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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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  • 14 May 2020 10:17 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Transition from lock down: Key employment considerations for workplaces

    Acas have put together a new digital training session designed to address the key issues that employers are facing in navigating from lock down through to transition and beyond.

    These sessions will be delivered by Zoom, with small delegate numbers to allow the opportunity to ask questions of our knowledgeable advisers and to also allow for delegates to share their own experiences and explore the key issues they may be facing. Book your place now!

    08th June - 10am till 12pm

    16th June - 10am till 12pm

    24th June - 10am till 12pm

    3rd July - 10am till 12pm

  • 14 May 2020 10:00 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Applications for Self-Employed Income Support Scheme open early

    The government’s world-leading scheme to support the self-employed has today opened for claims – weeks ahead of schedule.

    • Self-Employment Income Support Scheme opens for applications today
    • those eligible will receive government grant worth up to £7,500
    • money expected to be in bank accounts by 25 May

    From 8am this morning self-employed individuals or members of partnerships whose business has been adversely affected by coronavirus will be able to apply for a Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant worth 80% of their average monthly trading profits.

    Millions are expected to benefit from the scheme with the payments – to be paid in a single instalment covering three months and capped at £7,500 – expected to land in bank accounts within six working days of each claim.

    Everyone eligible for the SEISS, which is one of the most generous support schemes announced by any government in response to coronavirus, will be able to receive the government grant by 25 May, or within six days of a completed claim.

    The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, said:

    "We’re working ahead of time to deliver support to the self-employed and from today, applications open for the millions of people eligible for the scheme.

    "With payments arriving before the end of this month, self-employed across the UK will have money in their pockets to help them through these challenging times."

    From today, people will be able to make their claim on a specified date between 13-18 May, based on their Unique Tax Reference number. HMRC has assigned eligible self-employed individuals a specific date to apply on and this can be checked on HMRC’s online checker.

    The SEISS it part of a comprehensive package of support for self-employed people, including Bounce Back loans, income tax deferrals, rental support, increased levels of Universal Credit, mortgage holidays and the various business support schemes the government has introduced to protect businesses during this time.  

    Derek Cribb, CEO of IPSE (the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed) said:

    "For the self-employed, Coronavirus is not only a health crisis, but also a pressing income crisis. It is therefore very welcome that the Government has managed to get this new scheme in place ahead of schedule, and that a section of the freelance community can now get the help they need early. We are delighted that the government has heeded much of IPSE’s advice by setting up the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, which extends a much-needed lifeline to those self-employed people who are eligible for it."

    Mike Cherry, National Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said:

    "The self-employment income support scheme represents a lifeline for the millions of self-employed people who are expected to qualify. I would encourage all those who think they are eligible to use the online checker if they’ve not done so yet, and to apply on the date allocated.

    "We are particularly pleased to see the scheme opening earlier than scheduled, with a simple fast-track application and a promise for speedy payment. Getting the system designed and built ahead of schedule is impressive. Just like the Job Retention Scheme portal we hope it will cope with the high expected demand. I would like to pay tribute to the staff of HMRC for the behind the scenes work to get this scheme off the ground."

    Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the Federation of Master Builders said:

    "The self-employed account for 40% of the construction workforce so the government’s decision to bring forward the payment to the end May will be very welcome news for the many independent tradespeople who operate in construction. The government’s support package to date has been targeted at businesses so the self-employed will be welcoming this cash boost at a time when they need it most."

  • 13 May 2020 11:37 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Ministerial thanks after £25 million in business support grants paid out

    Business secretary Alok Sharma has praised Adur & Worthing Councils for distributing more than £25 million of COVID-19 business support grants - and now urging those eligible but yet to claim to come forward to receive vital funds.

    With hundreds of firms and community groups impacted by lockdown, the Councils have acted fast to ensure all those eligible receive grants of up to £25,000 to support them in this difficult time.

    At the end of last week all of the 2,100 organisations who have submitted their details to the Councils have been paid.

    However, records show there are still about 400 eligible organisations who have been contacted but are yet to come forward to receive this vital lifeline. These include community groups, charities and sports clubs, as well as firms which have business rate accounts but do not pay any rates.

    Business Secretary Alok Sharma said: “Small business owners up and down the country are facing challenges on a scale never seen before and the financial support package we have put in place reflects that.

    “I am extremely pleased to see that Adur and Worthing businesses have already received grants totalling over £25 million and I thank the Councils for their hard work. I urge any business that believes it is eligible, but has yet to be contacted by their local authority, to make themselves known to them through the Councils’ website.”

