Dear Members,

Following from my January comments on Covid the number of people who have caught it is now running at 1 in 16, a large increase from January. However, the latest government guidelines encourage us all to live with it, so that finally we will have herd immunity. This, combined with the latest inflation projections and the Ukraine war, indicates that 2022 could be a difficult economic year for all of us, but I am sure we will recover.

COMMENTS ON CHANCELLOR’S SPRING STATEMENT

Overall, this has not been well received by the CBI, Chamber of Commerce, and the Institute of Family Business, as it does not address the two major business problems, rising energy costs and productivity, although the latter is supposedly being addressed in the Autumn statement. However, there were some points of interest in the statement. Employment Allowance relief is to be increased from £4000 to £5000, and should have an impact on many small businesses.

Business rates relief of 50% for the hospitality, retail and leisure industry will stay from 1st April, but with a cap of £110,000 per company. There was also an announcement of a Business Rate revaluation in 2023 based on 2021 rental values.

Hospitality VAT rate will increase to 20% in April.

Although the National Insurance Threshold will be increased to £12,570 in July, the announcement was made for those in employment. The Lower profits Limit for the selfemployed will be increased to £11,908 from 6th April 2022 and £12,570 from 6th April 2023. Do remember that National Insurance rates will rise from April 2022.

If you have further questions on how your business will be impacted, please talk to your professional advisors.

DACORUM’S DEN 2022

This is Dacorum’s Dragon’s Den except that the award is a maximum of £1000. Open to individual and businesses who have:

  • Less than 20 employees and under £1million annual turnover
  • Have a great business idea
  • Are keen to expand their business in Dacorum
  • Require funds to adapt their business to better survive post Covid environment

Applicants are invited to put their ideas to a panel of judges, chaired by Sir Mike Penning MP, for Hemel Hempstead, who will decide whom to award grants to. It is an opportunity for anyone with a business idea to get a helping hand into making it a reality. Applications are open until Monday 6th June and information can be found at www.dacorum.gov.uk/dacorumsden or contact business@dacorum.gov.uk

EXPORT BUSINESS SUPPORT

If you are involved in exporting, there is a lot of good advice available from Dacorum linking with the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce. If you want any more information, please contact Fraser Willcox Economic Development Officer for Dacorum Council E Mail fraser.willcox@dacorum.gov.uk

FEDERATION OF SMALL BUSINESSES

You may be interested in joining the FSB and Dacorum are working with them and are offering a limited number of free (for one year) memberships. They do offer a range of business services. If you would like more information, please contact Fraser Willcox as above.

MEMBERS NEWS

Berkhamsted School

Work has commenced on the new 6th Form building which is being built on the corner of the school’s site next to the Tesco car park, replacing the metal roofed maintenance department workshops, Cox’s Bungalow Drama Studio and Wilson House. When it is completed, it will be accessed from Mill Street by students. The site will be separate from the rest of the Castle campus, so that it will be a complete 6th Form environment. It is expected that it will open in Autumn 2023.

A computer-generated image of the new 6th Form

 

Berkhamsted Osteopaths

Tim and Juliet Hanwell are pleased to announce their 25th anniversary as Berkhamsted Osteopaths at 119 High Street Berkhamsted. Over the years it has grown considerably and now has 6 osteopaths, a reflexologist, a nutritionist and a massage therapist. They also have the only state-of-the-art IDD spinal compression machine in West Hertfordshire, this can often be used for patients with lower back problems as an alternative to injections or surgery. Tim also provides workstation assessments. As a patient of Tim and the practice can I also add my own personal congratulations on their making this landmark. E Mail reception@berkhamstedosteopaths.co.uk

Indigo Tree

Louise Towler of Indigo Tree Digital, a web design and development agency, has been recognised as one of the top 38 female innovative entrepreneurs in the country by Innovate UK the UK’s national innovation agency with their Women in Innovation program. Each winner has been awarded a £50,000 cash injection and bespoke mentoring to scale up and bring their innovative ideas to market. Louise Towler’s innovation is a new platform which will empower WordPress website content editors giving them real time feedback during the editing process, informing them to make educated changes to the content to prevent accessibility issues before they even occur. Email hello@indigotree.co.uk

NEW MEMBERS

Brian De Mattos

Brian De Mattos Ltd
154 Bridgewater Road
Berkhamsted HP4 1EE
Tel 07595 671927
E Mail briandemattos@gmail.com

A consultant in leasing and asset finance.

