Member News & Events

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.

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Message for Businesses from our Honorary Accountants, TC: COVID-19 – Three Week Lockdown Announced

As you may be aware, the PM has just announced measures to enforce the social isolation guidance given last week. The measures will last a minimum of three weeks, key points are:

  • From this evening people must stay at home except for shopping for basic necessities, daily exercise, any medical need and travelling to and from work but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home. 
  • Shops selling non-essential goods will also be shut and gatherings in public of more than two people who do not live together prohibited. 
  • If people do not follow the rules police will have the powers to enforce them, including through fines and dispersing gatherings. 

It’s not completely clear what that means for different sectors but it’s likely to mean that businesses, other than essential sectors, must encourage staff to work from home wherever possible – if you need support in this area please contact our IT partners.

While these measures are needed to stop the spread of the virus, they will put more pressure on UK SMEs. It is therefore imperative you contact us immediately so we can help you access the government funding and grants that are available to you. As a reminder, the key things you should be considering are as follows:

This week

Contact us for help accessing government funding – There are 12 month interest-free loans available via the banks (under the Business Interruption Loan Scheme) and other institutions and we can help manage the process from beginning to end. If you haven’t already started this process please contact us immediately so we can assist you, we are anticipating significant delays if you don’t act quickly.

Contact us for help with time to pay arrangements – Businesses and self-employed people with outstanding tax liabilities (excluding VAT), will have the option of paying by instalments online. TC has already helped many clients to obtain extended payment terms.

Contact landlords to negotiate payment plans or holidays – Commercial tenants will now be protected from eviction for three months if they cannot pay their rent due to coronavirus. If you need any guidance or support on how to handle this, you can call us now.

Contact us for help negotiating business rate payment holidays – If your business isn’t eligible for an automatic grant then speak to your local authority to see what flexibility they can offer. Contact us now if you need advice or support on this.

Apply for 3 month personal and corporate mortgage holidays – These are available for residential or Buy to Let mortgages, as well as landlords with affected tenants. Contact your lender now.

Contact your insurance brokers – Find out if your policy covers business interruption, and if so, what the conditions are for eligibility.

Previously Announced Measures Awaiting Further Detail
Government to pay 80% of staff wages – The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) won’t be live for 2-3 weeks, and grants are unlikely to be paid until the end of April. Contact TC, and we can talk you through the options available as they emerge.

Enhanced SSP – To be paid from day 1 of absence and will apply retrospectively from 13 March. Self-employed workers will be able to access universal credit at the same rate. A mechanism for reimbursement is still being developed.

Automatic Measures Already Announced
SBRR – One-off grant of £10,000 to business currently eligible for SBRR or Rural Rate Relief Small Business Rate Relief. You will be contacted by your local authority in early April – you do not need to apply.

Deferred VAT payment – Businesses can defer VAT payments between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020 until April 2021. All UK businesses are eligible, and no applications are required.

Deferred 31 July 2020 Self-employed tax payment – This payment will be deferred until 31 January 2021.

Automatic Measures for Specific Sectors
Businesses in retail, hospitality, and leisure will receive cash grants of up to £25,000 per property, in addition to a business rates holiday until April 2021.  Nursery businesses subject to business rates will also receive immediate support.

Anticipated Measures To Come
We are anticipating extra support for self-employed people, either via further enhancements to the benefits system, or more likely, a scheme that is similar to the CJRS.

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.

TC Client Services
From tomorrow we are closing all of our physical premises which may have a temporary impact on our post handling whilst we adapt our processes, we will be in touch shortly with further details. All other services will continue as normal and most staff have been working at home over the past 2 weeks so we will continue to support you in the normal way via calls, emails and video conferencing.

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.

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COVID-19 – Business Support Measures. A Message for Businesses from our Honorary Accountants, TC

On Friday the Government announced further measures to help businesses during COVID-19. Whilst the measures are welcomed the details are still emerging and business owners are still not clear on how they access the additional funds and grants that are available to them.

As we await further information from the Chancellor, we thought it would be useful to recap on the two key measures and what business owners could be doing next.