    Adur and Worthing were among the first authorities in Sussex to start distributing government COVID-19 support scheme funds to eligible businesses.

    Qualifying small organisations (such as those receiving Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate) will receive a grant of £10,000 while operators in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors will receive grants of up to £25,000 providing their rateable value does not exceed £51,000.

    Letters to about 2,500 eligible firms across Adur and Worthing were distributed a fortnight ago, directing company owners to complete an easy-to-use online form on the Councils website.

    Those who are yet to come forward have been written to again, with teams following these up with phone calls and emails in the coming days.

    The Councils scheme involves a three stage process. First businesses are asked to check their eligibility and then gather all relevant information before completing an online form on the Councils website. A confirmation email will then be received. After a short vetting process, those eligible will receive notification a payment will be made.

    Payments can only be made to the registered ratepayer for the eligible organisation.

    A Councils spokesman said: “We know this government funding is a vital lifeline to businesses during these difficult times which is why we have worked so hard to process all the grants as quickly as possible.

    “All those eligible who have come forward have now received the grant. But there are still about 400 organisations with business rate accounts which have not yet come forward. So we encourage those organisations - such as community groups, sports clubs and charities - to check their eligibility so that all the allocated funds are distributed to those in need.

    “We are also pleased to announce that, following government guidance, in the coming weeks we will be opening the pot up to those smaller firms which have perhaps fallen through the net.”

    “We are also pleased to announce that, following government guidance, we will be opening the pot up to those smaller firms which have perhaps fallen through the net in the coming weeks.”

    Following new government guidance, the Councils are also working up plans to widen out the grant support to additional smaller businesses which have seen a significant drop of income due to Coronavirus restriction measures. 

    Full details on who is eligible will be provided after further information is received by Whitehall.

    For more details visit: www.adur-worthing.gov.uk/coronavirus/business-support.

  • 07 May 2020 2:07 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    ViiSana Ltd joins the Meyado Group

    ViiSana Ltd today announced that it had joined the Meyado group, an internationally renowned financial services provider operating since 1993 in the UK, Europe and Asia.

    All ViiSana’s clients have transferred to Meyado, along with their management team, support teams, and most of their sales team. The new business will trade as Meyado Protect Ltd and will continue to be based from ViiSana’s existing office in Worthing.

    ViiSana began in 2015, aiming to blend high levels of service coupled with innovative products. Their strategic partnership with Vitality achieved this, enabling rapid growth to quickly become one of Vitality’s largest and most successful Exclusive Associates. Along the way, they were recognised within their local business community for their success with awards including ‘Best New Business’ at the Sussex Business Awards, ‘Small Company of the Year’ at the Gatwick Diamond Business Awards, and ‘Company of the year’ at the Adur & Worthing Business Awards.

    Mark Paine, Meyado’s CEO said “we are delighted to welcome ViiSana’s clients and team to our family of businesses. During our early conversations, the similarities between our cultures struck me, and we now look forward to continuing to serve our customers with the same focus on quality and service”.

    Meyado’s considerable success has been achieved across more than 25 countries and regions, with experienced advisers representing North America, Europe, South America, Africa, Asia and Australasia. Their main offices are in London, Singapore and the Philippines and with a strong British heritage their focus is now firmly set on growing their UK market share. Their goal is to become one of the UK’s leading independently owned financial services providers with a client centric and unbiased approach.

    The news will be welcomed by ViiSana’s clients because they can now benefit from an extended range of service solutions, from reviewing personal pensions, investments and mortgages, through to the insurance proposition that was previously provided.

    Meyado Protect is open and fully operational during the current challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic. Their team of advisers are ready to speak to anyone who needs advice on their existing life or health insurance or who is interesting in exploring options to take new cover. The team can be contacted on:

    Telephone:           01273 461468

    Email:                   protection@meyado.com

    Web:                     www.meyadoprotect.com

  • 07 May 2020 1:12 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Social Distancing and Safety Signs from L&S Office Supplies

    With businesses looking to get back to work in the coming weeks, L & S Office Supplies have put together a brochure detailing social distancing and products to help with this.

    Provide a constant reminder to visitors to your premises with our wide selection of social distancing and safety signage. Social Distancing and Safety Signs are a simple way to communicate instructions to visitors, whether in the supermarket, pharmacy, bank, pet shop, post office, petrol station, vets or health care providers or other essential premises putting these simple measures in place will help provide direction to the general public.

