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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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  • 22 June 2020 2:17 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Vital services to benefit from funding from Adur District Council

    Several local voluntary sector organisations delivering vital services to support residents during the Covid-19 pandemic have been awarded funding - totalling almost £22,000 - from the Adur Community Grant. 

    Each year, Adur District Council awards funding to not-for-profit organisations working for the benefit of Adur. This year, funding has been prioritised for groups whose work supports residents affected by Coronavirus.  

    Recipients of the award include groups providing bereavement and counselling services, support for victims of domestic abuse and those experiencing isolation and mental health issues, and essential transport and delivery services for local residents. 

    Councillor David Simmons, the Council’s Executive Member for Health & Wellbeing, said: 

    “After carefully considering which members of our community have been most adversely affected by Covid-19, we have awarded funding to a number of groups that are supporting families in crisis and vulnerable residents, to enable them to continue their vital work at this challenging time.”

    Among the recipients are Time To Talk Befriending (TTTB), which supports people over the age of 65 who are experiencing loneliness, are living with dementia, or are in crisis because they do not have access to food. TTTB will receive £2,000 towards the costs of running a telephone befriending service and providing emergency food and supply packages to vulnerable residents.

    Worthing-based group The Daisy Chain, which provides pro bono services to men and women experiencing or fleeing domestic abuse, will receive £1,500 to enable them to support victims of domestic violence during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

    A grant of £5,000 has also been awarded to Community Transport Sussex to support them to provide transport for local residents to attend essential hospital appointments, assist with food parcel deliveries, and transport the children of key workers to and from school. 

    The Community Hub which provides support services to families in need across Shoreham, Southwick and Fishersgate, will receive £1,860. 

    The remaining recipients are Apron, Cruse Bereavement Services, Homestart, The As You Are Centre and VivaActive.

    There will be a further opportunity later this year for local groups to apply to the Adur Community Group for funding for projects that are supporting residents during the pandemic. 


  • 22 June 2020 2:12 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Councils promote schemes to help Adur and Worthing bounce back from lockdown

    Adur & Worthing Councils today sent out a powerful message that they are backing a bounce back of the local economy with a range of initiatives.

    In total the Councils’ Joint Strategic Committee (JSC), voted through 12 measures in a single meeting which aim to give a post-lockdown boost to construction, retail, the environment and health.

    Among the projects voted on were plans for the establishment of high powered Citizens’ WiFi, the construction of a new NHS health hub, the procurement of electric vehicle charging points, decontamination work at the site of Decoy Farm in Worthing for industrial use, the widening of Widewater Bridge in Lancing and major enhancement works on Portland Road in Worthing town centre.

    Leader of Worthing Borough Council, Cllr Dan Humphreys, said, ‘Obviously our economies have taken a severe blow during lockdown, the full implications of which we won’t know for some time. 

    However we will do whatever we can to help our communities recover and these projects are ambitious in scope, ranging from clean growth initiatives to the promotion of new business, and show we and our partners are serious in leading from the front to promote a bounce back.’

    Leader of Adur District Council, Cllr Neil Parkin, said, ‘We want to join with others in rebuilding confidence in our local economies and these initiatives begin to address that.

    Some we’ve been working on for a while and others are new but we are determined to bring real impetus to all of the schemes. I want to see us being bold in vision and speedy in delivery.’

    In the coming months the Councils’ have pledged to keep initiatives aimed at rebuilding business and community confidence coming. Last night at the meeting of the JSC the Executive of both Councils voted to:

    • Approve a £3.7m budget to create a Councils’-owned Citizen Wifi network using ultrafast internet access across public buildings and spaces putting Adur and Worthing in really strong positions to innovate in high street renewal, tourism, creative and digital arts, local business growth and to provide essential access to the digitally excluded.
    • Adopt a comprehensive Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan including the creation of new cycle and walking paths after a public consultation revealed high levels of support from the public.
    • Work with West Sussex County Council to identify sites in Councils’ owned sites in Adur and Worthing for the installation of Electric Vehicle charging stations widely accessible network across the county
    • Commit to decontamination work, funding by almost £5m from the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership, at the former landfill site at Decoy Farm in Worthing to prepare for the creation of new employment opportunities
    • Contribute more than £100,000 to a scheme to widen the Widewater Bridge in Lancing to improve access for cyclists, pedestrians and the disabled.
    • To fund a major renovation of the Buckingham Street multi-storey car park costing more than £4m to create improved parking and a longer life span for the facility as plans to demolish the Grafton Car Park in the town centre to create retail and employment opportunities move forward.
    • To move to the development stage of the £34m Worthing Integrated Care Centre to be built on the Town Hall car park providing state-of-the-art NHS primary care services under one roof. (see picture attached)
    • To deliver a £600,000 scheme to landscape Portland Road making it more shopper friendly with tree planting and possible alfresco refreshments opportunities.
  • 22 June 2020 2:03 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Coronavirus - could government support dampen innovation?

