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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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  • 21 July 2020 10:55 AM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Productive Remote Working Through (and beyond) Covid 19

    The UK has been in lockdown from the Covid-19 pandemic since the 23rd March and the signs are that the lockdown is easing and businesses that haven’t been able to trade their way through the pandemic are now beginning to reopen.

    The entire working landscape has changed with businesses adapting to their workforce working from home and embracing collaborative tools and video-conferencing software to ensure continuity. There are concerns and a potential risk of a ‘second wave’ of the virus as people begin to leave the lockdown and unfortunately, a percentage of people failing to adhere to the ongoing social-distancing measures or the wearing of appropriate PPE.

    There are a number of key ways that businesses have adapted during the past few months and all businesses should ensure that they and their teams are fully equipped and ready to trade. We’ve listed what we think are the key tools to use, not only during a lockdown, but at any time as the ‘new’ way of working continues:

    Productivity & Collaboration Tools

    A number of technology/digital companies have long been advocates of online collaboration tools to ensure their work continues remotely.

    At 5 Rings, we are regular users of the Office 365 suite and have been using Microsoft Teams to run daily meetings and discussions between colleagues and departments – even our bi-weekly quiz is held on Teams! Our Digital Marketing department are also big advocates of a number of collaboration tools, such as Asana and Slack to collaborate and schedule workload.


    Yeah, of course it’s important to ensure your phone system is flexible and cloud-based. Having a single, on-premise phone is just not feasable in the current climate as customers and clients will still appreciate phone contact or to discuss work.

    VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocal) systems can be deployed and setup in minutes. All done remotely, through the cloud, with no hardware needed – we are biased being we offer that as a core service, but you really will notice the difference and embrace the current standard in telephony. Microsoft Teams also integrates with our VoIP systems, meaning greater connectivity with your phone system as well as your internal collaboration systems.

    Cloud Servers

    Before the lockdown, many SME’s were still utilising on-site or local storage for their emails, documents etc and found an issue with storing their work when not in the office. This is partly down to not having a reliable cloud-based server and additionally, a certain amount of distrust. In this current climate, a secure, cloud-based server or storage solution is one of the most important things you can have to run your business effectively. Cloud storage can masquerade in many forms – from simple desktop programs like Dropbox, or utilising storage through OneDrive or Google Drive. These are to deploy and can save you lots of time and stress, leaving you to concentrate on the important things – like running your business.

    Document Management

    Remember the days of having paperwork everywhere, files and folders cluttering up the office? Well for some it is a necessity but many have now switched their business to be almost entirely paperless. For businesses that have to be security and conscious of confidentiality, many online solutions are GDPR compliant, with Cyber Essentials & ISO27001 accreditations, so you know your documents are secure. Additional functions such as revision history and the ability for  multiple people to work on a document means your business becomes clearer of paperwork but doesn’t lose the security or collaborative aspects of a paper-filled world. For this, we recommend using Microsoft SharePoint, which comes with the Office 365 suite.

    Online Backup

    If you have anything stored digitally, it’s imperative you have an online backup. Automated online backup solutions can backup all data critical to a business. There are many solutions available to use, some of which integrate into Office 365. Having an online backup This secures all your emails, contacts and documents and protects you should there be an issue and you suffer any data loss, which can be crippling to a business.

    And one of massive importance…

    Anti-virus Solution

    Most people will already have this (or if using a company machine, their IT team will have ensured it does) but having a solid anti-virus solution on your IT network really is crucial. Working from home tends to be less secure than an office internet system and if people combine using their devices for both business and personal use, should a device become compromised by a virus this not only causes problems for the user, but for their company too as the virus can then spread easily to a connected server, putting any other users at risk. There’s a virus risk outside at the moment, don’t risk your IT network inside too! 

    0333 2200 555

  • 13 July 2020 2:28 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Register your business for the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme

    Businesses are encouraged to use the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme to offer a discount to diners and encourage them to eat at your restaurant.

    Businesses can use the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme:

    • all day, every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 3 to 31 August 2020
    • to offer a 50% discount, up to a maximum of £10 per person, to diners for food or non-alcoholic drinks to eat or drink in
    • to claim the money back from the government

    There is no limit to the number of times customers can use the offer during the period of the scheme. Customers cannot get a discount for someone who is not eating or drinking.

    Alcohol and service charges are excluded from the offer.

    Registration will close on 31 August.

    Click here for more information or to register your business

  • 13 July 2020 2:06 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Discretionary Grant Funding Round 2 now open until 19th July 

    Adur & Worthing Councils are pleased to offer a second round of the Discretionary Fund for any businesses in need and impacted by COVID-19 and who have not already received a government business grant.

