The Masthead April 2022

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INTERNATIONAL London builds bridges with overseas cities.

ENVIRONMENT An introduction to ethical investing Pippy Stephenson of Reset Connect, explains how environmentally conscious businesses can benefit from the rising popularity of ethical investments.

CONSTRUCTION Housebuilding slows as cost of construction rises.


Innovation centre supports Croydon’s army of entrepreneurs

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ChildChild Nursing Child Nursing Nursing

Business Business Business & Management & Management & Management

Criminology, Criminology, Criminology, Psychology Psychology Psychology & Early & Early & Early Social Social Justice Social Justice Justice

Childhood Childhood Childhood Studies Studies Studies Public Public Health Public Health &Health Social & Social & care Social carecare

Higher Higher Education Higher Education Education LevelLevel 4 &Level 54Courses &4 5& Courses 5 Courses Business Business Business & Management & Management & Management Engineering Engineering Engineering

Construction Construction Construction & the&Built the & the BuiltBuilt Environment Environment Environment

Facilities Facilities Facilities Manager Manager Manager

Site Supervisor SiteSite Supervisor Supervisor

Teacher Teacher Teacher Training Training Training LevelLevel 5 Diploma Level 5 Diploma 5 Diploma in Education in Education in Education & Training & Training & Training LevelLevel 4 Certificate Level 4 Certificate 4 Certificate in Education in Education in Education & Training & Training & Training

Apply Apply Now Apply Now forNow for for September September September courses courses courses at at at






his year, I am delighted to have attended two events wearing the President’s gong. The first excursion was on Thursday, 27th January when we held our first Executive Lunch for nearly two years. Sponsored by Thackray Williams, our guest speaker was the Deputy Mayor for Housing and Residential Development, Tom Copley. It was wonderful to be back at DoubleTree by Hilton London Greenwich and to have the opportunity of meeting people in person. The second excursion with the gong was to attend our late patron, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh’s Memorial Service at Westminster Abbey. The gong was made in 1953 for the then Chairman to commemorate HRH becoming the Patron in the year of the Coronation which also took place in Westminster Abbey.

SELCC is now in a hybrid event format going forwards and I look forward to wearing the gong at our annual River Boat Trip with Southwark Chamber on Wednesday, 22th June and our joint Golf Day with Visit Greenwich at Royal Blackheath Golf Club on Thursday, 28th July. Full details can be found on our website. Helen McIntosh FCIPR President Editorial and General Enquiries South East London Chamber of Commerce Unit TW/145, Trinity Wharf, Harrington Way, Warspite Road London SE18 5NR Tel: 020 8317 3365 Email: @SELondonChamber @SELondonChamber South East London Chamber of Commerce







Chamber News


Focus on Croydon


Focus on Lewisham


Focus on Greenwich


Visit Greenwich


Focus on Bromley


Focus on Bexley


Sidcup Partners






Education & Skills


LCCI -Richard Burge

Publisher Ian Fletcher Benham Publishing Limited Aintree Building Aintree Way, Aintree Business Park, Liverpool L9 5AQ Tel: 0151 236 4141 Fax: 0151 236 0440 Email: Web: Published: April 2022 © Benham Publishing

Advertising and Features Karen Hall Tel: 0151 236 4141 Email: Production Manager Mark Etherington Tel: 0151 236 4141 Email: Media No. 1913 Disclaimer The Masthead is published for South East London Chamber of Commerce and is distributed without charge to Chamber members.

26-27 29 30-31 32-36 38-39 40 41 42 46-47 48 49 50

The Big Interview Forthcoming Chamber Events Chamber Events Past Environment Construction Legal Finance Economy Health & Wellbeing New Members Chamber Event And Finally…

All correspondence should be addressed to the Editor at South East London Chamber of Commerce. Views expressed in The Masthead are not necessarily those of South East London Chamber of Commerce. Reprinting in whole or part is forbidden except by permission. © 2022 Please note that submitting an article does not guarantee publication. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy and reliability of material published in this journal, Benham Publishing and its agents can accept no responsibility forthe veracity of claims made by contributions in advertising or editorial content. Benham Publishing cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies in web or email links supplied to us.


Chamber News

Woolwich - Elizabeth Line Station The Chamber team were delighted to visit the brand-new Woolwich - Elizabeth Line Station and are feeling terribly excited and optimistic about the scheduled opening date of Summer 2022. The opening of this section of the epic Crossrail project, truly heralds an amazing new chapter for businesses across this region of South East London!


oth Woolwich Station and Abbey Wood Station on the Elizabeth Line, will ensure speedy access to both residents and visitors to the Royal Borough of Greenwich from key Central London locations such as Paddington, Tottenham Court Road, Bond Street, Liverpool Street and Whitechapel, delivering customers to local businesses, events, performances, and exhibitions in the new cultural district of Woolwich Works

As well as a huge boost to business, it will enrich the lives of locals working in Central London by dramatically reducing commute times, improving quality of life, as well as improving access to the campus of amazing educational FE institution, our Strategic Partner London South East Colleges.


LOCAL EXPERTS SUPPORTING LOCAL BUSINESSES Commercial Property Commercial Law Company Law Commercial Disputes Debt Recovery Employment Law

Providing expert legal advice to businesses across Bromley and the South East. Tel: 020 8290 0333 Offices in Bromley, Beckenham and Blackheath


Stephen James to host the re-launch of the Royal Arsenal Woolwich Business Network


tephen James BMW & Mini have been a staple in the local business community since 2017 when they opened their showroom in the iO Centre. As a family venture they have a deep passion for working with the community and have agreed to host the re-launch of the Royal Arsenal Woolwich Business Network in partnership with Berkeley on Thursday 28th April 2022 from 6pm.

Business Engagement at the University of Greenwich A series of Business focussed events will be available via the University of Greenwich. To express interest, please email Workshops will include sales techniques and how to approach innovation amongst other interesting topics. Dates are as follows: 26th May 9th June 16th June 30th June 6th July


The Business Network is open to all businesses in and around Royal Arsenal, and is a platform to support businesses to connect, receive updates from the local area and the Royal Arsenal development as well as give attendees a chance to get involved with the local community. If you would like to attend, please send your business details to

Businesses to have their say on Woolwich town centre plans The Royal Borough of Greenwich is asking residents, businesses and community groups for feedback to help shape the future of Woolwich town centre.


he council is investing nearly £21 million of funding to help deliver a wide-ranging programme of improvements throughout Woolwich, including Beresford Square, Powis Street, Hare Street and key entrances into the town centre. Improvements could include a new Market Pavilion, restoring shop fronts, enhancements to the historic Royal Arsenal Gatehouse and space for events, as well as new seating, trees, planting, signage, public art and information about Woolwich’s rich history. The council is asking local people to share their ideas and feedback on the proposals, and how and where they’re delivered in the town centre. Cllr Danny Thorpe, leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich, said: “It’s vitally important that residents, businesses and community groups in Woolwich have the opportunity to help shape the future of the town centre. We want to build a thriving town centre that we can all be proud of and showcase Woolwich’s unique heritage. This will ensure we can make the most of the opportunities that the arrival of the Elizabeth line will bring to Woolwich, as well as other exciting developments such as the new leisure centre and Woolwich Exchange.”

Cllr Denise Scott-McDonald, cabinet member for regeneration and good growth, said: “This investment will help us to protect and preserve Woolwich’s special character whilst supporting local businesses and encouraging people back into the town centre. I hope everyone will get involved and have their say to make sure the improvements deliver what the local community really wants – a vibrant and attractive place to live, work and shop.” The feedback received will be used to develop a series of detailed designs which will be shared with the community in the summer for further comments. Improvements will be delivered from autumn 2022 and are expected to be completed in 2024.

Free Free Employment Employment Law Law Helpline Helpline Service Service and and Workshops Workshops Free Employment Law Helpline Service and Workshops

It is no secret that employment issues in the workplace can be costly, time-consuming and It is no secret that employment issues in the workplace can be costly, time-consuming and reputationally damaging for a business. Our expert team of employment lawyers can assist you reputationally damaging for a business. Our expert team of employment lawyers can assist you through our new free Employment Helpline service. newthat freeemployment Employmentissues Helpline Itthrough is no our secret in service. the workplace can be costly, time-consuming and reputationally damaging for a business. Our expert team of employment lawyers can assist you The Employment Helpline serviceHelpline can be used by any business for all aspects of employment law. through our new free Employment service. The Employment Helpline service can be used by any business for all aspects of employment law. The Helpline is free for up to one hour each month. It is specifically designed for HR professionals, The Helpline is free for up to one hour each month. It is specifically designed for HR professionals, line Employment managers, senior managers, business owners orbusiness anyone involved with recruiting or managing The Helpline service can be used by any for all aspects of employment law. line managers, senior managers, business owners or anyone involved with recruiting or managing employees or making HR decisions. The Helplineorismaking free for HR up to one hour each month. It is specifically designed for HR professionals, employees decisions. line managers, senior managers, business owners or anyone involved with recruiting or managing We are also to HR help you keep up to date with key legal requirements and best practice in employees or here making We are also here to helpdecisions. you keep up to date with key legal requirements and best practice in the workplace through interactive Workshops. The Workshops are also free of charge, up to three the workplace through interactive Workshops. The Workshops are also free of charge, up to three sessions a year. We are also here to help you keep up to date with key legal requirements and best practice in sessions a year. the workplace through interactive Workshops. The Workshops are also free of charge, up to three Our Employment Workshops include the following topical areas of employment law: sessions a year. Law Our Employment Law Workshops include the following topical areas of employment law: • Data protection Our Employment Law Workshops include the following topical areas of employment law: • Data protection • Recruitment • Recruitment Coronavirus: employment issues ••• Data protection Coronavirus: employment issues • Recruitment can also offer a Workshop on a subject of your choosing. •We employment issues WeCoronavirus: can also offer a Workshop on a subject of your choosing. To arrange appointment use our freeofHelpline service or to book a Workshop, please email We can alsoan offer a Workshopto a subject your choosing. To arrange an appointment toon use our free Helpline service or to book a Workshop, please email or contact the team on 020 8858 6971. or contact the team on 020 8858 6971. To arrange an appointment to use our free Helpline service or to book a Workshop, please email or contact the team on 020 8858 6971.