    Local businesses navigating the Coronavirus pandemic need to take stock of the best way ahead as the government prepares to reduce some areas of support.

    Sussex-based chartered accountants and business advisers, MHA Carpenter Box, say that while the headlines have been about a gradual rolling back of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), which closes at the end of June for new applicants, government loan schemes could act as a dampener on future innovation.

    “The focus has been on reducing support for CJRS, but HMRC has also confirmed that receiving a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) or a Bounce Back Loan could disqualify an SME for all R&D tax relief,” says Andrew Neuman, Client Service Director at MHA Carpenter Box.

    “This presents many SMEs with a dilemma if R&D tax relief is a vital tool to maintaining adequate cashflow, especially for start-ups. However, if businesses lack sufficient cash reserves to survive, then CBILS may be the only option and they will need to forego the benefits of the R&D incentive.

    “However, not all is entirely lost, because it will still be possible for businesses using CBILS support to access R&D relief under the R&D Expenditure Credit (RDEC) scheme as this is not classed as state aid.”

    RDEC provides 10p tax relief for every pound of qualifying spend, although it is significantly less generous than R&D tax relief, which offers 25p in the pound if the company makes a profit, and 33p if it makes a loss.

    Andrew Neuman continued: “Unfortunately, for many companies it’s a question of taking a loan to stay in business and foregoing the benefit of R&D tax incentives. The concern is that once the pandemic abates and businesses begin to recover, the legacy of today’s vital government support could be to dampen innovation at a time when we most need it as a nation.

    “It is, therefore, vital to take appropriate professional advice on this area as the EU state aid rules and restrictions are extremely complicated.”

    For further information on planning for the post Coronavirus era go to MHA Carpenter Box’s dedicated Coronavirus business information hub via www.carpenterbox.com/coronavirus .


  • 22 June 2020 1:57 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    West Sussex County Council Coronavirus Update

    Dear residents and partners,

    We’d like to start this week’s update with a reminder that from Monday 15 June passengers will need to wear a face covering on public transport. Exemptions to the rule include young children, disabled people and those with breathing difficulties. The government has issuedadvice on face coverings and also updated its FAQs as to what you can and cannot do at this time of the outbreak – please take a look.

    Continuing on the theme of transport, this week we announced that the government has awarded a £9.8million boost for improving West Sussex Highways’ road network. This is on top of the £8million worth of road resurfacing/pothole prevention works already planned for this financial year.

    We have another important transport update below which you should read if you have a bus pass, or know someone who has.

    Next week we will start to see more activity on our high streets and in our town centres as non-essential shops begin to re-open. Like every part of the UK, our county’s businesses and economy have been badly impacted by coronavirus. Please help support your local place by shopping local and helping West Sussex not only recover, but thrive again.

    Also happening next week is Sussex Day – more on this below.

    Finally, looking back at Volunteers’ Week, we'd just like to say another HUGE thank you to everyone who has responded to COVID-19 to help others. We've been physically apart, but the county’s coming together has been amazing.

    Keep safe and thank you for your continued support.
  • 22 June 2020 1:43 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Free citizen WiFi for Adur and Worthing on its way

    Ambitious plans to roll out free Citizen WiFi across Adur and Worthing could see ultrafast internet coming to town centres next year.

    The investment in gigabit ultrafast infrastructure by Adur & Worthing Councils is the next stage of a pioneering project to make the area one of the most digitally connected places in the south east.

    The first phase - the commercial roll out of gigabit speed internet to homes and businesses by Cityfibre - is progressing well with more than 3,000 properties already connected.

    Now the Councils are focussing on extending this digital highway to public places, with the creation of a publicly-owned high-speed network that will allow people to connect on the go.

