Mayor of London Launches
Back To Business Fund

Back to Business Fund Pay It Forward

 

The Mayor of London has launched a £1m Back to Business Fund, match funding up to £5,000 for small and independent businesses through the Pay It Forward London crowdfunding platform. The funding is intended to help businesses expand their operation online, invest in the future and adapt to safe, socially distant practices in sectors that rely on physical trading, including retail, hospitality, leisure, tourism, travel, creative and arts, entertainment and recreation, and health and fitness.

To be eligible, your business will need a crowdfunding project on Pay It Forward London and reach 25% of your campaign target. Once 100% of your target is reached, the funding is released, up to £5,000 – or 50% of your campaign target.

For more details about eligibility, to set-up a project and to apply click here.

Prepare Your Business for Local Lockdowns

 

As we start to recover from the national lockdown, the last thing any business needs to be considering is a local lockdown.

Love Wimbledon is in regular contact with the Director of Public Health and the Merton Council Business Support team and we are monitoring the local statistics carefully. Currently, the risk in the local area is very low. Should any indication of a local lockdown in Wimbledon emerge, we will maintain our communication and support to our BID businesses by keeping you up-to-date with any information.

In the meantime, the CBI (Confederation of British Industry) has recently released a factsheet to help businesses prepare for and navigate local lockdowns.

This covers issues such as:

  • Adding local lockdowns into your business continuity risks
  • Ensuring that you understand any restrictions or measures implemented
  • Sending out clear, reassuring communications to staff
  • How long local lockdowns can last
  • The best way for business to engage with government over local lockdowns
  • How businesses should respond to outbreaks in their workforce

We urge all our businesses to check out the factsheet here, which also includes government guidance on local lockdowns.

Love Wimbledon BID is here as usual to support your business through these times.

 

Love Wimbledon Accredited as a Good Work Standard Employer

 

In partnership with CIPD, the Wimbledon based professional body for experts in people at work, the Mayor of London’s Good Work Standard was officially launched in summer 2019 – part of his commitment to making London the best city in the world to work. The Good Work Standard sets a benchmark for every London employer to work towards and achieve, so that they contribute to a fairer and more inclusive London economy.

Love Wimbledon are pleased to be the first official Good Work Standard employers in Wimbledon and the second Business Improvement District in London to receive such accreditation. We believe this is an important recognition of our commitment to our people. It also reflects the many ways in which we are striving for the best possible working conditions for our employees.

In order to achieve the Good Work Standard accreditation, employers must complete and demonstrate a number of requirements across the four pillars of this benchmark. This includes: fair pay and conditions, workplace wellbeing, skills and progression, diversity and recruitment.

By signing up to the Good Work Standard, employers signal that they are committed to healthy, fair and inclusive workplaces. We know this is an important step in attracting and retaining a diverse, talented and successful workforce and we hope to assist other businesses in realising these benefits.

To read more about the Good Work Standard, including how your business can work toward achieving this, click here.

See the full list of accredited employers here.

Wimbledon Post Office Wins Award For Service During Covid

Wimbledon’s The Broadway Post Office recently won a ‘We’re Stronger Together’ award for their service during the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

The Broadway Post Office won the Better for Customers category at the Post Office’s ‘We’re Stronger Together’ regional awards for Greater London. These awards recognise efforts made by postmasters across the region to keep branches open during Covid-19 pandemic and serve their community.

The award was presented virtually to Postmaster Atul Bathia who runs The Broadway Post Office, by Post Office Chief Executive Nick Read. Postmasters who operate branches in the Greater London region had the opportunity to share their experience of running their branch during the pandemic and hear directly about the Post Office’s future growth strategy.

Post Office Area Manager Nafisa Huda, said:

“The Broadway Post Office won in this category for their dedication to the customer in challenging circumstances. Despite being short-staffed, the team decided to focus their efforts on limiting the time a customer would have to spend in branch waiting. Additionally the team managed to increase their Drop & Go service to become the branch with the greatest new sign-ups in London. Their dedication to the customers has been recognised by their receipt of many thank you cards and gifts which have flooded into the branch in recent weeks.”

Postmaster Atul Bathia, said:

“I would like to thank my entire staff team both on the Post Office side and retail side who have been fantastic and have worked hard for me through this difficult time. I also have had tremendous help and support from the Post Office Thank you. Finally, I would like to say a special thank you to all my customers who have been supportive, understanding and caring for all of my Team and other customers by keeping each other safe!”

