All posts by Intern

17/06/21  Update: Make a change for Clean Air Day! –

15/06/21  Update: Government extends lockdown by four weeks –

14/06/21  Update: Free training programmes from nlet – Sign up here! –

11/06/21  Update: If you do one thing today, make sure it is to book/get your vaccination! –

9/06/21  Update: 35,000 have ‘Stepped Up’ by getting vaccinated in the first two weeks of Hounslow’s surge programme! –

8/06/21  Update: Get a PCR test at a mobile or local test site near you! –

4/06/21  Update: Make today the day you get your first jab! –

2/06/21  Update: Get vaccinated at a pop-up clinic! No appointments necessary –

27/05/21  Update: No local lockdowns in Hounslow –

26/05/21  Update: Go get vaccinated –

25/05/21  Update: Surge testing and increased vaccinations in Hounslow –

20/05/21  Update: May issue of Let’s Talk Business out now –

19/05/21  Update: Grants, Vaccinations & Webinars –

18/05/21  Update: Webinars ands click thoughts –

13/05/21  Update: Jabber & Jabs! –

12/05/21  Update: We do Webinars! –

11/05/21  Update: Mediation & Arbitration webinar this week & London Irish ticket offer! –

4/05/21  Update: Money available and more positive news! –

27/04/21  Update: help businesses bounce back –

20/04/21  Update: Hounslow Leisure Centres are now open! –

14/04/21  Update: Tax changes and help to bounce-back! –

9/04/21  Update: Restart Grant –

7/04/21  Update: We’re on the road to recovery! –

1/04/21  Update: Regrowth & recovery – help is out there! –

29/03/21  Update: Next step on the road map! –

23/03/21  Council updates & Job opportunity! –

19/03/21  Update – £69m available! –

18/03/21 Security: Cyber & Physical Webinar –

17/03/21  Local grant updates –

15/03/21  Update – fomo: many webinars this week! –

11/03/21  Update – don’t miss the deadline for workplace testing! –

9/03/21  Update – want to become more involved with the Bees? –

4/03/21  Update – Business Grants latest news & full Budget report –

2/03/21  Update – London is back to No 1! –

26/02/21  Update: Exciting financial opportunities –

24/02/21  Update: 24th February – Roadmap for easing of lockdown –

23/02/21  Update: 23rd February –

22/02/21  Update: 22nd February –

18/02/21  Update: 18th February –

15/02/21  Covid-19 Update: 15th February –

12/02/21  Covid-19 Update: 12th February –

10/02/21  Covid-19 Update & Forth coming webinars: 10th February –

8/02/21  Covid-19 Update: 8th February –

4/02/21  Covid-19 Update: 4th February – Support Grants UPDATED –

1/02/21  Covid-19 Update: 1st February –

28/01/21  Covid-19 Update: 28th January –

26/01/21  Work/Life Update: 26th January –

22/01/21  Covid Message – 22nd January –

21/01/21  Work/Life Update: 21st January –

18/01/21  Work/Life Update: 18th January –

15/01/21  Work/Life Update: 15th January –

13/01/21  Work/Life Update: 13th January –

12/01/21  Work/Life Update: 12th January – Webinars coming up to help you! –

9/01/21  Work/Life Update: 9th January –

7/01/21  Work/Life Update: 7th January –

6/01/21  Work/Life Update: 6th January –

5/01/21  Welcome to 2021 and Lockdown – 5th January –

21/12/20  Work/Life update: 21st December –

15/12/20  Work/Life update: 15th December –

14/12/20  Work/Life update: 14th December –

9/12/20  Work/Life update: 9th December –

8/12/20  Work/Life update: 8th December –

3/12/20  Work/Life update: 3rd December –

27/11/20  Work/Life update: 27th November –

24/11/20  Work/Life update: 24th November –

18/11/20  Work/Life update: 18th November – Hounslow Business Support Grant –

17/11/20  Work/Life update: 17th November –

13/11/20  Work/Life update: 13th November –

11/11/20  Work/Life update: 11th November –

9/11/20  Work/Life update: 9th November –

5/11/20  Work/Life update: 5th November –

3/11/20  Work/Life update: 3rd November –

