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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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  • 01 April 2020 9:21 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Coronavirus – an advisory webinar for employers 

    Acas hosted a webinar covering:

    ·        Steps that can help reduce the spread of the virus

    ·        Effective ways of communicating with employees

    ·        Self-isolating, time off, sickness certification and sick pay

    ·        Altering working hours, shift patterns and working arrangements

    ·        Remote working and the use of technology

    View the recording here 

  • 31 March 2020 9:14 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    New ‘Helping Hands’ service supports most isolated hospice patients

    St Barnabas House is piloting a new service, ‘Helping Hands’, which aims to provide social and practical support to hospice patients who don’t have a network of friends and family to help them during this unsettling and challenging time.

    In addition to doing everything they can to ensure hospice services at St Barnabas House continue to run as smoothly as possible, staff have rallied together to volunteer their time to support the new ‘Helping Hands’ initiative. From fundraising to finance, team members from across the organisation are helping deliver essential shopping, collecting prescriptions and delivering medication, as well as making friendly phone calls to keep in touch with patients and help tackle loneliness.

    St Barnabas House employee, Claudia Pearce, works in the fundraising team but is now also helping deliver food shopping to patients.

    Claudia says, “It’s really nice to do something positive and help vulnerable patients in this uncertain time. In my last shop, I couldn’t get loo roll, so I popped some in the bag from home as I didn’t want anyone to be without!”

    In just one week, over 77 referrals have been made to support the hospice’s most isolated patients, with the service initially piloting with men and women who usually attend the Day Hospice once a week for social activities, respite care and emotional support.

    Day Hospice patient, Don Pearman, aged 88, lives alone in Worthing and is benefitting from weekly welfare chats.

    Don says, “Thank you for all that you are doing for me. I do miss my visits to Day Hospice, but roll on the day when I can return to St Barnabas, my second home.”

    Whilst the St Barnabas Day Hospice, hospice café and retail outlets have closed following government advice, other front line hospice services continue to run as usual, with some added measures in place.

    Rosemarie Finley, CEO at St Barnabas House, says, “Our priority remains with our patients and their families and we are doing everything within our power to ensure as many hospice services continue as possible.

    “As well as the new Helping Hands service, outpatient appointments, therapy services, community palliative care team and Hospice at Home visits are currently still continuing, but with pre-visit calls to ensure patients aren’t experiencing any coronavirus symptoms and still wish to have a visit.

    “At the hospice itself, we have opened five new beds, bringing the total number to 25. People are still able to visit their loved ones (assuming they are not experiencing any coronavirus symptoms), but we have moved to essential visiting only and ask that only two visitors come at a time.

    “Thank you to everyone in the local community for your continued support. We have been extremely moved by your kind messages and offers of support during this difficult time.”

    The situation is changing all the time. For the most up-to-date information about St Barnabas House and Covid-19, please visit

  • 27 March 2020 10:58 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Councils to create neighbourhood teams for vulnerable 

    An unprecedented effort to co-ordinate help for the vulnerable during the coronavirus crisis is to be launched by Adur & Worthing Councils.

    Working with other authorities, including West Sussex County Council, the NHS and the voluntary sector the Councils are to create a network of support groups across Adur and Worthing. 

    These will help with practical tasks such as help with food such as delivering parcels, help to access health care as well as giving guidance on financial assistance or just to make contact.

    A survey of the population through an online form in district and borough is about to get underway which will ask a series of key questions with the aim of:

    • Understanding the extent of the numbers of vulnerable people living in our communities.
    • Prioritising and then delivering support to those deemed most in need.

    Vulnerable residents will be invited to fill in an online questionnaire or ring a telephone hotline and answer some basic questions about their situation.

    This week around 1.5 million extremely vulnerable people (which the government is calling the shielded) across the UK received letters from the NHS informing them of their status. They will be contacted directly by the government and West Sussex County Council to ascertain their needs. People who have not received a letter and but consider themselves extremely vulnerable should still register here

    However many others falling just outside this group may also have needs during the crisis and Adur & Worthing Councils are setting up neighbourhood groups across the community to coordinate support. Councils believe vulnerable people may be residents who are over 70, those living alone or caring for someone, those suffering acute isolation, financial hardship or are at risk of imminent homelessness or domestic violence.