Business Interruption Loan Scheme (BILS)
BILS has been set-up to support businesses financially via banks and other institutions, we still don’t have all of the details but the scheme will be live from Monday 23rd March. As a reminder the loans will be interest free for 12 months and designed to help businesses continue trading during COVID-19. As a first port of call please speak to TC to discuss the options available to you.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)
As a reminder under CJRS all employers can apply to HMRC for a grant to pay 80% of the wages of retained staff who are not working (known as “furlough”) up to a maximum of £2,500 per worker per month. This was announced on Friday but the Government portal won’t be live for 2-3 weeks and the grants are unlikely to be paid until the end of April so whilst this is a positive announcement there are no immediate steps you can take to apply. Details will be released over the coming days and we will keep you informed as we get them.

Next steps

As the grants under CJRS won’t arrive quickly, the focus this week should be on:

  • Ensuring you have the funds you need to continue trading via BILS so you can continue to fund your wage costs until the CJRS grant can potentially reimburse you at the end of April. Contact TC and we can talk you through the options available as they emerge. 
  • Starting to discuss your payroll arrangements with your relationship manager at TC to ensure you are well placed to take full advantage of any CJRS grant available to you at the earliest opportunity. 

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.

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BCP: Financial support for businesses – information and contact details as of 19/03/2020.

The Chancellor recently announced a new wave of measures to financially support businesses impacted by COVID-19. These include but are not limited to:

  • Businesses receiving Small Business or Rural Rate Relief will get a grant of £10,000 to support cash flow 
  • Retail, leisure and hospitality grant – those with Rateable Value of between £15,000 and £51,000 will get an additional cash grant of up to £25,000 
  • Retail, leisure and hospitality rate relief – Discount of 100% extended to all businesses in sector regardless of Rateable Value 
  • Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme – will enable businesses to apply for a loan of up to £5 million, with the government covering up to 80% of any losses with no fees. Businesses can access the first 6 months of that finance interest free, as government will cover the first 6 months of interest payments. 
  • For businesses with fewer than 250 employees, the cost of providing 14 days of Statutory Sick Pay per employee will be refunded by the government in full. 

To keep updated with the latest government announcements on business support throughout the coronavirus situation check the Central Government website or subscribe to receive email alerts.

It is important to note that BCP Council is awaiting further guidance on the award mechanism of this financial support from Central Government. As soon as this information is known, we will inform you via this email, on our @Business_BCP Twitter feed, the @BCPCouncil Twitter feed and on our website. At this time businesses do not need to take any further action. Funding for the Grant Scheme will be provided to local authorities by government in early April.

Further information and support for the local area can also be accessed through the Dorset Growth Hub, and the Dorset LEP.

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A Message from Vikki Slade, Council leader regarding COVID-19 in the BCP area

BCP Council’s response to COVID-19 
Our Leader, Councillor Vikki Slade would like to update you on the actions we’re taking to make sure we continue to deliver the most essential services to residents most in need, while at the same time setting out plans to support community resilience.   

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Bournemouth Chamber of Trade & Commerce AGM and President’s Dinner Update 18th March 2020

Dear Chamber Member,
As a result of the ongoing deteriorating situation regarding COVID-19, the Bournemouth Chamber of Trade and Commerce have taken the difficult decision of postponing the President’s Dinner. 

This decision has not been taken lightly and we feel we owe it to all our members to respect their Health, Safety, and Welfare over and above all other considerations. A new date will be announced in due course once the situation regarding this pandemic is clearer. All ticket holders will be refunded accordingly.

The AGM will still take place on 18th March at the Hotel Collingwood from 6 pm. For those people who wish to vote but do not wish to attend, you are advised that you can vote by proxy.  To do this please contact as soon as possible. 

For those people who are attending the AGM, be advised we will be using a larger room affording more space for individual comfort. 

Our very best wishes are extended to all our Members and friends.