Nick Read, Chief Executive at the Post Office, said:

“I have heard many inspiring stories of postmasters going the extra mile and I have welcomed the opportunity to hear first-hand how postmasters in Greater London have fared during the pandemic including The Broadway. All retailers have been affected and Post Office was no exception. The next few weeks and months will be a critical period as we try and return to a sense of normality. Post Office branches have a vital role to play in supporting their customers and communities, as well as helping small businesses and independent retailers get back on their feet.”

Cash will continue to play a vital part in our economic recovery from Covid-19. Post Office branches are often the last counter in town where businesses can deposit a day’s takings. Currently business deposits are growing between 10 – 20% week on week.

For small businesses, being able to get goods out to customers is key. Post Office’s ‘Drop and Go’ parcel service has seen a 70% increase in use month on month. Last month, Post Office reactivated its online foreign exchange service and its branch pre-order operation. Customers planning trips abroad can order over 60 currencies online for next day home delivery or collection from all 11,500 Post Office branches. The option to collect in-branch helps increase footfall at our branches and on the UK’s High Streets.

The Broadway Post Office is based at 89 The Broadway, Wimbledon – pop in, show your support to a fellow business owner and #LoveLocal.

Eat Out To Help Out Scheme

 

The government has launched the Eat Out To Help Out scheme to incentivise customers to eat at restaurants during the month of August, namely on slower days of the week.

 

The scheme is valid every Monday-Wednesday from 3 to 31 August 2020 and your business can offer a 50% discount, up to a maximum of £10 per person, to diners for food or non-alcoholic drinks to eat or drink in, which you can then claim back from the government.

 

The government will be doing a national promotion of the scheme and have provided free downloadable marketing materials for you to communicate your participation here.

 

We encourage you to register your business. It is essential to let us know you’re taking part so that we can promote this to the local community as part of our #LoveLocal campaign. 

Who can register

You can register if your establishment:

  • sells food for immediate consumption on the premises
  • provides its own dining area or shares a dining area with another establishment for eat-in meals
  • was registered as a food business with the relevant local authority on or before 7 July

You cannot register:

  • an establishment that only offers takeaway food or drink
  • catering services for private functions
  • a hotel that provides room service only
  • dining services (such as packaged dinner cruises)
  • mobile food vans or trailers
  • If your application is based on dishonest or inaccurate information, your registration will be revoked.

For more details about eligibility, how to make a claim and to register, click here.

To take advantage of savings when dining in at a fellow local restaurant in Wimbledon, click here.

Government Announce ‘Recovery Advice for Business’ Scheme

 

The government have just announced their new ‘Recovery Advice for Business’ scheme, through which small businesses will receive free, one-to-one advice from expert advisers on how they can bounce back from coronavirus (COVID-19) and to prepare for long-term recovery.

 

The scheme is hosted on the Enterprise Nation website, and backed by thousands of expert professional and business services advisers who are on hand and ready to do their bit in offering bespoke, specialist assistance in the following areas: accountancy, legal, advertising, marketing, recruitment and digital.

Each adviser has offered at least one hour of free advice a month until the end of 2020 which could deliver a lifeline to thousands of SMEs looking for support.

These experts come from some of the UK’s major professional and trade bodies who have signed up to support the scheme, including: The Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD), the Institute of Chartered Accountants England & Wales (ICAEW), the Advertising Association, the Law Society and the Management Consultancies Association (MCA).

How Does It Work?

Businesses who wish to access the support, must do so via Enterprise Nation platform. They will then be asked questions on the ‘Make a Plan’ diagnostic tool. This will allow Enterprise Nation to assess and identify both the level and specific areas of support needed.

They will subsequently be directed to a personalised dashboard where they will receive a detailed action plan which will include links to suggested tailored advice and relevant professional advisers willing to help.

Advice will focus on key areas:

  • accounting and finance
  • people and building a team
  • planning, strategy and pivoting
  • marketing, PR and social media
  • Technology and digital tools

Over 12,000 advisers in the existing Enterprise Nation community are available to provide advice through the platform, with more new professional advisers being signed up specifically to support the scheme.

Enterprise Nation is providing free access to the platform, until 31st December 2020

Want To Support The Scheme As A Business Expert?

Advisers will need to belong to a professional or trade body and hold valid Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII) to join the platform and offer advice. They will then need their Trade Body Coupon Code, demonstrating their membership of a professional body, and the link to the Enterprise Nation adviser sign-up page. This will enable advisers to sign up as part of the programme, for free membership, for the duration of the programme until the end of December 2020. It will also ensure that all advice is provided by appropriate expert advisers.

 

Click here to access this support.

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