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COVID-19 BUSINESS SUPPORT

Posted: Monday 6th April 2020
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     
 


 
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Posted: Monday 6th April 2020
Hitchin Businesses offering delivery - update

These local businesses are offering delivery so you can continue to support them while following social distancing or self-isolation measures
Tim's Art Supplies
(Art and Craft Supplies)Delivering pre-paid supplies locally for you arts and crafts. 
FREE DELIVERY ON PRE-PAID ORDERS OF &POUND25 PLUS, OR &POUND2 CHARGE FOR SMALLER ORDERS (MINIMUM &POUND5)
Over the phone payment available for confirmed orders.
Covering Hitchin, Letchworth and local villages.
For more information and to check availability please call: 01462 455 376

Tastebuds
(Coffee, cake and light meals)Lunchtime delivery service from 11am onwards
Have delicious food and tasty coffee delivered to your home or office.
For more information call: 01462 455 733

Maison Blanc
(Furniture. homeware and gifts)
Offering both Home Delivery and Kerbside Collection. 

Home DeliveryDropped at your front door with a call to let you know your goods have arrived.
Pre-payment essential, available over the phone.
£30 minimum spend.
5 mile radius for delivery.
Donations towards petrol costs welcomeKerbside CollectionCollect your goods from outside the shop (21A Bancroft, SG5 1JW)
Order and pay by phone.
No minimum spend.Call 01462 625 265 for more info, or see Maison Blanc on Facebook. 

Kazoku
(Japanese DIning)Takeaway replacing all eat in services.
Either collect your order or have it delivered.
Pre-ordering and pre-payment available by phone.
Cash payment also available on collection.
Small delivery charge applies: £2 for Hitchin, £5 for Letchworth, £5 for Stevenage
New Takeaway Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 5pm-9.30pm / Sun 12pm-9.30pm
Call 07438 853 471 

The Vintage Bay
(Vintage Homeware and Gifts)Delivery available through their website: https://www.thevintagebay.co.uk/

VaperBar
HitchinHome delivery available from 23rd March
Products delivered: Vape Juices, Coils and Mods
Available to all customers within a 7 mile radius of HItchin SG5 1BG
Minimum of £20 order with free delivery
Payment accepted: Cash or contactless and also bank transfers if customers prefer .
To order call 01462 432 959 or 07940 972071

Etcetera
Offering home delivery and kerbside collection
Home deliveryItems (that will comfortably fit in our cars) dropped at front door
Pre-payment essential - order & pay by phone
£20 minimum spend
5-mile radius   Kerbside collectionOrder & pay by phone
Collect goods from outside shop
No minimum spend
For more info contact 01462 434946 or look at our Facebook and Instagram pages

Art Nest
We will be setting up an online shop and a FREE delivery service to all our customers within a 10 mile radius of the gallery 
Postage & packing will have to be charged to customers outside of the 10 miles

Beer Shop
Order via our web store https://shop.beershopshq.uk/
Craft beer, traditional ales and lagers in bottle or can plus our Beer Shop merch
Delivery via courier and locally bu us where possible

The Car Agents
Our MOT and Service Centre are offering a Free Collection and Delivery service within a 10-miles radius
All vehicles will be collected and delivered back having been repaired, MOT'd or serviced and then cleaned, and supplied with a seat, steering wheel & gear lever cover, together with a floor mat
The vehicle owners can book online or over the phone, we will then collect, carry out the works, take payment online or via a car payment and then deliver back with the keys placed in an envelope, to be put through the letterbox
01462 441460
www.thecaragents.com

H Town Rags
Offering local home delivery via our Instagram @htownragsuk and have online Depop shop @ragsonlineuk

Candl - ibrium
www.candl-ibrium.com
Handcrafted candles, wax melts, Bathbombs and reed diffusers
Delivered by Candl-ibrium staff to local Hitchin, Luton and Stevenage areas (including villages)

Jolly Brown
07779 490847 / 01462 434292
Clothing & Acessories
Customer will purchase online or in store whilst we're open
www.jollybrown.co.uk
They will pay online or over the phone, we will pack it up and its ready for delivery HITCHIN ONLY

Wholesome Weigh
01462 433155 and we will be delivering on cargo bikes
Organic food and zero waste
Our website will soon be up and running to take orders
www.thewholesomeweigh.co.uk

