Member News & Events



COVID-19 Information for Hospitality & Tourism Businesses from BCP Council

We’re looking forward to helping you prepare to re-open your business and operate from 4th July

The new government guidance to help you plan to re-open hospitality and tourism businesses has now been released and comes in to effect from 4 July 2020.

Working safely during COVID-19 sector guidance:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19

List of businesses able and not able to open from 4th July:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/opening-certain-businesses-and-venues-in-england- from-4-july-2020

Guidance for people who work in or run restaurants, pubs, bars, cafes or takeaways: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5eb96e8e86650c278b077616/Kee ping-workers-and-customers-safe-during-covid-19-restaurants-pubs-bars- takeaways-230620.pdf

Guidance for people who work in hotels and guest accommodation, indoor and outdoor attractions, and business events and consumer shows: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/the- visitor-economy

Guidance for people who work in or run hotels and other guest accommodation:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/hotels- and-other-guest-accommodation

Guidance for people who provide close contact services, including hairdressers, barbers, beauticians, tattooists, sports and massage therapists, dress fitters, tailors and fashion designers:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/close- contact-services

UK Hospitality is preparing guidance to help prepare COVID-19 Risk Assessments: https://www.ukhospitality.org.uk/page/coronavirus

Free webinar to help businesses keep a safe record of customers visiting their premises as part of the NHS ‘Track and Trace’ system, in accordance with the new guidelines:

 https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/gdpr-guidance-for-hospitality-venues-when- recording-customer-contact-data-tickets-110988401296

Over the coming week BCP Council will be issuing further support and guidance from our local agencies including Licencing, Police and Fire services to help your business to re-open and recover. Please continue to check back for updates.

Good luck with your re-opening plans.

« Back to My BCTC

Small Business Accelerator initiative for SME’s

Enterprise Nation is delighted to announce a partnership with Amazon to deliver the Amazon Small Business Accelerator, a major support package for 200,000 small businesses across the UK. Being a valued community member of Enterprise Nation, you are first to hear that from today, you’re able to join this new programme! Sign-up for free to take a quick diagnostic plan and find the e-learning path that best fits your business!

Why Sign Up?

> Diagnostic

Take a quick and easy business diagnostic to find the support best tailored to your needs. 

> Online learning

Access e-learning from experts, with modules on social media marketing, selling on Amazon, accounting, hiring and more. 

> Week-long bootcamps

Apply to take part in a week-long intensive training bootcamp and access ongoing support to help your existing business start trading online quickly.

  These will be run across different business sectors including: 

  • Beauty & Wellbeing
  • Food & Drink
  • Service based businesses
  • Home, leisure, gadgets & gifts
  • Fashion

> Other exclusive benefits 

By joining the programme you can access a bundle of business offers worth over £2,000.

SIGN UP HERE

« Back to My BCTC

BCTC Local Government Affairs Meeting (LGA) June 2020

The LGA was very well attended and we were delighted to welcome the Leader of the Council, Cllr Vikki Slade and CEO Graham Farrant attendance.  

Graham Farrant gave an update on the impact of COVID19 on the community, the economy and its resultant effect on BCP.  As we know the amalgamated Council was created 1st April 2019 and whilst it has been in place for just over a year in time,  they have still not completed a full year under ‘normal circumstance conditions’.  

With a budget of £283million/year made up of council tax, 50% business rates, and some grant money, the authority has seen a loss of £50-53 million. (Affected by big losses from car parking, trading and more money spent on moving patients out of hospitals and into care homes earlier than necessary.)  Graham highlighted that food distribution and shielding were left to Council and with children not attending school, many referrals and safety issues have arisen.  However, the Councils relationship with Police and Health have improved over the past few months which benefits the community. 

Graham went on to say that before he arrived in post, everything in the Council was paper based and that this has completely been reversed with everything ‘online’, significantly improving planning.   

Vikki Slade discussed the Community Response, Business Grants and new Discretionary Grants scheme.  The Council were able to very quickly pull together a community hub response called “Together We Can” with the intention that everyone who needed it, got support in terms of food, medicine, shelter etc. Council staff were redeployed to help with essential services and participated in creating a new environment together, as well as 2,000+ volunteers who were matched up with vulnerable people.   BCP is now a leading council in the way it has worked during COVID19 and found new ways of communicating with the public, including weekly ‘FaceBook lives’.   To date, 6000 businesses within BCP have received £75 million in grants. 

Graham and Vikki continue to lobby government to look to accommodate those businesses that aren’t covered by the grants. The Discretionary Grants Scheme has a small budget which will not go far, with the Council allocating £0.3million to business that didn’t meet criteria but were deemed important to the local economy e.g. hospitality & tourism, nurseries, finance, health & social care. Currently, the Fund has had 502 applications, with 650 businesses anticipated to apply. 