2/11/20  Work/Life update: 2nd November – National Restrictions in England –

29/10/20  Work/Life update: 29th October –

27/10/20  Work/Life update: 27th October –

26/10/20  Work/Life update: 26th October –

23/10/20  Work/Life update: 23rd October –

21/10/20  Work/Life update: 21st October –

20/10/20  Work/Life update: 20th October –

16/10/20  Work/Life update: 16th October – London moved to High Alert –

15/10/20  Work/Life update: 15th October – New local Covid Alert Levels –

7/10/02  Work/Life update: 7th October –

5/10/20  Work/Life update: 5th October –

1/10/20  Work/Life update: 1st October –

29/09/20  Work/Life update: 29th September – New measures and NHS App –

25/09/20  Work/Life update: 25th September – New regulations –

23/09/20  Work/Life update: 23rd September –

18/09/20  Work/Life update: 18th September –

17/09/20  Work/Life update: 17th September –

15/09/20  Work/Life update: 15th September with a spotlight on Hammersmith & Fulham (please scroll down) –

9/09/20  Work/Life update: 9th September –

7/09/20  Kickstart scheme via Hounslow Chamber of Commerce – Work/Life update: 7th September –

2/09/20  Work/Life update: 2nd September –

28/08/20  Work/Life update: 28th August –

26/08/20  Work/Life update: 26th August –

25/08/20  Covid-19 update: 25th August –

19/08/20  Covid-19 update: 19th August –

18/08/20  Covid-19 update: 18th August – Coronavirus cases rising in Hounslow –

13/08/20  Covid-19 update: 13th August –

11/08/20  Covid-19 update: 11th August – Eat Out to Help Out –

6/08/20  Covid-19 update: 6th August –

4/08/20  Covid-19 update: 4th August –

29/07/20  Covid-19 update: 29th July –

27/07/20  Covid-19 update: 27th July –

24/07/20  Covid-19 update: 24th July –

22/07/20  Covid-19 update: 22nd July –

21/07/20  Covid-19 update: 21st July –

16/07/20  Covid-19 update: 16th July –

13/07/20  Covid-19 update: 13th July –

10/07/20  Covid-19 update: 10th July –

8/07/20  Covid-19 update: 8th July – Summer Economic Update –

6/07/20  Covid-19 update: 6th July – Arts & Culture £1.57bn package announsed –

3/06/20  Covid-19 update: 3rd July –

2/06/20  Covid-19 update: 2nd July –

30/06/20  Covid-19 update: 30th June –

29/06/20  Covid-19 update: 29th June – The Discretionary Business Support Grant –

26/06/20  Covid-19 update: 26th June –

24/06/22  Covid-19 update: 24th June –

23/06/20  Covid-19 update: 23rd June – Prime Minister announces easing of lockdown restrictions –

22/06/20  Covid-19 update: 22nd June –

18/06/20  Covid-19 update: 18th June –

17/06/20  Covid-19 update: 17th June –

15/06/20  Covid-19 update: 15th June –

11/06/20  Covid-19 update: 11th June –

10/06/20  Covid-19 update: 10th June –

9/06/20  Covid-19 update: 9th June –

8/06/20  Covid-19 update: 8th June – Safety when going back to work –

4/06/20  Covid-19 update: 4th June –

3/06/20  Covid-19 update: 3rd June –

2/06/20  Covid-19 update: 2nd June –

1/06/20  Covid-19 update: 1st June – News on the Discretionary Business Support Grant –

29/05/20  Covid-19 update: 29th May –

28/05/20  Covid-19 update: 28th May – Test & Trace –

27/05/20  Covid-19 update: 27th May – High Streets Reopening –

22/05/20  Covid-19 update: 22nd May –

21/05/20  Covid-19 update: 21st May – Future Fund launch –

20/05/20  Covid-19 update: 20th May –

19/05/20  Covid-19 update: 19th May –

18/05/20  Covid-19 update: 18th May – Public transport advice et al –

15/05/20  Covid-19 update: 15th May – mish mash of updates –

14/05/20 Covid-19 update: 14th May – housing market unlock/ TfL information and masses more besides –

13/05/20  Covid-19 update: 13th May – Easing & furloughing and much more besides –

12/05/20  Covid-19 update: 12th May – Recovery Strategy and much more besides –

11/05/20  Covid-19 update – 11th May – Start of lifting restrictions: PM’s announcement from 10th May –

