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Thank You Businesses

Since the beginning of the pandemic, businesses in Wimbledon Town Centre have connected with the wider community, to do their bit. This has culminated in supplies for food banks, meals for the NHS, food parcels for the vulnerable and much more.

So we want to thank you – all town centre businesses, whether large, small, high street or office-based, for being part of the local community. Here are some of the things that the Wimbledon community has achieved throughout Covid-19:

  • Donating to Dons Local Action Group (DLAG)
    Through Dons Local Action Group businesses including Wilko, New Wimbledon Theatre, Morrisons, Tesco Metro, Leon, Garratt and Gauge, Wahaca, Little Waitrose,  Odeon and The Prince of Wales, donated stock to help those in need, such as via Wimbledon Foodbank. Centre Court Shopping offered morning food parcels for vulnerable people and delivered prescriptions, whilst Elys staff volunteered to give out Easter goodies. There have been countless other cafes, restaurants and food shops who have made significant contributions.
  • Feeding the NHS and the Vulnerable
    The Alexandra pub cooked up over 1,000 meals for NHS staff, as well as restaurants such as Aya Lebanese who offered up over 100 delicious falafel wraps. Domestic and General partnered with Salute the NHS group to serve nutritious meals to key frontline NHS workers. Lush gave out bath bombs to NHS workers. The Antoinette Hotel, The Old Frizzle, Wibbas Down, Wahaca and Leon each contributed towards meals for Merton’s Winter Night Shelter, Wimbledon Foodbank and Merton Covid Mutual Aid.

  • Repurposing Facilities to Combat Covid-19
    Coty one of the largest global beauty companies, repurposed their factories to produce hand sanitising gel, distributing products free of charge to medical and emergency staff. Firecracker Works, adapted their facilities to manufacture PPE for frontline workers. Leading food packaging manufacturer, RAP turned over its production line to manufacture disposable face shields, and empty office donated space to St Raphael’s Hospice.
  • Wimbledon Guild Charity
    Wimbledon High students donated Christmas presents to support children across Merton, with Sainsburys and Waitrose donating products. Domestic and General staff raised over £200 for the town-centre based charity.
  • Toy Donation
    The staff at Tesco Metro donated toys to Dons Local Action Group for children across the borough.
  • Donating Laptops
    CIPD HQ donated 50 devices to the ‘Keep Kids Connected‘ scheme run by Dons Local Action Group, to assist children and schools to support remote learning.
  • The Polka Refurbishment

    With limited funding and delays in construction, the Polka needed to raise more, Icon Solutions, a local office-based business stepped in and generously donated £100K towards the update.

For more examples of how businesses in Wimbledon assisted the community through Covid-19, click here.

Rapid Tests Available For Wimbledon Businesses and Employees

Testing for front-line workers

Testing for ALL front-line workers, volunteers and carers who have NO symptoms, is now available via Merton Council.

The council is encouraging these groups to get a lateral flow test (a rapid test) twice a week. They have plenty of capacity, so if you must leave home to go to work and regularly mix with other people, then this testing is for you.

Book a rapid (lateral flow) test for coronavirus here.

This is open to all front-line workers, including but not limited to: health and social care workers, carers, emergency services staff, volunteers, essential shop workers, those who work in the court system, taxi drivers, lorry drivers, food production workers, maintenance workers, hospital cleaners, frontline public sector workers, delivery drivers, tradesman and anyone whose work means they have to mix with others.

As many as 1 in 3 people could be carrying the virus without showing any symptoms, so regular testing means you can continue your job safely and avoid passing the virus onto those you work with.

You must book a test in advance as the council cannot accommodate walk-ins.

Please remember that if you do have symptoms, even mild, you should self-isolate immediately and book free test by calling 119 or via nhs.uk/coronavirus.

Testing for businesses with 50+ employees

Business with over 50 employees can now order Coronavirus (COVID-19) rapid lateral flow tests for their employees, who are unable to work from home. These asymptomatic tests are not to be used if you or your employees have symptoms – anyone with symptoms should order an individual test and stay at home. Tests will be delivered directly to the business’ premises.

Businesses must register before 31st March.

If your business has fewer than 50 employees, the employee should use the post code checker to find the nearest community testing centre.
Find out more here.

Prepare Your Business for the NHS Covid-19 App

 

New measures in place for the Hospitality, Leisure and Close Contact sectors:

  • Businesses will need to display the official NHS QR code poster for customers to ‘check-in’ in support of Test and Trace (more details below).
  • Pubs, bars, restaurants and cafés must operate table-service only.
  • Pubs, bars, restaurants and cafés, including takeaway, are required to close from 10 pm to 5 am (delivery can continue after 10 pm).
  • Customers in indoor hospitality venues must wear face coverings, except when seated at a table to eat or drink. Staff in hospitality and retail will now also be required to wear face coverings.
  • From 28th September businesses will face stricter rules to make their premises COVID Secure. Details about sector-specific guidance, including a Covid Secure Certificate to display, can be found here.

 

Collecting Customer Data

From Thursday September 24th, the NHS Test and Trace app will be able to be downloaded on mobile phones across UK. All hospitality, close contact and leisure businesses are being advised to use this system to assist with the track and trace of your customers.