« Back to My BCTC

Jacqui Rock, BCTC VP speaks to Steve Bicknell on Facebook Live


Our very own Jacqui Rock talking the benefits of Chamber, The Wonky Table, BH Area Hospitality Association, COVID-19 and much much more…. to Steve Bicknell from Bicknell Business Advisers Limited

To view the interview, click below.

FACEBOOK LIVE

« Back to My BCTC

Queen sends personal message of support to UK businesses

By Press Association 2020

The Queen has spoken of her “great pride” in the contribution the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) and its members are making to “champion trade and rebuild communities”.

The head of state’s personal message of support for UK businesses was sent to the BCC in the week many non-essential shops reopened as the coronavirus lockdown restrictions were eased.

Baroness Ruby McGregor-Smith, BCC’s president, welcomed the Queen’s message and said it would be a “huge morale boost” to business communities during the pandemic.

The Queen said in her message: “As many organisations around the country are reopening, I send my warmest best wishes and support to business communities throughout the United Kingdom, Commonwealth and across the world.

“At a time of great difficulty for many, it is heart-warming to see the civic response and generosity of so many businesses, small and large, to the challenges posed, whether supporting the health sector or vulnerable communities.

“As patron of the British Chambers of Commerce, it gives me great pride to see the contribution you and your members are making to help firms, champion trade and rebuild communities.

“I wish all businesses every success in their endeavours in the weeks and months ahead.”

Businesses have faced unprecedented financial difficulties during the Covid-19 outbreak, with many having to close their premises or seen customers and clients disappear during the lockdown.

With restrictions beginning to ease many are hoping trade will return but issues are likely to remain for the coming months.

Baroness McGregor-Smith said in response to the Queen’s words: “The Queen’s personal message of support will be a huge morale boost to our business communities at this complex and sensitive time.

“We are grateful that Her Majesty has recognised the crucial role Chambers of Commerce play supporting businesses and communities through the pandemic, and as we restart, rebuild and renew the economy.”

To read the entire article go to The Bournemouth Echo.

« Back to My BCTC

Get Ready for Re-Opening! A message from BCP Council for businesses

At BCP Council we are working hard to ensure our high streets are ready and welcoming for customers to return safely and securely as shops re-open from 15th June and hospitality businesses from 4th July.  Whilst we have been out visiting our town and district centres we can see that many of you are taking this opportunity to refresh and refurbish your shop fronts and interiors.  Thank you.  

We want to work alongside you to reassure visitors that our high streets are more safe, attractive and welcoming than ever. 

We are rolling out social distancing signage across our centres and in some areas traffic management measures have already been put in place where pavement space proves difficult to maintain social distancing.  We will continue to monitor and respond to social distancing issues as lockdown lifts and businesses reopen. We have been in regular communication with businesses and listed below is a reminder of some of the key messages to help ensure a safe and successful re-opening. By working together we can deliver a positive message to visitors to our high streets and ensure that they feel comfortable and safe to return. 

  1. KEEP LEFT!  You will see that our key message for using all of our public spaces, pavements and high streets safely is to ‘Keep Safe, Keep Left’.
  1. SPEAK TO YOUR NEIGHBOURS!  Please ensure that you are talking to your next door businesses where external queues may clash and overhang their frontages.  Coordinating your queuing space and marking it clearly will reassure your customers and ensure there are not issues with social distancing.  We appreciate that it may take some time before all businesses are open and able to have these conversations, but a co-operative and understanding mindset will really help to iron out potential issues.
  1. LIMIT YOUR QUEUES!  Having a clearly marked ‘End of Queue’ floor marking will highlight the need to customers to come back later if the queue is too long.  Signage templates for downloading along with all of our business support and guidance can be found on our website https://www.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/News/News-Features/COVID19/Employers-Employees-and-Businesses/Reopening-businesses-support-and-guidance.aspx
  1. SIGNPOST!  Ensure your customers feel secure and well informed about your social distancing and hygiene and sanitation measures.  Businesses should display a downloadable notice to inform customers and staff they have followed COVID secure guidance: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5eb959f5e90e0708370f97f9/staying-covid-19-secure-accessible.pdf
  1. UNDERSTAND YOUR LIMITS!  Help to avoid potential issues by being aware of government guidance and legislation.  Please note: the provision of seating, including external, for customers to consume food and drink on is NOT currently permitted: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close-guidance
  1. HOTSPOTS!  We understand that some social distancing issues are out of your control.  BCP Council has set up an email for reporting incidents of areas where public health is at risk due to lack of good social distancing practice.  Please use hotspot@bcpcouncil.gov.uk to report your concerns.  We will be monitoring this 7 days a week, triaging to prioritise and responding accordingly to address these issues on the ground.  Please note that our resources are stretched – cooperation within and between businesses to follow these key messages may prevent unnecessary interventions.