7/05/20  Covid-19 update – 7th May –

6/06/20  Covid-19 update – 6th May –

5/05/20  Covid-19 update – 5th May or Star Wars plus1 – Bounce Back loans –

4/05/20  Covid-19 update – 4th May –

1/05/20  Covid-19 update – 1st May –

30/04/20  Covid-19 update – 30th April –

29/04/20  Covid-19 update – 29th April –

28/04/20  Covid-19 update – 28th April – The Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan –

27/04/20  Covid-19 update – 27th April –

24/04/20  Covid-19 update – 24th April – Coronavirus tests are now available to essential workers –

23/04/20  Covid-19 update – 23rd April –

22/04/20  Covid-19 update – 22nd April – Coronavirus business support finder tool –

21/04/20  Covid-19 update – 21st April –

20/04/20  Covid-19 update – 20th April – Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme –

17/04/20  Covid-19 update – 17th April –

16/04/20  Covid-19 update – 16th April – furloughed employees –

15/04/20  Covid-19 update – 15th April –

14/04/20  Covid-19 update – 14th April –

9/04/20  Covid-19 update – 9th April –

8/04/20  Covid-19 update – 8th April –

7/04/20  Covid-19 update – 7th April –

6/04/20  Covid-19 update – 6th April – COVID-19 Business Loans scheme revamped –

3/04/20  Covid-19 update – 3rd April- How to Claim Your Grant Payment –

2/04/20  Covid-19 update – 2nd April –

1/04/20  Covid-19 update – 1st April –

31/03/20  Covid-19 and our wellbeing/mental health –

31/03/20  COVID-19 update – 31st March –

30/03/20  COVID-19 update – 30th March –

27/03/20  Coronavirus update – 27th March – more details –

27/03/20  Coronavirus update – 27th March – Self employment package –

26/03/20  Coronavirus – information from Hounslow Council – 26th March –

26/03/20  Coronavirus update – 26th March –

25/03/20  ShopAppy –

25/03/20  Coronavirus update – 25th March –

24/03/20  Financial advice and support for local business – 24th March –

24/03/20  Security advice from Safer Business Hounslow/Hounslow Chamber of Commerce –

23/03/20  Coronovirus – Job Retention Scheme details –

23/03/20  Coronovirus update: 23rd March –

22/03/20  URGENT message for Hounslow’s Businesses –

20/03/20  Hounslow Chamber Task Force to help business during coronavirus pandemic –

20/03/20  Coronavirus – More things that might help –

20/03/20  Coronavirus – Things that might help –

19/03/20  Coronavirus related scams – Stay safe –

18/03/20  Government assistance for business –

18/03/20  Rescue Remedies? –

17/03/20  Lift your spirits? –

Bounce Back Loans – When Could Directors be Made Liable?

Since they were introduced in May of last year (2020), more than one million Bounce Back Loans have been approved, with more than £30bn of funding landing in the accounts of the UK’s small businesses. However, for some businesses, even these attractive loans will not be enough to save them. That’s why it’s so important that you understand the potential implications if you default on the loan and your business enters liquidation.

What is the Bounce Back Loan Scheme?

The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) is a loan with very favourable terms that was introduced by the UK government to give small businesses a quick source of affordable funds. Under the BBLS, small businesses can access 25% of turnover up to a maximum of £50,000 to help them ride out the Covid storm.

No interest is charged for the first 12 months and importantly, the loan is 100% government backed. That means there’s no need for assets to be provided as security or personal guarantees to be given by company directors.

What Happens if you Default on a Bounce Back Loan?

Government has advised lenders to follow their usual protocols for chasing and enforcing loan defaults. This will mean threatening letters, court action and potentially baliffs if you don’t pay, within what timeframe remaining unclear at this point. The lenders have to chase borrowers for unpaid loans through the courts.

The key point here is that while simply not paying back the loan is unlikely to yield decisive and immediate action from which lending institution you used, it will happen eventually.

What Happens if you Don’t pay Back a Bounce Back Loan?

If you cannot pay back the Bounce Back Loan, your
company has likely reached a state of insolvency, one of the definitions of which is an inability to pay bills when due.

The state of insolvency puts directors at risk unless you understand what it means and how it changes your responsibilities. This means you cannot pay anyone (employees, yourself, any creditor etc) without risk of showing preference.

