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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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  • 04 May 2020 9:53 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Business Update from Sussex Transport

    In these troubling times we are aware that many customers are ramping up production and demand for goods has increased. We are also aware that driver levels will be fluctuating with self-isolation across the industry.
    We are continuing to operate all our usual services including all destinations across the UK until we are advised otherwise. We receive continuous updates from the Road Hauliers Association (RHA) with information on border checks and freight movement restrictions so we can keep an eye on potential issues with your incoming goods.
    We have the following vehicle capacity available:

    • Artics (some with Moffet) C/S + Flat
    • Hiabs
    • Low Loader
    • 18T C/S
    • 12T C/S
    • Vans
    We can also supply traction only with driver for whole week bookings if required.
    Please get in contact with your requirements and we will happily complete your subcontractor approval documents.
    Goods are accepted for carriage, storage and freight transportation subject to the RHA, UKWA and BIFA Terms & Conditions.  Copies of which are available from our website (

  • 04 May 2020 9:17 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Top-up to local business grant funds scheme

    A discretionary fund has been set up to accommodate certain small businesses previously outside the scope of the business grant funds scheme.

    The Business Secretary Alok Sharma and Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government, Simon Clarke spoke to local authorities in England yesterday to set out that up to £617 million would be made available.

    This is an additional 5% uplift to the £12.33 billion funding previously announced for the Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund (RHLGF), so up to £617 million. We will confirm the exact amount for each local authority next week.

    This additional fund is aimed at small businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs. We are asking local authorities to prioritise businesses in shared spaces, regular market traders, small charity properties that would meet the criteria for Small Business Rates Relief, and bed and breakfasts that pay council tax rather than business rates. But local authorities may choose to make payments to other businesses based on local economic need. The allocation of funding will be at the discretion of local authorities.

    Businesses must be small, under 50 employees, and they must also be able to demonstrate that they have seen a significant drop of income due to Coronavirus restriction measures.

    There will be three levels of grant payments. The maximum will be £25,000. There will also be grants of £10,000. local authorities will have discretion to make payments of any amount under £10,000. It will be for councils to adapt this approach to local circumstances.

    Further guidance for local authorities will be set out shortly.

    As of 27 April, over £7.5 billion has been paid out to over 614,000 business properties via the SBGF and RHLGF schemes. This is over 61% of the grant funding allocated to local authorities.

  • 04 May 2020 9:08 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Bounce Back Loan Scheme - Now open for applications! 

    Following the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s announcement, the Bounce Back Loan Scheme is now open for applications.

    Delivered by lenders accredited by the British Business Bank for this scheme, Bounce Back Loans target small and micro businesses in all sectors, providing loans from £2k up to 25% of the business’ turnover with a maximum loan of £50k.

    Providing lenders with a 100% government-backed guarantee and standardising the application form is expected to lead to a faster process with many loans becoming available within days

    Scheme features

    The Bounce Back Loan Scheme enables businesses to obtain a six-year term loan at a government set interest rate of 2.5% a year. The government will cover interest payable in the first year.

    • Up to £50,000 loan: Loans will be from £2,000 up to 25% of a business’ turnover or £50,000, whichever is lower.
    • 100% guarantee: The scheme provides the lender with a government-backed, full guarantee (100%) against the outstanding facility balance, both capital and interest. The borrower always remains 100% liable for the debt.
    • Interest rate: The government has set the interest rate for this facility at 2.5% per annum, meaning businesses will all benefit from the same, low rate of interest.
    • Interest paid by government for 12 months: The government will make a Business Interruption Payment to the lenders to cover the first 12 months of interest payable, so businesses will benefit from no upfront costs.
    • No principal repayments for first 12 months: Borrowers will not have to begin principal repayments for the first 12 months, thereafter capital will be repaid on a straight line basis.
    • No guarantee fee for businesses or lenders to access the scheme.
    • Finance terms: The length of the loan is for six years but early repayment is allowed, without early repayment fees.
    • No personal guarantees: No personal guarantees are allowed, and no recovery action can be taken over a principal private residence or principal private vehicle.