Employment Helpline and Workshops Ad - April 2022.indd 1 Employment Helpline and Workshops Ad - April 2022.indd 1

020 8858 6971 020 8858 6971 020 8858 6971 12/04/2022 10:29:18

12/04/2022 10:29:18

IKEA for business Croydon. Taking care of business together Whether your installing a shop, restaurant, or furnishing an office, perhaps with some level of remote working. Whatever the task, we can help with inspiration and ideas to transform your space. We're your one-stop source for furniture, accessories, and design professionals, to drive your business towards tomorrow, today. Contact us for more information:

Scan here to sign up.


© Inter IKEA Systems B.V. 2022

Support your career ambitions at Croydon University Centre

Focus on Croydon

Whether you’re just finishing your A Levels, or looking for a fresh start pursuing a new career, Croydon University Centre – part of the Croydon College Group – has the courses and support to help you succeed.


ith applications open now for courses starting in September 2022, Croydon University Centre, based in Croydon’s town centre, fewer than five minutes from East Croydon Station and its fantastic connections to central London, offers Undergraduate, Higher National Certificate (HNC) and Teacher Training courses. Degrees, delivered in partnership with the University of Roehampton, include BA (Hons) in Business & Management, Early Childhood Studies, Public Health & Social Care and BSc (Hons) in Adult

and Children’s Nursing, with hands-on training in the University Centre’s stateof-the-art Clinical Simulation Centre, which replicates realistic community and in-hospital settings and gives learners unrivalled practical training.

Apprenticeship and Facilities Manager Apprenticeship too. These courses are available to start throughout the year at various points, and ideal for those interested in changing careers, reskilling or upskilling and earning while they learn.

The Early Childhood Studies degree focusses on child development and pedagogical approaches to working with young children, putting students in practical settings as well as equipping them with the knowledge to build a career, and was recently updated with Roehampton University to ensure it meets standards in the Framework for Higher Education.

Those looking to shape, teach, and skill the next generation can also make progress in their careers at the University Centre, with Teacher Training courses. A career in teaching offers great benefits, opportunities to use a wide range of skills and the chance to inspire students in a subject you love. A rewarding profession, teachers get to work with amazing children, young people and colleagues, doing work that makes them feel proud and valued, earning a salary higher than many people expect. There are two Level 4 Certificates to choose from, one in Education and Training, one focussing on Early Childhood Studies, and also a Level 5 Diploma in Education and Teaching.

Other degree-level courses include Level 4 HE Certificates in Criminology and Social Justice, and Public Health and Social Care, as well as a Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling. The HNCs on offer at the University Centre offer a wide range of career routes poststudy, with courses available in Business, Construction and Engineering, along with a Level 4 Construction Site Supervisor

To find out more about the courses on offer at Croydon University Centre, visit

Council supports Croydon’s economic recovery As the UK enters the next stage of its recovery from COVID-19, Croydon Council is offering further targeted support to businesses hardest hit by the pandemic to aid their recovery.


he business recovery grant will provide £5,000 grants, out of £590,000 of funding, to businesses that have seen a loss of income of at least 10% over the last two years. Grants of up to £2,000 are also available through the Black, Asian and minority ethnic grant to help Croydon-based entrepreneurs. These grants come from £80,000 of funds to support the community, which evidence shows has been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. All funding will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis.

Local businesses can also now apply for a free 15-month membership with the Croydon division of the South East London Chamber of Commerce. Membership can help businesses access additional funding opportunities, workshops, webinars and training. Businesses can apply online entering code: croydon2022 to take advantage of the offer. More information at news/supporting-croydons-economicrecovery/ All funding to support these initiatives comes from the government’s additional restrictions fund given to the council to

support local businesses most impacted by the pandemic. The council said: “With COVID restrictions lifted nationally and more people feeling confident being out and about, it’s a positive time for our local businesses and the wider economy. “The new grants and additional support have been designed not only to help areas of our business community most impacted by the pandemic but also to help others with their recovery, whether that’s managing their cashflow or looking to build resilience for the future.”


Focus on Lewisham

Focus on Lewisham Join our Lewisham Business Resilience and Growth Programme The Lewisham Business Resilience and Growth Programme offers eligible Lewisham-based businesses access to a wide range of support to help them recover from the impact of COVID-19. Delivered in partnership with Goldsmiths, University of London (NX Hub), the focus is on growing local businesses and sustaining that growth.

Register for the programme at

Sign up for our Ready to Supply programme

Apply now to trade or exhibit at People's Day Lewisham’s flagship festival, People’s Day is back for 2022. It returns to Mountsfield Park on Saturday 16 July with its signature mix of fantastic live music, performance, art and crafts, and great food. With over 25,000 people expected to attend this year’s festival, it’s a great opportunity to promote your business or organisation. If you would like a stall at the festival, we are currently inviting applications from: • Food, bar and crafts traders • Businesses, charities, statutory organisations, CIC and social enterprises • Community and voluntary organisations

Visit our website for further details and to apply for a stall Deadline for applications: Friday 3 June 2022 10

We have joined forces with East London Business Place to deliver a free programme to help local suppliers bid for public sector and construction projects. This includes guidance from a dedicated business advisory team, capacity-building workshops, webinars and events – all designed to help you get better equipped to meet the supply-chain entry, purchasing and procurement requirements.

To register, visit BusinessSupportProgrammes

Make the most of Lewisham’s year as London Borough of Culture Our year as London Borough of Culture will put Lewisham firmly on the map, attracting more visitors to our high streets and an increase in trade. To ensure local businesses make the most of this fantastic opportunity, we have joined forces with Goldsmiths, University of London to launch We Are Lewisham High Street Support. It’s a free programme for local businesses who would like to play a part in the upcoming plans but may not be sure how to get involved.

For full details WeAreLewishamSupport

Focus on Greenwich

ways to make Shop Local work for your business

Spending locally has a huge impact, not just for your individual business, but also to reinvigorate the wider community.


he Royal Borough of Greenwich’s Shop Local: Time Well Spent campaign aims to help our high streets bounce back by encouraging people from the area and beyond to make use of local shops, restaurants, cafes and markets. The campaign is targeting residents and local workers through social media,

magazines, e-newsletters, blog posts and press activity. You will also spot ‘Shop Local’ signage around our town centres, including branded banners, shop window stickers, tote bags and other promotional items inspired by the exciting and vibrant character of local businesses in the area.

If you own a high street shop or run a local business, here are five ways that you can maximise the Shop Local campaign:

Coco and Tak from Coco Barclay


Develop your e-business

If your business isn’t online yet, don’t fret. There are business support programmes which can help you develop your digital skills. Our support programme, run by South-East Enterprise, provides a free bespoke service to businesses in Royal Greenwich.

Find out more:


Engage over social media

Social media is an affordable and accessible way to promote your offer to the community. You could join forces with other shops and businesses to organise crosspromotion of special offers or events in your area.

Hassan from S.M. Fishmongers

If your business is in Royal Greenwich, make sure you tag us on social media and use the #ShopLocalRBG hashtag.


Promote special offers and discounts

A great way to stand out and get people through the door is to share a special offer. The Greenwich One Card scheme is a good way for businesses in Royal Greenwich to share special offers with people who live, work and study locally. You can even promote time-limited offers to capitalise on increased footfall during seasonal holidays and large events, such as Easter or the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations. Businesses that sign up to the scheme will receive free promotion through our website and social media.

Sign up at:


Improve your business network

Running a business can be challenging at times. As Kemi Madumere from Brighter Futures Project says “It’s important to have a support system you can rant to, seek advice from and exchange ideas and just form some really good allies. That kind of network is invaluable.” By working together with other businesses, you can improve your customer’s experience and make the local area stronger. There are a variety of business networking events, workshops, and seminars where you can meet other business owners.

Find out more:


Harish from Hullabaloo

Mary Jane from Made in Greenwich

How else can the Council help your business? In Royal Greenwich, professional advice is available on many aspects of running your business, from tendering for contracts to recruitment and marketing. We also run an e-business support programme to help businesses reach their potential online, which includes free workshops and seminars. For the latest business news, sign up to receive our newsletter:

Create a welcoming atmosphere

Research shows that having a clean and well-maintained business frontage and pedestrian area can boost footfall and encourage customers to shop in your area. We’re inviting shops in the borough to become a Love Your High Street Champion to help improve our high street environment.

Find out more at:

To find out more about the advice and support available to your business, visit our website:


Visit Greenwich

The Return of Tourism

As the UK recovers from a second year of the pandemic, the tourism industry is ready and waiting to welcome back visitors from overseas. For 2021, VisitBritain estimated that inbound tourism spend would be £6.2 billion, just 22% of the 2019 level while domestic tourism spend was forecast as £56.2bn. 65% up on 2020, yet still only 61% of the level of spending seen in 2019.


efore the pandemic, VisitBritain forecast that tourism would be worth more than £257 billion by 2025, just under 10% of UK GDP and supporting 3.7 million jobs - around 11% of the UK total. The sector was predicted to grow at an annual rate of 3.8%, significantly faster than the overall UK economy and other sectors such as manufacturing, construction and retail. Unfortunately, much has changed in the last 24 months.


This year, after a difficult start due to the Omicron variant, figures are set for a gradual increase in inbound volume and value throughout the rest of 2022. With traveller confidence returning and the easing of travel restrictions, inbound visits are forecast to increase to 21.1 million and spending to £16.9 billion – three times that of 2021. By the end of 2022 it is estimated that visits will have recovered to around two thirds of pre-COVID levels, with the hope of seeing a rise back to “normal” by 2025. The Royal Borough of Greenwich makes a significant contribution to this vibrant and vital sector, and this year there is plenty happening in the home of time to aid

recovery. From the launch of brand new visitor experiences like the Cutty Sark Rig Climb and immersive events such as Dreamachine and Punchdrunk’s The Burnt City in the heart of Woolwich’s cultural district, to the opening of new shops, bars, restaurants and art installations borough-wide. Responsible for tourism in the Royal Borough, Visit Greenwich is busy planning for the year ahead, working with partners and local businesses to oversee a number of campaigns designed to drive footfall and spend in the area.

Escape the Everyday Visit Greenwich recently learned of its success in bidding for a second round of Visit England’s Escape the Everyday funding. Running from April to June, the Destination Management Organisation will be working with the City of London, other London World Heritage Sites and Royal Boroughs on a domestic marketing campaign targeting pre-nesters to inspire them to book a short break by showcasing the incredible experiences that the area has to offer.

Visit Greenwich

❛❛Responsible for tourism in the Royal Borough, Visit Greenwich is busy planning for the year ahead, working with partners and local businesses to oversee a number of campaigns designed to drive footfall and spend in the area.