    Within these groups the support will be focused most on those people who are living on their own and who are self-isolating at home, without support networks of friends and family.  Councils anticipate many needs will be around basic groceries and access to medicines.  

    In a joint statement the leader of Adur District Council, Cllr Neil Parkin and the leader of Worthing Borough Council, Cllr Daniel Humphreys, said, ‘Many extremely vulnerable people will have been directly contacted by letter telling them of the help that is available but there are many others who we need to talk to to find out the extent of the help they need.

    ‘By asking people to contact us and answer some simple questions we can begin to prioritise need and then by setting up these neighbourhood help structures we can begin to get support to them.

    ‘It is right and proper that our Councils lead the way on this but we will be working with voluntary groups and we will be asking for others to volunteer to help out efforts.'

    They added that they were extremely grateful for members of the community who are already out helping.

    Councils will appoint neighbourhood team leaders and ask for help from the voluntary sector and many of those groups that have arisen during the virus crisis so that a co-ordinated programme of help can be delivered backed by comprehensive information from the online and telephone surveys on who has the most need.

    Anyone who feels they may be in a vulnerable or who has a relative in such a position who is unable to help themselves can contact Adur & Worthing Councils in the following ways.

    After the answers are assessed those deemed in need of urgent support will be contacted by either by the neighbourhood team or by telephone

  • 27 March 2020 10:09 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    The Worthing Food & Drink Group 

    The Worthing Food & Drink Group was set up to share all the great places in Worthing to Eat & Drink, with over 6,000 members, if you are not a member please join our group, our local businesses need us more than ever  

    We now have an extensive list of businesses offering all kinds of delivery, you can find the main list  pinned to the top of the group on Facebook. Click here to see.

    Local businesses, as well as wholesalers, are offing goods such as Milk, Bread, Pasta, Fresh Veg. Below are a few of the businesses who are delivering currently. Please click here to see the full list.

    • Ashley James Meat Company
    • Adams Wholesale
    • Browns Seafood Sussex
    • Codon & Sons Greengrocers
    • Come Dine With You & Private Catering
    • Café Montague
    • Dave Brown & Son Family Butchers
    • Cob & Co
    • Coden & Sons
    • Grocery Runner
    • Kendricks Coffee
    • Giuseppes Lite
    • No Fuss Just Wines
    • Plxies Greengrocers
    • Shannons Ltd
    • Swandean Meats
    • Strand Pet Supplies
  • 27 March 2020 9:18 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Self-employment Income Support Scheme – Claim a grant through the coronavirus (COVID-19)

    Use this scheme if you're self-employed or a member of a partnership and have lost income due to coronavirus.

    Who can apply

    You can apply if you're a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership and you: 

    • Have submitted your Income Tax Self Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018-19
    • Traded in the tax year 2019-20
    • Are trading when you apply, or would be except for COVID-19
    • Intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020-21
    • Have lost trading/partnership trading profits due to COVID-19
    • Having trading profits/partnership trading profits in 2018-19 of less than £50,000 and these profits constitute more than half of your total taxable income
    • Having average trading profits in 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19 of less than £50,000 and these profits constitute more than half of your average taxable income in the same period

    Your self-employed trading profits must also be less than £50,000 and more than half of your income come from self-employment. This is determined by at least one of the following conditions being true:

    • Having trading profits/partnership trading profits in 2018-19 of less than £50,000 and these profits constitute more than half of your total taxable income
    • Having average trading profits in 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19 of less than £50,000 and these profits constitute more than half of your average taxable income in the same period

    If you started trading between 2016-19, HMRC will only use those years for which you filed a Self-Assessment tax return.

    If you have not submitted your Income Tax Self-Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018-19, you must do this by 23 April 2020.

    HMRC will use data on 2018-19 returns already submitted to identify those eligible and will risk assess any late returns filed before the 23 April 2020 deadline in the usual way.

    For further information visit:

  • 27 March 2020 8:56 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Check if you could be covered by the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

    If you and your employer both agree, your employer might be able to keep you on the payroll if they’re unable to operate or have no work for you to do because of coronavirus (COVID-19). This is known as being ‘on furlough’. Check if you are eligible below.