By displaying the official NHS QR poster, the NHS COVID-19 app has a feature which allows users to ‘check-in’ to your venue by scanning the code. This is a secure way for individuals to ‘check-in’ as the details stay on the person’s phone. In England, people who ‘check-in’ do not then have to provide their contact details as part of the staff, customer and visitor logs. All customers must either check-in with the NHS App or give you their details, this does not change this requirement but should make it easier for your business to manage this process.

Official NHS QR posters can be generated online.

Organisations can find out more about NHS QR codes and how to generate them on the NHS COVID-19 app website.

 

The data that you are being asked to collect is personal data and must be handled in accordance with GDPR to protect the privacy of your staff, customers and visitors.

GDPR allows you to request contact information from your staff, customers and visitors and share it with NHS Test and Trace to help minimise the transmission of COVID-19 and support public health and safety. It is not necessary to seek consent from each person, but you should make clear why the information is being collected and what you intend to do with it.

You do not have to inform every customer individually. You might, for example, display a notice at your premises or on your website setting out what the data will be used for and the circumstances in which it might be accessed by NHS Test and Trace.

Full details are available here.

 

Managing the Local Situation

Some areas of the country are having to deal with local lockdowns and managing local outbreaks. We are monitoring the local situation using the government website that is updated daily.

We are also in regular communication with Merton Council’s Public Health Department. You will see currently Merton has one of the smallest incidences of Covid 19, however we must remain vigilant to provide the safest environment for our customers, so please do continue to maintain high standards of Covid awareness within your business.

 

In preparation for what to do if there is an outbreak, please read through the early outbreak management action cards here.

  1. Identify the source of the possible or confirmed case(s)
  2. Report it to Public Health England Health Protection Team (PHE HPT)
  3. Respond according to the advice received by PHE HPT

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.

London Business Hub Webinars

Property Advice Webinars

The London Business Hub are running FREE property advice masterclasses to businesses, covering topics such as business rates and lease negotiations. These masterclasses will cover a range of topics to support London’s SMEs on the issue of being a commercial tenant, including:

  • Advice on how to navigate rent negotiations with your landlord
  • Handling talks with your Local Authority on issues such as moving forward a change in planning use class and business rates
  • How to use arbitration services to break an impasse in rent negotiations with your landlord
  • Advice on how to negotiate an exit from a current lease/licence commitment

Upcoming Webinars:

To take part in this programme your business needs to:

  • Have 250 or less employees (including yourself)
  • Have an annual turnover below £44m
  • Be based or trading in London

Covid-19 Business Help Series

These highly informative FREE webinars are delivered by expert speakers and carefully designed to guide London’s small businesses across various problem areas, as they navigate the challenges of COVID-19.

More Business Hub Events

With a list that’s constantly updated, London Business Hub have brought together trade shows, workshops, networking opportunities and their own series of invaluable business webinars in one essential directory.

Online Training:
Display Screen Equipment Awareness Course

Working from home?  Is your PC or laptop set up correctly?  This course is aimed at users of display screen equipment (DSE).  

DSE is a term that covers a wide range of equipment. If it is not set up correctly, users are at increased risk from certain disorders. As an employer, you share the responsibility to keep people safe at work. That means undergoing relevant training and ensuring that rules are followed.

These courses are aimed at users of display screen equipment (DSE) and those responsible for assessing display screen equipment. A ‘user’, is anyone who regularly uses display screen equipment for a significant part of their normal work. In practice, if you use display screen equipment continuously for more than one hour a day, then you’re a ‘user’. So what do we mean by display screen equipment? The first thing most people think of is a computer monitor. But that’s not the only thing it refers to Display screen equipment could also mean laptops, tablet PCs, televisions, smartphones, CNC control pads, portable diagnostic screens or equipment containing cathode ray tubes, or CRTs. The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations contain special directives covering DSE safety.

Both employers and employee-users have responsibilities under the legislation. These courses fulfil your statutory training obligations and covers among other things, the correct way to set up and use your display screen equipment safely. Reducing the risk of work related conditions.

This course can be undertake at any time and any place.

 

Merton Chamber of Commerce launches a suite of affordable online training to support employers in meeting their legal duties.

  • All courses are certified and are completed online.
  • Certificates will be issued upon completion.
  • Additional courses available upon request.
  • Course price: £35

Click here to book or contact info@mertonchamber.co.uk if you want more information.

Online Training:
Fire Marshal Course

The main outcome of this Fire Marshal training course, held by Merton Chamber of Commerce is to provide you with the knowledge to carry out the functions of a fire marshal.

Please note, this course also contains all of the content in the Basic Fire Awareness and Fire Extinguisher courses.

This course is available to you to undertake at any time and any place.

Merton Chamber of Commerce launches a suite of affordable online training to support employers in meeting their legal duties.

  • All courses are certified and are completed online.
  • Certificates will be issued upon completion.
  • Additional courses available upon request.
  • Course price: £35

Click here to book or contact info@mertonchamber.co.uk if you want more information.

 

Online Training:
Emergency First Aid at Work Refresher Course

The perfect follow up if you have already undertaken one of Merton Chamber of Commerce’s Emergency First Aid at Work courses.

This Emergency First Aid Refresher course will highlight some of the most common situations that you might come across and the actions that you can take to help.

 

Merton Chamber of Commerce launches a suite of affordable online training to support employers in meeting their legal duties.

  • All courses are certified and are completed online.
  • Certificates will be issued upon completion.
  • Additional courses available upon request.
  • Course price: £35

Click here to book or contact info@mertonchamber.co.uk if you want more information.

 

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