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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.

Upcoming events

  • 25 June 2020 10:05 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Better Together: Kick-Starting the Coastal Economy Webinar

    Date: Wednesday 15th July 
    Time: 3:00pm - 4:30pm 

    As the lock down measures start to ease, it’s time to start thinking about restarting the economy here on the West Sussex coast. In a brand new series of webinars brought to you by the Coastal West Sussex Partnership, we’ll be discussing how the business community and the public sector can work together to get our economy moving again, and what changes we can make now to ensure the area sees long-term benefits. 

    Our select panel of influencers from both the private sector and local authorities will include:

    The first webinar will take place on Wednesday 15 July 2020 from 3 - 4.30pm, and will offer a unique opportunity to influence our leaders.

    Please send us your questions for the panel before the event, and come prepared for a discussion on what your business needs in order to recover and how, together, we can help the economy move again. 

    The second webinar in our series will explore the impact that the lockdown has had on young people with a particular focus on skills and employment.

    Don’t forget to sign up for this exclusive series of webinars to receive the first event link. We’re looking forward to seeing you there.

    Register Here

  • 24 June 2020 9:25 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Consider HMRC amnesty for furlough abuse, says accountants Kreston Reeves

    The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been a lifeline for many businesses, yet there is increasing evidence that it is being abused, for example, by employers asking staff to work whilst on furlough. Whilst it is clear that this is wrong, businesses may easily find that they have inadvertently breached the rules, as little guidance was available when the first claims were being submitted.

    Draft legislation is being rushed through parliament to provide HMRC with powers to check furlough claims and is expected to introduce a 30-day amnesty period allowing businesses to repay any money they have received without threat of sanction or penalty, says accountants and business advisers Kreston Reeves.

    Andy Wallis, a Partner in the Corporate Tax team at Kreston Reeves explains.

    “The uptake of the furlough scheme has been extremely high. Kreston Reeves in May surveyed 221 small businesses and found that over 60% of them had taken advantage of the Government’s furlough scheme. It is now widely believed that up to a third of businesses have in some way stretched the rules surrounding furlough allowing staff to work.

    “Whilst the guidance is clear - businesses are not allowed to let staff work whilst on furlough - what happens when staff decide to work in some capacity without their employer’s knowledge, for example helping a customer or advising a colleague isn’t.

    “Given the likely high rates of infringements of the furlough rules and the potential difficulty in recovering incorrect claims, the draft legislation will introduce an amnesty allowing businesses to repay money taken through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme without any sanction or penalties.

    “Those businesses that do not take advantage of such an amnesty and are later found to have stretched the rules may find themselves under serious investigation and facing substantial fines. Businesses should therefore triple check their claims and discuss the amnesty with their advisers if they have any concerns of potential infringements, especially as business owners may well be pursued directly and could even be named and shamed.

    “It is vitally important that businesses keep good and clear records of staff on furlough. The guidance surrounding the furloughing of staff has been complex and changeable, and in the next few weeks further changes allowing staff to return part-time really does require the employer to keep appropriate records throughout. Copies of communications to all staff, particularly those on furlough, reminding them of the rules is the bare minimum.”

    “Replying to investigations does take up valuable management time. Many businesses have access to assistance when replying to HMRC on such investigations and enquiries either through the Tax Investigation Services offered by their accountants and tax advisor or through their business insurance policies. Details of whether this is covered is advisable. If not already in place, businesses should consider getting such assistance. At Kreston Reeves we can confirm that such assistance is included within the Tax Investigation Service that we provide our clients.”

  • 24 June 2020 8:53 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Webinars that get your business working

    Over the next two weeks, our webinars focus on helping you to raise business grant-funding as well as introducing you to a range of equity & other funding options that could help you to find match-funding for your Invest4 grant. These webinars are being hosted by our expert delivery partners, WSX Enterprise and YTKO: Get Set for Growth

    Our popular How to Start a Start-up series of daily one-hour workshops is back to help pre-start and early-stage businesses get all the knowledge they need.

    Don't forget that you can always email our Invest4 Grant Fund Manager directly with your questions regarding the fund.

