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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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  • 29 April 2020 1:28 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Fine Cut Group Supporting the NHS

    Supporting the NHS / Ventilator Supply Chain:

    Fine Cut's core business is the manufacture of industrial labels - we continue to support the supply chain for the NHS, Laboratories and Ventilator manufacturers, providing labels and control panel overlays with the demand now greater than ever. 

    Face Shields:

    We were approached by Hello Flamingo to assist in the manufacture of face shields for the NHS - our printing and cutting capabilities allowed us to rattle off various parts which would be assembled to make the face shields. We initially donated the material and cutting services to manufacture 1200 of the face shields with more to come.

    Stay Home Rally Plates:

    One of Fine Cut Group's brands - Dragonfly which provide Rally Plates for classic car rallies and events have designed a "Stay Home" Rally Plate - 100% of the profits of every one sold is being donated to NHS Charities Together, and we are well on our way to raising £10k in just a matter of weeks!

    The Rally Plates which can be attached to cars grilles or windows can still be purchased here:

  • 28 April 2020 4:07 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    A Generous Donation for Worthing Military Charity

    Worthing-based charity, Care for Veterans, has received a grant of £40,000 from the Garfield Weston Foundation.
    The generous donation will go towards vital services, including occupational therapy, physiotherapy, neuropsychology, on-site wheelchair clinic, rehabilitation kitchen, social and recreation activities, outings, chaplaincy and ambulance service.
    Care for Veterans has been caring for disabled veterans since it was first established in 1919 and celebrated its centenary last year. With no regular government funding, the charity must raise over £1.9 million each year to maintain its nursing and rehabilitation services for ex-Service personnel, like Steve Boylan.
    Ex-Army Warrant Officer, Steve, arrived at Care for Veterans in December 2018 after three years in assorted hospitals and rehabilitation centres. Steve had a road accident on the way back from the garage – a car hit his motor bike from behind. Steve collided, head-first, with the van in front. The Air Ambulance team performed roadside surgery to relieve the pressure on his brain. Sadly, Steve suffered a severe brain injury which seriously affected his speech, and left him paralysed on one side of his body. Aged just 39, he was suddenly unable to walk and had to use a wheelchair - especially devastating for an action man who became a Joint Service Mountain Expedition Leader, loved canoeing, mountain biking and snowboarding. Steve’s life and dreams are forever changed, but Care for Veterans has already had a positive impact on his life.
    Steve came to Care for Veterans not only to be with fellow veterans, but because of the wide range of rehabilitation therapies available onsite. Currently, in physiotherapy, he is working towards increased independence so that he can get out of bed without using a hoist. He is strengthening his legs using an exercise bike and is aiming to cover the distance from Land’s End to John O’Groats over the summer. Before coming to Care for Veterans, Steve was depressed and not making progress, but things have changed. He says, “I love it here as we all share a common background. The physiotherapy is the best I have ever had – they give me goals to achieve and work me hard. My sons say they can already see a difference. Most importantly, the staff here have given me a new determination. They’ve even helped me take my 10-year-old son, Albert, shopping. It was fantastic, for the first time in three years I was able to be a dad again and do what dads do.”  
    Trusts and Foundations Officer, Kim Bowen-Wood, said: “On behalf of our residents, I would like to thank the Garfield Weston Foundation for their continued support. We receive no regular Government funding, and during this unprecedented time, we have already had to cancel several fundraising events upon which we were relying for income. This extremely generous grant is a huge help and means that we can continue to provide our vital care and rehabilitation services to our veterans.”

  • 23 April 2020 1:16 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    First deliveries of Ricardo-assembled PPE reach care homes and the NHS

    As a part of its effort to support local care homes and NHS trusts, Ricardo has made deliveries of the first 2,000 of its purpose-designed protective face shields – an important part of the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) required by those working on the front line of the national effort to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. 