    In Round 1 of the Discretionary Grants, Adur & Worthing Councils adopted the West Sussex County Councils' Discretionary Fund Guidelines. The guidelines were produced to ensure businesses in the most impacted sectors were provided most assurance of support. Whilst the Councils still use these guidelines when reviewing claims, during this round of funding, Adur & Worthing Councils are keen to receive applications from any business that can clearly evidence a significant impact from Covid. Whilst the Councils can not guarantee a grant will be awarded, as funding is limited, we welcome applications so we can review situations on a case by case basis. The process may also provide us an opportunity to support you in other ways.

    Click here for full information

  • 13 July 2020 1:57 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Message from the AWBP Chair, Andrew Swayne

    I hope that all those in the hospitality industry that have reopened in the past week have done so safely and successfully.  We all appreciate there has been challenging times and much learning will be happening over the next few weeks. The additional support from the Chancellor should also assist – let’s hope the new schemes and VAT change are easy to implement.

    We know from partners that the first weekend was generally successful for the local businesses -  which is an encouraging start.   

    It will be interesting to see how the relaxation on foreign travel develops to provide overseas tourist footfall.  

    When looking around the world including the UK, its wise to remember that lockdowns can happen very quickly in localities and we should all be working to minimise the chances of this happening in our area, but being prepared to react if we have to. From what I understand the Resilience Forums are well prepared for this, including potential second waves in the autumn. Lets all do our best to ensure it doesn’t happen in our area. 

    Clearly the recent announcements from the chancellor on home improvements are opportunities for some local businesses and for retraining. We wish all those in this sector a local success.  We will be looking at how ‘Buy Local’ can be communicated. 

    Now that we know the governments plans for school reopening in September it will be interesting to see how each school or college plans to meet the guidelines and how this impacts traffic flows in September.  As businesses we all need to know how this will affect our employees ability to work.

    Yesterday’s news from the Culture secretary will also help the leisure sector and give people an opportunity improve their well-being. I hope all the publicly supported and commercial provision can open on time to the maximum permitted capacity.

  • 13 July 2020 1:42 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Post-Lockdown programme to help bounce back unveiled by Adur & Worthing Councils

    A short, sharp programme of interventions and assistance to help the communities of Adur and Worthing bounce back from the impact of lockdown has been launched.

    Help for businesses, acceleration of building projects, aid for reskilling people who lose their jobs, helping local food production, expanding the ultrafast internet network, investing in renewable energy and developing walking and cycling plans are just some of the projects under consideration.

    Adur & Worthing Councils’ last night (Tuesday) backed the plan called ‘And Then: Bouncing Back in Post-Pandemic Adur and Worthing’. It brings forward some projects already on the Councils’ slate but also commits to quickly investigating other measures that might have communities recover.

    A report to members of the Councils’ Joint Strategic Committee said ‘the pandemic (and its economic and social impacts) has caused considerable harm to individuals, communities and businesses across Adur and Worthing.’

    While the Councils have suffered financial losses themselves during lockdown, it was important that they worked with partners immediately to begin bounce back action. And Then suggests progress must be made within six months.

    Among a raft of actions in the plan are:

    • Grants for freelancers or ‘microentrepreneurs’ seeking new opportunities in the workplace
    • Accelerating major building projects to create jobs and new homes
    • Helping to expand local food production for sustainable and affordable produce
    • Bringing new impetus for the development of Citizens WiFi to create new opportunities
    • Working with partners to develop biodiversity in local marine and estuarine systems
    • Realigning commercial and investment strategies to help shape the future
    • Using the opportunity to replan town centres as they rapidly change post pandemic

    The leader of Worthing Borough Council, Cllr Daniel Humphreys, said, ‘This is not going to be easy because events are rapidly changing but it would be even easier to sit back and wait for something to happen. We need to lead on our recovery, taking the lessons learned during lockdown and working with partners to create new opportunities.

    ‘We have a programme of works that we are already involved in and, given that we’ve proved we can act quickly during the pandemic, we are now going to inject real momentum into our activities, using new investment models and actions that the recovery process will present to us.’

    The Leader of Adur District Council, Cllr Neil Parkin, said, ‘I understand the tremendous difficulties this lockdown has presented to the community and businesses which is why I think it vital that the Council takes a lead in finding ways to help us bounce back.

    ‘There are a range of activities, investments and programmes outlined in And Then that can help us on the road to recovery. I will do everything in my power to ensure my Council is working as hard as we can to support our community.’

    Members of the Joint Strategic Committee agreed to back the measures as part of the Councils’ overall Platforms for our Places directions of travel programme and ask for a report back in six months time.

    The Chamber are hosting a Planning For Recovery Expert Panel, Martin Randall, Director for the Economy for Adur & Worthing Councils will be joining us to talk about the 'And Then...' project. Click here to book to attend this event.