Please follow the links below for more information on topics that may be of interest to you and your business: 

COVID-19 Safe guidance for businesses: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19

HSE COVID-19 Guidance and Advice: HSE has posted advice and is also offering an enquiry service for businesses via an on-line form or phone.  Details here: https://www.hse.gov.uk/contact/index.htm?utm_source=hse.gov.uk&utm_medium=refferal&utm_campaign=contact&utm_content=home-page-info

ASB & Street begging: Please see the attached flyer for information. 

Legionella Legionella advice is posted on the COVID pages of our website https://www.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/News/News-Features/COVID19/Employers-Employees-and-Businesses/Reopening-businesses-support-and-guidance.aspx

Food Business Re-opening Checklist (Food Standards Agency) https://www.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/News/News-Features/COVID19/Employers-Employees-and-Businesses/Food-Delivery-And-Takeaway-Guidance.aspx

Checklist https://www.food.gov.uk/sites/default/files/media/document/reopening-checklist-for-food-businesses-during-covid-19-form.pdf

« Back to My BCTC

Coach tourism needs £65m a month as it faces fight for its future with 18 month winter warns CPT

It is no understatement to say that Britain’s coach industry is in crisis, with company failures now into double figures nationally, including Seaview Coaches of Poole locally. Nationally, David Urquhart Travel, Scotland’s biggest coachholiday operator (who run tours to Bournemouth), failed last night and Shearings, the UK’s biggest coach tour operators has been on the brink of administration for the last week.

The Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT) is calling on the Government to provide a support package worth £65m each month for the coach tourism industry. 

CPT has warned that the industry is in a fight for its future because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite the spring and summer being the peak period only 2% of coaches that are normally involved in a range of tourist trips are currently being used and bookings are not expected to return to pre pandemic levels until summer 2021.

Despite the mothballing of coaches and the majority of staff on furlough operators are still facing costs on average of £1900 per day. These costs have been compounded by unprecedented cancellations and the failure of government to classify coach tourism as a leisure business making operators ineligible for a Covid-19 business rates holiday and grant.

Commenting CPT Chief Executive Graham Vidler said:

“Coach tourism is in a fight for its future with the complete collapse of bookings for the summer period and the expected quieter winter period to come.

“The industry directly employs 42,000 people with many more jobs dependent on the sector to get people to attractions and destinations. Without support these jobs are under threat as operators have to lay off staff and attractions see reduced footfall as customers, many of whom rely on coach to travel, face fewer choices and difficulties in reaching destinations.

“The collapse of coach tourism will mean a significant increase in the carbon footprint of tourism as people revert to carbon heavy car journeys to visit attractions and destinations.”

The three point support package set out by CPT includes:

  1. A cash injection into the industry worth £65m a month to help the industry cover its costs for the rest of 2020. The rate of payments would taper off in line with an expected increase in future bookings.
  2. A flexible job retention scheme to allow staff to remain on furlough until business levels return to normal.
  3. Confirmation that coach tour operators are to be treated as leisure businesses for the purposes of Covid-19 support.

Graham Vidler continued:

“This injection of cash into the industry along with the continuation of the furlough scheme is vital. Without it many operators will go under as a result of the 18 month winter they are facing with little to no bookings.

“The failure to classify the sector as leisure is deeply disappointing and shows a worrying lack of understanding from government about its role, this must be reviewed immediately.” 

Contact your local MP to voice your concerns and support passenger transport.

« Back to My BCTC

Financial Support Reminders & Couples Inheritance Tax Thresholds

The Government has today launched two much-anticipated schemes directed at small businesses and the self-employed in response to the Coronavirus crisis.

Bounce Back Loans
As of 9 am today, small businesses can gain access to a new fast-track finance option, known as the Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan. Since the launch of the scheme, this morning we have had lots of interaction with the banks on behalf of our clients and the process appears to be working well.We have covered the scheme in detail elsewhere in previous communications, but the key points you should be aware of at this time are;

  • Loans of £2,000 – £50,000 available up to a maximum of a ¼ of a firm’s annual turnover;
  • Applications made online via a seven-question form;
  • 12 months no interest, fees or repayments;
  • Repay over 6 years, 2.5% interest rate, no early penalty;
  • Can’t apply if already under CBILS;
  • No restriction on the total amount of the facility that may consist of refinancing – whereas with CBILS you can only use 20% of the loan to refinance.

 TC Group can work alongside you to collate all the necessary documentation for your self-certification and should you need support to do so is on hand to help submit it for you. 