    The deliveries of the first 2000 protective face shields is a major milestone in Ricardo’s effort to provide PPE to front line workers in care homes and the NHS. The shields are made to a bespoke Ricardo design and benefit from the company’s experience of high value, rapid response assembly and supply chain management. Local NHS doctors assisted the Ricardo design team by testing the new face shield for enhanced comfort and wearability over extended periods.

    The face shield frames were manufactured by longstanding supply chain partner Stephens Plastic Mouldings, using tooling co-funded jointly with Ricardo. To ensure that the face shields reach care home and NHS staff as quickly as possible, facilities at Ricardo’s Technical Centres at Shoreham by Sea in West Sussex and Leamington Spa have been repurposed as assembly lines and logistics centres for this much-needed PPE.

    Although the requirement for the face shields was urgent, Ricardo followed the usual industry standards and best practice for testing. Ricardo worked with the industry-leading test provider SATRA to secure fast-tracked testing of its protective face shield to EN166. Crucially, this testing enables the PPE to be NHS approved for Covid-19 emergency use.

    Recipients of the first 2,000 face shields donated by Ricardo included Richmond Manor, Bedfordshire, of the Hamberley Care Homes group, Shelley Care Home in West Sussex, and the city and county councils for Brighton & Hove, Avon & Wiltshire and Warwickshire who are distributing PPE to care homes in their respective areas. In addition, supplies were also delivered to NHS teams including at the Avon and Witshire Mental Health Partnership, the Charter Medical Centre in Hove, and the Burgess Hill Covid Clinical Assessment Service.

    “We are delighted to have received a donation of 250 visors from Ricardo and would like to thank them for their kind donation,” said Paul Hill, CEO of Hamberley Care Homes and Inspire Neurocare. “The safety and wellbeing of our residents and staff is our highest priority and I’d like to take this opportunity say a huge thank you to our care teams for their continued dedication and commitment during this challenging time.”

    “We firmly believe that the correct and comprehensive PPE is absolutely key to delivering a robust service for patients, as we don’t want to shy away from clinical need, whilst keeping our staff safe,” commented Dr Esther Bird of the Burgess Hill Covid Clinical Assessment Service. “Ricardo’s assistance and foresight is very much appreciated.”

    “The entire Ricardo team is committed to supporting our local communities in the fight against Covid-19,” added Ricardo Automotive & Industrial MD Stephen Dyke. “We are very proud to be able to help to protect those in the front line at care homes and in the NHS, and it has been humbling for us to receive very positive feedback on our efforts to provide PPE to staff in these absolutely crucial roles.”

    n addition to the supply of face shields to care homes and the NHS, Ricardo announced earlier in the week that it is assisting healthcare technology company Isansys, which is facing an unprecedented demand for its advanced patient monitoring systems amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Ricardo is providing expert consultancy in supply chain development and manufacturing operations, with a view to enabling a rapid scaling up of production of these much-needed systems.

    In further efforts to support the fight against Covid-19, Ricardo has also offered its services to government and to healthcare providers on the rapid design or conversion of vehicles for use as ambulances and as other support vehicles, and has offered the use of some facilities for testing or as logistic centres.

  • 23 April 2020 12:38 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    St Barnabas Crisis Appeal

    We have had to close our Day Hospice and cafe and move to essential visiting only, but we have opened 5 new beds to get patients out of over-stretched hospitals and into our care. And we have introduced a ‘helping hands’ scheme offering social and practical assistance to those patients staying at home. 

    At the same time our shops have been forced to close and the vital funding they provide has disappeared. Fundraising events large and small have been cancelled. And this is causing us a huge problem. 

    The maths is simple. It costs £700,000 a month to run St Barnabas, most of which comes from fundraising. And right now we are losing 70% of our fundraising income every month - it is only a matter of time before we run out of money. 

    So please, if you can, send a gift today. Whether your generosity pays for care in the hospice itself or vital work in the community, I promise you that it has never been needed more.