The campaign will position Greenwich as an unmissable day out and as base for staycations, giving visitors the opportunity to enjoy the best of both worlds of Greenwich and central London, with the river Thames playing a vital role as an exciting experience and link between the areas. The Visit Greenwich website will be updated with a new landing page, hosting a range of incredible bookable product and inspirational content to drive bookings such as itineraries and guides. They will also be working with local dog influencer Le Corgi, who was a popular part of last year’s campaign.

Summer Destination Campaign After the success of 2021’s “It’s About Time” campaign, Visit Greenwich will again be harnessing the power of its partnership on another summer destination campaign for 2022. Reaching around 7.5 million people, generating £2.3m spend and providing an ROI of 45:1, the original campaign proved that partnership working was the way forward during tough times for the sector. With an incredible list of anniversaries, new events and of course the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee set for this year, paired with collaborative sales missions to the US, there is every hope that the results of this year can exceed those of 2021. There are four key markets that the campaign will target – Local Greenwich, Local London, SE England and people visiting central London (both domestic and inbound), with a particular focus on dispersal. Resources for the campaign will be pooled from partners and will be invested in a range of activities both on and offline, starting from July. There are a good many businesses and organisations in the area that operate in the visitor economy and can play a vital part to grow the destination. Contact Visit Greenwich to discuss opportunities to join as a partner, working together to build a strong recovery. Contact


2022 Highlights The Burnt City, Woolwich Works Enter an immersive experience set in the backstreets of Troy as Greece teeters on the brink of victory. Until 28th August.

Canaletto's Venice Revisited, National Maritime Museum A new major exhibition displaying the complete set of 24 Venetian views painted by Canaletto in the 1730s. Until 25 September.

London in the Sky, Greenwich Peninsula Drinking and dining experiences, served 100ft in the sky with truly unique views of the capital. 28th April - 30th June.

Dreamachine, Woolwich Public Market A unique, immersive experience. Sit back, close your eyes and embark on a once-in-alifetime journey to explore the extraordinary potential of your own mind. 10 May - 24 July.

Urban Village Fete, Greenwich Peninsula Explore free workshops, talks and entertainment, eclectic local traders and spectacular street food in the sunshine. 15 May.

The Grotteaux, Woolwich Works The most glamorous and hotly anticipated cabaret of the year is back after a springtime makeover! 18 May - 4 June

The Queen's Platinum Jubliee & Bank Holiday Weekend Look out for a whole host of events across the Borough to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, from street parties and picnics to the return of Royal Greenwich Together 2022. 2 - 5 June.

Cutty Sark Rig Climb, Cutty Sark For the first time, visitors to Cutty Sark will be able to climb the famous ship's masts and enjoy views London like no other.

Medieval Season, Eltham Palace and Gardens From jester workshops, have-a-go archery and squire training to lessons in courtly etiquette, there will be a different activity each week throughout the summer, plus the annual Legendary Joust! 23 Jul - 4 Sept.

Greenwich + Docklands International Festival London’s leading festival of free outdoor theatre and performing arts returns for 17 days of incredible events across the Royal Borough and beyond. 26 August - 11 September.

Vitality Big Half A 13 mile race through London finishing at the iconic Cutty Sark followed by a fun festival in Greenwich Park. 4 September.

Greenwich Comedy Festival, National Maritime Museum grounds Back once again for an open-air spectacular featuring the absolute finest in comedy paired with craft beers, street food and more. 14 - 18 September.

Laver Cup London 2022, The O2 Tennis superstars Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer will be teaming up for the fifth edition of the Laver Cup. 23 - 25 September.

TCS London Marathon Follow the race as it starts in leafy Greenwich Park before weaving its way through Charlton, Woolwich and around the Cutty Sark before heading into central London. 2 October.

Christmas in Greenwich Experience Greenwich as it transforms for the winter, with the annual light switch-on, Queen’s House Ice Rink, festive markets and more. From mid-November.

Keep up to date with unmissable events and experiences in and around the Royal Borough of Greenwich at and follow us on social media @visitgreenwich. If you have a visitor event, be sure to submit it to our website via 13

The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Beacon Family Trail 30th April - 12th June A story-trail to mark the Jubilee will see characters go on an adventure around the town as participants are guided through the Queen’s 70 year reign. Find out more on our website

Midsummer Movies, in Queen’s Gardens - 2nd - 4th June Bromley Floral Fest - Sunday 23rd June - 1st July Our popular Midsummer Movies event is back screening free movies with a royal connection, character or name as part of the Jubilee

30 primary schools will display their Jubilee themed entries on Bromley

weekend celebrations.

High Street. Bromley Floral Fest is funded by a Cultural Council Grant

Thanksgiving Parade, Bromley Town Centre

and we are working in partnership with Coolings Garden Centre.

3rd June The borough’s uniformed groups will parade through Bromley Town

Helping Bromley Get Greener

Centre with a marching band. The parade will finish at a Thanksgiving Service at Bromley Parish Church.

Performances and concert - 3rd -4th June

Recycling and the environment is a key pillar of the Your Bromley business plan. We are working with First Mile to help our businesses do more for the environment, save money and recycle more. Your Bromley is funding a free WEEE (waste electricals and electronic

Staged performances will take place in Queen’s Gardens, alongside a screening of the BBC Platinum Concert at the Palace. All events will be free but will be ticketed.

equipment) collection on Thursday 19thMay with First Mile. We are also working with them to offer free recycling workshops tailored to each business. To find out more, log onto our website

Street Party, East Street - Sunday 5th June

Live music and dancing, food vendors, al fresco dining and special

The Small Business Club

Jubilee offers from Bromley businesses will make Your Bromley’s street party one to remember.

Bromley’s Got Talent - Sunday 5th June Talented locals will perform in front of a panel of judges and a huge raffle will take place to raise money for our charity partner, Cystic Fibrosis Supporters, a local Bromley charity.

At Your Bromley we want to support all Bromley businesses. Currently only businesses with a Rateable Value of £20,000 pay the BID levy. Many smaller businesses see themselves as part of the BID or would like the advantages being part of Your Bromley offers so we are launching The Small Business Club. Smaller businesses can pay £300pa to take advantage of many of the benefits offered to BID businesses. It is not a full membership but it will help smaller businesses benefit from Your Bromley’s work and member discounts. To find out more about the benefits on offer visit our website and to join email


Focus on Bromley

Bromley to celebrate

the Platinum Jubilee

Library of Things now open for borrowing in the Glades, Bromley

Outdoor concerts and a beacon lighting ceremony are among the exciting events being planned across Bromley borough to celebrate Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.


ree tickets are already available for a commemorative beacon lighting ceremony at Crystal Palace Park, with ticketed soon to launch for a two-day concert in Queens Gardens, Bromley to showcase local talents.

Bromley Council are planning the above events, as well as a rich programme of cultural activities, to give interested residents a range of opportunities to celebrate the jubilee, especially over the four-day commemorative bank holiday. The beacon lighting ceremony will take place on Thursday 2 June and will see an evening with a traditional bugler, bagpiper and choir performing as the beacon is lit. Bromley will join over 1,500 beacons being lit across the country and beyond to honour Her Majesty’s service. Tickets are being allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis and are available now online [ platinum-jubilee-beacon-lighting-ceremonytickets-305823114167]. The two-day concert will see local acts performing on Friday 3 June and Saturday 4 June, as well as a live screening of the national ‘Party at the Palace’ event on Saturday. Film screenings will also be taking place at Queens Garden over the bank holiday, with ticketing information soon available at

A Council spokesperson said, “We are pleased to be delivering these events for residents to honour Her Majesty’s outstanding achievement of 70 years of service to the nation. We have been working with a number of partners on various events and would like to thank all partners, particular Crystal Palace Park Trust for their support with the beacon lighting, YourBromley for delivering the Queen’s Garden film screenings, and the Glades and Fairlight Group for sponsoring the concerts and uniformed groups parade respectively.” The Council’s programme of cultural activities and events includes film screenings, children’s art challenges and storytelling activities, and a parade of the uniformed groups. Other commemorative activities also include planting over 1,500 trees being planting by the council in support of the Queen’s Green canopy initiative, which is the national tree planting initiative marking the Platinum Jubilee. Residents are also being encouraged to take part in this planting scheme and these planted trees can be recorded on the Queens Green Canopy website. [www.queensgreencanopy. org/map-education-hub/qgc-map/#/]

Further information about these activities is available on the council’s website

Bromley shoppers and businesses can now borrow rather than buy items thanks to the new Library of Things shop in the Glades shopping centre. This new social enterprise business offers a range of household items, from hobbying activity equipment to small DIY tools for hire, often associated with a ‘one off’ job, meaning costly purchases and the associated environmental impact could be avoided. Library of Things also considers partnerships with local hire businesses, and making referrals to customers where appropriate The initial set-up costs were funded through Bromley Council’s carbon offset fund, with the Library of Things hiring kiosk being hosted by Greener and Cleaner Bromley in their newly launched eco-hub premises. The items available for hire range from hobbying activity items such as sewing machines, metal detectors, camping equipment, to DIY equipment such as drills, pressure washers and hedge trimmers, and more. The items can all be borrowed for a small daily cost, with residents able to reserve items online ready for collection from the self-service kiosk in the hub, at The Glades shopping centre in Bromley, a short walk away from Bromley South Station. Visit Bromley Library of Things website to sign up to start borrowing.


Focus on Bexley

Supporting businesses in Bexley Providing digital support for businesses To support small to medium enterprises (SME’s) in understanding how to use digital technology to fully benefit their business, London Borough of Bexley and South East Enterprise are working in partnership to deliver a 3 year e-business digital support programme.

Free shop space New shop fronts and units for local businesses at Erith Riverside Centre with welcoming new street level shop frontage are now open. Some of the new shop floor space, known as the ‘Curiosity Cabinet’, will be offered for free to small local businesses and creative enterprises giving them instant access to a prime town centre location.

The programme will help Bexley businesses to access new e-commerce markets and broaden their reach.

Find out more at Email:

Find out more at

Free help and advice for small businesses To support small businesses and help them recover following the pandemic London Borough of Bexley have partnered with Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), to offer one year of free membership to the organisation, enabling local enterprises based in Bexley, to access a wide range of advice and support.

Find out more at Email: 16

Free resources for local businesses All of the libraries in Bexley provide a range of new resources to support anyone wishing to start or grow a business. In collaboration with Bexley Business & Employment (BBE), the library service is expanding the business resources it provides and has created a Business Knowledge Hub. The Hub is free to use for anyone who has created an account with Bexley Libraries. Mintel and Kompass are also available alongside the business encyclopaedia Cobra.

