Town Ranger: Update On The Streets Of Wimbledon

As Wimbledon blossoms back to life, our Town Ranger has been working especially hard to ensure that the streets of Wimbledon Town Centre remain safe, attractive and clean

Love Wimbledon is continually active in helping our town centre stay clean and be an area we can all be proud of, and the work of our town centre ranger, Tom is vital to this. In the past month alone, he has resolved a staggering 235 issues on our streets. Generally these include fly tipping and fly posting, graffiti removal, water leaks, blocked drains, waste issues and helping businesses to reduce the level of crime.

By working with Veolia, Merton Council, TfL and utility companies and more, we are able to ensure issues are resolved quickly often before the public notice them.

On Tom’s recent adventures around the town, he has found the likes of a mannequin, pushchair, sofa and a suitcase all fly-tipped in various locations around the town centre.

Wimbledon is one of the safest town centres in Greater London and we are working hard to keep it this way as the town adapts to a new normal. By continuing our work to connect retail businesses with local police and CCTV via our Town Link Radio and Littoralis (anti-social behaviour secure information sharing system) these systems help businesses to reduce crime and facilitate joint working with all key partners across the area.

Without this work, the businesses and the town wouldn’t have a voice to stay on top of these day to day issues. Tom’s daily reporting and investigating, allows Love Wimbledon to stay up-to-date with what issues are affecting businesses and work to resolve these.

The Love Wimbledon team have been instrumental in helping businesses as they re-open or prepare to do so, by dishing out our funky new floor vinyls to help businesses manage socially-distanced queues, and posters to let customers know which stores are open and which stores will be opening again soon.

 

“I have received such a lovely, positive response from businesses recently, who have really welcomed Love Wimbledon’s support as they prepare to re-open. Having strong relationships with local businesses in the town centre, has helped them to feel comfortable to discuss the issues they are facing and many have said that the community feels more connected now than ever before. ” 

 

– Tom Ruffell, Love Wimbledon Town Ranger

 

Tom has even turned into our resident photographer… Check out some of the great pictures he’s got of our businesses recently to let customers know that they’re open and ready to welcome visitors back in safely.

Love Wimbledon has been preparing the town centre, so that it is ready to welcome consumers back to shop safely and responsibly, as well as maintaining Wimbledon as an attractive, vibrant, and well cared-for town to visit. In addition to the work mentioned above, we contract with Community Clean to provide graffiti removal and deep cleaning of areas of the town centre once a month.

Incidents can be reported directly to our Town Ranger by emailing Tomr@lovewimbledon.org or by calling 020 8619 2012.

Merton Discretionary Grant Fund Scheme Opens for Applications

 

Small and micro businesses with ongoing fixed property costs may be eligible for a grant from the Discretionary Grants Scheme if they were not eligible for the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund.

This fund is significantly smaller than the previous coronavirus related grants and will only be available to support a small number of businesses in Merton.

Merton Council will administer the scheme in two phases and the deadline for phase 1 applications is 5pm on 24 June 2020.

 

For more information about eligibility and to apply, CLICK HERE 

We are hosting a webinar, 16th June 10-11am,  to assist businesses with understanding the qualifying criteria, in partnership with Merton Chamber of Commerce and Merton Council. Register for the webinar here.

Merton Best Business Awards Cancelled

 

On 22nd May 2020 the Merton Chamber Board of Directors, in consultation with Award sponsors, made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Awards. The Awards will return in March 2021 to celebrate everything that is good about business in Merton.

 

Diana Sterck, CEO of Merton Chamber of Commerce, explains the decision

“Cancelling the Awards this year is a big disappointment to us and our sponsors and I know for all potential business applicants. The decision was not taken likely and we have held off making it for as long as we could. We launched the Awards two days before we went into Lockdown in March 2020 and were always hopeful that the country would recover much more quickly from the COVID-19 pandemic than has been the case. We want the Awards to be relevant, timely and appropriate for all business sectors and, because of the pandemic and the challenges faced by many sectors, we have made the decision that our energies need to go into supporting business as we come out of Lockdown and into recovery”.

 

The Merton Best Business Awards is Merton Chamber of Commerce’s flagship event. It will return in 2021 to celebrate the amazing achievements of local businesses.

 

To find out more about Award winners and sponsors please visit www.mertonbestbusiness.co.uk

 

An Essential Checklist for Re-opening Your Business

 

We have been working diligently to deliver timely updates and advice to help your business re-open safely.

This checklist is intended for you to use as a guide to ensure there is a smooth transition back to work, regardless of the industry or size of your business. At this time, communication between your suppliers, employees and customers is key to managing expectations and a successful restart.

