BDCC NEWSLETTER NOVEMBER 2021

Dear Members,

As we all know the pandemic is still with us and all we can do is be careful. As the Government is placing a lot of emphasis on vaccinations, I hope you have all received your first two and those of you who need boosters are getting them, and as of November 1st these can be given in any nominated vaccination centre on a walk-in basis. There are a number of events taking place before Christmas and there is information on them in this newsletter.

KICKSTART SCHEME

The government started this scheme with a view to get placements for 16-24 year olds in businesses. We are aware of some companies taking advantage of this. The scheme has the following attributes

  • The Government will pay wages for 6 months at 100% of the National Minimum wage for 25 hours per week
  • Associated employer NI and minimum automatic enrolment contributions will be funded
  • Plus, a grant of £1500 to cover set up and training costs, includes laptops

You can apply for the grant through HMG or approach independent companies that specialise in making it easy to get these grants. One used in Hertfordshire is www.kickstartdirect.com

However, there is a HMG notification that the scheme will extend to March 2022 but will close for new applications on the 17th December 2021. If you are interested in applying, please do so asap.

The scheme does have some parameters and a critical one is that the positions must be new, and it is not to be used as replacing current staff.

FURTHER HMG NEWS

HMG is discussing proposals for income tax basis period reform, and also whether the tax year should change to December 31st or March 31st.This may have implications for some of you, assuming it happens, so please contact your financial advisors. However given the time needed the reforms would not be made until 2024/2025.

There will be changes in the Brexit rules for goods coming from the EU, which will take place on 1st January 2022, again contact your financial advisors, but given the spate of U-turns this may change.

COMPANIES HOUSE

They are running a series of bite size webinars to deal with director’s responsibilities. They answer questions such as protecting personal data, changing registered office address and dealing with late filing penalties. The webinars can be found in their website at Gov-UK.

Companies House webinar advert

DACORUM ECONOMIC RECOVERY PLAN

This plan is on the Dacorum web site and if you are interested in downloading and reading it please do so. It is a co-ordinated plan to help business in Dacorum regenerate after the pandemic and covers a number of areas:

  1. Enhancing skills in the Borough
  2. Engaging with businesses and community interest companies to ensure that long term plans meet the interest of business
  3. Encourage the growth of high tec, science and professional service clusters
  4. Identify Dacorum’s USP and sell Dacorum to a range of regional and national partners to promote the district
  5. Repurpose Hemel Town Centre introducing new work- spaces and employment opportunities
  6. Promote exports within the Borough

Obviously, this has an impact on the whole Borough and any comments would be welcome and will be sent on to Dacorum Borough Council, please contact peteels12@gmail.com

VISIT HERTS

Have announced a “stay safe, stay open” program and offer FREE business support packages to help business thrive in the Covid world. The packages are 8 hours of bespoke 1:1 support to review Covid risk, providing expert practical business planning, operational, communications and training advice. There are some qualifications:

The support is only available in Hertfordshire, and to companies with less than 50 employees and must operate in one of the following sectors:

  • Accommodation and food services
  • Arts, entertainment and recreation
  • Retail
  • Hair, beauty and close contact services
  • Professional services
  • Administration, IT and other office-based services
  • Manufacturing

(They may have missed something out!!!)

This only got announced yesterday and more information can be obtained from Visit Herts and there is an application form. There is also a contact email address: mike.newman@visitherts.co.uk

FIVES

We would like to know how many would be interested in taking part, bit like squash but using your hands and it is a way to keep active. Particularly after the Christmas turkey, goose or a vegetarian equivalent. Berkhamsted School is offering the facility for free, some of you have told me you are interested but only in conversation, so if you are let me know and we can sort out a date, equipment and an instructor. We do have to comply with the school’s Covid instructions, but again these may change. I am waiting to be inundated with replies to peteels12@gmail.com. If you have any questions, I will ask the school’s instructor Anthony Theodossi to answer them for you.