Find out more about the free resources available at web/bexley/business-knowledge-hub

Free co-working and office space The Engine House and London Borough of Bexley are working together to design a support package for local businesses and entrepreneurs. Small businesses that have been trading for more than 12 months can apply for a funded co-working desk free of charge for six months. Eligibility criteria apply and applications will be assessed on a first come first served basis.

Find out more at

Helping businesses to recruit staff Why pay agency fees when you can recruit staff for free? Bexley Business & Employment (BBE) provide a free recruitment service helping businesses recruit the right staff that will give them that competitive edge. Businesses based in the Borough can take advantage of this free vacancy service that will assign them a personal Business Advisor to manage vacancies, shortlist candidates and arrange interviews.

For more information email: Find out more about the support and service Bexley’s Employment Services offer at

S I D C U P PA R T N E R S B U S I N E S S P R O P O S A L 2 022–2 027

FUTURE PLANS We survey businesses annually to identify their priorities to ask what is going well and what needs to be improved. We also use feedback to identify and shape new projects. The market research we regularly carry out has shaped our proposed future plans and if you vote yes will be delivered during our second five-year term under four main headings. 01.




01. CLEANER AND GREENER Businesses want us to continue with the seasonal floral displays, hanging baskets, barrier baskets and troughs. • WE WILL extend the displays by adding more troughs outside individual premises. • WE WILL add some pocket parks, small green spaces with seating dotted around the town, to create space to sit, meet friends, or reflect. We will develop the Green Trail to join up spaces around the town in a coordinated way and will produce a map for visitors to plan their route. • WE WOULD aim to create a reactive response team who can deal with reported issues within 24 hours. This would cover additional street cleaning, pest control, removing fly tipping and repairing acts of low-level vandalism to keep the town looking presentable at all times. • WE WILL always be conscious of the impact we have on our environment. Any of the activities we run we will aim to help reduce our carbon foot print. We will shop local and use recycled products where we can. • WE WILL continue to encourage the elimination of single use plastic. • WE WILL work with the Council to improve air quality by pursuing installation of public electric charging points for vehicles. • WE WILL help businesses with creating sustainability plans. 02. SAFE AND SECURE • WE WILL exploit the recently launched DISC scheme to help prevent shop lifting and give added confidence to businesses so they can communicate quickly and efficiently with each other. • WE WILL provide training on fraud prevention and cyber security.

03. MARKETING PROMOTIONS & EVENTS Businesses highlighted the importance of promoting themselves and the town as a whole. • Sidcup Partners WILL encourage businesses to develop their business profiles on social media and add links to the Sidcup Partners online directory so they can promote offers, opening hours and new services. • WE WILL continue to provide Christmas lights and use lamp columns for promotional banners. • WE ARE working with Lamorbey & Sidcup Local History Society to install town signs and murals in appropriate locations around the town. • WE WILL further develop regular and visiting markets as they have proved to increase footfall. • WE WILL continue to arrange regular events such as the annual Fringe event. • WE WILL work closely with landlords to utilise vacant space in imaginative ways. 04. SERVICES TO BUSINESSES • WE WILL continue to offer sponsored training courses to businesses and source more bespoke training to meet the needs of levy payers. • WE WILL procure services from local suppliers where possible and use recycled materials where we can. • Business networking WILL BE a regular feature of the calendar, encouraging business to share ideas and work more closely for mutual benefit. • WE WILL produce a guide to cafés restaurants and bars and support the evening economy by having evening entertainment and events. • WE WILL look at repurposing spaces created by vacant businesses. • WE WILL work with restaurants to help them in reducing food waste. WWW.SIDCUPPARTNERS.CO.UK


Grow your business online: Why developing digital capabilities is so important for business

Businesses in the Royal Borough of Greenwich and the London Borough of Bexley can now participate in a newly launched service delivered by South East Enterprise, providing FREE help to businesses to develop their online presence.


his will enable Greenwich and Bexley businesses to improve their digital skills and build online communities to sell to. The programme has been successfully running in Greenwich since 2014 and has helped hundreds of businesses to grow. This latest version of the programme has many new features to help local businesses get to the next level of online trading. For those businesses new to e-business the programme still covers the basics to help you grow online. Funded by Local London with Greenwich and Bexley, the programme consists of one-to-one sessions with an expert business MastheadAdvert PRINT A.pdf adviser as well as workshops and

webinars covering a range of topics including, social media marketing, web site building, creating a digital marketing plan, video, e-commerce, SEO, e-accounting, cyber security and much more. Though many businesses in the UK are now developing digital capability, there is still a significant minority which have low digital capability and digital skills. Those small businesses which do use digital technologies have experienced multiple benefits including time and cost savings and more efficient business processes as well as an improvement in customer satisfaction ratings. These benefits have10:36 also 1 18/03/2022 contributed to an increase in

turnover and are helping businesses to enhance their performance and competitiveness. South East Enterprise has a wealth of experience in supporting businesses in the Royal borough of Greenwich. Tony Goldstein, managing director of South East Enterprise, says: “ This free programme has been a huge benefit to businesses in Greenwich. Adopting these new practices is an effective way for businesses in Greenwich and Bexley to develop new markets and improve their resilience.” The main objective of the new E-Business Programme is to enable local SMEs to improve their digital

knowledge and skills and their application of ‘digital business tools’ to support business growth and job creation. This will in turn contribute to the strengthening of the local economy in the borough. Based at the Engine House in Erith, and the Royal Arsenal Gatehouse in Woolwich, South East Enterprise will achieve this objective by implementing a comprehensive programme which combines demand-led specialist E-Business support and group activities which responds to the needs of individual businesses. To learn more visit





Learn to use the power of the web to increase productivity and improve profits Local London E-Business support programme.




Free business support


Sign up today Greenwich: 020 8305 2666 e: Bexley: 020 8320 1227 e: 18

LP LP Networks’ Networks’ expert expert guide: guide:


Business Business IT IT and and the the new new normal: normal: Our Our guide guide to to hybrid hybrid working working technology technology with Lee Pepper, Owner LP Networks with Lee Pepper, Owner LP Networks

While it’s undeniable that many While it’s undeniable that many businesses need office space and businesses need office space staff gain significant benefitsand staff significant from gain working face tobenefits face in from working face have in teams, the lastface twoto years teams, the last two years have also proved that home working is also proved that home working a feasible and attractive option is a feasible attractive for many, and which is whereoption hybrid for many, which is where working comes into play. hybrid working comes into play. Hybrid working gives team Hybrid working gives members the best of team both worlds; members the best both worlds; the opportunity to of split their time the opportunity to split their between home and the office.time between home and the office. Many businesses have already Many businesses have already been forced to embrace home been forced to embrace home working because of the pandemic. working because of the pandemic. For many, it has worked, so they For it has worked, they havemany, introduced a systemso that have introduced a system that embraces the positives of the office embraces the positives the office and remote working. Toof ensure and remote working. To ensure that a move to hybrid working that a move to hybrid workingshould occurs smoothly, businesses occurs smoothly, businesses consider how technology canshould have consider how technology can have an impact. an impact. Microsoft Office 365 Microsoft Office 365 (Teams and SharePoint) (Teams and SharePoint) Microsoft Office 365 works by safely Microsoft 365and works by safely storing all Office your files documents storing all yourThis filesmeans and documents on the Cloud. that your on the Cloud. This means that your team can access them anywhere team can access them anywhere from any device so long as they have from anyaccess. device Alongside so long asthis, theythe have internet internet access. Alongside this, the

system also provides opportunities system also provides opportunities for collaboration on projects, for collaboration on projects, for multiple users to work on for multiple in users to work onvideo documents real-time, and documents in real-time, and video conferencing and communication conferencing and communication through Teams. through Teams. Cloud Cloud Embracing Cloud Solutions is a Embracing Cloud Solutions is a your fantastic way of futureproofing fantastic way of futureproofing business. Aside from improvingyour business. from improving security, itAside also makes hybrid and security, it also makes hybrid and remote working a realistic option. remote working a realistic option. The Cloud is more than just a place The Clouddocuments; is more thanit’s just a place to upload also a to upload documents; it’s also cost-effective and resilient waya cost-effective andteam resilient way of enabling your to access of enabling your team to access information wherever and whenever information they need it.wherever and whenever they need it. BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) BYOD (Bring Your Device) Improved access viaOwn the Cloud can Improved access via the Cloud can provide the opportunity for your provide for your team to the use opportunity their own devices for team to use their own devices for work. However, while this can be work. However, while this can be a cost-effective solution for hybrid a cost-effective solution hybrid and remote working, wefor strongly and remote working, we strongly recommend you consider the recommend you consider the security implications of accessing security implications of accessing business data via personal devices business data personal devices due to the riskvia of potential GDPR due to the risk of potential GDPR breaches. breaches. Staff training can help them spot Staff training can help spot potential dangers fromthem phishing potential dangers from phishing

attacks, and improved endpoint attacks, improved endpoint security.and In relation to smartphones security. In relation to smartphones and tablets, one option is to use and tablets, one option is to which use Mobile Device Management Mobile Device Management which provides the facility to remotely wipe provides facility remotely wipe data and the block appsto from interacting data and block apps from interacting with company information and files. with company information and files. VoIP Telephones VoIP Telephones VoIP phone systems work by routing VoIP phone systems the work by routing phone calls through internet to phone calls through the internet any handset. So, a team memberto any handset. So, afrom teamhome member could be working but could be working from home but still be able to answer business calls still be able to answer business through their mobile phone via calls a through their mobile phone via a handy app. handy app. Remote IT Support and Security Remote Support and Security If you do IT decide to embrace flexible If you do decide to embrace working and encourage yourflexible team working and encourage yourofteam to work from home for part to from partthat of thework week, youhome must for ensure the week, you must ensure that they have access to a remote IT they have access to an a remote IT Support Desk. With increased Support Desk. With an increased reliance on the Internet and IT, any reliance onglitches the Internet IT, any failures or in theand system failures or glitches in the system could immediately impact on staff could immediately impact on staff productivity. productivity. LP Networks offers a remote IT LP Networks a remote IT service desk, offers manned by experts service desk, manned by experts and available during office hours, and available during office hours, meaning your remote workers meaning your remote workers can get back up and running in no can get back up and running in no time. time.