Molly's Tearoom
01462 337470
Tea and cakes
Takeaway or delivery of Afternoon Tea while we are closed for customers
We will be in the shop between 10am-1pm to take bookings or collections

Caffe Elite 
 01462 451298
BREAKFAST, LUNCH, BRUNCH HOT AND COLD DRINKS MILKSHAKES & SMOOTHIES
Collection or Delivery free delivery Over £10 in Hitchin 
https://m.facebook.com/CaffeEliteHitchin/

Bosphorus
Deliveries now available to Hitchin and surrounding areas
01462 451904 to place order
Visit www.bosphorus.co.uk to view menu

Juicy Vapes
FREE next day courier delivery on orders over £20 from the website
www.juicyvapes.co.uk

Kushma Cottage
Delivery Thursday to Sunday only
01462 435936
www.just-eat.co.uk
www.kushmacottage.co.uk

Dhaka Restaurant
Takeaway and delivery service
01462 451732
www.dhaka-restaurant.co.ukPaprikaDelivery
01462 458140
www.chefonline.co.uk
www.just-eat.co.uk

AkashDelivery
01462 434241
www.just-eat.co.uk

Sukawatee
Delivery
Payment over the phone
01462 450255/07512 250864/65
www.sukawatee.com

Rice n' Spice
Meals delivered to your door
Discount for NHS and vulnerable
Immune system boosting food
No waste
Visit WWW.RNSMEALS.COM to get signed up

Jasmine
01462 423663
Menu: www.jasmineexpress.co.uk
www.just-eat.co.uk

Professional Dry Cleaners
Pick up and delivery service
Hitchin, Stevenage, Letchworth and surrounding villages
Dry Cleaning/Laundry & Pressing/Ironing service
10% discount on all household items
Min. order of £20 for free pick up and delivery, £3 charge under £20
For more information: 07728 263551

Fussey & Baer
Delivery takes place every Mon / Wed / Fri & Sat morning within Hitchin. Deliveries are contactless, we’ll simply knock on your door, leave your order on your front door step and wave from afar. 
Products - Coffee beans / ground coffee, cakes, at home coffee brewing equipment, hot chocolate powder, Chai, gift vouchers 
 
https://www.fusseyandbaer.com/shop
Info@dusseyandbaer.com can be used for any enquiries. 
 
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Posted: Monday 6th April 2020
IMPORTANT UPDATED INFORMATION Hitchin Business Support 31/3/2020
I appreciate this is a very challenging time for businesses and there is so much online information that’s irrelevant or out of date. I have been in contact with an excellent organisation called ‘Be The Business’ which has quickly adapted its website to bring free up to date business support and information. They are funded by the Government and are one of the best resources out there for business trying to understand where, how and when to get support. Please follow this link for more information  www.bethebusiness.com

Update on Government Grants
North Herts District Council are due to receive the Business Support Grant funding from Central Government tomorrow. Businesses in the retail, leisure or hospitality sectors can now apply for the grant. Please follow this link to apply https://www.north-herts.gov.uk/home/emergency-planning/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-help-businesses . If you have a Rateable Value of £15,000 or bellow you are eligible for a £10,000 grant. If you have a Rateable Value between £15,001 and £50,999 you are eligible for a £25,000 grant.
 
There are number of businesses that are unsure if they qualify for this grant. The Council have asked that if you are unsure, please apply anyway and they will review the application. If you need me to confirm your Rateable Value, Account Reference Number or generally need assistance in completing the application please feel free to get in touch on 07597380818 or email tom.hardy@hitchinherts.com 
 
Letters to Landlords
I drafted a letter which was sent to you all requesting that landlords make contact with tenants to offer support during this time. If you have not seen the letter or would like a copy to be sent out, please get in touch. Although the Government have blocked commercial landlords being able to evict tenants I have been in touch with the local MP to see what other support measures the Government are due to put in place to ensure businesses can continue after this is over.  