Warren Dean

Halo Hearing Solutions
3 Lower King’s Road
Berkhamsted
HP4 2AE
Tel 01442 389949
E Mail warren@halohs.co.uk

An independent run family business offering all aspects of ear care, hearing protection and hearing aids.

Jamie Gibson

Warehouse Pizza
Linkhouse
Northbridge Road
Berkhamsted
HP4 1EF
Tel 07912 301468
E Mail jamie@warehousepizza.co.uk

A family run eatery with a retail business specialising in Pizza, in particular the traditional Neapolitan pizza and authentic Italian Food.

Patrick Tawfik

Sirius Jewellers Ltd
6 Corn Mill Court
Swing Gate Lane
Berkhamsted
HP4 2LJ
Tel 07946 669269
E Mail info@siriusjewellers.co.uk

Jewellery and watch specialist designing bespoke pieces for clients and also they do repairs, maintenance and insurance valuations.

Noel Willcox

Elevation Access Ltd
51 High Street
Northchurch
HP4 3QH
Tel 07540 942519
E Mail noel@elevationaccess.co.uk

A scaffolding business.

OTHER CHAMBER NEWS

Fives

Some of our more active, perhaps intrepid members have started playing Fives at Berkhamsted School Mill Street entrance on Tuesdays 7:00 – 9:00PM and here are pictures of us. It is free, training is given and all are welcome. Please tell peteels12@gmail.com if you want to come.

Charlie, Cindy and Pete action shots

 

Donation to Ukraine Fund

On behalf of all our members we have donated to the DEC fund for refugee relief.

Pop Ups

Some of you may remember that we used to run Pop Ups, where a member would entertain others at their premises from about 5.00PM to 7.00PM. In this case a small fee was charged usually £5, for refreshments and the concept was that the member could talk about their business to others in a convivial and easy setting. In fact, some also invited their customers. We think that we should start this again so if you are interested in knowing more and /or participating please initially contact peteels12@gmail.com

New Website and Event Site

We have received a grant from Dacorum Council to help us update our systems, you may have noticed changes in the web site, and introduce an Events site, open to all, to help people find out what is going on in Berkhamsted and District. We are hoping that all the work will be completed in a couple of months so that we can launch the sites, probably in conjunction with our AGM. If you wish to know more about the Events site please contact John Gerry E Mail j@jpgerry.com

Medieval Festival

This will be happening on the Sunday 28th and Monday 29th of August, which is the late Bank Holiday. We have a number of confirmed performers and amongst these are falconry displays on both days.

We also would like to know if any member is interested in having a stall for both days or helping sponsor the event or even volunteering contact peteels12@gmail.com

All profits will be split between those charities which are registered as members on April 1st 2022.

There will also be a tug-of-war competition and if you wish to enter a team, please contact Susan Dobinson E Mail susan@theconfidencepsych.com

Subscriptions

These will be due from 1st April 2022 and they are the same as last year i.e. £40.

Information for newer members – the subscription is for your company and includes all your employees.

Flat

I have been asked by a member if anyone has a two bedroom flat for rent in Berkhamsted, if so please let me know peteels12@gmail.com

 

 

It just remains for me to say I hope that your business will do well in these times and the Chamber is always available to help in any way that we can.

Best Regards

Pete Elsworth – Chair

07901 515381 – peteels12@gmail.com