What Happens to a Bounce Back Loan in Liquidation?

If your company has been hit hard by the outbreak and cannot afford to repay its debts, you will need to decide on the best course of action. If the business cannot be rescued, you will be left with little choice but to close the company down. A creditors’ voluntary liquidation is the process of closing down a company with debts voluntarily. A licensed insolvency practitioner must be appointed to sell the business’s assets, repay the creditors in a prescribed order and close the company down.

Can you be Made Personally Liable for Bounce Back Loans during a Company Liquidation?

So far then, the situation seems clear cut. If you cannot repay a Bounce Back Loan, whether the company is liquidated or otherwise, then you will not be personally liable for its repayment.

However, there are two scenarios when personal liability issues may arise against Directors:

1. When the funds are not used for the benefit of the company?
If the Directors are taking advantage of the scheme by using the funds to buy personal assets, invest in property and pay off personal loans.

2. When you pay certain creditors ahead of others? 
An example of a preferential payment could be a loan that’s repaid to a    connected party of the company such as a board member, relative or friend, while other unsecured creditors such as HMRC go unpaid.



When forwarding please respect the integrity of CSSC messages and do not alter the content or formatting of the authoritative message.

Industry Sector Leaders,

COMMS – Greater London Authority’s (GLA) Launch of Cool Spaces Phase 2 – Outdoors – 1st June 2021 and Indoors 21st June 2021 to 15th September 2021, subject to the Government’s Roadmap out of COVID-19 Lockdown Measures


Following the GLA’s invitation to register indoor and outdoor cool spaces for opening this summer, the GLA would like firstly to thank those who have registered spaces by completing the invitation as part of phase 2. This is very much appreciated.

Phase 2 will run from 1st June 2021, for outdoor cool spaces and 21st June 2021 for indoor cool spaces, until 15 September 2021, the period when Public Health England and the NHS Heatwave Plan is in operation.


Secondly, we are pleased to let you know that, despite the significant pressures that boroughs, community groups, cultural venues and faith based communities are facing due to the impacts of Covid-19, the GLA received a positive response  with a total of around 300 indoor and outdoor sites registered to date.


The GLA has now reviewed the cool spaces data sent by the boroughs, community groups, cultural venues and faith-based communities alongside data and mapping that the GLA holds. This ensures that the identified spaces fit into one of the three tiers that can apply to indoor and outdoor spaces: –


  • Tier 1 has the greatest number of minimum amenities that Londoners can expect from a cool space
  • Tier 2 has the second greatest number of minimum amenities
  • Tier 3 includes outdoor green and blue spaces which, although not providing the minimum amenities for tiers 1 and 2, provide suitable conditions for the public to access shade from heat.


The tiered approach to classifying cool spaces is meant to provide Londoners with a better understanding of what can be expected from spaces and how certain spaces can better fit their needs.

These cool spaces will be available to the public through an online map, which can be accessed on the GLA website. The map has a mobile function which allows members of the public to find suitable cools spaces near them.

The cool space sites are targeted at Londoners who would like to to/need to access outdoor, green shaded spaces and indoor cool spaces during the day to provide respite from the heat. This should help Londoners to better prepare for, respond to and recover from hotter summers ahead.

The cool spaces initiative isn’t targeted at ‘vulnerable’ and/or ‘at risk’ groups. Public Health England’s Heat Health Watch communications sets out the advice for these groups and is disseminated to boroughs. Also, the use of public spaces should follow current guidance on Covid-19 measures for indoors and outdoors.


The GLA would be most grateful if you could please assist once again by disseminating this communication. The Cool Spaces phase 2 map can be found on the GLA’s website, here:


If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact us at:  


The GLA is open to receiving further registrations of indoor and outdoor cool spaces. Should you be aware of other contacts / networks which may be able to register cool spaces, please do forward on this email and invite them to register here.  To submit multiple outdoor spaces please contact  


Annette Figueiredo- Co-Project Lead (GLA’s Environment Team)

Jose Reis- Co- Project Lead (GLA’s Resilience Team)

On behalf of the GLA’s Cool Spaces Project Steering Group

Greater London Authority, City Hall, The Queen’s Walk, London SE1 2AA


For recent articles go to:
Approval for latest stage of the depot transformation project
Former Northamptonshire prison hospital to be turned into ‘executive-style’ accommodation for businesses


There is often a lot of fizzle and rather less planning when creating a low carbon scheme. The danger is there will be minimal environmental gain and no profit if the low carbon strategy is not smart enough.

