BDCC NEWSLETTER MARCH 2020

Dear Members,

Times change very quickly, and the onset of Coronavirus means that we all have to be more vigilant in the daily aspects of our lives. This of course include business and the Chamber will still be running as many events as it can and take a full role in every aspect of our community.

In order to help everyone we have posted on the homepage of our website (www.berkhamsted-chamber.co.uk) links to two important websites.

The links are entitled “Business Advice about Covid-19” and are:

“Government advice to employers and businesses”
“ACAS advice for employers and employees”

Both sites are updated regularly by their respective owners, and you are strongly recommended to make use of them.

If you need any further advice, please contact any of the many professional organisations that are members of the Chamber of Commerce and can be found in our member’s directory.

As of today, the rules regarding the self-employed being able to claim the 80% grant have been published. Initially it appeared that you had to have three years trading but reading the information today the qualifying criteria has been set at a minimum of one year’s accounts registered with HMRC which will be for the last tax year.

ZOOM NETWORKING SESSIONS

We are setting up Zoom networking sessions and the first will be on Thursday 16th April. One of our members Dee Fagg has assisted greatly in the set up and the sessions will be hosted by Simon Double. Please contact Simon at Solario Racing (info@solarioracing.com) for times and more information.

CAR PARKING

The latest news is disappointing to say the least. The contractors Huber left the site on February 28th but there is still a delay with commissioning the site as the new sub-station has to be made live. The commissioning includes the EV points that BP Chargemaster will install when power is available for electric cars.

However, the works for Lower Kings Road have yet to be signed off by HCC Highways, this timeline looks like 4 weeks legal work plus 8 weeks to complete. So, the prognosis is May or June. To add to the problems the overflow car park at the Moor is now permanently closed as it is being refurbished.

However, given the Covid-19 situation I do not know what the situation regarding the opening is currently.

NEW MEMBERS

Paul Farrelly – Farrelly Wealth Management

Glenfield, Felden Lane, Hemel Hempstead, Herts, HP3 0BB

Tel: 07808 763252

Wealth management and financial advice for Hertfordshire business and private clients.

Dean Kirk – Black and White Key Security Ltd

Enterprise Centre, Apsley Mills, London Road, Apsley, Hemel Hempstead, HP3 9RL

Tel: 01442 254555

Total Security Solutions business. They are a local, family run security service company who specialise in alarm response and security patrols.

Being an SIA (Security Industry Authority) approved contractor they are in the elite group of security companies in the country.

Their aim is to provide their customers and the public with a reliable and professional security service as standard, protecting their premises and assets as if they were their own.

BDCC EVENTS

The following two meetings are cancelled:

  • Lunch meeting at the Highwayman on Thursday 16th April 12.30PM – 2.00PM. The Highwayman is also shut.
  • Breakfast meeting at Berkhamsted Cricket Club on 13th May.

The Barbecue and AGM at Bills originally booked for the 25th June will be postponed to later on in the year. You will be informed of the new date when we have agreed it.

MEMBERS NEWS

Berkhamsted School

The School is planning a new 6th form building which involves a number of modifications to the existing buildings. This building will be state of the art and as the biggest employer in town they believe it will also increase job opportunities.

The plans also include a designated parking area for the 6th form, which will help alleviate some of the Town’s parking problems.

They are also looking for work experience for their year 12 students, particularly in sales. This would be for a week. If any member could help out, please contact Richard Thompson at the school on RThompson@berkhamsted.com. Bearing in mind the current situation, this will be a marker for the future.

Age UK Dacorum

In conjunction with Open Door, Herts County Council, Berkhamsted Council, Berkofest, BDCC and the Berkhamsted Covid-19 Facebook Group there is an active group in Berkhamsted and Tring helping the disadvantaged, elderly and impoverished. There is also a food bank available. If you wish to know more about this group, the latest press release is below:

AGE UK DACORUM: PRESS RELEASE 26/03/20

MASSIVE GRATITUDE TO THE LOCAL COMMUNITY

Age UK Dacorum have forged an essential link with the Berkhamsted COVID-19 Mutual Aid Facebook group, and through that this heart warming and indispensable action happened.

An appeal was made by Age UK Dacorum through the Berkhamsted COVID-19 Mutual Aid Facebook group for befriending phone volunteers. The response was immediate and a number of community minded people stepped forward, and within days approximately 50 vulnerable isolated people (of all ages) had an enriching befriending phone call, resulting in help with some urgent issues e.g. shopping. These phone calls will continue on a regular basis which is equally as important.

A granddaughter who initially made contact with this Berkhamsted Covid 19 Mutual Aid Facebook group  has subsequently told Age UK Dacorum “I have a weight lifted of my shoulders… thoughts of my Gran with her favourite coffee and some lemon cake bring me great happiness” Moreover the grand daughter went on to say “you guys are doing a great job and it’s amazing that all the way from Dorset I was able to help my gran by contacting you. This page seems so helpful to many. Keep up the good work”

Proof of positive local reaction and action. Think globally, act locally.

If anyone else would like to become an Age UK Dacorum volunteer please email do@ageukdacorum.org.uk

For those in need of our services, the Age UK Dacorum helpline number is 01442 259049.

OTHER NEWS

St Peters Church

We have been notified that it is the Church’s 800th anniversary in 2022. Obviously, this could be an event whereby we can publicise the Town and encourage visitors. As more information is received, we will keep you involved.

Adam Hollier – Photographer

In 2018 Adam undertook a project for Tring entitled portraits of a Town. He is now doing the same in Berkhamsted.

Dacorum’s Den

If you approach Dacorum’s Den you could win £1,000. However, to qualify you must have:

  • A great business idea
  • Less than 15 employees
  • Annual yarnover of less than £250,000
  • Be based in Dacorum

If you fulfil this, contact business@dacorum.gov.uk or www.dacorum.gov.uk/dacorumsden

 

Finally, it has been brought to my attention that there have been difficulties in applying for the government business loans, in particular with respect to the way in which the banks are interpreting the “rules’. If you have any experience of these problems, do you mind communicating this to me, in strictest confidence and BDCC will take this up with various authorities including our local MP.

Best Regards,

Pete Elsworth – Chair: peteels12@gmail.com

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