    The Business Hot House Workshop - How to Start a Start-up - Book a free place

    WSX Enterprise - Range of workshops - Book a free place 

    Get Set For Growth - Range of Workshops - Book a free place

  • 24 June 2020 8:39 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Freedom Works - 'Flexible Passes' 

    Freedom Works, like most of us  have been massively impacted by the economic bulldozer bestowed on us by Covid-19.  That said, their focus is to ensure that they maintain their Coworking spaces across Sussex.

    Based on feedback within the business community they are really proud to announce the launch of their new 'flexible passes' which can be used by 'individuals' and 'teams', for those now having to work from home.  These 'passes' are aimed at individuals and companies, where they can;

    • Use ANY of our Freedom Work spaces 24/7
    • Can combine home working with the healthy interaction with likeminded souls
    • Work in a Covid Safe collaborative and peer supporting environment.

  • 23 June 2020 1:29 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Raise finance & build business resilience

    Learn how to raise the finance you need to start-up or to scale-up your business and understand how to re-shape your business to make it more resilient and sustainable - our brand new remote workshops show you how.

    Applying for an Invest4 grant? Our dedicated workshop will ensure that you make the strongest possible application - helping you to fill out the form and understand the process.

    We're also offering Raising Finance 1-2-1 remote sessions with Rachel Baker, our Finance Specialist, who will steer you through your range of potential business finance options.

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

    Epic 24-hour endurance ride for hospice care

    A set decorator from Worthing will be testing his physical limits by taking on a gruelling 24-hour cycle ride on 24 July to raise money for St Barnabas House.

    Under normal circumstances, James Cook, 30, would be at work, decorating sets for BBC One’s Call the Midwife. Furloughed and bored at home, he became aware of the financial struggles faced by his local hospice and felt compelled to find a way to help.

    “St Barnabas is a cause close to my heart,” explains James.“They have been there for so many of my friends and family through their darkest times, including my nan, Doreen Northfield, who fought a long battle with breast cancer and passed away at the hospice in March 2015. I just want to do something to help, to ensure that this care can continue.

    “I’m a really active person and I like working, so furlough has been tough. The challenge came about after chatting with my other nan, Jean Woods. She suggested that I do something to keep myself busy and mentioned a cycle ride. Without thinking it through properly, I said, I know – I’ll do a 24-hour endurance ride around Sussex! And it all picked up pace from that moment.”

    James only took up road cycling last year and whilst he is into fitness and enjoys challenging himself, he says “this is nothing like I have ever done before!”

    Setting off from Beach House Grounds in Worthing on Friday 24 July, James will be on his bike for a full 24 hours, with only a few short pitstops along the way to refuel and take on fluids. He is still planning his exact route but hopes to cover up to 400 miles – roughly the equivalent distance of St Barnabas House to Scotland – crossing the finish line back where he set off, on the evening of Saturday 25 July.

    With less than five weeks to go before the challenge, he has been training hard to make sure he’s ready for what lies ahead.

    “Training has been intense! I’ve been heading out on rides with my mate, Mike Bignell, and so far, the longest ride we’ve done is ten hours. On top of this, I’ve also been doing lots of runs, weightlifting and yoga to improve my stamina, strength and reduce the risk of injury.

    “I’ve been speaking to cycling pros and everyone thinks I’m going to be ok for the first 16 hours, but it’s after that that things are likely to get really tough. I’m going to be going into some dark places to get through this. So, as well as training my body, I’m training my mind too. I’m listening to a lot of audio books by ultra-athletes to get tips and inspiration.”

    Since launching his fundraising, James has already raised over £1,910 for St Barnabas but hopes to hit a staggering £5,000 to support local hospice care.

    “Whenever I went to St Barnabas House to visit my nan, everyone was always smiling, says James. “It’s such a comforting place and the whole team make sure anyone they care for at end-of-life is surrounded by light and warmth.