Talk to us to discover how we can help you build Talk to us to discover how we can help you build a more flexible working environment. a more flexible working environment. 0800 970 8980 0800 970 8980


Education & Skills


aniel, who has Down’s Syndrome, gave the keynote talk at one of two virtual events led by London South East Colleges. Hosted in partnership with the Education and Training Foundation (ETF), the sessions were aimed at giving practical advice to employers about the recruitment of SEND learners and the many benefits of having a fully inclusive workforce.

London South East Colleges is one of eight FE providers nationally to have been selected by the ETF as an ‘employer spoke’ of its Centres of Excellence in Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (CfESEND) - owing to its strong track record of supporting SEND learners into employment. These events are part of a series of activity to help encourage businesses to diversify their workforce. The first event was for employers within the Creative Arts sector and the second was aimed at the Sports and Leisure Industries. Representatives from businesses – including Unicorn Theatre and Charlton Athletic Community Trust who already employ SEND learners - shared their insight and positive experiences.

TV star encourages businesses to

employ SEND learners Young actor Daniel Laurie, famous for his role as Reggie in BBC’s Call the Midwife, has called on businesses to recognise the many benefits of employing young people with learning disabilities. 20

Experts from the College were also on hand to advise delegates on ways to build partnerships with SEND teams in colleges and how best to access funding opportunities. Speaking in a recorded video message, young star Daniel Laurie spoke about his own experiences of working in the creative arts industry and the success he has had. He said: “There are so many different wonderful jobs you can do in the theatre. I love being an actor. They say all you have to do is speak up and don’t bump into the furniture, but most of the hard work comes the day before filming. Preparation is vital! “As my grandfather would say, keep on keeping on. Be yourself, don’t worry about what anyone else thinks or says. Look at me and know that you can do it too.” Commenting on the programme, Rhona Sapsford, Career Pathway Director of SEND ESOL and ALS at London South East Colleges, says: “Through our many years of experience, we know how much value SEND learners can add to businesses – and the benefits to be gained on both sides.

Education & Skills “We are delighted to have hosted these events with the ETF, to provide employers with the information and support they need to work with us and actively recruit young people with learning disabilities. “Having Daniel share his own personal experiences was a huge highlight. His success is testament to his talent and determination as well as the support he has had from his family – and he is an absolute inspiration to many of our own students who are perhaps interested in a career in creative arts. “Hearing first-hand from employers who already have wonderfully inclusive workforces was also fantastic and I hope this has inspired other businesses to consider offering work experience, internships and employment to these talented young people.” London South East Colleges offers outstanding SEND provision for 16-24-year-olds – supporting them into employment and independent living. For more information about the ETF’s CfESEND programme, visit:

❛❛As my grandfather would say, keep on keeping on. Be yourself, don’t worry about what anyone else thinks or says. Look at me and know that you can


do it too.

Education Group Principal receives CBE from HRH The Prince of Wales Dr Sam Parrett, Group Principal and CEO of London & South East Education Group, has been presented with her CBE for Services to Education.


he Investiture was led by HRH, The Prince of Wales and took place at Windsor Castle.

Sam’s CBE recognises her ongoing dedication to education at all levels, including the establishment and leading of London South East Academies Trust and her impactful leadership of the Group’s eight-campus further and higher education college. The unique structure of London & South East Education Group is ensuring that that children and young people, many with a range of special educational needs, have access to high quality provision and care throughout their lives. Congratulating Sam on her achievements, Chair of London & South

East Education Group, Stephen Howlett CBE, DL says: “I am absolutely delighted to see Sam receiving this very great Honour. She has made, and indeed continues to make, a huge contribution to education – locally, regionally and also nationally in her role as a National Leader of Further Education. “Sam is deeply passionate about supporting social mobility by providing people with the best possible educational opportunities; helping them to reach their full potential and achieve their career ambitions. “Myself and all my colleagues wish Sam many congratulations on this remarkable achievement and thank her for her ongoing dedication and hard work.”


Education & Skills

Croydon’s going places That’s why LSBU are here and committed to this area. Our new campus is the latest in a string of exciting developments in one of London’s most ambitious areas. Home to big businesses, start-ups and a uniquely South London buzz: we’re playing our part in its future. Our new home will be in a Grade II listed building, Electric House, in Croydon town centre. With its original purpose of empowering local people to explore new technology in mind, we aim to build on this mission by allowing our students to engage with the latest innovation in technology and build digital innovation. LSBU is here to meet the need for an exceptional civic university powering the future workforce, building sustainable and engaged communities and boosting the region’s standing on a national and global stage. We’re providing ambitious, businessminded Londoners with a brand new business hub, brimming with entrepreneurial spirit, where students, staff and our Croydon community alike gather to share knowledge and ideas. As well as Undergraduate programs in Business Management and Accounting and Finance, LSBU Croydon offers CPD and upskilling short courses, designed to help the local community get into careers and improve their job prospects. 22

Find out more

Education & Skills

Boost your business with HELP TO GROW at LSBU Croydon London South Bank University (LSBU) aids the growth and recovery of SMEs in Croydon with its government subsidised Help to Grow programme. The impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic have been challenging for all businesses and led to sharp a drop in economic activity in the UK, with SMEs being hit the hardest and now requiring the most support in their recovery.


here are six million SMEs in the UK which account for over 99% of all businesses, 33% of employment and 21% of all turnover – so the effect on the UK economy will be felt for a long time unless they are prioritised in receiving support. Over recent years there has been increasing demand for fairer government funding and investment in south London, coming from the public, the council and members of parliament. LSBU is taking action in supporting business growth in south London and the Croydon area with this subsidised programme, designed and delivered around the needs of business owners. Participants of Help to Grow receive multi-faceted training to develop strategic skills to increase their business’ long-term productivity, resilience and capacity to innovate. Some of the key benefits to business leaders include peer support, one-to-one mentoring, a hybrid learning environment and access to an alumni network. Let’s explore what the programme entails.

ACCESSIBLE TRAINING The fact that Help to Grow is a 90% government funded programme means that specialised business growth training

becomes accessible and affordable, especially in the wake of unprecedented disruption when SME debt has increased significantly.

EXPERT-LED Participants will learn directly from industry-leading facilitators, trainers and support leaders, who have been handpicked based on their knowledge and understanding of the challenges faced by SMEs. All have extensive experience in either leading small businesses to success or are experts in their particular business discipline, meaning business owners will find the support they need to achieve their individual business goals.

PEER SUPPORT Peer group sessions provide an invaluable opportunity for business owners to share ideas, challenges and successes in a confidential and supportive environment. Peer collaboration allows participants to gain insightful and objective viewpoints that help tackle problems from a different perspective and feed directly into plans for business development.

ONE-TO-ONE MENTORING Navigating an ever-changing economic climate is more challenging than ever, so receiving tailored advice to reach individual business goals can vastly impact success. Each participant receives 10 hours of

dedicated support from an experienced mentor to develop a business growth plan unique to their needs and ambition.

FLEXIBLE AND HYBRID Designed with business owners in mind, the programme is manageable alongside full-time work and fits around busy working schedules. The combination of virtual and face-to-face learning allows flexibility whilst retaining the same level of high-quality teaching. In times of uncertainty, business owners need to equip themselves with a robust business plan that mitigates risks, accounts for varying scenarios, and keeps operations agile and resilient against external influences. The Help to Grow programme takes participants through the four key stages of Innovate, Market, Build and Grow, to create a realistic and valuable Growth Action Plan specifically for their business. Current participant Liam Oliver has already seen the benefits of attending the course and says: “The whole course has been invaluable in changing my mindset towards the growth of the company. We move into this year with natural growth but the course has changed the conversation between myself and the other directors, enabling us to start planning strategically. The sessions with the mentor have been extremely useful in focusing on a strategic growth plan for the business.”

To invest in your business visit 23

Richard Burge LCCI



ssentially, these visits have been fact-finding

missions, an attempt to explore synergies between these localities and London – still viewed internationally as a global destination for trade. Ultimately, memorandums of understanding (MOUs) will be agreed with each Chamber before the implementation of three-year engagement plans that will, hopefully, boost trade between London and each of these overseas cities.

London builds bridges with overseas cities It’s fair to say that Richard Burge has had his travelling boots on recently. In the last few months, he has visited Hamburg and Berlin in Germany, Dubai, Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego in a bid to build relationships with Chambers of Commerce and other key organisations in these localities. 24

It’s a bold, ambitious plan that Richard has been driving forward since assuming his current role as CEO of London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) two years ago. He says: “We’re trying to create and maintain international relationships in a post-Brexit world. Despite all of the political rhetoric, London is a global, welcoming city with good connections to the outside world. Essentially, we’re still the same outward-facing, pro-business city as we were before Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Richard Burge LCCI

❛❛Our engagement plans will be very specific and tailored to each city region; they won’t be a one-size-fits-all boilerplate. As I’ve been discovering in recent months, each city has its own strengths and challenges to overcome. My job is to see where the synergies and gaps are so we can build mutually beneficial relationships between London Chamber members and members in Chambers overseas.


“Our engagement plans will be

Can we get more small businesses

“I see opportunities everywhere,”

very specific and tailored to each

here to export into north Germany?”

says Richard. “Berlin is a

city region; they won’t be a onesize-fits-all boilerplate. As I’ve been discovering in recent months, each city has its own strengths and challenges to overcome. My job is to see where the synergies and gaps are so we can build mutually beneficial relationships between London Chamber members and

significant city in the EU’s future There are also clear synergies

and the business eco-system in

between London and Dubai,

Los Angeles is quite similar to the

particularly the Thames Freeport, a

one we have in London.

major economic zone that connects Ford’s world-class Dagenham engine plant to the global ports at London Gateway and Tilbury. Given that London Gateway is owned by

“I also met the CEO of a San Diegobased tech business that has just launched an operation in London. He stressed the importance of having a presence in the UK capital

Dubai-headquartered DP World,

to position his company as an

there are opportunities to explore

international business. We have

“I’ve learned something from all of

the trade of goods and services

to keep reminding ourselves of

the places I’ve visited. For example,

between London and Dubai,

the attractiveness of London.

there’s already something to work

particularly as companies in the

with in north Germany, where there

freeport can take advantage of tax

are 4,500 British-owned businesses.

benefits that make it easier and

This gives us a strong foundation to

cheaper to move goods into and

build connections between Hamburg

out of the country. This could also

this draws parallels between

and London Chambers. Can we,

encourage some Dubai firms to

London and the EU, where the

for instance, facilitate more trade

re-shore all or part of their

movement of labour has benefited

between SMEs in these two regions?

operations to the freeport.

both parties for many years.”

members in Chambers overseas.