Local Business Deliveries
We now have a list of local people willing to help Hitchin businesses deliver products and food to residents. If you are a Hitchin Town Centre businesses and need help promoting and delivering your products and food, please get in touch with marketing@hitchinherts.com 
 
If you are already set up for deliveries, please email marketing@hitchinherts.com with the following information to go on our dedicated ‘Deliveries’ section on the www.hitchinherts.com website.  
  • Business name
  • Phone number
  • Type of food or product
  • Logistics of deliveryLocal 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    


   
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Posted: Monday 6th April 2020
UPDATED INFORMATION Covid-19 Hitchin Business Support 27/3/2020
Business grants - North Herts District Council
North Herts District Council are about to launch the application form which should be available next week. The Council will be contacting those that qualify shortly, and I have sent them your email address to make this process more efficient. The grants are available for businesses in the retail, leisure and hospitality sector. I will contact you all as soon as this process starts.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is a temporary scheme open to all UK employers for at least three months starting from 1 March 2020. We expect the scheme to be up and running by the end of April. It is designed to support employers whose operations have been severely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19).
 
Employers can use a portal to claim for 80% of furloughed employees’ (employees on a leave of absence) usual monthly wage costs, up to £2,500 a month, plus the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on that wage. Employers can use this scheme anytime during this period.
The scheme is open to all UK employers that had created and started a PAYE payroll scheme on 28 February 2020.
 
Furloughed employees must have been on your PAYE payroll on 28 February 2020, and can be on any type of contract, including:
 
  • full-time employees
  • part-time employees
  • employees on agency contracts
  • employees on flexible or zero-hour contracts

 
Any UK organisation with employees can apply, including:
 
  • businesses
  • charities
  • recruitment agencies (agency workers paid through PAYE)
  • public authorities

 
Please follow this link for more information https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme 
 
A message from MP Bim Afolami - Support for the self-employed
"Earlier this week, in the House of Commons I urged the Chief Secretary to the Treasury to take a broad approach in its financial support for self-employed people in light of the Coronavirus pandemic. Yesterday, the Chancellor announced a new Self-Employed Income Support Scheme - helping many of the musicians, sound engineers, plumbers, electricians, taxi drivers, hairdressers, childminders, driving instructors and many other self-employed people in our constituency and across the country.

Through the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, the Government will:


Pay self-employed people across the whole UK who have been adversely affected by Coronavirus a grant worth 80 per cent of their average monthly profits over the last three years, up to £2,500 a month, for three months – this will be extended for longer if necessary. 

Make it simpler for self-employed people to get the financial support they need. Self-employed people who are eligible will be contacted by HMRC directly, asked to fill out a simple online form, and HMRC will pay the grant directly into their bank account. They expect people to access the scheme by the beginning of June.

Will ensure support reaches those self-employed people who are most in need of it. The scheme will only be open to those with trading profits up to £50,000, leaving 95 per cent of people who are majority self-employed eligible for the scheme. HMRC will also ask people to demonstrate that the majority of their income comes from self-employment, and, to minimise fraud, only those who are already in self-employment, and who have a tax return for 2019, will be able to apply.


This builds on the support that is already available to self-employed people:


Many will be able to access loans through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans Scheme. This scheme provides loans of up to £5 million, which will be interest free for twelve months.

It will be quicker and easier to access benefits. Those on contributory ESA will be able to claim from day 1, instead of day 8. They are relaxing the requirement for anyone to physically attend a job centre – everything can be done by phone or online.   

The minimum income floor will be suspended for twelve months – meaning self-employed people can now access, in full, Universal Credit at a rate that is equivalent to Statutory Sick Pay for employees.

Income tax self-assessment payments will be deferred for July until the end of January 2021. 

 
Support for Businesses
I know how tough it is for all businesses right now, large or small.  I am working very closely with the Government, and am committed to supporting you through this crisis. Last week the Chancellor and Prime Minister made it clear that the Government will stand behind every business and employee that is affected by Coronavirus. These are unprecedented measures: For the first time in our history, the British Government is going to step in and help pay people’s wages. 
 


The Government is stepping in and helping pay people’s wages

Deferring the next three months of VAT tax, a direct injection of over £30 billion of cash to employers. 
The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme will now be interest free for twelve months.

No business in the retail, hospitality or leisure sector will pay any Business Rates for 12 months. 

Supporting small and medium-sized businesses to cope with the extra costs of paying Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) "

 
Are you offering deliveries?
If you are set up for deliveries please get in touch with marketing@hitchinherts.com to be added to the www.hitchinherts.com  We can then promote your business!  

 


 



 
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