    Click here to donate 

  • 23 April 2020 11:52 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Greater Brighton pledge to work together on COVID-19 economic recovery plan

    Greater Brighton leaders have agreed to work up a sustainable Economic Recovery Plan to help the City Region bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic.

    With lockdown affecting many of the tens of thousands of businesses and one million residents across the area, the Greater Brighton Economic Board - which is made up of representatives from local authorities, business and academia - acknowledged the need to work together to outline ways it can support residents and firms.

    With one of the UK’s premium airports, a thriving visitor economy and a large commuter workforce, Greater Brighton is expected to face big challenges in the months ahead.

    At a meeting this week (Tuesday April 21, 2020), the board agreed to pool public and private sector expertise to work up proposals which could support sectors adversely affected by COVID-19, such as hospitality and tourism.

    Leaders also acknowledged the crucial role that education, skills and infrastructure could play to ensure the Greater Brighton area - which stretches along much of the Sussex coast north to Gatwick - can get up and running again after the pandemic.

    Cllr Daniel Humphreys, Chairman of the Greater Brighton Economic Board, said: “There’s no doubt that our businesses and employers are facing a challenge which we have never experienced before. 

    “While there remain a lot of unknowns and uncertainty around the impact of COVID-19, one thing that’s certain is that a united voice and purpose will be essential in making sure our economic area is ready to get going once restrictions are lifted.

    “By working together, pooling our resources and sharing our expertise, Greater Brighton can play a key role in helping our City Region not only bounce back but also adapt to what will be a very different world.”

    The proposal to create an economic recovery plan was put forward by Cllr Nancy Platts, Leader of Brighton & Hove City Council, and supported by Lewes District Council leader Cllr Zoe Nicholson and Crawley Borough Council leader Cllr Peter Lamb. It received unanimous backing from all organisations attending, including businesses, universities and Greater Brighton Metropolitan College.

    All acknowledged there was a need to ensure the recovery plan targeted individuals as well as businesses.

    Member organisations will now identify ways in which the board and its members can work together to develop a response, as well as identifying key issues on which it can present a coherent case for investment to lobby decision makers.

    The recovery plan will build on a range of existing work by the board and its members, including the Local Industrial Strategy which is being developed by the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership.

    It will also be supported by a new Inward Investment offer, which Greater Brighton is expected to release more details on later this year.

    At the board meeting, Cllr Humphreys also acknowledged some of the ongoing work that Greater Brighton organisations were already doing to combat COVID-19.

    This included:

    • Crawley Borough Council establishing a major distribution centre to get food supplies to the vulnerable; 
    • £2 million of additional small business grants made available by Coast to Capital; 
    • an interactive map of local businesses still trading created by South Downs National Park which is supporting the circular economy; 
    • and engineering consultancy Ricardo repurposing some of its assembly lines to manufacture bespoke face shields for NHS staff and other key workers.

    Cllr Humphreys added: “As we emerge from the current crisis we will continue to work together to ensure that we provide businesses and employers with the necessary platforms upon which they can best recover.”

  • 23 April 2020 11:47 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Rayner Intraocular Lenses awarded the Queens Award for Enterprise 2020

    Rayner Intraocular Lenses design and manufacture intraocular lenses: small artificial lenses that replace removed cataracts (a hardened natural lens). Incision size matters in cataract surgery because a large incision is at greater risk of infection and also large incisions often change the sphericity or curvature of the eye. The company's innovative RayOne injector was designed to have the smallest nozzle diameter on the market at 1.65mm and therefore requires a small incision. In addition, the company has developed a method of 'fully preloading' the injector with the lens so that the nurse or surgeon does not have to touch the lens at all. This patent protected product and method is unique and delivers significant benefits to surgeons by reducing surgery time and patients through improved outcomes. The product has been very successful and now delivers almost half of the company's total turnover.

  • 23 April 2020 11:34 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    AWBP Update: Coronavirus: Business Support, Information & Guidance

    Message from AWBP Chair, Andrew Swayne 

    It’s good to see more progress in issuing the business grants, as the team has now issued 1,280 (51% of eligible businesses) as at 21st April. It’s interesting how the press pick up on incomplete stories and it shows it’s always wise to check your data! 