    The borrower always remains 100% liable for the debt.

    Eligibility criteria

    Businesses from all sectors can apply for a facility. The business must self-certify to its lender the following:

    • Confirm it is UK-based in its business activity, and established by 1 March 2020
    • Confirm it has been adversely impacted by the Coronavirus (Covid-19)
    • Confirm it is not currently using a government-backed Coronavirus loan scheme (unless using BBLS to refinance a whole facility)
    • Confirm it is not in bankruptcy, liquidation or undergoing debt restructuring 
    Credit institutions (falling within the remit of the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive), public sector bodies, a state -funded primary or secondary schools and insurance companies are not eligible to apply and subject to State-Aid restrictions.

    How to apply

    Businesses should check the British Business Bank website to find out which lenders provide Bounce Back Loans.

    View and select an accredited lender

    Businesses will be required to fill in a short online application form on their lender’s website, which self-certifies whether they are eligible for a Bounce Back Loan facility. Eligible companies will be subject to standard customer fraud, Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) checks. Some State aid restrictions may apply to applications.

    View our Bounce Back Loan Scheme frequently asked questions

  • 01 May 2020 3:59 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Message from the AWBP Chair, Andrew Swayne

    It’s now clearly time to plan for recovery mode.

     We’re fortunate that the government wants to listen to businesses and we plan to put some initial Adur and Worthing business feedback into government, probably via Coast to Capital LEP and Greater Brighton, during next week. We welcome feedback and ideas, be that either sector or locality based. Some headings you might like to consider when sharing your thoughts:

    ● What do we need to know from the government to recover our businesses?

    ● What future business support needs might be required?

    ● What have we got to help the government make decisions or support recovery (products and services)?

    ● Examples of collaboration that support the above

     It’s good that additional funding mechanisms have been released by the government and that further progress in issuing the grants has been achieved by the Councils. If you have any concerns or feedback to share please use and add ‘recovery feedback’ in the subject title.

     This week I would like to feature our care sector for a special mention. I’ve been fortunate to talk to some of the homes as part of Ricardo’s CSR work and I am particularly impressed by the commitment to high quality care from the managers and staff of these businesses. They are living in very challenging times doing great work.

  • 01 May 2020 2:35 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Normandy Veteran Recreates Channel Crossing Distance for Charity Challenge

    Normandy Veteran, Len Gibbon, 96, has decided to recreate his historic journey across the Channel by cycling the distance from Portsmouth to Gold Beach on a static bike in aid of charity, Care for Veterans. 
    Len aims to complete the 104-mile distance by 6th June, which will mark the 76th anniversary of the first Normandy landings.
    Originally from Elephant and Castle in London, Len joined the Royal Army Service Corps as a Despatch Rider when he was just 20 years old. In early June 1944, Len got married and then four days later he was posted to Normandy. He arrived there on the 14th June, eight days into the operation. 
    Len was in Normandy through to the end of the invasion, then went to the Netherlands via Brussels, and was part of Operation Market Garden in September of 1944. From there, he was posted in Germany, which is where he was when the War ended.
    Len came to live at Care for Veterans in December 2019. He realised he needed extra help after having several falls at home and his walking had become unbalanced. He loves dancing and so the physiotherapists at the charity incorporate this into his sessions; he loves to do the ‘Cha Cha’.

    He said, “Although I’m 96, I still like to be doing something. I like to have a dance at the concerts they have sometimes. I have physio as well, which I really enjoy. I'm doing this challenge to help raise money for Care for Veterans because it's a wonderful place. It's going really well so far, hopefully I'll finish on time!"
    Based in Worthing, West Sussex, Care for Veterans has provided care and rehabilitation to physically disabled ex-Service personnel and their families since 1919. The charity receives no regular government funding and must raise £1.9 million this year to provide its award-winning care to the veterans who live there. 
    Len’s challenge comes at a time when the charity needs it most. Due to the current situation, many of the events and initiatives that Care for Veterans had organised to raise vital funds have been postponed or cancelled, so Len hopes to raise as much as he can to support the charity that cares for him. 
    You can show Len your support by donating via his JustGiving page:

  • 01 May 2020 11:26 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Impact of COVID-19 on Sussex Businesses Survey

    Sussex Chamber need you to help them understand how the recently announced Government funding is supporting your business and the effects that the Coronavirus outbreak is having on your business.