    Our signs are available in a wide range of materials making them quick and easy to install. From floor graphics, wall signs and entrance signs, we have worked hard to develop a range which we know will suit most businesses needs and help them to advise visitors to their sites to adhere to staying 2m / 6ft apart. In addition to social distancing signs, we also offer a range of hand hygiene signs as well as stencils and floor markings.

    Click here to view the brochure

    www.lsoffice.co.uk


  • 07 May 2020 11:33 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Over 69,000 loans approved in the first day of the Bounce Back Loan Scheme

    More than 69,000 Bounce Back Loans worth over £2 billion have been approved during the first 24 hours of the scheme, the Chancellor has announced.

    The seven largest lenders (Barclays, Danske, HSBC, Lloyds, RBS, Santander and Virgin Money) received more than 130,000 Bounce Back Loan Scheme applications on the first day of the scheme (4 May). Over 69,000 of these have been approved on the first day, and lenders are working hard to process and approve the rest as quickly as possible.

    Bounce Back Loans are helping thousands of small firms get finance quickly at a low, affordable rate and with a 100% government-backed guarantee.

    The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, said:

    • Small businesses will be the driving force of our recovery from the pandemic, creating jobs and securing economic growth.
    • These loans will help them bounce back from this crisis - getting money fast - so it’s great to see more than 69,000 business benefitting in just the first day.
    • It’s vital this speedy progress continues in the days and weeks ahead.

    The Bounce Back Loan scheme is one part of the government’s package of business support that includes: £8 billion to pay the wages of furloughed staff at 800,000 firms, nearly 700,000 business properties benefiting from £8.6 billion of business grants, generous VAT deferrals and scrapping businesses rates.

    For more information on the Bounce Back Loans come along to our free Expert Hour with Barlcay's who will be covering; eligibility, how the scheme is access and what it involves. There will also be a chance for you to ask your questions. This event is on Thursday 14th May at 2:30pm. Click here to book your place now.

  • 07 May 2020 10:57 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Recovery Planning - Have your say - An Update from AWBP Chair, Andrew Swayne

    Recovery planning continues to be the focus as we look forward. Whilst there is much detail to come as well as sequence from the Government (promised on Sunday). From the various sources, my initial observations are as follows:

    • It's good that the planning is based on type of workplace rather than sector
    • PPE will be a hot spot – its availability for non-medical/care settings is probably on the critical path to the ability to return to work – the three things which I have identified are masks, gloves and hand sanitiser. Sensible prices will also be important – profiteering is unacceptable. There will also be a large waste stream to manage
    • Flexible working will be with us for some time so workplaces will be open for longer with less density in places like offices – businesses will also have to stay flexible until schools are full reopened – how the government phases this is also one of the big open questions
    • For Adur and Worthing, the gigabit investment should be an advantage as we recover and reduce the pressure on our residents to commute – I believe this will become an increasingly important differentiator for us
    • It looks like the lobbying on horticulture to stop the plants dying is working and let’s hope locally grown plants are more easily available.

    This week some thoughts for our hospitality sector. It’s probably the hardest hit and will take the longest time to recover. When things do relax, let's focus on buying local. As less people commute, it will generate new opportunities. 

    The travel business, including that which surrounds Gatwick is important for people coming into the UK and turning south to spend the money along the coastal strip in our hospitality offerings, heritage and our great landscape. On your behalf we will be supporting the push for support and recovery to Crawley and Gatwick. Clearly last week’s British Airways news and this week’s Virgin Atlantic news are of great concern.

    Thanks to those who have provided feedback on what we need from the government and what we can do to help. Please have your say in this survey which the AWBP will use in their feedback to Government. 

    www.awbp.co.uk 

  • 07 May 2020 9:49 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    An update from Nordell Ltd 

    Nordell is one of the UK’s leading independent Plastics Manufacturing and Design refinement companies based in Worthing, West Sussex and offering a comprehensive range of Dedicated Services to complement our core Plastic Injection moulding and Extrusion manufacturing business. Nordell are proud and active members of Worthing and Adur Chamber.

    The current Covid-19 situation has certainly produced several challenges for Paul Mason, Nordell Managing Director and his 80 strong team; “Never in our lifetime have we experienced such a challenge to human health and the economy”

    Nordell has remained fully operational as an essential business manufacturing parts for vital sectors such as medical and pharmaceutical, however with a significant change to our working practices. We reacted very quickly and implemented new working controls ahead of the UK Governments advice; this included temperature checking employees on arrival (giving a huge sense of security to the team), ensuring sufficient distancing in the work space and rest spaces, reorganising the working week and more than doubling access to hand sanitisation to name but a few. Where we have team working at home, we are maintaining a high level of communication through twice daily check-in’s on Microsoft Teams; a valuable an interesting technology especially for the nosey ones who have enjoyed checking out small snippets of their colleagues homes!