  • 13 July 2020 1:30 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Worthing Town Updates

    Non-essential Retail

    The reopening of non-essential retail businesses went well; and although there were a few queues on the first day these have now settled down. Many retailers are telling us they are pleased with footfall and sales since reopening and are optimistic about the future.

    Business Crime has been lower as shoplifters don't like to queue but we are seeing some of our prolific offenders turning their attention to independent businesses so please stay alert. Don't forget you can join the Town Centre business crime prevention scheme at no cost and this will give you access to information and photographs of known offenders via the DISC system. If you want to find out more please email

    Centre for Cities are tracking the larger Towns and Cities recovery for the Government and I am pleased to say Worthing is in the Top 10 at the moment. If you want to keep an eye on how the town is faring in comparison with others click here.

    Hospitality & Hairdressers re-opening

    Its only 2 sleeps until Hospitality and Hairdressing businesses can open their doors again. I know many have been working extremely hard to get everything in place for the big day; however, some have decided not to open on 4th but to wait until later in the week.

    Some concerns have been raised about the reopening being a Saturday night when staff are getting used to new ways of working with a higher footfall. Some of the larger pub chains have delayed opening and so be aware this may put pressure on those deciding to open.

    Don't forget the Council has closed some roads to aid social distancing but this space is available to businesses to use for outside seating provided the correct licenses are in place.

    These closures are now in place

    • Montague Place
    • Portland Road (Montague St to Chandos Road)
    • Montague Street (Crescent Road to Surrey Street)

    WSCC will be dealing with all applications for Tables & Chairs; click here for more information and to apply. If you sell alcohol and the area is not adjacent to your premises it may require a full licensing application to serve these tables so please refer to the licensing team for advice on this.

    The Councils are keen to support businesses and they have waived all fees for outside seating this year. Every application for seating on the Highway will look at social distancing before it can be approved so unfortunately this will mean some business locations may not be able to accommodate new or increased seating.

    Hairdressers and other businesses are advised to remember the risks of legionella with water supplies not being used for an extended time. Click here for some guidance on how to re-open safely that may help.

    For more information visit

  • 13 July 2020 1:21 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Award-winning Adur Markets set to return

    Adur’s award-winning markets will be returning to the district's high streets  as part of wider efforts to help communities bounce back from COVID-19 .

    With the government lifting restrictions to allow open-air markets to take place, Adur District Council is bringing back the popular stalls after taking steps to ensure the environment remains safe for all.

    However, to allow staff, stallholders and visitors to adhere to social distancing, both will involve fewer stall holders and be held at the alternate location of Tarmount Lane car park. The market will also operate with amended opening hours of 10am to 2pm

    The next scheduled market in Lancing will be the Halloween-themed event in October.

    Cllr Emma Evans, Adur District Council’s Executive Member for Environment, said: “We know how important and valued the award-winning Adur Markets are to supporting our high streets which is why we’ve been looking at all options to ensure they can return. The safety of our team, traders and those attending the markets is paramount which is why we took time to get this right. 

    “We’ve had to make some changes in Shoreham, where the narrow nature of East Street will make social distancing difficult. However, the nearby car park just two minutes walk from the high street is an obvious solution and we look forward to inviting everyone back to sample the great produce that our traders have to offer.”

    For dates for upcoming markets and details on how you can hire a stall visit the Adur Markets Facebook page.

  • 13 July 2020 1:11 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    Site to be bought by Council in bid to boost local economy 

    A 2.5 acre site is to be bought by Worthing Borough Council in a bid to boost the economy post-lockdown.

    The Council is set to buy the redundant site at Southdownview Road, Worthing, the old EDF car park, and plans to create 22 light industrial units to create an economic and jobs boost for the area.

    The move comes as the Council launched its And Then programme aimed at helping communities bounce back from the Covid pandemic impact on the borough.

    In line with the pledges in And Then it has moved to intervene and buy the site, construct units and manage the premises itself to avoid it possibly becoming mothballed if it was in the hands of the private developer market amid current uncertainties.

    A report to Adur & Worthing Council’s Joint Strategic Committee highlights the lack of affordable industrial premises in the borough which hampers companies’ expansion plans or even forces them to look elsewhere. Up to 47 jobs could be created on the site it says. 

    The Council would also benefit from an annual revenue stream and business rate contributions.

    Worthing Borough Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, Cllr Kevin Jenkins, said, ‘I’m delighted we are looking to buy this site because we can bring real impetus into its development.

    ‘We promised we would lead from the front in the fight to recover from the economic and social effects of the pandemic and this is one example of how we are going to do just that.’

    In total the Council has earmarked £5.8m for the purchase of the site and construction of the industrial units with the money coming from its Strategic Property Investment Fund, set up to help fund vital services through investment in property across the UK. 