    You could get paid 80% of your wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, up to a monthly cap of £2,500.

    You’ll still be paid at least 80% of your wages by your employer and pay taxes from your income. You cannot undertake work for your employer while on furlough. We expect the scheme to be up and running by the end of April.

    Check if you’re eligible

    Both you and your employer must agree to put you on furlough - so speak to your employer about whether they can claim. You cannot apply for the scheme yourself. Once agreed your employer must write to you confirming you have been furloughed to be eligible to claim.

    Any UK employer with a UK bank account will be able to claim, but you must have been on your employer’s PAYE payroll on 28 February 2020. You can be on any type of contract, including a zero-hour contract or a temporary contract.

    This scheme does not apply if you are self-employed or to any income from self-employment.

    If you’re on sick leave or self-isolating because of coronavirus (COVID-19), speak to your employer about whether you’re eligible - you should get Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) while you are on sick leave or self-isolating, but can be furloughed after this.

    If you are shielding in line with public health guidance, then you should speak to your employer about whether they plan to place staff on furlough.

    The grant will start on the day you were placed on furlough and this can be backdated to 1 March.

    If you’re a public sector employee

    The government expects that the scheme will not be used by many public sector organisations, as the majority of public sector employees are continuing to provide essential public services or contribute to the response to the coronavirus outbreak.

    Where employers receive public funding for staff costs, and that funding is continuing, we expect employers to use that money to continue to pay staff in the usual fashion – and correspondingly not furlough them.

    This also applies to non-public sector employers who receive public funding for staff costs. Organisations who are receiving public funding specifically to provide services necessary to respond to COVID-19 are not expected to furlough staff.

    In a small number of cases, for example where organisations are not primarily funded by the government and whose staff cannot be redeployed to assist with the coronavirus response, the scheme may be appropriate for some staff.

    If you work for the public sector, you can get more information about how the scheme works for you from your UK Government Department, employer or, in the case of employers funded by the Scottish Government, Welsh Government or Northern Ireland Executive, through your respective administration.

    If you were made redundant after 28 February

    Your employer can agree to re-employ you and place you on furlough instead. They’ll still be able to claim a grant to cover 80% of your monthly earnings, up to a monthly cap of £2,500.

    If you currently have more than one employer

    You can be put on furlough by one employer and continue to work for another, if it is permitted within your employment contract.

    If you’re put on furlough by more than one employer, you’ll receive separate payments from each employer. The 80% of your normal wage up to a £2,500 monthly cap applies to each job.

    If you are on Universal Credit

    If you’re earning less because you’re on furlough, your Universal Credit payment might change - find out how earnings affect your payments.

    If you are on Maternity Leave, contractual adoption pay, paternity pay or shared parental pay

    You must take at least 2 weeks Maternity Leave (4 weeks if you work in a factory or workshop) immediately following the birth of your baby. This is a health and safety requirement. In practice, most women start their Maternity Leave before they give birth and you may want to do this.

    If you are eligible for Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) or Maternity Allowance, the normal rules apply, and you will be entitled to claim up to 39 weeks of statutory pay or allowance.

    If you qualify for SMP, you will still be eligible for 90% of your average weekly earnings in the first 6 weeks, followed by 33 weeks of pay paid at 90% of your average weekly earnings or the statutory flat rate (whichever is lower). The statutory flat rate is currently £148.68 a week, rising to £151.20 a week from April 2020.

    Some employers ‘top up’ Statutory Maternity Pay and their employees are eligible for an enhanced, earnings related rate of pay. If you are eligible for enhanced (contractual) maternity pay from your employer this is included within the wage costs that your employer can claim through the scheme. The same principles apply if you qualify for contractual adoption pay, paternity pay or shared parental pay.

    If you are currently pregnant and due to start Maternity Leave

    You will start Maternity Leave as usual. If your earnings have reduced due to a period on furlough or statutory sick pay prior to your Maternity Leave starting this may affect your Statutory Maternity Pay. The same principle applies to contractual adoption pay, paternity pay and shared parental pay.