The knowledge and technology for low energy, zero carbon, carbon negative and energy positive buildings have been available for 20years. With increasing legislation, funders now require it. But how do you make your buildings work rather than do the minimum today and be out of date tomorrow? How do you avoid costly errors? With examples of low energy retrofit with insulation on the inside, new build and how this is being scaled for mixed use regeneration of the grade 2*, 20acre Royal Ordnance Depot.

Book now!

Michael Chittenden, Owner Royal Ordnance Depot.
Paul Vick, FRSA, Paul Vick architects.

For more events in June with LFA:

Paul Vick architects brings you 100% planning permission record with new builds and listed buildings, giving you confidence your vision will succeed.

Please stay connected and let us know how we can help you.


our first live conference since March 2020!

Book Here

Holiday Inn London – Brentford Lock

Thursday 24th June 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm & 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

In collaboration with Hounslow Council, this two-part event is to mark the many developments across Hounslow borough and to start our recovery.

Presentations (2:00 pm – 6:00 pm)

The afternoon starts with presentations in two rooms concurrently from major developers and stakeholders in the borough outlining their vision, including Peter Matthew, Executive Director of Housing, Planning & Communities, Hounslow Council (Click here for more details).

New speakers announced:


There will also be presentations from the following companies, who will also be taking exhibition/stand space:


Entrance is free of charge for pre-registered companies/attendees.

To pre-register, please book below.

Book Here

The two parts of the event are separate, but you are able to attend both if you would like. Naturally, there is a cost involved for the drinks.

Drinks Reception (6:30 pm – 8:00 pm)

Post presentation drinks with keynote speakers:

  • Justin Urquhart Stewart: Regionally
  • Cllr Steve Curran: Leader of Hounslow Council
  • Niall Bolger: Chief Executive of London Borough of Hounslow

Ticket price is £15 plus VAT and booking fee for members and £30 plus VAT and booking fee for non members per place.

Book Here

We are happy to announce that Justin Urquhart Stewart, from Regionally, famous for appearing on television wearing red braces, will be with us for at the drinks reception at our Regeneration & Recovery Conference.

Justin Urquhart Stewart, the co-founder of 7IM ensured the principle of doing the right thing was always just as important today as it was in the outset. Currently, Justin acts as Chairman to Regionally, a new investment service he co-founded, that redirects investment from London to the UK regions, specifically for scale-up SME’s and global private, non-retail investors. As an enthusiast of financial education and service, he is the champion of providing clients the very best, clearly expressed.


Regionally is an innovative new investment platform designed only for professional investors, HNW individuals, and institutions and working only with established SME companies based in the UK regions, looking for between £500,000 and £15,000,000+.


Regionally’s platform is centred around key due diligence and efficient reports produced by our Regional Corporate Advisors who ensure that our professional investors can confidently invest. It is a platform that brings together like-minded organisations to collaborate in a private, personalised and thriving space.


About the scheme

Launched on 6 April 2021, the Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS) provides financial support to businesses across the UK as they recover and grow following the coronavirus pandemic. You can apply to the scheme if Covid-19 has affected your business. You can use the finance for any legitimate business purpose – including managing cashflow, investment and growth. However, you must be able to afford to take out additional debt finance for these purposes.

If your business has already borrowed from any of the other coronavirus loan schemes – namely:

  • The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS)
  • The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)
  • The Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS)

RLS is still open to you, although the amount you have borrowed under an existing scheme may in certain circumstances limit the amount you may borrow under RLS. RLS will run until 31 December 2021, subject to review.

How it works

Types of finance

A lender can provide up to £10 million as one of the following facilities:

  • Term loan
  • Overdraft
  • Invoice finance
  • Asset finance

Up to £10m facility per business
The maximum amount of a facility provided under the scheme is £10m per business (maximum £30m per group). Minimum facility sizes vary, starting at £1,000 for asset and invoice finance, and £25,001 for term loans and overdrafts.

Guarantee to the lender to encourage lending
The scheme gives the lender a government-backed guarantee against the outstanding balance of the facility. As the borrower, you remain 100% liable for the debt.