NEW MEMBER

David Gibbon, Sheng Nuo Ltd
49 Wood View, Hemel Hempstead, HP1 3HP
01442 767098
david.gibbon@shengnuo.co.uk

They are a supplier of high-quality branded merchandise and corporate gifts, including calendars, notebooks, pens, mugs, umbrellas, wine and more.

Sheng Nuo logo

MEMBERS NEWS

Tobias Oliver

85-87 High Street Berkhamsted are having a wine tasing event with a difference on Wednesday 24th November with their host Andrea of Character Wines. The wines are different with three from India, two from Portugal and one from Austria. They will also be serving authentic Indian Street food which will be paired with the wines.

Tickets are only £15 each and are available from nina@tobiasoliverinteriors.com or ring 01442 818122 to book.

Yvette’s Chocolates

If you have not tried them, they are delicious and for Christmas they have an Advent calendar and a number of new flavours. For those of you who like chocolate brownies they have a new recipe which includes peanut butter and yoghurt from their supplier Tim’s Dairy. The recipe is below and please tag them @yvetteschocolates if you make it:

Recipe (for 6 or 12)

  • 130g Yvette’s chocolate peanut butter bars
  • 245g Tim’s Dairy Greek style plain Yoghurt
  • 100g Brown Sugar
  • 1tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 130g Plain Flower
  • 40g Cocoa Powder
  • ½tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 1.2tsp Baking soda
  • 120ml Milk of your choice
  • Peanut butter for the top
  • Flaked salt for sprinkling
  1. Pre heat the oven to 180C. Line your dish with greaseproof paper and set aside
  2. In a microwave safe bowl, add your chopped peanut butter chocolate, melt the chocolate for 30 seconds, take it out and stir until it is melted. Sit for 2 minutes then add yoghurt, sugar and vanilla extract and whisk until smooth
  3. Sift in flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and bicarbonate of soda and mix
  4. Add milk and mix well
  5. Transfer to greaseproof dish, add some swirls of peanut butter and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let it cool in pan before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

If you want to find out more from Yvette’s chocolate, contact them at 21a Water End Rd, Potten End, HP4 2SH, call 07908 187439 or email yvette@yvetteschocolates.com

Their shop at 21a Water End Road is now open from Wednesday to Saturday 11:00AM to 4:00PM.

Chocolate brownie

EVENTS

There are a number of events that BDCC is aware of:

Thursday 18th November – Breakfast Meeting at St Peter’s Church, High Street, Berkhamsted – 7:15AM to 9:30AM

The new rector Fr Stuart Owen will be presenting on the Church’s 800th anniversary in 2022 and ask if anyone can help or has ideas about how to tie the celebration in with the Town. Please apply via the Chamber web site.

St. Peter's Church

Sunday 28th November – Festival of Light on Berkhamsted High Street in the afternoon

Young Enterprise will be running some stalls and AgeUK Dacorum have a card stall.

Wednesday 8th December – Age UK, St Peter’s Church and Castle Choir present carols and readings from 7:30PM to 9:30PM

Admission is £5 and there will be refreshments at the interval.

Contact Charlie Hussey on do@ageukdacorum.org.co.uk

Wednesday 15th December – BDCC Christmas Lunch at ZaZa’s

More information to follow.

Friday 17th December – Old Berkhamsted hockey players Christmas lunch at the Highwayman

Currently December 29th a Christmas lunch at the Old Town Hall for OAP’s and/or those who are lonely

This is backed by AgeUK Dacorum, The Town Hall Trust and the Town Council. The price is £5 per head, under 12’s free. The date may change to early January depending on the availability of a caterer.

BDCC COMMITTEE

The committee is looking at various aspects of the BDCC, in particular our strategic direction, marketing and our website. We are also interested in setting up an apprentice scheme, re-running the Business of the Year award and also exploring what training members would like. If you have any comments, observations or want to volunteer to help, please contact peteels12@gmail.com. We also need someone to act as secretary for the monthly meetings. There are usually 10 a year.

 

It only remains for me to wish you all a Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year, and may the pandemic become a distant memory.

Best Regards

Pete Elsworth – Chair

07901 515381 – peteels12@gmail.com