“San Diego also has a strong trading relationship with Mexico, with good access to Mexico’s skilled labour force. Historically,


The Big Interview

Innovation centre supports

Croydon’s army of entrepreneurs

Starting out in business can be one of the toughest challenges to take on in life. Statistics show that only 15% of new companies ever go on to be profitable and up to 80% of start-ups fail within their first three years of trading.


owever, there are many examples of successful businesses in South East London – businesses that have taken advantage of the area’s extensive support network to grow and thrive.

Sussex Innovation (SI) is an integral part of this network. A wholly owned subsidiary of the University of Sussex, it helps start-ups, scale-ups and corporate innovation projects to succeed with confidence. Daisy Wood has been involved with SI since 2015 and manages the organisation’s Croydon hub, the other being in Falmer.


Daisy says: “We’re a business incubation network that supports entrepreneurs, start-ups and scale-ups across the south east from our headquarters at the University of Sussex. Our members are ambitious companies that are innovators in their field – solving important problems in new ways. We give founders the strategic insight to help them grow their business and provide practical resources to help manage that growth sustainably. “Our assistance ranges from PR/communications support, market research and insight, sales and marketing support and innovation strategy. We also have an investor readiness programme that helps entrepreneurs to prepare their businesses for scale-up and investment. This could involve creating a business plan, for example, or being

able to market themselves to potential investors in the right way.” Statistics show that SI is making a positive difference to local businesses. Around 85% of its members become sustainable businesses and one in six of those grow to achieve turnover in the millions. In the 26 years since SI’s inception it has supported over 750 start-ups, with more than three quarters of those still trading after five years. Currently it has a membership base of more than 100 businesses across the three hubs, including 50 in the Croydon hub. Daisy says: “In Croydon we have two floors with 20-25 tenant members – they’re small or micro businesses – and a further 26 co-working members, who tend to be sole traders.

The Big Interview “Smaller businesses can be more agile and able to change than larger businesses. Some of our members pivoted their business model during the pandemic and have gone on to be successful. We’ve helped them to secure new revenue streams or adapt their business strategy to capitalise on new markets. “Businesses can incubate with us for a couple of years, then they tend to move out to find bigger premises as they expand. Our membership includes all sorts of companies. There are a lot of technology businesses among our Croydon hub in particular – which is not really that surprising, as Croydon is home to a thriving tech hub. We support digital agencies and e-commerce platforms, and we’ve also helped niche businesses including a company that’s created an automated parking payment system.” Supporting entrepreneurs and businesses – or people generally – seems to be in Daisy’s DNA. “Earlier on in my career I had jobs in the hospitality industry,” she says. “I enjoy working in customer service roles, meeting people and getting the best out of them. “I joined SI because I wanted to make a difference in the local business community by helping entrepreneurs get access to the tools that could turbo-charge their companies. I oversee the day-to-day running of centre and take care of the members. I also work closely with other networks that promote business innovation and support economic growth in the region.” SI has come a long way since opening its doors in 1996, initially as a public-private partnership involving two universities and local councils in the greater Brighton area. Since then, it has harnessed the huge growth potential of the Sussex Academic Corridor by building bridges between businesses and academia, helping to retain skilled graduates in the area, supporting innovative local start-ups and creating new jobs and economic growth. “We also provide support for larger, more established firms,” says Daisy. “Going forwards, I think there’ll be more businesses entering the sustainability sphere as more is done to reduce carbon emissions and tackle climate change. “Academic institutions such as the University of Sussex are wanting to build sustainability into their teaching provision so businesses get the skills they need to capitalise on the green economy as it evolves. Many students will nee these skills to get into jobs and forge successful careers.”

The Inside Story: Daisy Wood w Favourite food?

I’m really into Middle Eastern food and a big fan of Ottolenghi (although I’m yet to go to one of his restaurants!).

w Favourite tipple? I like craft beer. There are a couple of independent breweries in Croydon; Anspach & Hobday have a taproom at their brewery which I definitely want to check out this summer.

w Favourite holiday? When I was a child we often stayed at a gîte in Brittany. I’ve got loads of fond memories of those trips: being handed an Orangina through the car window as we drove off the ferry, listening to The Beach Boys in the car, playing table football while drinking “diabolo menthe” and my mum taking her Dorling Kindersley guide everywhere we went.

w Describe your family life? I grew up in Cornwall and Devon and was an only child until the age of 13. My family still live in Cornwall although my sister will be off to university this year. I’ve been living in the South East for over ten years now so I’m lucky in that I get the best of both worlds; dayto-day I enjoy the buzz and connectivity of living in a city but I can also go back home and make the most of the Cornish countryside and beaches.

w How do you spend your downtime?

A lot of the way I spend my downtime is food related. I enjoy cooking and having friends over for dinner as well as eating out. If I’m not cooking (or eating!), I’ll probably be listening to a food podcast or watching a cookery show.

w What are your key strengths as a manager?

I think it is really important to empower people, so I steer clear of micromanaging. I strive to create a positive working environment at the Centre; everyone having a degree of autonomy definitely plays a part in that.

w And your limitations? I often struggle to say no!

w Best thing about doing business in the borough?

I love the energy that there is in Croydon. There is a lot of development taking place and a huge drive to make improvements to the borough such as the Morello Quarter regeneration project which is underway just across the road from us. We’re also the Borough of Culture next year which is very exciting. Croydon 2023 is going to be a programme of events and community projects that celebrate the borough’s creativity, diversity, and inclusivity so there is definitely lots to look forward to.

w Famous person you’d most like to spend dinner with?

Dolly Parton. Her music is very nostalgic for me but not only is she a talented singer songwriter, she is also a hugely successful business woman and philanthropist. I’d love the opportunity to hear about her life first hand and I think she’d be great company.

w Most interesting fact about yourself?

I used to write short stories and once won a Daphne Du Maurier writing competition.


FORTHCOMING EVENTS Croydon Breakfast Tuesday 26 April 2022 8:30- 9:40

Forthcoming Events

Powers of Attorney for Individuals & Business Owners with Zahra Kanani and Elliot Lewis of Thackray Williams

GreenwichB2B Link ‘n Drink in association with the South East London Chamber of Commerce is an informal and free networking event for businesses from Greenwich and bordering boroughs. You can expect informal networking with representatives of small and mediumsized businesses, short introductions of attendees and often a short presentation by a regular. Please RSVP with contact details to benefit from business details shared with other attendees of the evening. This is a free event, any business can attend. There is no membership charge.

Join an expert legal panel from Thackray Williams with Tax and Wills Planner, Zahra Kanani and Equity Partner, Elliot Lewis for a free and fascinating Lunchtime Webinar focusing on the Business Owner’s perspective on the potential issues arising around business ownership and management when Mental Capacity and Lasting Power of Attorney are deployed to ensure the continued smooth day to day running of a business. This informative presentation from Thackray Williams LLP, will be followed by a Q & A, so be sure to book early and prepare any questions for their legal team in advance.

Lewisham Link ‘N Drink

Introduction to Legal Services for Start-Ups

Wednesday 27 April 2022 17:30- 19:30 Don't miss out on an opportunity to network in Lewisham! Our upcoming Link ‘n Drink hosted at Artis in Blackheath is an amazing chance to make local connections with other businesses and local players. Come for an evening casual networking with small and mediumsized businesses from the area, Bring your pitch and your business cards! As always attendance is free and all are welcome, whether you are an established business or exploring starting up.

Employment Law Update for 2022 Webinar with Sarah Wilkinson of Thackray Williams Thursday 28 April 2022 10:00 - 11:00 The second of our employment law sessions in association with Thackray Williams LLP– updating us on developments in the world of employment in 2022, as business continue to adapt to the ongoing effects of lockdown, emerging into a world facing fresh challenges! This free event will give you an overview of changes in human resources and employment law – Associate Solicitor, Sarah Wilkinson will lead us through a summary of recent changes, as seen through the eyes of an expert in the field, working as part of the team at Thackray Williams LLP. As well as having access to free expertise, it’s also a great opportunity to bring your own questions to put to our expert panel!

Croydon Link ‘N Drink at the Crown and Pepper Wednesday 25 May 2022 17:30- 19:30 Don’t miss our upcoming Link ‘n Drink, a chance to engage in some informal networking in Croydon, to make local connections with other businesses and grow a SME network in the area. You can expect informal networking with representatives of small and medium-sized businesses, short introductions of attendees and often a short presentation by a regular. Please RSVP with contact details to benefit from business details shared with other attendees of the evening. Attendance is free and all are welcome, whether you are an established business or just thinking about starting up. Bring your pitch and your business cards!

Friday 17 May 2022 12:30 - 13:30

with Dr Saverio Salandra of Thackray Williams Wednesday 8 June 2022 15:00 - 16:00

Got a great idea for a business? Want to set up and get selling? Well, there are some things that you might want to know before you start… Starting a new business is thrilling, and nobody wants to dampen your enthusiasm, but getting a few insights from legal professionals can help prevent you making some expensive mistakes. Join Dr Saverio Salandra from Thackray Williams Solicitors LLP to explore this fascinating subject that will appeal to many of you looking to start a new venture as we enter a new era for business after interruptions and lockdowns, emerging into a world facing fresh challenges. This is sure to be lively, informative and fun presentation, so remember to book a free space well in advance and come prepared with your business start-up legal questions for the Q & A that follows.

The Annual SELCC and Southwark Chamber of Commerce Thames River Cruise Wednesday 22 June 2022 17:00 - 22:00 Come and join us the SELCC and Southwark Chamber of Commerce on the MV Golden Sunrise for a night of fun, food and networking! Starting at the local Festival Pier, we'll sail west past the Houses of Parliament, London Eye, Tower Bridge all the way down the river to Greenwich Pier whilst enjoying a delicious buffet, DJ & growing your business network on the Thames. We look forward to celebrating your success & growing your business network! Enjoy spectacular river views, dinner, and dancing! Boarding: 5:00 at the Festival Pier Attire: Smart Casual Booking Email:

SELCC Visit Greenwich Golf Day Thursday 28 July 2022 7:30 - 16:00 We hope you'll join us for what is sure to be a very special occasion. SELCC and Visit Greenwich are delighted to invite you to the beautiful and historic Royal Blackheath Golf Club for breakfast, a morning of golf followed by a delicious lunch with keynote speakers. If you’re not a golfer- don’t worry, you can still join us for lunch and our speakers. Arrival from 7.30am Please contact for booking or further enquiries.