Visit our dedicated Covid-19 page for additional resources and government guidance and please do get in touch to let us know how we can best support you.

 

Download the Essential Checklist

Retail/Hospitality: Top Tips To Welcome Your Customers Back

 

A High Street Survey recently conducted by City Dressing, found that consumers in Wimbledon stated ‘increased cleaning and sanitation’ as the most important factor that they wanted to see change across the high street.

With many being apprehensive to visit town centres during this pandemic, please take consideration of how to make your customers feel safe whilst visiting your premises.

Check out our list of top tips, for what steps your business could take to mitigate the risk of Covid-19 within your store, and welcome customers back to your store.

  1. Leave store doors open during trading hours, to allow for good ventilation.
  2. Increase the regularity of deep cleaning on your premises, especially surfaces, door handles, tools and other surfaces that people touch regularly.
  3. Limit the number of people entering your store.
  4. Encourage customers to maintain a 2 metre from each other and from your staff, where possible.
  5. Limit transactions to contactless payment methods.
  6. Have hand santiser readily available for use by customers and your staff.

Please remember to consult full government guidance on re-opening, including how to protect your staff, which can be found here and includes sector-specific advice on how to re-open safely and responsibly.

Still unsure on what steps your business needs to take? Then get in touch!

Covid-19 Risk Assessment For Your Office

 

Award-winning, Wimbledon-based company Peldon Rose are now providing Covid-19 Risk Assessments of office spaces for both new and existing clients, and could help you manage your premises so that it is safe for employees to return to work.

 

Peldon Rose has been delivering office design and office refurbishment projects in London for over 30 years.  Their team of in-house experts take the time to learn about your business and their diverse network of clients has enabled them to transform workplaces across London.

 

Like any successful team, they know that we’re stronger when we work harmoniously, and thus utilise the immense talent and creativity of everyone who works at Peldon Rose.  That’s why they offer all the services you’ll need under one roof.  Their in-house team of design and build specialists are made up of everything from workplace consultants to furniture planners, mechanical and electrical experts and experienced designers.  They can even provide aftercare office maintenance with support teams on 24/7 to ensure that your building continues to operate successfully long after the build has finished.

 

Peldon Rose are currently working with existing and new clients to provide a Covid-19 Risk Assessment.  This would now appear to be a business requirement and would reflect any actions which need to be implemented and monitored ongoing.

 

They are able to either survey your office or can work from floor plans.  Any follow-up requirements such as signage, hand sanitizer points, Perspex screening, re-arranging desk layouts are all areas where we can assist.

 

Contact sally.hayden@peldonrose.com to find out more.

Government Guidance for Working Safely During Coronavirus

 

The government has published guidance to help employers ensure that workplaces are as safe as possible during Coronavirus.  There is detailed sector-specific advice available, including managing social distancing, how to conduct and share a COVID-19 risk assessment and workforce management.

Restaurants can continue to operate on a takeaway or delivery basis only until a further announcement is made.

The government has outlined five steps to safer working together:

  1. Carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment and share the result with people at work
  2. Have cleaning, handwashing and hygiene procedures in line with guidance
  3. Take all reasonable steps to help people work from home
  4. Take all reasonable steps to maintain a 2m distance in the workplace
  5. Where people cannot be 2m apart, do everything practical to manage transmission risk

You can read the detailed guidance here and download the staying-covid-19-secure poster.

We encourage you to check back for updates and do get in touch with us if there is anything we can do to support your business in this transition back to work.

 

Reach Out and Connect with MPs Paul Scully and Stephen Hammond Webinar Recording

 

On Tuesday 5th May Love Wimbledon and Merton Chamber of Commerce hosted a webinar with MP Paul Scully, the Under Secretary of State for BEIS and Minister for London, and our local MP, Stephen Hammond, about the Government’s support for business and to hear their views of how we might emerge out of lockdown. It was well attended and a prime opportunity for businesses to ask questions about the various areas of government support, including the Business Bounce Back Loans, further details on the top-up grant and when businesses might receive guidance about re-opening.

Click here to watch a recording of the webinar.

We are here to represent your concerns and lobbying on behalf of businesses in Wimbledon Town Centre to ensure a strong restart. Visit our dedicated Covid-19 page for collated resources to keep up-to-date with government and financial support and public health guidance.

Be sure to check back for future webinars and get in touch if you’d like to address a specific topic or need additional advice and support for your business.  info@lovewimbledon.org

 

 

 

Eight Weeks to Save the Nation’s High Streets

UK High Streets are on the brink of collapse as the eight-week countdown to the next quarterly rent instalment begins today, according to the #RaiseTheBar campaign.