    We received more than a dozen letters from our customers advising Nordell of the “essential” nature of the parts we produce. Nordell has a diverse customer base, however most of the parts we manufacture, and supply are used in the production of Healthcare, medical, pharmaceutical and Food processing equipment; some directly going into critical ventilator systems.

    When the UK Government raised their concern over the shortfall of ventilators required in the fight against Covid-19, we engaged with some of our local manufacturing counterparts in the Worthing and Adur Chamber to put a proposal together for the manufacture of ventilators using our combined skills. This never progressed following the UK Governments award of contracts to several very capable and significant UK manufactures. The exercise was very useful though, as it proved how local businesses could collaborate in times of crisis.

    As for Nordell’s business, we must count ourselves lucky that we have managed to maintain our business and in fact are still managing to grow despite the challenges. It’s true that we have seen huge growth in accounts where our parts are used in the Covid-19, whilst other accounts have seen a significant decline as they are directly linked to the retail sectors. We have been able to keep the whole team working; however, a significant amount of time has been spent reviewing the various Government support options and reviewing our risk exposure. Our heartfelt thoughts go out to all the Adur & Worthing & Global businesses who have been impacted through no fault of their own. I am sure somewhere there are some learnings to come from the current situation and we must all remain positive about the future.

    Our membership of Worthing and Adur Chamber is very worthwhile. The Chamber are fantastic representatives for local businesses and can represent local business on a national level. We were able to join a Webinar in March with Tim Loughton; Conservative MP for East Worthing and Shoreham, organised by Worthing and Adur Chamber. When the UK Government initially announced the Lockdown of non-essential business, there was no mention of manufacturing being included on the essential or key workers list. The subject was raised with the Chamber, seeking clarification which was raised with Tim Loughton and then answered on the Webinar. Not long afterwards the Government clarified the position of UK manufacturing as “essential”.

    Despite all the significant challenges and the slightly quieter office, we have been able to use the time to review and focus on what matters most to all our stakeholders, by reviewing our structure and processes; getting back to basics to ensure we are LEAN and productive and not wasteful.

    Returning to full normality seems a long way off, however, hopefully we will all be able to return to some sort of normality soon, albeit with significant additional controls. We will all learn from this experience and come out stronger for it.

    www.nordell.co.uk

  • 07 May 2020 9:40 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Worthing Theatres and Museum launch short story competition themed around the mysterious ‘Highdown Goblet’.
     
    As part of their aim to continue engaging the local community in arts and culture during the covid lockdown, Worthing Theatres and Museum have launched a short story competition for school children. They are asking children to write a short story suggesting how the ancient Highdown Goblet, part of the WTM collection, came to be buried at Highdown Hill!
     
    The Highdown Goblet is one of Sussex's great archaeological mysteries! Made in Egypt, but with Greek writing and found buried on the Sussex coast with a possibly Germanic settler. Mysterious right?
     
    So mysterious there are no definitive answers! So WTM are asking children to get creative and write a short story to explain how the fragile glass goblet ended up there. Was it bought and sold many times over, stolen or given as a gift to a weary traveller, or maybe there was magic, aliens or time travellers involved?
     
    Let your imagination run wild and create the most unique and magical story you can, don’t worry it doesn’t have to be historically accurate!
     
    More details on the Highdown Goblet and Highdown Hill can be found on their website at wtam.uk/stories/highdown-goblet-story/.
     
    Stories should be less than 500 words and winners will be selected from three age groups: 7 and under, 8-11, and 12-16. The closing date is Wednesday 3rd June 2020 and winners will receive 4 tickets to the family show of their choice! Entries can be emailed to marketing@wtam.uk.
     
    Find out more about the competition on their website at wtam.uk/stories/highdown-goblet-story/. Entries can be submitted via marketing@wtam.uk or via their social media @wtmworthing.

  • 05 May 2020 12:38 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    West Sussex County Council appeal for PPE

    West Sussex County Council is calling upon local businesses that may be able to supply or donate any personal protective equipment (PPE) to help protect frontline workers who are delivering essential services to residents during the coronavirus outbreak.

    A dedicated inbox has been set up for businesses who may be able to help – PPEOffers@westsussex.gov.uk. Further information on the appeal, including examples of what PPE are needed can be found here.



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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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