Interest and fees to be paid by the business from the outset
Businesses are required to meet the costs of interest payments and any fees associated with the RLS facility. The annual effective rate of interest, upfront fee and other fees cannot be more than 14.99%.

Turnover limit
There is no turnover restriction for businesses accessing the scheme

Interest and fees to be paid by the business from the outset
Businesses are required to meet the costs of interest payments and any fees associated with the RLS facility. The annual effective rate of interest, upfront fee and other fees cannot be more than 14.99%.

Term length
For term loans and asset finance facilities: from three months up to six years. For overdrafts and invoice finance facilities: from three months up to three years.

Personal guarantees
Personal guarantees are not permitted for facilities of £250,000 or less. Above £250,000 the maximum amount that can be covered under RLS is capped at a maximum of 20% of the outstanding balance of the RLS facility after the proceeds of business assets have been applied. No personal guarantees can be held over Principal Private Residences.

Wages and salary changes for 2021/22
Minimum and living wage amounts
There are increases in the minimum wages you must pay to employees as of April 2021. New to the 2021/22 tax year is that the National Living Wage is extended to 23 and 24-year-olds for the first time, having previously been limited to those aged 25 and older.
The minimum and living wage details are as follows:
National Living Wage for people aged 23 and over: £8.91
• National Minimum Wage for people aged 21 to 22: £8.36
• National Minimum Wage for people aged 18 to 20: £6.56
• National Minimum Wage for people under 18: £4.62
• Apprentice rate for those aged under 19, or those over this age but in the first year of their apprenticeship: £4.30

Income tax Personal allowance
The income tax bands for the 2021/22 tax year are as follows:
• Personal allowance: Up to £12,570 (0% tax rate)
• Basic rate: £12,571 to £50,270 (20% tax rate)
• Higher rate: £50,271 to £150,000 (40% tax rate)
• Additional rate: More than £150,000 (45% tax rate)

Important Taxes Allowances in 2021/22
Although not directly related to business, it’s worth noting that the following personal tax allowances/thresholds do not increase in 2021/22, but are also frozen until April 2026:
• Inheritance tax thresholds Nil Rate Band £325,000
• Pensions lifetime allowance £40,000
• Capital gains tax annual exempt amounts £12,300

Corporation tax
Let’s start with the good news. There’s no increase in corporation tax for the 2021/2022 tax year, and there will almost certainly not be one in the 2022/23 tax year. But that all changes in April 2023, when corporation tax rises to 25% on profits over what will then be referred to as an Upper Profits Threshold of £250,000.
This is the first rise in corporation tax since 1974. It won’t be quite so bad if your business is smaller, because there’s also now a lower threshold for corporation tax, with its own rate. Known as the Small Profits Rate, this will apply to profits under £50,000 and the rate will remain at 19% as of April 2023.
But for those with profits between £50,000 and £250,000, there will be a new tiered corporation tax rate for April 2023 onwards – however, the government has not yet revealed details of this.

Capital allowances – Super Deduction
More good news is found in a new super-deduction capital allowance that can be used between 1 April 2021 until 31 March 2023.
This is set at 130%, and it means companies investing in qualifying new plant and machinery assets can claim back the cost as a first-year capital allowance, plus 30% on top of that. As the media has pointed out, this is like the government paying you to buy assets.
The goal is to encourage firms to invest and therefore grow. There’s also a further capital allowance measure that can be used by investing companies, who benefit from a 50% first-year allowance for qualifying special rate (including long life) assets.

VAT rates for 2021/22
The VAT rates don’t change as of April 2021, with the exception of coronavirus relief measures discussed below aimed at hospitality sectors. Nor does the VAT threshold change from £85,000 it’s currently set at. In fact, the government announced in the 2021 Budget that the threshold is now locked until 1 April 2024.

Coronavirus tax measures for 2021/22
The first is the reduced VAT rate of 5% for businesses in the hospitality sector. This was launched in July 2020 and was due to end on 31 March 2021, but is once again extended – this time until 30 September 2021. Subsequent to that date, a new 12.5% rate will be applied until 31 March 2022. The 20% rate will resume from 1 April 2022.

IR35 changes
The big change is that, as of 6 April 2021, medium and large businesses must determine if the IR35 apply to contractors they hire. If so, they are required to pay a Deemed Employment Payment – essentially, ensuring the contractor pays the same amount of tax compared to a regular employee.