    “Thank you to everyone who has donated and supported me so far. Any donation will make a difference and allow local hospice care to continue. I’m just asking for the equivalent of a pint – more if it’s financially doable – but, I also recognise that these are hard times for a lot of people. So, if you can't afford to donate then please help spread the word by sharing my JustGiving page or by following my Instagram page @cook4912 using the hashtag #endurocookie24.”

    Mary Bye, Community Fundraiser at St Barnabas House, says: “We are in awe of James for taking on this enormous challenge and for everything he is doing to raise money and awareness for the hospice. When the coronavirus crisis struck, our monthly fundraising income plummeted by 70% due to events being cancelled and the closure of our shops. Although the constraints are easing, support from people like James is more important than ever to make up the shortfall and ensure we can continue providing our care services in the months ahead.”

    James already has his eyes set on future challenges and admits that he’s got the ‘endurance bug’! “Exercising and having something to aim for is really important to me.” says James.“This challenge has given me a new lease of life and I’m already looking at other endurance events for when it is over!”

    Visit James’ JustGiving page to follow his journey and show your support:

  • 23 June 2020 12:10 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Dramatically improve your well-being interactive course

    Chamber member, Sandra Crathern, Health & Well-being Coach and fellow ICF accredited Coach, Rovert Pagliarulo, talk about their new interactive course which offer to dramatically improve well-being for you and others. Click here to watch the video. 

    To find out more and to book click here

  • 23 June 2020 12:09 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Chichester College is hosting a series of free online talks as part of the Festival of Learning.

    You will discover great ideas, tips and skills on how to enhance both your personal and professional life.

    Coordinated by Dawn Gracie, our speakers, who very kindly give their free time to be part of the nationwide Festival of Learning, are all experts in their field and recognise both the value and benefits of lifelong learning.

    Click here to register

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

    Avantguard Security are please to annouce they are now a Living Wage Employer

    Avantguard Security are very pleased and proud to announce that they are now a Living Wage employer. This is an historic moment in our business journey and underlines the incredibly close working relationship and trust we share with our clients.

    Our exceptional hardworking team coupled with smart technology and training have proved that we really can deliver outstanding security solutions that keep our clients safe, secure and informed. We join nearly 6,000 employers around the UK who have proudly committed to pay a real living wage to our staff. The real Living Wage is higher than the government’s minimum, or National Living Wage, and is an independently calculated hourly rate of pay that is based on the actual cost of living. It is calculated each year and is announced by the Living Wage Foundation as part of Living Wage Week.

    It has always been our belief that the Living Wage is the difference between paying what is a legal requirement and what is ethically right. Thanks again to our customers and team for helping us reach this amazing milestone and helping us to be the best we can be.

    Click here to read the full press release

  • 22 June 2020 2:49 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Message from the AWBP Chair, Andrew Swayne

    I am pleased that opening of retail started today and wish all in that sector a safe opening and good footfall. I managed to walk around Shoreham at lunch time today and was pleased to see a lot of activity in the sunshine.

    We continue to see small steps on re-opening, and it seems to me that there is more listening to science in No10 than there was a few weeks ago, but also a lot of pressure to reduce from 2m – we will see how that plays out.

    When it comes to things local, I am pleased to see many things were approved by the Joint Strategic Committee of the Councils last Tuesday.

    It’s good that we have two schemes in the West Sussex application of pop-up cycle-ways and I hope they are approved quickly. One thing I like about the funding, is that it will be taken away if the scheme is not started within 4 weeks. These schemes are a good start – they need executing well so we earn the right to ask for more. It will be interesting to see how they work in practice.

    There is still far too little on what the “new normal” will be. I did take a few hints from Lord Grimstone – BEIS/DIT Minister for Investment in a webinar I joined last Wednesday. My notes – not direct quotes.

    Let’s hope retail recovery has a good first week and we hear more on how hospitality will open up so that sector can properly plan. If you can – buy local – we need to look after each other.

    Let’s also hope that the secondary school reopen for years 10 and 12 is successful – I know there has been a lot of planning for this in all the schools and colleges.

    Please keep the feedback coming to 

Don't miss out on our upcoming events! Click here to book your next event now

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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