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IMPORTANT INFORMATION Covid-19 Hitchin Business Support 6/4/20
I’ve spent the last few weeks receiving and sending out relevant information to help you access the financial support announced by the Government. Reading up on Government information, being in contact with our local MP, NHDC and various other businesses and organisations has meant I am able to give local businesses support and guidance through this time. If you are struggling to find out what funds you might be eligible for, how to access support or need advice, please do get in touch with me any time by emailing tom.hardy@hitchinherts.com or call me on 07597380818. If you have missed any of my updates please follow this link where we have upload all the information https://www.hitchinherts.com/blog.php?id=64   

Government Grants
North Herts District Council will be sending out grants to eligible businesses that have completed an application form from 9th April. Please follow this link and read the eligibility criteria https://www.north-herts.gov.uk/home/emergency-planning/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-help-businesses 
If you think you are eligible, please complete the application form and the Council will be in touch.
 
Furlough Staff
Many of you have already furloughed your staff to allow access to the Governments job retention scheme. Through PAYE, HMRC will refund 80% of staff salaries up to £2500 per month. It is up to the employee whether they pay staff 80% of their salary and claim it all back or top it up by 20%. HMRC have yet to open the portal to allow claims to be processed. I would advise you contacting your accountant to ensure they are ready to claim as soon as the portal opens. Andrew Pearce from Bradshaw Johnson Chartered Accountants on Bancroft has kindly agreed to offer free impartial financial business advice on this process. Please email andrew.pearce@bjca.co.uk  

Hitchin Landlords
Many landlords have already been in touch with their tenants to offer various support and on commercial rent. As the Government have stated that it is down to their discretion as to the level of support they offer, I am intending to hold a meeting to allow key landlords to share the support they have in place and receive advice. I am in the process of setting up a conference call with the MP Bim Afolami and some of the key Hitchin landlords in coming days.
 
Free IT support
Mark at Ideas Anvil on Bancroft have kindly offered local small businesses free IT support to help them through this challenging time. If there are any businesses or organisations in Hitchin that do not have any IT resource to support them during this disruption then within reason they are happy to provide that free of charge during these extraordinary times and until businesses get moving again on a more normal footing.
 
For example if businesses need help with;
  • remote support for their staff that are working from home, setting up email, printers, cloud services
  • they have a technical issue in the workplace,
  •  need technical advice on any aspect of IT systems or services,
  • or simply someone to bounce ideas offIf you want to discuss this at all please contact me – mark.scott@ideasanvil.com, Managing Director, Ideasanvil Ltd. - https://www.ideasanvil.com/ 
 
Delivering products and food
Setting up a delivery service for food and products can be a complicated and daunting task. I understand that some businesses are in need of advice on how to set this service up whilst keeping within the health and safety Government guidelines. If you are keen to set up a delivery service and need some advice, please get in touch.

If you are already set up for deliveries, please email marketing@hitchinherts.com with the following information to be added to the business directory as a delivery businesses on the www.hitchinherts.com website and to promote you on our social media platforms.
  • Business name
  • Phone number
  • Type of food or product
  • Logistics of delivery 
Local Business Vouchers
To try and ease cashflow challenges over the coming weeks, we are encouraging businesses to create and offer vouchers for residents to buy now and redeem later in the year. We have set up a voucher page on the www.hitchinherts.com website which we will promote on various social media platforms.
 
Please send us the following information to marketing@hitchinherts.com        
  • What the voucher includes
  • Which business it is for
  • An image or company logo to accompany the listing
  • Contact details (website, phone number) for customers to call or purchase voucher.If you don’t already have vouchers, we are also offering all businesses FREE voucher printing in the Information Office. Please email a PDF of your voucher and how many you want printed to tom.hardy@hitchinherts.com