Latest news from Surrey Chambers CEO 29th September 2020
29th September 2020
Louise Punter-CEO Surrey Chambers of Commerce
Heading towards the end of September we all hoped that after 6 months of almost lockdown we would be able to start easing off. Unfortunately, with the growing number of infections nationally this has not been possible. Through our newsletters we have been keeping businesses informed on the local situation and Surrey County Council along with public health and the Local resilience forum partners have been keeping a daily watch on local figures and alerting various areas where there has been a rise in infections. Whilst we haven’t got close to local lockdowns, Woking, Elmbridge, Spelthorne and Runnymede have all been alerted to be more vigilant. Surrey residents and businesses have successfully worked to bring infection rates down, and each time we are reminded; “keep washing your hands, wear face coverings when required, and keep your distance from people outside your household.”
Test & Trace App launch:
The NHS Covid-19 app was launched on the 24th September to help control C19 transmission alongside national and local contact tracing. Businesses are now required by law to display the official NHS QR code posters so people can check-in at different premises with the app. We do urge everyone to download the App to help control the virus.
Some good financial news in the Winter Statement
If businesses are still looking for financial support the Chancellor of the Exchequer extended the government’s three Coronavirus business interruption loan schemes – the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS), the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) – and the Future Fund. The extension aligns all the end dates of the schemes to 30 November, giving businesses to review their finances and decide if this is the right path for them.
Win-Win Kickstart scheme
We have just launched Surrey Chambers of Commerce as a Gateway organisation to support businesses in applying to take on a Kickstart Placement. This scheme has been set up by the government to support young people, who have been badly hit by the events of the last 6 months but also to help employers to take on a fresh recruit for 6 months to help get the business back up to speed. The young person also gains crucial work experience preparing them in the best way possible for future employment. If a business wants less than 30 placements (most businesses!!) they have to sign up with a Gateway organisation, who applies for their placement (s) on their behalf. We are really excited at the Chamber as we have received nearly 200 requests for roles in just about every sector and every function. We will be sharing success stories over the course of the next 12 months and look forward to seeing the development of both the young people and the businesses.
January the 1st is looming
Although some people seem to have forgotten about the changes coming up in January our network of chambers is very much on the case. We have published a critical update of the Brexit guidance dashboard containing 26 key questions that remain unanswered with just 92 days to go until the end of the Brexit transition period. (depending on when you read this) Following research across the country we have found that business preparation for the coming changes is low due to the unprecedented challenges facing them but we are preparing ourselves and will be offering webinars, training and a helpline to support our businesses.
Surrey Chambers of Commerce can be reached on 01483 735540, email@example.com, @surreychambers