Self-Employment Income Support Scheme
HMRC has today begun contacting customers who may be eligible for the Government’s Self-Employment Income Support Scheme. Those who are eligible will be able to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of their average trading profits up to a maximum of £7,500 (equivalent to three months’ profits), paid in a single instalment.Although we cannot claim on your behalf, we can assist you in checking whether you are eligible and when you can make a claim via HMRC’s new online tool.In order to make a claim you will require the following information:

  • Self Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) – if you do not have this you can find it here;
  • National Insurance number – if you do not remember it, you can find it here;
  • Government Gateway user ID and password – if you do not have a user ID, you can create one when you check your eligibility online;
  • An account number and sort code for the bank account you want the grant paid into (only provide details where a Bacs payment can be accepted).

 While HMRC will calculate the grant, as your agent TC can check the calculation to see if it is correct. Contact your TC Partner on 0330 088 7111 to discuss further.

Couples Inheritance Tax Thresholds
Just as you would regularly review your financial affairs, it is advisable to regularly give your Will a health check to make sure it still works for you and takes advantage of all available tax allowances. Our private client team has been working closely with our clients and their family members to do just that, and in the last few weeks, we have seen a number of clients with out of date Wills who were missing out on significant inheritance tax savings. We wanted to highlight one of these specific areas.From April 2017 the Government introduced the residence nil rate band with a headline of increasing a couples inheritance tax threshold to £1 million by April 2020. This new relief could save a further £140,000 in inheritance tax per couple if they leave their home to their children or grandchildren. However, the rules around this can be complex and in certain circumstances, the relief can be restricted, so it is important that your Will is reviewed to ensure that your family are able to benefit from the extra tax savings available.If you haven’t updated your Will since 2017, we can review and update your Will where necessary to ensure that you are eligible for this additional tax relief.

Please contact privateclients@tc-group.com or call our Private Client Team on 0330 088 7111 to arrange your free consultation.

« Back to My BCTC

Guidance Released for Government Scheme to Pay 80% of Retained Staff Wages from TC Accountants

After much anticipation, this evening we finally received some clarity on the Government’s Scheme to pay 80% of staff wages (CJRS), and we are now in a position to advise you more fully on your HR strategy.

CJRS, Staff Furloughs and Salary Reductions

Unfortunately, despite lobbying from pressure groups, the furlough scheme only applies to staff that are ’laid off’ and therefore not available to do any work for their employer. It doesn’t provide any flexibility around ‘part-time furloughs’ for employers that are looking to reduce hours worked per person rather than headcount. Government technical update can be found here. Consequently, most businesses will now need a more complex HR solution that includes furloughing some staff and reducing the hours worked of other staff via a consultation process. 

For staff you have chosen to furlough you will need to:

  • Obtain written consent from the staff you have chosen to furlough so that you can begin implementation; 
  • Prepare letters confirming the position to inform them immediately of the situation and your decision. 

For staff who shall continue working, you will need to:

  • Consider the level of wage reduction you will need to implement; 
  • Begin a consultation process preparing the staff for what is to come; 
  • Obtain written consent from the staff and prepare letters confirming the position.
      

Contact the TC team at your earliest possible opportunity if you need any assistance with your HR strategy or delivery. We are anticipating that this process will continue for some time as the legislation develops and there might also be scenarios where staff move in and out of ‘furlough’ depending on the business’ performance. As always, the TC Group will be on hand to support you through this difficult time.

Aid for the Self-Employed

Also announced today was support for the self-employed and it mirrors somewhat the relief for employees. 80% of earnings capped at £2,500 per month. Frustratingly, the support will not be available until June, although it is back-dated to 1 March 2020 and therefore will be paid as a lump sum.

If you qualify, HMRC will contact you and supply a form to complete and once completed will transfer the payments directly to your bank account. 

The key qualifying criteria are:

  • You will need to have completed an income tax return for the business; 
  • Your earnings from the business need to be less than £50,000 per year last year or on average for the last 3 years.  


The amount will be based on average monthly earnings over the past three years.

Contact us immediately if you have not already filed your 2019 tax return, as this is a critical step in gaining the benefits. The return needs to be filed by 23rd April 2020 for you to qualify for this support.

Unfortunately, this scheme does not apply to directors and business owners that pay themselves via a mixture of salary and dividends.

There is more support available to help the self-employed, including VAT deferrals, Universal Credit and the Business Interruption Loan Scheme. More information is already available via our website.

TC Group is here to guide you through this challenging period

Contact us today to discuss the points raised in this email or any other concerns you have as a business owner, about your personal finances, or, as an employer now on 0330 088 7111

Kind regards
TC Group

Coronavirus – if you want to discuss Government funding, HR options, mortgage holidays or tax breaks please contact us now.

Trades Against The Virus Trades against the virus is a construction industry campaign to boost the stocks of food in the nation’s food banks in preparation for the escalating public health crisis. Find out how you can do your part.

« Back to My BCTC
BECOME A MEMBER