Stamp Duty taxes
A 2% stamp duty land tax surcharge for purchases of residential property by non-UK residents comes into force on 1 April 2021.

Business grants – up to £25,000 available

There is only one week left for your business to apply for one of three grants to help offset the financial burden caused by COVID-19. Part of the additional restrictions grant scheme, there’s funding available for a variety of businesses, including home-based businesses, self-employed and freelancers. Apply for the following grants by 11:59pm on Friday, 19 March:

Aviation sector grant – for businesses suffering hardship across all sectors. Open to businesses that have received previous grants and includes home-based businesses, self-employed, freelancers and businesses that continue to experience income loss due to downturn at Heathrow Airport. Below are just a few applicant examples:
– Laundrettes who relied on income from servicing the hotels and business travellers and could not qualify for previous grants
– Taxis, private hire, chauffeurs and car rentals who rely on the airport and the guest accommodation in Ealing
– Event equipment hire and event production for a range of clients including hotels, corporate and leisure
– Food caterers for corporate, leisure or hospitality events
– Tourism and travel agent operators
– Suppliers to retail, wholesalers and/or leisure businesses
– Couriers transporting goods to and from the airport and generally larger businesses.
Culture sector grant – for cultural organisations and individual creatives who work in the creative and digital industries, the arts and businesses who contribute to the Ealing’s cultural economy. Applicant example – a freelance lighting engineer. Recreation and cultural events have been cancelled or postponed resulting in no work for many homebased businesses, self-employed individuals and freelancers who directly serviced multiple events.
Covid hardship grant – for businesses who have suffered financial hardship as a result of the Covid pandemic. Eligibility criteria apply.

There will be many more applicant examples in addition to the ones shown above. Please assess your situation and submit an application.

Read more



Other financial support

Recovery Loan Scheme
There is a new loan scheme to support access to finance for UK businesses as they grow and recover from the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mayor’s Resilience Fund
The fund is calling on innovative small to medium-sized businesses to come forward with solutions and ideas to address key recovery challenges London is facing. The Mayor’s Resilience Fund will support the designing and testing of new innovations with grants of up to £30,000.
Read more



Coronavirus testing now available to all businesses

The Department of Health and Social Care’s (DHSC) workplace testing scheme is now available to all businesses registered in England, including those with less than 50 employees, whose staff cannot work from home. Under the scheme you can order free lateral flow tests to rapidly and effectively test your employees in the workplace.

Register your interest online or email if you are a charity, partnership or a sole proprietor. If you have less than 50 employees and cannot offer testing at your workplace, you can direct your staff to the asymptomatic test centres in Ealing, where they can get a test.
Read more


Our Spring/Summer Programme

I’ve been busy programming the next six months or so and can now share some of the events we have planned. These include a funding workshop, a life drawing session, and approaches to social media and working with larger companies.

Don’t miss the news and opportunities section either. There are some open calls, social media workshops from the very interesting Echo, and a freelancer role. Further details below.

If you’ve got any ideas for networking or business development events you’d like to see or even help deliver, get in touch. Feel free to share this through your networks.

Robin (

Tonight: Screen Group with Carl Schoenfeld
7–8.30pm on Zoom
Carl Schoenfeld’s work has taken him from filming in war zones on pre-digital Handycams (BAFTA-nominated A Sarajevo Diary) to producing one of the UKs first digital feature films, Ben Whishaw’s debut My Brother Tom.

We’ll be talking about his journey as a filmmaker and some of the challenges he’s faced, changes in the film industry, working with networks like the BBC and Channel 4, and his perspective as a BAFTA voting member.

If you’d like to join in and aren’t already in the screen group, let me know and I’ll send you a link.

Thu 18 Mar: Fight Scenes
7–8.30pm on Zoom

Explore the language of fight scenes with Puranjay Samson and Leonardo Durrant. How are they put together, how are they filmed, and, if they have a language, how can they tell a story or express a mood?

PJ is an actor, director, and fight choreographer with over ten years of martial arts experience behind him, and Leonardo (Successors Productions) is on his own personal superhero journey, not only designing fight scenes but also using VFX to recreate live-action versions of animé, video games, and pop culture action.

We’ll be sharing a few clips, looking at cinematic influences, and giving everyone a chance to take part in the conversation and connect with fellow creatives.