    Your response will help Sussex Chamber and partner organisations to shape further support and help  inform Government of the effectiveness of their strategies and highlight areas where additional support may be required.

    Click here to take part in the survey

  • 01 May 2020 11:14 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Tim Loughton MP April Newsletter

    Welcome to my April newsletter which inevitably is dominated by the Coronavirus crisis. I apologise that we missed a newsletter at the end of March as my office was being swamped with enquiries from constituents linked to Coronavirus and my staff and I have been working round the clock to answer all of these as best we could. We have dealt with everything from helping people stuck at home unable to get essential supplies, accessing masks and other PPE equipment, taking up queries with the Treasury about who qualifies for job retention schemes (including a constituent who is a zookeeper!) to constituents stranded everywhere from New Zealand to Peru. I have one member of staff spending most of her time just dealing with constituents stuck abroad and visa issues. I am sorry if in the torrid circumstances of the last few weeks that a few emails have gone astray but by and large I think we have been able to respond to 99% although not always with the desired solution.

    I guess that most of us have had to find new ways of workings and mastered the technological intricacies of Zoom, Skype, House Party, Microsoft Teams and all other manner of downloads. Most days I am on conference calls to Parliamentary colleagues, ministers, local health managers, chief constables, local councillors and council officers, care home operators, clergy and a whole lot more. It may be an efficient way of working but it certainly seems to take up an awful lot of the day, and at weekends. My Westminster staff are all working from home and have been working over weekends too, in order to help clear urgent queries. The constituency office is closed but responding to voicemails and emails. Please do not direct post there as I am only occasionally dropping in and anything urgent will not be seen. I have suspended fortnightly surgeries and street surgeries but anyone needing a surgery appointment with me to discuss a  case can leave their details in the normal way with the constituency office and I will call them back. You can email the office on or call 01273 757182.

    Parliament has been operating virtually from last week although this week I did visit Westminster in person for the first time in 5 weeks to take part in the debate on the important Domestic Abuse Bill and pick up supplies and papers from my office. Otherwise the technology is working quite well as colleagues are zoomed in on large screens from far flung corners of the UK and journalists comment on the merits of their respective wallpaper, bookcases or in my case, curtains! The Homes Affairs Select Committee I sit on met virtually throughout the Easter recess and we have so far produced topical reports on how the police are coping with the lockdown, the rise in incidents of domestic violence and on Wednesday we interviewed the Home Secretary.

    In this newsletter I have included reports on previous events that I was not able to cover before and there are a few pieces of good news as well. However I have sought to concentrate on a roundup of up to date helpful information about how to cope in the Coronavirus crisis in an easily accessible form that you can keep for future reference.

    You can download this leaflet by clicking HERE.

    The Coronavirus section on my website at contains a great deal of information and useful links and this provides a guide and precis of what is there and how you can get the most out of it.

    Can I finish by saying a big thank you for all those who are doing their bit by following the Government guidance to stay at home as much as possible and to those many thousands of volunteers who have come forward to offer help to more vulnerable members of our local communities? With only a few exceptions everyone is rallying round and it makes me very proud to see so many local examples of the true community spirit, empathy and generosity that perhaps we last saw after the Shoreham Air Show tragedy. But the biggest thanks of all must go to all our NHS and care workers and others on the frontline who have really stepped up to the mark and as usual put the service of others ahead of their own personal safety. It has been a challenging time for our hospital staff and care home workers in particular, but the system has been working tremendously well and the NHS has not been overwhelmed by a tsunami of cases which is what happened in other European countries.

    Keep safe everyone.

    Best wishes

    Tim Loughton MP

  • 30 April 2020 1:49 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Fire safety advice to businesses from West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service

    We have robust plans in place to keep the people of West Sussex safe and this includes business owners, building managers and staff across the county.