    A full commercial investigation into the site’s potential is to be carried out before the Council commits to the project but the report points out it already has around 500 assets its owns around the borough and 300 tenancies so it has experience in managing similar projects.

  • 13 July 2020 1:08 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    MHA Construction & Real Estate Survey is now open 

    How quickly can the construction sector in the south bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic – and where will the strongest shoots of recovery emerge?

    These will be some of the key trends tracked in the MHA Construction & Real Estate Survey, which is now open for responses.

    The annual survey acts as a barometer for the industry’s challenges and market sentiment and will look at issues around COVID-19, funding, recruitment and employment, innovation and future trends.

    Worthing, Gatwick and Brighton-based accountants and business advisers MHA Carpenter Box has issued the survey to approximately 300 construction and real estate businesses across the south east.

    Robert Dowling, MHA Carpenter Box Partner and Head of Construction & Real Estate, commented: “We are all too aware of the challenges that the current pandemic has brought to all business sectors, but I am particularly keen to see the responses from property and construction businesses so that we can understand the sector’s main challenges and define how best to support the industry through this difficult period.”

    The survey is open until 24 July and the results will form the foundation of MHA’s Construction & Real Estate Report due out in September.

  • 13 July 2020 12:59 PM | Lauren Martin-Grieveson (Administrator)

    HMRC Building 'Tops Out' at Worthing Station

    A ‘topping out’ ceremony marked a major construction milestone for the new HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) Specialist Site at Teville Gate House in Worthing

    [July 2020]. HMRC has had a longstanding presence in Worthing and the new office will be home to around 900 full time employees.

    Councillor Daniel Humphreys, Leader of Worthing Borough Council, Alan Tume of HMRC, John McGregor, director of Teville Gate House Ltd, Conor McKenna and Gary Bell of McLaughlin & Harvey placed the last paving slab on the roof to mark the occasion, with construction due to be completed early next year.

    “We are extremely proud to reach this point and it is a testament to all our partners in the project that we have been able to get through the difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and to make such progress. This is a story of hard work and success, all within the regulations, using common sense,” said John McGregor, director of Teville Gate House Ltd.

    The site was closed at the end of March when the COVID-19 lockdown was imposed, but with careful planning and close cooperation between all parties, the site opened again just one month later, compliant with social distancing guidelines.

    “We worked very hard throughout the site closure in conjunction with our supply chain, developing new operating procedures in line with government guidelines to make the site safe for our team to work,” said Conor McKenna, Contracts Manager, McLaughlin & Harvey Ltd.

    “A return to work via a ‘soft start’ was implemented with resource levels increased week on week, allowing workers to familiarise themselves with the new working environment. The site has a one-way system throughout and additional welfare units were brought in, to allow staff to use facilities with 2 metre distancing, we have cut down travel massively and our meetings are held online or outside.

    “We remain proactive in reviewing the impact the pandemic continues to have on our supply chain, relating particularly to resource and material availability, with procurement dates adjusted and parts of the project rescheduled accordingly.

    “We have managed to mitigate the challenges and received very positive feedback when we were inspected recently by auditors, who described our site as an exemplar.”

    The new five-storey development is being built by McLaughlin & Harvey, who are known for delivering quality construction projects. Completion and occupation are expected in the first quarter of 2021.

    Councillor Daniel Humphreys, Leader, Worthing Borough Council, said, “It is fantastic to see the project on course to bring huge benefits to Worthing and we want to congratulate the team for their hard work to make this possible. Teville Gate House will boost local business and support our on-going work to improve the vitality of the borough and to make the station a more welcoming approach into Worthing.”

    Alan Tume, HMRC Regional Implementation Lead for London and the South East, said, “We are pleased to be recognising this milestone in the construction of our new specialist site, despite the challenges over recent months. We have worked with our partners to ensure work continues in the safest way possible to deliver what will be a fantastic new building for our people.

    “We are really looking forward to seeing how the development of the site by McLaughlin & Harvey progresses, before the internal fit out work starts on our new office. Once complete, we will bring our team into Teville Gate House, which will provide colleagues with modern, flexible and collaborative working environments.”

    Teville Gate House was chosen as the preferred location for Worthing’s Specialist Site as it meets HMRC’s future needs and location principles. HMRC is transforming into a more highly-skilled operation offering modern, digital services to create a tax authority fit for the future. HMRC’s Locations Programme is the key to the department’s wider transformation.

    The derelict office and retail premises at Teville Gate House were demolished to make way for the new development. It is hoped that this project will encourage the development of the adjoining site where planning consent was recently approved.

    The design team for Teville Gate House includes Box Clever Consulting as development managers, Macconvilles as employers agent & quantity surveyors, CDA Architects, A10 Mechanical and Electrical, HOP Structural Engineers and ECE Planning Consultants.

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Registered Office: Sphere Business Centre, Broadwater Road, Worthing,
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