    It will also support the development of an Internet of Things network - where computers can safely connect without human input - which could support businesses and the wider community bounce back from COVID-19. 

    Examples of how this could be used include digital parking and cycle spaces which signal to users when they are empty, smart bins that send a message to waste teams when they are nearly full and interactive public art, which responds to users when they pass by.

    Cllr Angus Dunn, Adur District Council’s Executive Member for Resources, said: “A fast, secure connection to the internet is central to 21st Century living - and there’s no doubt it will have even greater importance for the post COVID-19 world as digital connectivity plays a greater part in all our lives. That’s why I am delighted to see us take this next step in creating world class digital infrastructure for our communities.”

    Cllr Edward Crouch, Worthing Borough Council’s Executive Member for Digital & Environmental Services, said: “A publicly owned council-run Citizen WiFi network for residents and visitors is the next stage of our ambitious plans to make Worthing one of the most digitally connected places in the region.

    “Once up and running, it could have a transformative impact on our communities, supporting innovation in high street renewal, tourism, and creative and digital arts. It will also help businesses grow and to provide essential access to the digitally excluded. These are all benefits that I’m sure will be welcomed by all.”

    Approval to release funding to support the Citizen WiFi project was agreed at the recent meeting of the Councils’ Joint Strategic Committee (June 9, 2020).

    The scheme will build on the ongoing programme to install fibre at 83 of the Councils’ assets over the next two to three years. Construction work is being aligned to Cityfibre’s fibre to the home programme. 

    The next stage for Citizen WiFi will be a Design Lab exercise, which will involve research and discussion with retailers, shoppers, visitors, freelancers, the digitally excluded and other user groups to ensure it meets all of their needs.

    The findings will then support the installation of a series of access points across the area to ensure full coverage for residents and visitors in town centres, open spaces and community buildings.

    The network infrastructure will be owned by the Councils giving it greater control over costs and uses, as well as supporting innovation in the future.

    The whole project - including the rollout of gigabit infrastructure to Council buildings - has been supported by contributions from West Sussex Business Rate Pool (£1.25 million) and Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership (£676,500). 

    Further funding could come from sponsorship although the Councils agreed that the network will remain free to use by all.

  • 22 June 2020 12:41 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Employment law update and HR news from Acas South East

    Workplace news

    NHS test and trace guidance for the workplace: the Department of Health and Social Care have published guidance on the NHS test and trace service which explains how employers and workers can play their part. The guidance provides an overview of how the system works and how it can impact on the workplace...read more.

    NHS test and trace: workplace guidance.

     

    EHRC guidance - ‘Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for employers’: the guidance provides examples of particularly risky decisions, such as deciding which employees are asked to work from home, who to furlough, who to make redundant, or who to ask to take front-line roles. The EHRC has also updated its guidance...read more

    EHRC guidance - ‘Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for employers.

     

    Updated coronavirus (COVID-19) - advice for employers and employees: we now have a dedicated coronavirus advice landing page which features all the advice we have around coronavirus including, working safely, furlough and pay, holiday and leave, sick pay for self isolation, mental health and more...read more.

    Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice for employers and employees.

    Upcoming digital training events                    

    07/07 Managing discipline and grievance

    09/07 Employment law update

    10/07 Transition from lock down: key employment considerations

    14/07 Employment law update

    15/07 Redundancy - getting it right

    16/07 Managing discipline and grievance

    17/07 Employment law update

    23/07 Transition from lock down: key employment considerations

    24/07 Redundancy - getting it right

    27/07 Managing discipline and grievance          

              View all events



  • 15 June 2020 12:11 PM | Tracie Davey (Administrator)

    Update from Adur & Worthing Council

    Dear Business Owner

    We know that the last three months will have been among the most challenging that you have faced due to the COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent lockdown. With the government now indicating that these restrictions are slowly being lifted, I know many of you will be focusing your attention on recommencing your trading operations.

    As many of you will be aware, on Monday 15 June our town and village centres will start to re-open, as shops selling non-essential goods are allowed to begin trading again.

    The government has clearly set out that businesses are required to ensure adequate safety measures are in place that adhere to UK government guidelines and display a downloadable notice to reassure customers around COVID secure guidance and safety.

