Welwyn Hatfield Chamber of Commerce offers free advice and welcomes government support

PUBLISHED: 16:34 24 March 2020 | UPDATED: 16:34 24 March 2020

Guests at a Chamber of Commerce lunch. Picture: Danny Loo.

Guests at a Chamber of Commerce lunch. Picture: Danny Loo.

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Businesses can get free advice and online support about the response to the coronavirus at Welwyn Hatfield Chamber of Commerce.

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The chamber says it will keep you updated on the latest coronavirus information and on what you are entitled to claim both personally and through your business.

Chairman Nick Brown said: “The Government’s movement from just asking firms to go into debt through loans, to paying 80 per cent of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) payments to self certified staff up to £2,500 a month is a great improvement.

“It is also most welcome and will allow people to self isolate. The big picture here is that the more we self isolate the fewer people will die. So it’s important. It effects everyone.”

But Mr Brown said two big areas are still outstanding from the Government, namely how people claim there entitlements and what they are doing about self-employed people.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak confirmed that help was on the way for the self-employed today.

Mr Sunak said in the House of Commons that the government “are determined to find a way to support them,” but needed to find a way that would work.

Mr Brown said SSP, business rates and mortgage help, need clarity so local councils and HMRC cannot delay payments.

He added: “We are currently talking to [Welwyn Hatfield MP and Transport Secretary] Grant Shapps every day, and he will send us the details as soon as they are available.”

“As of Monday afternoon we are still waiting to hear about what and how to claim. I expected they need to be coordinated with the other claims mechanisms [but] they need to keep these simple and have one set of instructions.”

He added: “It is good to see some Government action on this at last. We would ask for very clear guidelines as to what business owners are entitled to, and the circumstances that people can claim.”

Mr Brown also said he hoped in this time people “look after yourselves. That means staying at home and minimising contact with other people wherever possible over the coming weeks.

“If we don’t it will take longer and more people, quite possibly many more people, will die. Stay safe.”

Please visit welhatchamber.co.uk and their blog page, where there are a number of helpful pieces of information, from checklists for your business, to advice on part time staff claiming universal credit and how to communicate remotely.

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