eatery has introduced a range of measures to ensure the safety of their customers and staff. 

    As owner Tom Lines, who also owns the Garden Pantry in Brighton Road, explains: “We’re lucky to have outdoor seating, but for those who prefer to sit indoors, we’ve created plenty of space between our tables to make it safe. There’s also hand sanitiser by the entrance for customers to use, we’re currently offering table service only, and all our staff wear face coverings when serving customers.”

    Since reopening, Finch Bar & Eatery has been busier than expected - as well as welcoming back many regular customers, they’ve had lots of new customers too. 

    “We’ve worked hard to make sure that the quality of food and the customer experience won't be compromised by the changes,” says Tom.

    Finch, which is open Monday to Sunday, is part of the Eat Out to Help Out scheme. This means that throughout August, from Monday to Wednesday, customers will get 50% off their food and drink. 


    “Home cooked food, sourced from local suppliers, cask marque kept local ales and beers, and most importantly a friendly atmosphere where safe service is a priority.” 

    Darren Gearing, Founder & Director of Our Eating House Group, explains what’s in store for customers returning to The Tap House.

    The venue in East Street, Shoreham, has recently reopened, along with the group’s other venues - The Beach House and The Corner House, which are both in Worthing.

    Darren, who owns the businesses with lifelong friends Matt and Tim Taylor, says his local establishments are doing everything they can to keep customers safe.

    All team members have undertaken “COVID Return to Work” protocol training while socially distanced tables, hand sanitiser stations, one way signage systems, contactless payments and increased cleaning have been introduced.

    All three locations will be taking part in the government’s Eat Out To Help Out discount programme, and they are also offering an added value set menu for adults and children. 

    Darren added: “Our teams couldn't wait to get back to work, we are also fortunate to have many regulars who have all said how happy they are to be back!” 

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Worthing & Adur Chamber of Commerce is the trading name of Worthing & Adur Chamber of Commerce & Industry Ltd.
Company registered in England & Wales. Company number: 00345261.  
VAT No: 275 6477 60
Registered Office: Sphere Business Centre, Broadwater Road, Worthing,
West Sussex BN14 8HJ
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