    How much you’ll get

    Your employer will get a grant to cover 80% of your monthly earnings, up to a maximum of £2,500. Firms will be eligible for the grant once you have been furloughed, from 1 March. Your employer:

    • will pay you at least 80% of your usual monthly earnings, up to a maximum of £2,500, as your wage
    • can claim for a minimum of 3 weeks and for up to 3 months - but this may be extended
    • can choose to pay you more than the grant - but they do not have to

    You’ll still pay Income Tax, National Insurance contributions and any other deductions from your wage.

    If you are concerned that your employer is not paying you what you are entitled to then you should raise this with your employer in the first instance, then with Acas (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service).

    How your monthly earnings are calculated

    If you’ve been employed (or engaged by an employment business in the case of agency workers) for a full year, employers will claim for the higher of either:

    • the amount you earned in the same month last year
    • an average of your monthly earnings from the last year

    If you’ve been employed for less than a year, employers will claim for an average of your monthly earnings since you started work. The same arrangements apply if your monthly pay varies such as if you are on a zero-hour contract.

    If you started work in February 2020, your employer will pro-rata your earnings from that month.

    Bonuses, commissions and fees are not included as part of your monthly earnings.

    While you’re on furlough

    Your employer will need to notify you before putting you on furlough.

    Once you are on furlough you will not be able to work for your employer, but you can undertake training or volunteer subject to public health guidance, as long as you’re not:

    • making money for your employer
    • providing services to your employer

    If workers are required to for example, complete training courses whilst they are furloughed, then they must be paid at least the NLW/NMW for the time spent training, even if this is more than the 80% of their wage that will be subsidised.

    Any activities undertaken while on furlough must be in line with the latest Public Health guidance during the COVID-19 outbreak.

    Your employer can still make you redundant while you’re on furlough or afterwards.

    Your rights as an employee are not affected by being on furlough, including redundancy rights.

    If your employer chooses to place you on furlough, you will need to remain on furlough for a minimum of 3 weeks. However, your employer can place you on furlough more than once, and one period can follow straight after an existing furlough period, while the scheme is open. The scheme will be open for at least 3 months.

    If you do not want to go on furlough

    If your employer asks you to go on furlough and you refuse you may be at risk of redundancy or termination of employment, depending on the circumstances of your employer. However, this must be in line with normal redundancy rules and protections.

    Information from Government website, click here to see the page.

  • 26 March 2020 1:06 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    COVID-19 WEBINAR: The vital Steps Businesses Need to Take Today

    Paul McCarthy from ActionCOACH will be hosting a webinar on Friday 27th March at 10am to help give business owners and leaders the confidence that they can survive and even thrive in the current economic environment caused by Covid-19.  There will be practical advice about how to negotiate the coming weeks and how to prepare and be ready for when the economy does come back.  Now is not the time to panic – it’s the time to think clearly about the actions you take

    Date and time: Friday 27th March | 10:00am - 11:00am 

    Click here to book your place.

  • 26 March 2020 1:02 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    West Sussex County Council has introduced a free dispensation notice for all NHS Staff which will be available from the parking shop.

    The dispensation will allow NHS staff to park in pay and display bays, permit bays, shared use bays and limited waiting bays without charge or limit, this will be valid for 12 weeks.

    Staff can email or leaving their contact details and a member of staff will contact the customer back to arrange where to send the dispensation to.

    In addition the borough council has suspended parking charges in Lyndhurst Road Car Parks for West Sussex Hospital staff providing a note is left in their windscreen.

  • 26 March 2020 12:45 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Working Remotely for Small Businesses

    This is changing times for all businesses, and for some this will be the first time that they have considered working remotely.  There are many tools available, and they all have their place.  It will be important to choose carefully which tools will give you and your business the best results.  All of the large providers will have similar offerings.  Although most large providers will be suitable for everyone it will personal preference that dictates which provider you choose.

    Available Resources

    Microsoft Office 365 Business Premium provides everything from video-conferencing to shared document libraries, and all systems integrate well.  Microsoft provide desktop versions and it is also possible to login and work directly online.

    Google’s offering is G-Suite and Apple uses features like ICloud and Facetime.  Think about what you need from your online resources, and the tasks you undertake most.