    We know these are challenging times for businesses, but it is still really important that you review your fire risk assessment, as the coronavirus situation continually changes.

    Responsible persons are reminded that they should ensure that the fire risk assessment for the premises is regularly reviewed throughout the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic to take account of any additional risks that may occur. For example, where staff shortages may affect any pre-planned evacuation strategy or where stock and waste has increased and needs to be managed.

    If your business is still operating:

    New and temporary staff should receive fire safety training and awareness. Staff should be extra vigilant of potential hazards and risks, particularly where staffing levels have been reduced, or if staff are working alone or in an isolated environment:

    • Ensure that alarms and emergency exits are still accessible and that alarms can be raised as needed 
    • Continue fire safety testing and keep ignition sources separate from combustible materials. Even where stockpiling is necessary due to external factors, these safety measures must be followed. 
    • Do not prop open fire doors, even as a measure to minimise contact between staff
    • Ensure your evacuation strategy can be achieved taking into account any reduction in staffing levels and consider contacting your fire risk assessor for further advice
    • If you have a waking watch in place at your premises, please find further guidance here (

    If you’ve had to close your business:

    If your building is closed for an extended period of time, there are some key steps to take in order to reduce the risk of fire:

    • Keep all entrances and exits clear, and rubbish and commercial bins should be emptied and stored securely away from any buildings
    • If possible, don’t store excessive amounts of stock in a hazardous manner
    • Turn off all electrical devices where possible and remove plugs from sockets
    • Ensure your building is secure and continue with usual measures to prevent arson
    • If your building is connected or adjacent to a domestic dwelling and you have a shared fire alarm, you must arrange for the weekly testing to take place.

    We are here to support you:

    We continue to provide business fire safety advice during this time. At this time Fire Safety Officers are not carrying out routine visits but are available remotely to help with any queries. Further guidance and resources for businesses can be found on our web pages (

    For urgent matters and where it is considered that there may be a risk to life, the attendance of a Fire Safety Officer will be made. Officers will be provided with extra personal protection to reduce the risk of coronavirus spread.

    You can contact the team on or by calling 033 022 23333

  • 30 April 2020 1:39 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    It’s great to see how Chamber membership is working to link up members even in these strangest of times

    Ricardo and Heaton House are both members of the Worthing and Adur Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber shared Ricardo’s press release launching face shield production as part of their member to member mutual support.

    Previously Heaton House had contacted the Chamber regarding the issues accessing PPE equipment for the care home. When the press release arrived in the Chamber inbox the Chamber made the connection.

    Following a discussion with Ricardo and an email introduction to Ricardo and Heaton House, within two days, a collection of 10 face shields was arranged from Ricardo’s Shoreham Technical Centre. So that the home’s highly dedicated staff can better protected.

    Sally Neil-Smith, the owner/manager of the home said “It’s great to be supported by one of our larger local businesses with a strong community focus. It wasn’t a matter of money, we just can’t get these things. Many thanks to Ricardo for helping out”

    Andrew Swayne, Ricardo’s Group Risk Manager and Chair of Adur and Worthing Business Partnership said “We are really pleased to assist Heaton House and many of the care settings in the area – it’s a need we could help with and have done our best to help. Many colleagues contributed to this – thanks to all of them”

    Tracie Davey, Operations Manager, Worthing and Adur Chamber commented “As a local Chamber we are always here to support and connect our members and even more so through these unprecedented times. We were thrilled to have played our part in this connection which provided a product which has been produced locally to a care home in desperate need. Let’s all continue to support each other as a local business community. #togetherbusinessisstronger.

  • 29 April 2020 1:38 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Subway EPS donating scrubs and face mask patterns

    Subways EPS have free mask patterns available to collect from outside of their building in Newland Rd, Worthing BN11 1LB.

    Stephen Miller, Managing Director of Subway EPS heard about  people locally who have been sewing scrubs for the NHS. They needed patterns to work from, so Subway EPS have been printing out full size scrubs patterns. So far, 25 sets have been printed and donated to the cause. 

    For more information visit 

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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
© 2018 Worthing & Adur Chamber

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