Figures released today by #RaiseTheBar show 54,638 businesses from pubs to shops, restaurants, cafes, bars, hotels, galleries and gyms are currently unable to access the £25,000 RHLG grant due to their business rates valuation falling between £51,000 – £150,000.

As part of the RHLG guidance, only those in the retail, hospitality, leisure sectors with a rateable value of up to £51,000 can access the vital grant, leaving tens of thousands of businesses stranded. The #RaiseTheBar campaign, launched on 21 April 2020, is calling on the Government to raise the arbitrary £51,000 business rates threshold cap to £150,000, allowing over 54,638 businesses in these sectors the chance to survive. The campaign has secured cross-party support including:

  • 86 Conservative MPs wrote to the Chancellor on Friday 1 May, in an open letter calling for the business rates threshold to be increased
  • The Shadow Chancellor Rt. Hon. Anneliese Dodds MP has written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rt. Hon. Rishi Sunak MP, to bring to his attention the #RaiseTheBar campaign
  • Rt. Hon. Matt Hancock MP, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, committed to discuss the need to increase the business rates threshold with the Chancellor following a question in the daily Government briefing on Monday 27 April

Love Wimbledon is supporting the #RaiseTheBar campaign which believes access to the £25,000 is the difference between survival and bankruptcy for businesses on High Streets across England and Wales. The grant will enable businesses to mitigate significant stock losses and cashflow challenges, including rent, that wage subsidies do not address. Many businesses are not in a position to take on further debt or have serious misgivings about being able to survive the recovery and service loans. Other cash pressures include suppliers, service charges and the cost of re-opening to repurchase stock and ongoing running costs.

“Teokath of London has built up a reputation as one of the best bridal retail shops in the UK. We are about delivering on the dreams of our brides and feel a massive responsibility to making sure they have their once in a lifetime dress. It means everything. Our business is our family, we all live, work and breath it – it’s our passion. With no income, we need access to a grant to pay suppliers and give us the breathing space we need to survive – without it we face the daunting prospect of folding.”

Steve Sotiriou, Teokath of London (Wimbledon)

The #RaiseTheBar campaign estimates a maximum of £1.365bn in Government support is needed to enable the RHLG grant to support all 54,638 businesses falling within a business rates threshold of £51,000 to £150,000.

Matthew Sims, CEO, Croydon BID and co-founder of #RaiseTheBar campaign said, “Access to the RHLG grant is a ticking time bomb for tens of thousands of businesses on our High Streets and in our local communities. There are just eight weeks until rent is due and the prospect of going under is an uncomfortable truth the Government needs to hear and act upon now. The consequences of failing to increase the business rates threshold are too grim to bear.”

Night Czar for the Greater London Authority, Amy Lamé said, “London’s night time economy makes a huge contribution to life in our capital, but so many of these local businesses are under threat because of the impact of the coronavirus. They have rightly closed their doors to play their part in tackling this health crisis, but too many are not being supported by the government despite losing their entire income. It’s essential the Government raises the bar so that these treasured businesses can get the support they need so they are able to open their doors again when the time comes.”

To support the campaign individually whether you work in the sectors or not, you can sign the Petition to show your support. SIGN HERE

 

NOTE TO EDITORS

The #RaiseTheBar campaign was founded by Croydon Business Improvement District and Mr Fox pub in Croydon and launched on 21 April with an open letter to Rt. Hon. Alok Sharma MP Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

A change.org petition is calling on the public to help save the nation’s High Streets. The petition needs to reach 10,000 signatures to be recognised by Government.

Government Announces BID Resilience Fund

Wimbledon Town Centre - Centre Court

 

A BID Resilience Fund has been announced by government to assist Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) in recognition of the importance of BIDs in supporting businesses through Covid-19 and the vital role we will play in recovery. We are looking forward to understanding the detail of the grant, and we appreciate Stephen Hammond MP’s support in lobbying for this to ensure that Love Wimbledon is able to lead from crisis to recovery.

High Streets Minister Simon Clarke MP said:

“BIDs are uniquely placed and have a proven track record of success in supporting local businesses, empowering communities, championing our town centres and driving forward the renewal of our high streets.  It’s only right that during these unprecedented times we give them all the necessary support they need to continue operating, so that they can carry on their vital work now and crucially when we move into the recovery phase from the current crisis.”

Helen Clark Bell, Chief Executive of Love Wimbledon BID said:

“We are using our networks and partnerships to provide co-ordination and support to Wimbledon Town Centre businesses. We have been lobbying for our businesses that have found themselves ineligible for funding, whilst supporting Merton Council to release those funds promptly to those that are eligible. This fund is particularly welcome at this juncture to enable us to continue this support and lead the town into recovery in a safe and responsible way.”

Read the press release here.