    Other resources to think about include Digital Dictation for workflow and leaving voice messages for other workers, Asana, Trello or Monday.Com for project management and task delegation, Microsoft Teams or Google Meet for real-time face to face meetings and video-conferencing.  Xero and Quickbooks are just some examples of online accounting systems which can be accessed by multiple staff members.  Your smart phone or call answering service.  For small businesses the greatness of all of these online accessible apps is that they are already set up and ready for businesses to use wherever they are, and they are ready for businesses to grow into and expand. They can be accessed through a smart phone just as easily as a laptop or desk-top PC.  If you plan on using your company’s domain name with any of the products and integrating your email it will be more important to choose one package for all features.  If this is something you are considering it is worth obtaining specific IT advice from a local company.

    Working from Home

    It can be easy to become distracted when working from home.  I like to work office hours 9:00-5:00 pm and set myself a lunch break.  I only have my work emails on my mobile and on my laptop, I keep my tablet free from work email, so that I can browse my personal email without being interrupted in the evenings, and so I feel like I have finished work for the day. I like to prioritise client care, paid work and strategic marketing.   When planning to work from home identify where you will work at home and how you can set this up to replicate an on-location work setting.  Invest in the right equipment, for example an office worker should consider a suitable desk, ergonomic office chair, and good quality monitor, as well as additional lighting and heating, even if that just means a desk lamp and a fan heater.

    Top Tips

    • 1.      Use the apps which best integrate with your infrastructure, large or small.  If you are a great fan of Apple products, these will integrate best into your business.  That said if all of your clients are on Android, look for something universal.
    • 1.      If remote working is going to be part of your business going forwards, opt for Business Packages, not home packages.
    • 2.      If you want to use your company’s domain name consider obtaining specific IT advice from a local company to make sure the products you choose will fit your goals.
    • 3.      Set yourself daily working hours and stick to them. 
    • 4.      Don’t do the washing or hoovering when you are supposed to be at work!
    • 5.      Identify your work priorities to ensure you achieve your business goals.
    • 6.      Write out a quick list of the tasks you need to action each day and work through them strategically, as if they were being given to you by a line manager.
    • 7.      Decide if you are going to work ‘over-time’ to complete them.
    • 8.      It is worth investing in an ergonomic work-station.

    Article written by Richenda Solomon from My PA Mobile Secretary 

  • 26 March 2020 11:38 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Keep your customers coming back!

    Some quick and easy ways to excel with your Customers

    Think about it, as a customer yourself, not only do you want a product or service that does what it promises, but you also expect a great experience during the whole buying/ownership process.

    People ultimately “buy into” people, therefore as business owners we need to create an “experience” that helps ensure that our customers keep coming back. It is one of the key differentiators between us and our competition!

    Here’s some quick and easy ways to excel with your customers:


    A smile costs nothing and is sure to make your customers feel welcome (even if you’re speaking to them on the phone, trust me, they’ll hear it!). It sets the tone of conversation, makes you approachable and lets customers know what they can expect.

    Communicate like a human being

    This sounds so obvious, but its easy to get into a set pattern of words or responses to customers questions or needs. Everyone is different, so treat them that way! Make sure you use their names, be polite, make some jokes, but most of all be conversational. Find out what they need and tell them how you can help.

    Respond promptly

    When a client emails you, acknowledge it as quickly as possible, even if you can’t answer it fully right now. You will give them comfort by simply acknowledging it and letting them know that “you’re on it”. Leaving your clients hanging is not good for business!

    Listen to your customers

    Find out what they want, what they need, what they expect. The easiest way to do this; Ask questions and listen. Be present, engage with them, give them the benefit of your full attention. Look them in the eye, connect with them as a person.

    Say thank you

    Thank you. So simple, but so powerful. It goes beyond simple courtesy. A thank you at the right time helps build trust, and trust is fundamental to any relationship, business or otherwise.

    And if something goes wrong…

    Take control. Apologise and work with the customer directly to resolve the problem to the customers satisfaction.

    If you would like help to develop your skills in this area please give me a call on 01273 35886 for a no obligations conversation or email me at

    Martin Smith Learning and Development Ltd is a management training and coaching company working with business leaders at all levels to help them develop their communication and management skills and to build effective working relationships with the people that they interact with. They can be contacted on 01273 358863 or via email at or via the web at

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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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