To BOOK EVENTS please visit 29 29

Past Chamber Events

Making the right connections Each month the Chamber hosts a variety of events which offer members a superb opportunity to meet and chat to fellow business people.

Here, we review a few of our past events.

SELCC Executive Lunch

with Tom Copley on Thursday, 27 January 2022, 12.00 - 14.00 at DoubleTree by Hilton London Greenwich

We were thrilled to be starting 2022 with our first Executive Lunch since back in March 2020, when we then hosted Deputy Mayor of London for Business, Rajesh Agrawal. Thursday, 27 January was the date we were lucky to hear the Deputy Mayor for Housing and Residential Development, Tom Copley talk under ‘Chatham House Rules.’ The Deputy Mayor oversees the Mayor’s two affordable homes programmes, including ‘Building Council Homes for Londoners’ –


the first-ever City Hall initiative dedicated to council homebuilding. Sponsored by Chamber Member Thackray Williams, guests enjoyed a networking drinks reception, a lively, interesting talk from Tom and some thought provoking questions from guests, prior to a delicious two course lunch. We all enjoyed being back at Chamber Member, DoubleTree by Hilton London Greenwich Hotel and a big thank you to the team. Photos supplied by Warren King Photography

Past Chamber Events

Women’s Safety Webinar with Stacy Smith of Her Centre Ltd 22nd March 2022 Stacy Smith of Her Centre delivered a free Lunchtime Webinar where she explored ways women can improve the safety of all women through awareness and simple support as part of an expanding community approach. Her Centre Ltd. is a charity, set up empower women to move away from

abuse and forward with their lives. The importance of Women’s Safety has been a continual concern for Greenwich residents, especially with the recent murder of Sabina Nessa. Stacy explained Her Centre’s approach to helping women in the

community and discussed how the risk from known men and strangers and how these are linked to a negative perception of women. Leaving us with knowledge on how we as individuals and a society can work together to build a safer environment for women.

GreenwichB2B Link ‘N Drink Tue 05 April 2022 18:30- 21:00 GreenwichB2B Link ‘n Drink in association with the South East London Chamber of Commerce lead their informal and free networking event for businesses from Greenwich and bordering boroughs.

Croydon Economic Summit & Business Live Expo 2022 23rd March 2022 We were delighted to finally attend the Croydon Economic Summit & Business Expo which took place at the fantastic London South Bank University's Croydon Campus at Electric House. This was the first opportunity to attend the Business Live Expo in two-years after various COVID lockdowns and restrictions, and for the first time since Croydon became affiliated with South East London Chamber of Commerce last year. This pop-up event offers Croydon businesses the chance to showcase

themselves and their companies to one of London’s most diverse boroughs – and its employers, communities, and people. The stands and exhibits give much needed exposure to Croydon’s best in business

Nigel Davies of Pin Creative spoke on how important a cohesive brand strategy, identity, and design can engage customers.

There was a fantastic selection of industry leaders in attendance to engage the business owners for what turned out to be a day packed with inspiration for business looking to recover, grow, and face the future with confidence.

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An introduction to ethical investing


Pippy Stephenson, content & production assistant at Reset Connect, explains how environmentally conscious businesses can benefit from the rising popularity of ethical investments…

n 2019, BlackRock predicted that investments in ESG (environmental, social, governance) funds would rise above $400 billion over the next ten years. In addition, in 2020 the Guardian reported that ethical investments were outperforming traditional funds.

In truth, remote and flexible working had become more common by the time COVID-19 hit UK shores, with technology allowing more people to work from home or on the move. The virus has merely reinforced the message that, in many cases, it’s possible for people to carry out their day jobs remotely. However, this is not necessarily a good thing; several reports have highlighted workers’ increased anxiety and isolation due to being away from the office environment. Other studies have reported an erosion in the divide between work and home life, with some workers feeling unable to switch off from work to enjoy time with their families. Socially responsible investments (SRIs), otherwise known as ethical investments, are growing increasingly popular and with greater financial returns. Under the umbrella of SRI there’s also community investing and the currently very popular impact investing. In short, ethical investments are a method of gaining financially whilst maintaining your moral principles. It’s also a way of your investments not just making you money but offering other positive returns to the rest of society. SRI, ethical investing and the other related terms are often hard to pin down to a clear, agreed upon definition but the following article will try to offer a simple explanation for a few of them.


Socially responsible investing (SRI) Socially responsible investing (SRI) is an umbrella term, somewhat interchangeable with “ethical investing”. It refers to investments made into socially conscious areas of business that seek to have a positive impact on the environment, human rights, race and/or gender equality. Unlike straightforward ESG investments, SRI avoids specific funds that don’t align with socially responsible values. These socially negative areas could include tobacco, alcohol, gambling, arms or fossil fuels. However, investors making socially responsible investments are not obliged to only make such investments or for them to make up a majority of their portfolio. Although SRIs are getting steadily more popular they do carry risks; for example, when certain social values become less popular, the related investments tend to fall in monetary value. Because of this there’s a greater focus on ESG investment as it’s considered to be an area that will remain relevant.

❛❛Ethical investments are a method of gaining financially whilst maintaining your moral principles. It’s also a way of your investments not just making you money but offering other positive returns


to the rest of society.

Social impact doesn’t always go along with financial gain, nor does financial gain always go along with social impact. It’s the job of investors to do their homework to make sure they’ll get a good return on a socially responsible investment.

ESG investing Investing in ESG is similar to general ethical investing in that it aims to make socially conscious choices about where your money goes, but it’s more specific about what that means. Companies are each rated on their performance in the three areas and given an overall ESG score. The environmental factor takes into account what, if any, measures a company is taking to mitigate their impact on the planet. The social factor considers the company’s relationship to and treatment of their employees, customers, suppliers and local community. Meanwhile, the governance factor takes into account the company’s treatment of its shareholders, the independence of its board of directors, diversity, transparency and conflicts of interest. Each rating agency uses a slightly different methodology to calculate the score but all consider the E, S and G factors. Agencies tend to disagree as the ratings are fairly subjective. Companies are also compared to others in their field rather than compared to business at large; this means companies that are better than their peers but worse than most businesses could still be given a good ESG score. This score is used to determine which companies are socially responsible investments but as previously mentioned, this method has its limitations.


❛❛Social impact doesn’t always go along with financial gain, nor does financial gain always go along with social impact. It’s the job of investors to do their homework to make sure they’ll get a good


return on a socially responsible investment. Community investing (CI) Community investing (CI) is a subcategory of SRI and is largely implemented to improve infrastructure and services of low-income communities. This in turn improves the lives of local people whilst offering a financial return. Especially when done close to home, this form of investing allows you to see the result in real terms. However, often the businesses you’re lending to are considered too risky by traditional lenders and sometimes these are lowreturn investments. To manage this risk, community investment often only takes up a fraction of a given portfolio. The rest of the portfolio can and should still be socially responsible.

Impact investing As a subcategory of SRI, impact investing has many similarities. However, where

it differs is that it favours investments that make specific positive changes and achieve outlined goals. The objective of impact investing is to help businesses accomplish goals that will benefit society and/or the environment. Of course, as with all investments, there’s an intended financial return. However, the focus on impact investing remains on bringing about positive change and solving global problems. Patagonia has a venture capital fund, Tin Shed Ventures, which they use for sustainable projects and impact investments. They invest in start-ups that are solving problems related to climate change. One such project is Tersus Solutions, which washes clothes with liquid carbon dioxide instead of water, a process that conserves both water and energy. They also invest in a company called Bureo, which converts discarded

fishing nets into consumer products. This is the sort of investment that should be encouraged more, and the sort of spirit that we should all be taking on board for our businesses. The term conscious capitalism was coined by Whole Foods co-founder John Mackey and marketing professor Raj Sisodia, who went on to found a non-profit organisation under the same name. It states that while businesses should pursue profit, they should also consider their employees, wider society and the environment. In every aspect of business, changes can be made to make positive impacts on the world. We should make business decisions through the lens of understanding the importance of profit whilst also understanding the importance of working to tackle the climate crisis.

If you’re interested in learning more about how you can incorporate ethical investing and other sustainable practices within your business, buy a ticket for Reset Connect, which takes place on June 28 and 29. The event will bring together start-ups, investors, climate innovators and industry leaders to bring about meaningful change, establish a green economy and speed the transition to net zero.

For more information on the event, visit To book, visit



New green standard

helps firms to cut emissions Tracey Herald, head of sustainability at Virgin Media O2, said: “We’re proud to be one of the first pathfinder companies to work towards the Carbon Trust’s Route to Net Zero Standard. This provides Virgin Media O2 with a robust and rigorous framework, which holds us to the highest standards as we create and deliver a transparent and best practice climate plan to decarbonise our business.”

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With more than 1,000 companies worldwide setting science-based emission reduction targets*, the challenge now is creating and delivering the action plans to achieve success. To help address this, the Carbon Trust is launching the new ROUTE TO NET ZERO STANDARD, a key driver in its mission to accelerate the move to a decarbonised future. 34


o achieve science-based targets, the Route to Net Zero Standard will support companies in the development and evolution of their action plans, helping to measure and manage their emissions, inform carbon reduction strategies and align targets for the future. It is the only certification that recognises an organisation’s progress on its route to net zero, acknowledging that companies in different industries, geographical locations, and facing diverse challenges, may be at different stages.

There are three tiers of certification: 1) taking action 2) advancing and 3) leading, which recognises a company’s efforts wherever they are on their journey. Companies will receive tailored support to increase their climate ambition over time and guidance on how to align with science-based targets and best practices. The Carbon Trust will also help organisations communicate their progress to stakeholders through marketing communication resources. As part of the Carbon Trust’s long-term digital investment strategy, the Route to Net Zero Standard will be the first service offering delivered through a new digital platform. This will ensure that the comprehensive assessment is seamless and engaging, with custom designed interfaces. The platform will evolve to support companies with carbon foot-printing, target-setting and value chain analysis. Ten pathfinder companies have already signed up to the standard, including Virgin Media O2, PwC, Sainsbury’s, Severn Trent Water and SGN. They will receive help to plan their route map to net zero and certify their progress to share with stakeholders.