    It will be interesting to see how well the Job Retention Scheme mechanism works as many businesses will be making use of this locally. 

    Many thanks to the businesses who are supporting the national effort either by increasing their normal activities or undertaking new things and donating to the NHS and Care Homes. I’m not going to pick out any one business in this edition but we would like to start sharing your proactive stories from next week.

    As with last week, I encourage you to continue to highlight to your employees the extent of volunteering opportunities that are available to assist in the community response effort across Adur and Worthing. Please do continue to share the message.

    And finally, it’s quite clear that lockdown will last until early May (at the earliest) and let’s hope the plan to relax the situation becomes clear so that we can all plan for recovery as quickly as is safe.

    Billion pound support package for innovative firms 

    UK businesses driving innovation and development will be helped through the coronavirus outbreak with a £1.25 billion government support package.

    The targeted and tailored will help ensure firms in some of the most dynamic sectors of the UK economy – ranging from tech to life sciences – are protected through the crisis so they can continue to develop innovative new products and help power UK growth.

    The comprehensive package includes a new £500 million loan scheme for high-growth firms, called the Future Fund, and £750 million of targeted support for small and medium sized businesses focusing on research and development.

    Further information will be provided shortly, however the press release can be found here.

    Government launches new coronavirus business support finder tool 

    A new ‘support finder’ tool was launched by the Government on 20th April to help businesses and self-employed people across the UK to quickly and easily determine what financial support is available to them during the coronavirus pandemic.

    The finder tool asks businesses to fill out a simple online questionnaire, which can take minutes to complete. The business will then be directed to a list of all the financial support they may be eligible for.

    The finder tool can also be accessed here.

    Job Retention Scheme opens for applications 

    The Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme went live on 20th April, with businesses able to claim up to £2,500 a month towards staff wages.

    Employers can apply for direct cash grants through HMRC’s new online portal - with the money expected to land in their bank accounts within six working days.

    The job retention scheme, announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak as part of a package of support to protect jobs and businesses, allows employers to claim for a cash grant of up to 80% of a furloughed employee's wages, capped at £2,500 a month.

    It’s becoming clear that claims need to be very detailed and correct before they are submitted. We understand amendment is difficult. Please follow the instructions in full.To access this support please click here

    Processing ramps up on Business Grants 

    Adur & Worthing Councils continue to process the Small Business Grant Fund and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund on behalf of central government. Over 2,000 businesses have now registered for the claim, out of 2,500 that are eligible. The Councils’ have now processed 51% of these claims as the pace picks up to get these grants to eligible businesses.

    We urge those eligible businesses that haven’t uploaded their information yet to do so, as we are keen that all businesses take advantage of of this one-off grant payment.

    Further details on the schemes and registration process can be found here.

  • 23 April 2020 10:14 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Kreston Reeves wishlist support for NHS Trusts

    Kreston Reeves has joined the #ThankYouNHS campaign and set up three Amazon wishlists to make it easier for employees, clients, contacts or the wider public to make a donation of much needed items for the doctors, nurses, medical professionals, students, staff and patients at three hospital trusts across the South East.

    In just a few days since the Kreston Reeves wishlists have been set up, over £1,800 worth of items have been purchased and donated including:

    • 174 tubs of Vaseline and 152 tubs of E45, useful for dry hands and faces due to the extra washing or wearing of masks.
    • 78 bottles body wash and 60 roll-on deodorants, useful for those staying in hospital overnight or washing after being on a Coronavirus ward.
    • Hundreds of treats including Haribo sweets, Biscoff biscuits and others.

    To make a donation go to and follow the instructions. You can choose which of the three hospital trusts you donate to – either the Brighton and Sussex University Hospital NHS Trust, Support Barts Charity (London) or Support East Kent Hospitals Charity (Kent). You will need an amazon account to take part and you choose and purchase from the pre-selected items.