Tickets are free and you can book via the Watermans website:

Thu 8 Apr: Life Drawing
12–1.30pm on Zoom

For April’s Artists Group, Miguel Galue of Brush and Coffee Art has organised a Zoom life drawing session with model Sonja Syne. The session will include several poses and a chance to see one another’s work at the end.

The session is £5, or free to members of the artists group. If you’d like to book, contact




Thus 6 & 13 May: Dodge the Shredder Funding Workshops
10am to 1pm on Zoom

CPP is running a two-part workshop on arts funding with renowned multimedia artist Emilia Telese. Dodge the Shredder workshops are suitable for artists in a range of artforms, including visual arts, theatre, and film. They include hands-on exercises in developing your funding application and budgeting, as well as an insight into art world funding structures, approaching institutions, and managing your career as a professional artist.

Contact for further info. The cost of the workshops is £10.

Thu 27 May: All about TikTok
7–8.30pm on Zoom
Jahangir Ahmed is a dancer and choreographer who has made appearances in Bollywood films and received over a million views for some of his TikTok videos. We’ll be talking about his experiences in the dance and film industries and exploring all things social media—from the pressures to manage your image and the cultural challenges of making videos to tips for shooting your own content and the implications of TikTok bans in India and the USA. Booking opens soon.

Looking further ahead…
On 1 July I’m planning an event on working with larger companies with creative director Jai Harji and lifestyle consultant Mary P O’Shea, who between them have experience across fashion, media, and advertising.

News and Opportunities

Totally Thames Open Call
Applications are welcome from artists, creatives, producers, river enthusiasts for the Totally Thames Festival in September 2021. Emerging artists under 30 are also invited to apply for the Tide Changers development programme. Deadline for both is 16 April.



FLAMIN Fellowship Open Call (film)
The FLAMIN Fellowship is a Film London development scheme for early-career artist filmmakers. It aims to support the most exciting, innovative and challenging moving image projects from six artist-filmmakers with development, production finance and bespoke mentoring opportunities. Deadline 4 May.

Social Media Workshops
Echo, the skills trading community, is coming to West London. Sign up to swap one hour of your time for one hour of somebody else’s. They are also offering workshops in the coming weeks on social media for your business (22 Mar) and using LinkedIn to grow your network (7 Apr). Check it out here:

Beyond COVID-19
On 15 & 16 March at 4pm Ignite Me Workshop Theatre will be streaming their Zoom workshops live on YouTube and performing Beyond COVID-19, an improvised play based on the lived experience of disabled people during the pandemic. Watch the performance at

Irises in Bloom with Sangeeta Weatherley
Sangeeta is running a couple of art workshops with Hogarth House on 11 and 23 April on a flower that was admired by and an inspiration for Hogarth himself. Further details. Tickets £10.

Freelance Facilitator Needed (primary)
Hogarth House is looking for a facilitator to deliver two virtual primary school workshops. Deadline: 9am on Monday 15th March. Further details


Creative Freelancers: Shaping London’s Recovery
Creative freelancers from across London are invited to help amplify the voices of the self-employed, across the culture sector. To give space for freelancers to shape and demonstrate their role in the recovery of London’s creative and cultural industries, as well as in wider civic spaces. Find out more:


2020 has been a shocker of a year for so many people in so many ways.

But amongst the tragedy and hardship, there has been a great positivity in the way that businesses and individuals have worked to find ways to help their neighbours and communities.

At Simon Inc, we have also embraced this new localism, and over the past few months we’ve focussed on doing more work with with charities and projects which support our own local community.

Here are a few examples of what we’ve been up to.

Creative Enterprise West
Designing a brand identity for Hounslow’s creative industries

Made in Lockdown
How talking about food helped a unique community through months of isolation.

Reneighbouring Hounslow
How we created a vibrant, flexible identity and branding system for Hounslow Council’s ambitious housing estate regeneration programme

Capturing the vibrancy of a unique waterside celebration in our own local neighbourhood

Not a project as such, but we’re thrilled to have been shortlisted as finalists for the “West London Creative Business of the Year”

Digital Dock
Creating an inspiring brand and environment for a new co-working space in Brentford

Inspire Hounslow
Designing an exciting new brand identity for an established charity

Helping a West London charity to reconnect with their audience online