Kind regards, 

Roger Smith 
President of BCTC

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Wednesday, 18th March 2020
The Hotel Collingwood, Bournemouth at 6:00 pm

The AGM is free to attend for all paid members of the Bournemouth Chamber. Only fully paid members are eligible to vote at the AGM, so please ensure that if you wish for your vote to be included please ensure your membership is paid and up to date for 2020. If you are a paid member and have not received your email regarding the AGM, please email

In order for us to ensure that everyone can be seated at the AGM, we do require that attendees book for the meeting. Please register your attendance for the AGM HERE.

Following the AGM meeting, you are welcome to join the Executive Board and Chamber President at the annual President’s Dinner. 

This year’s Black Tie dinner includes a three-course menu. We are set for an evening of great food and after dinner entertainment, so we hope that you wish to join us at what will be a great night out.

Bookings for the Presidents Dinner are now being taken via the link HERE. Please specify any dietary requirements when booking. Last booking date is 9th March and there are no refunds after that date.

Should you have any questions prior to the event, please contact

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Bournemouth Chamber comment on sad news of historic Bournemouth Department Store

Bournemouth Chamber of Trade & Commerce’s (BCTC) have been deeply saddened by the news that The Beales chain of department stores has gone into administration.  

With its 139 years of history, Beales was established in 1881 by John Elmes Beale, who was an English politician and merchant when he opened its flagship store in Bournemouth, which today still stands on the same site.  

BCTC have greatly benefited from a close and long running relationship with Beales, and this was underpinned by its gift of the chain of office which each of Bournemouth Chambers appointed Presidents wear on official duty.    The image shows Mandy Polkey, Past President, wearing the chain of office at BCTC’s Beales Breakfast Networking.   The jewel with ribbon is engraved on the back and was gifted by Beales.

Additionally, ‘Beales Breakfast Club’ became an established part of BCTC’s repertoire of Networking for many years.  A relaxed free monthly event which was a proven popular formula with companies who did business in Bournemouth and benefited from a hearty breakfast and no formal introductions to make lasting contacts for you and your business. 

J. E. Beale knew how to add a touch of theatre to the Beales shopping experience.  In 1885 he came up with the idea of having a live Father Christmas parading in the shop and showrooms. It was possibly the first instance of this being done in England.  

Additionally, a shop-walker in tailcoat and striped trousers would welcome customers, recognising the well-known ones and conducting them from their carriages to the appropriate counter.

And in 1912, Father Christmas arrived by air, waving to the crowds from an open cockpit before being flown back to a field in Pokesdown, to return to the shop by road. The following year, the shop introduced the Easter farm, which was to become a popular seasonal fixture.

Beales of Bournemouth became an institution and expanded in the 1960s with Bealesons, an offshoot of J. E. Beale & Sons Ltd which remained in the family throughout its history.  Bealesons opened its main site in Commercial Road, with a further branch opening in Old Christchurch Road.   Its demise coming about in 1967 with a bad tourist season from people not familiar with the town, confused by two stores with virtually the same name.

Mandy Polkey, BCTC Past President said of the news:  “It is very sad that Beales has gone into administration. Beales has been such a landmark and lead retail establishment in our town, it is hard to imagine it gone. Tough trading and challenging times make it difficult for even the most experienced and knowledgeable of retailers to perform well in these conditions.

At BCTC we have been very proud to be closely associated with this business over the years and are very sad to see the recent headlines. We sincerely hope that a way is found for the store to continue trading and wish Tony Brown the best of luck with his endeavours.”

The Bournemouth Chamber of Trade and Commerce (BCTC) has a simple aim – to help local businesses like yours grow and thrive. We achieve this by providing networking opportunities, as well as the very latest business information, training and development. We’re also your voice – ensuring that, together, we’re stronger.

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BCTC President’s Dinner

Come and celebrate our new President with a three-course dinner and entertainment

Following on from the AGM at 6pm, come join us for the Black Tie celebration of our new President of the Bournemouth Chamber of Commerce at the Collingwoood Hotel. At the same time, say goodbye to our outgoing President, Roger Smith.

The evening will start with a Drinks Reception followed by a three-course dinner.

There will be musical entertainment to dance the night away.

Please let us know of any special dietary requirements by emailing

The last day of booking is Monday 9th March and no places booked are refundable after that date.

Reserve your place HERE!

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