    Donated items will be sent to one of the Kreston Reeves regional Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) reps who will collate and distribute to the hospitals in need. In the event there are items purchased which are no longer required by the charity, they will be donated to local food banks.

    The campaign is supported by the Kreston Reeves Foundation, a registered charity. Sam Rouse, Charities and Not for Profit Partner from Kreston Reeves comments: “Everyone wants to feel they are doing something useful at this time and while staying at home is clearly the best thing people can do, we have also set up something practical to provide much needed items and treats to our frontline NHS workers. Many people want to say thank you to our front-line workers and we know they will appreciate these items being sent to them. On their behalf thank you to everyone who has made a donation through our wishlist to date.”

  • 23 April 2020 10:00 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Are you one of the 'Missed Millions'? - If so please take a few minutes to complete this survey

    The 'Missed Millions' are businesses / freelancers and start-ups (under 2 years) who do not qualify for any of the current central government business support initiatives - such as SBRR and Rates Relief or Job Retention Scheme.  

    Last week a call took place with the County Council, Coast 2 Capital - LEP and a couple of the local authorities in Sussex.  The objective of the call was to see how practical support can be provided to the grassroots businesses, freelancers and start-ups who have slipped through the net.

    Can local funding be made available? Can we get a strong enough voice to lobby effectively?....AND can we get something going where whatever spend is being spent in the Sussex region to get channeled and driven to our grassroots economy?

    There is an appetite to help and support at local level - which is a good start.  But, we NEED YOUR VOICE - if you are one of those who have 'fallen through the gaps'. 

    If this is you - Can you please take 10 mins out of your day and complete the following survey:

    We can’t guarantee a tangible result for you but what we can promise is your voice WILL be heard at a regional level if you complete this survey. You never know where this could take us
  • 23 April 2020 9:31 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Coast to Capital support update

    This is an update of the support that Coast to Capital LEP and the Coast to Capital Growth Hub Team can provide to businesses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Backing Business Grants

    Following a very high demand for the Coast to Capital Backing Business Grants, the programme is currently paused for applications. 453 expressions of interest have been received for the Coast to Capital Backing Business Fund providing grants of between £5,000 and £25,000 for businesses of between 5 and 50 employees with a turnover of less than £10m. 254 application forms have been received requesting £4.383m against a fund of £2m. Coast to Capital are exploring ways to increase the Backing Business Grant Fund.

    One to One Emergency Response Clinics 

    Due to popular demand the Growth Hub Team are providing additional emergency response one to one clinics covering a range of key topics with experts. This Coast to Capital Growth Hub page provides links through to the Eventbrite pages for the clinics which include topics covering Finance, Grants and Funding, Staffing and HR, Innovation, Technology and Mental Resilience. These will be added to meet demand. If the clinics are fully booked businesses are invited to complete the Priority COVID-19 Business Support Request Form and the Growth Hub team will follow up with one to one advice.

    Working with Partners

    We are working with local and national government, business support organisations including the Chambers of Commerce, membership organisations, IOD and the Federation of Small Businesses to provide collaborative support. We are very keen to work closely with your organisation and happy to follow this up with you.

    Events and Webinars

    The Coast to Capital Growth Hub provides links to the wide range of webinars and online events covering key topics at this most challenging time. We are working with partners to jointly develop and promote webinars bringing together experts in their field. These will be promoted on the Growth Hub website and social media.


    The Growth Hub Team continue to maintain the COVID 19 section of the Growth Hub Portal with links to the available support. We continue to collate partner information and place it in our COVID-19 Business Support area of the Coast to Capital Growth Hub. We regularly tweet from @c2cGrowthHub with news, information and events

    Reporting to Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS)

    The Coast to Capital team report issues, impacts, requests, successes and concerns to the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) each Monday by 12 noon. If you have information that you want to feed in to BEIS please send it to Jon Alderman and we will include it in our analysis and reporting.

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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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