    Retailers will also need to take certain steps to protect customers and staff, including limiting the number of customers allowed inside at one time, placing protective coverings on large items which may be touched by passing shoppers, and frequently checking and cleaning objects and surfaces. This also includes maintaining socially distanced queues outside your premises so they do not negatively impact other businesses and passing pedestrians.

    We know that adapting to this “new normal” will take time to bed in. To help, we have collated a range of information and advice from trusted sources on our website which can be accessed at www.adur-worthing.gov.uk/coronavirus/business-advice. Our Public Health & Regulation team is also on hand to answer any specific queries on risk assessments that you may have.

    At Adur & Worthing Councils we want to make sure that we continue to support your business and the town centres as a whole. We are working with partners, such as West Sussex County Council, Worthing TCI, Sussex Police and traders’ organisations, to make sure our town centres and urban areas are not only safe but also welcoming.

    You may have noticed additional signage appearing in our town centres. This is to help guide pedestrian flow and further remind our communities and visitors of the need to stay safe through socially distancing.
    As our retail re-opens and lockdown eases we are aware that footfall within our town centres will increase. As a result we are implementing a number of temporary measures as a part of the larger Safer Town Centres initiative, such as the widening of pavements through on-road parking suspensions and temporary road closures.

    Finally, I want to say thank you for your ongoing support to our town centres which really are the beating heart of our communities. If the last few months have underlined anything it is the importance of working together. So if there are any issues or concerns that you may have around this important issue then please do get in touch.

    Wishing you all the best for the foreseeable future.
    Tina Favier
    Acting Director  for Housing and Wellbeing

    Andy Willems
    Head of Place & Economy

  • 15 June 2020 10:13 AM | Tracie Davey (Administrator)

    Guidance to help employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic.

    Change made to guidance:
    Shops and branches – Updated to reflect industry feedback, updated guidance on managing product handling and returns, guidance ontest and trace service, guidance on safer travel and to provide guidance on managing security risks.

    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19

     
  • 15 June 2020 9:02 AM | Tracie Davey (Administrator)

    Stay Safe , Support Local, Shop Local
    Colonnade House  will be limiting visitors and staying Covid-19 secure, so you can be confident about coming to see us. We will be opening along with many other town centre businesses.
     
    #openforbusiness 
    #worthingtowncentre 
    #timeforworthing

    FIND OUT MORE




    GroundDog Day

    From Monday 15 - Saturday 20 June
    John Bond's exhibition will be open from 10.00 - 17.00!!

    So if you are in need of bold and playful dog-themed art, step into John's world of Dawgmented Reality and get some light relief to brighten your day.

    As well as prints, we have an incredibly long sausage dog on display - can you guess how long it is? The winner will get a free print.

    You can also get a glimpse of John's new Mini Rabbit adventure Mini Rabbit Must Help  in the decorated
    windows of our studio gallery. Th
    is is John's second children's book and will be published soon


    Tom Gillham: Breaking Boxes

    23 June - 4 July // Opening hours tbc // Free entry

    Next up, Tom Gillham brings us a collection of expressive paintings created as part of his MA Fine Art at University of Brighton. His work moves easily between figurative and abstract styles and are created through spontaneous mark-making in a range of mediums. 
    Tom is influenced by painter Frank Bowling, the first black British artist elected as a Royal Academician, and he emulates the  'poet of paint' with layers and washes of paint which fragment his figures and transform his landscapes into colourful ‘mindscapes’.

    Commit to Culture - Adur & Worthing Trust logo / Worthing BC logo

  • 12 June 2020 9:15 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Get your business going after lockdown with Two-Way radio solutions

    So, you are responsible for sorting out social distancing in your workplace, for your employees and your customers. You have thought about two-way radio communications, you would be right. Walkie talkies are the perfect communication solution to social distancing in the workplace. It is a cost effective way to keep communication between employees. Stay connected with your team.

    Easy to use, No personal calls, No screens to be distracted, No call costs, No installation fee. Only hire what you need, Next day delivery. Radios can be disinfected. Two-way radios can be operated ‘hands free’ with an earpiece for each member of your team

    Sussex Communications are experts in Two-way radio and can provide all the assistance you need to have you up and running straight away.

    01903 810 366 or email sales@sussexcomms.co.uk www.sussexcomms.co.uk


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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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