*Source: Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi), February 2022,

Patrick Dunne, director of property and procurement at Sainsbury’s, said: “We’re really proud to be the only retailer and one of the first organisations to sign up to the Carbon Trust’s new Route to Net Zero Standard. We’re committed to reaching our newly accelerated target to be net zero by 2035 in our own operations and believe that external verification and guidance from industry leaders like the Carbon Trust will help us to plan our route there at the speed and scale needed. As an early adopter of the new standard and a named pathfinder, we look forward to partnering with the Carbon Trust to advance our own progress and lead the way for others towards a decarbonised future.” Tom Delay, chief executive at the Carbon Trust, added: “Tackling the climate crisis is the most critical environmental issue of our time, requiring businesses to both act and collaborate to elicit change and achieve success. The new Route to Net Zero Standard will inspire and foster immediate and longerterm action by supporting companies as they create and deliver on their roadmaps to reduce carbon emissions, certifying and celebrating their achievements as they progress. We’re delighted to have ten pathfinder partners already committed to the new standard and look forward to our continued collaboration on their journeys to net zero.”

❛❛We’re proud to be one of the first pathfinder companies to work towards the Carbon Trust’s Route to


Net Zero Standard.

Top 10 tips


on how to lower emissions The British Chambers of Commerce has published advice to help businesses cut their carbon emissions… 1. Identify the source and scale of your emissions To set a goal, you need to know where your emissions come from and calculate the scale of them. See: A beginner’s guide to carbon footprinting (https:// blogs/2021/01/a-beginner-s-guideto-carbon-footprinting) and the Zero Carbon Business Hub’s Carbon Footprint Calculator ( become-a-net-zero-business/)

2. Identify opportunities for carbon reductions and make a plan How will you measure your emissions to ensure you’re reducing your carbon footprint? Setting interim targets along the path to net zero is vital. See the Zero Carbon Business Hub’s cost of carbon emissions calculator ( calculate-the-cost-of-your-carbonemissions/) to see where this can lead to savings for your business.

3. Switch to a green energy tariff This is the simplest and quickest way to reduce your emissions, when your current term expires.

4. Reduce waste

Recycling materials such as paper or plastic helps you reduce waste and lessen the impact on the environment. It will also save you money on landfill tax and waste disposal rates.

5. Consider your business travel patterns With many organisations moving to a hybrid working model, consider your employees’ working patterns and whether a reduction in travel may help to reduce your emissions.

6. Engage with your supply chain Businesses that supply you or to whom you supply are part of your “Scope 3” emissions. Working with them to drive down emissions, share ideas, best practice and resources is an essential part of reducing emissions.

7. Diversify your fleet Encouraging third party suppliers to invest in more fuel-efficient fleets or considering the efficiency of your own fleetis an important step. Go Ultra Low’s Car Tax Calculator ( helps you to see the savings this could bring about.

8. Consider quality carbon offsetting Some emissions cannot be avoided, even after you’ve reduced your own. Carbon offsetting projects can have positive impacts on global emissions. See a beginner’s guide to carbon offsetting (https:// blogs/2021/05/a-beginner-s-guideto-carbon-offsetting).

9. Communicate your plans and successes Climate change is an important issue for the public. Engaging your staff in your emissions reduction work and communicating your success to customers is important.

10. Make the commitment and stay up to date. Consider making the SME Climate Commitment (https://smeclimatehub. org/sme-climate-commitment/) to future-proof your business, and ensure that you stay up to date with ever-changing government policy on climate change through your local Chamber.

Web links to further useful information can be found at

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Save the Date June 22nd 2022

The University of Greenwich are pleased to host a series of events around being green. June 22nd is when businesses in the Royal Borough will come together to share their stories and get new ideas around being green and sustainability. The event will be held both online and in-person. During the second half of 2022, other events will be held for residents to explore easy ways to contribute towards the green agenda whether as an individual or a household.

Join us as we learn and demystify the journey to net zero. For more information and to register your interest, please email


Housebuilding slows in London as cost of construction rises The double impact of the pandemic and Brexit is forcing up the cost of building materials, causing workforce shortages and slowing housebuilding progress in London, the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has warned. 38


overnment figures show that the cost of construction materials, such as steel, timber and concrete, for all types of work rose by 23 per cent last year. This increase is roughly equal to the rise that was seen across the previous 12 years. Meanwhile, separate industry data suggest the inflation of construction materials reached a 40-year high in the third quarter of 2021.


❛❛Workforce shortages and added costs in the wake of Brexit are placing further strain on the industry, with ONS data revealing almost a quarter of construction firms reported a shortage of workers in December, compared to the


all-industry average of 14.6 per cent. capital. He has also repeated his call for the government to provide additional grant funding for affordable housing in London to reflect the growing financial pressures on councils and housing associations. He has highlighted schemes from his own housing programmes that are being severely impacted by these issues. These include: • A development in south east London where costs have risen by 45 per cent based on tender returns. • A south London borough reported cost inflation spiking up to 17 per cent. • A north east London borough reported average cost increases across the board of around 10 per cent.

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The rising cost of materials is not only hampering new builds, it’s also having an impact on families wanting to add extensions to their homes and holding back successful businesses wanting to expand their premises. The Federation of Master Builders’ (FMB) latest State of Trade Survey echoed this, with 95 per cent of builders seeing a rise in material costs and 74 per cent feeling under pressure to pass these increased costs on to the consumer. Meanwhile, 74 per cent of builders have put up their prices for work and 91 per cent of survey respondents expect material costs to increase in the first part of 2022. The mayor has warned that these issues are likely to have a significant impact on the delivery of much-needed homes in the

Workforce shortages and added costs in the wake of Brexit are placing further strain on the industry, with ONS data revealing almost a quarter of construction firms reported a shortage of workers in December, compared to the all-industry average of 14.6 per cent. Sadiq Khan also revealed that the UK-wide vacancy rate in construction has risen to its highest recorded level since 2001, and vacancies in construction were 40 per cent higher in the summer of 2021 than in the three months before the pandemic. Due to these shortages, the mayor has called on the government to create a Coronavirus Recovery Visa to help sectors that are struggling with shortages of workers, including construction. He said the visa should offer at least 12 months to work in the UK and be appropriately tailored to sectors such as construction, where many workers prefer to work on a self-employed basis. Construction firms are also reporting an increase in costs directly related to Brexit, with 13.7 per cent saying transport is costing them more and 14.4 per cent experiencing increased importation fees.

Sadiq Khan said: “Since becoming mayor, I’ve made tackling London’s housing crisis one of my top priorities. From City Hall, we’ve worked tirelessly to get London building again, but the twin effects of the pandemic and Brexit has hit housebuilders and consumers hard. “Put simply, materials and labour are needed to build homes. I’ve called on the government to create a temporary visa scheme for construction workers, which would go some way towards alleviating the debilitating double impact of Brexit and the pandemic on the building industry. “I’m also calling on ministers to provide the increased funding for genuinely affordable housing in London that I’ve long called for and which is needed now more than ever. Without bricks and mortar, and enough skilled workers, the excellent progress we’ve made in delivering the good quality and genuinely affordable homes that Londoners need is at risk of stalling.” Brian Berry, chief executive of the Federation of Master Builders, said: “For over a year, small builders who deliver new housing and improve existing homes, either through extensions or by retrofitting, have been struggling with the twin challenges of rising prices for essential materials and severe labour shortages. The State of Trade Survey data from the FMB shows these pressures aren’t going away and there are now added fears about the impact of rising inflation.” G15 chair and chief executive of MTVH, Geeta Nanda OBE, said: “The rising cost of materials we’re seeing across our affordable housebuilding projects is a real challenge. We’re working hard with the mayor and local authorities to build the homes Londoners need, but we need to address both the shortage of skilled workers and the impact of inflation on our projects.”




when the commute is all at home

The Government’s Living with Covid strategy removed one of the final hurdles towards a return to full-time office working, but many are expected to continue working from home under the new regime.


he potential of reduced property costs combined with positive feedback about home-working from employees has seen many companies agreeing working arrangements which enable staff to continue to work from home all or part of the time. But despite the ending of many Covid-related mandatory requirements, welfare in the workplace remains a top priority, whether at home or company-owned premises. Companies have a legal obligation to protect workers and should take steps to protect their physical and mental wellbeing, wherever they are based. One recent case to hit headlines involved a German worker, who won a claim for injury after falling on the stairs to his home office. The Court ruled that taking the stairs at the start of the day to his home office was solely for the purpose of starting work and an insurable activity in the interest of the employer. Whilst this case was heard in the German national courts, it is a useful reminder of the legal obligations on companies in the UK. There is a duty to conduct a risk assessment of the working environment for employees and to have insurance in place, wherever individuals are based.

❛❛The Health and Safety Executive has guidance for employers on working from home arrangements and guidance on undertaking


risk assessments.

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 requires employers to take all reasonable steps to ensure the safety of its employees to provide a safe place of work, a safe means of access to that place of work, a safe system of work, and safe plant and equipment. This includes conducting regular risk assessments of the working environment and where employers are unable to carry out a full risk assessment, it may involve asking employees to undertake a selfassessment of their workspace and equipment. Any changes needed for a safe and healthy environment are the responsibility of the employer.

As well as physical safety, mental wellbeing is high on the agenda, with the Health & Safety Executive saying that stress, depression and anxiety constitute more than half of all new cases of workrelated ill health. The Health and Safety Executive has guidance for employers on working from home arrangements and guidance on undertaking risk assessments. As well as maintaining health and safety requirements, regular assessments may be invaluable in keeping other aspects of home-working monitored and up to date, such as data privacy and confidentiality. Diligence in managing IT issues remotely, such as applying security patches and updates, and keeping policies and processes under constant review, can make all the difference in addressing vulnerabilities and avoiding breaches.

To read the latest Government guidance for employers on the Living with Covid policy, visit:

For advice or support with home worker agreements or policies, our specialist team of Employment Lawyers can assist. Contact Judith Curran on 01689 887 812 or email 40

Organisations must also ensure that their insurance covers employees working from home and must ask individual employees to check there are no restrictions imposed on them working from home by their home insurer, mortgage provider or landlord.



set to ramp up energy bills for London firms The invasion of Ukraine by Russia is an appalling act of aggression with terrible loss of life and displacement of potentially the largest number of people in Europe since World War II.


ne impact of the invasion is likely to be a significant impact on the UK’s energy supply – and a huge rise in energy bills for consumers and businesses.

Energy – specifically oil and gas – is one of Russia’s key exports into Europe as it supplies much of the continent’s oil and gas. The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said energy bills in the UK were likely to rise sharply throughout this year as a direct result of the conflict in Ukraine and the sanctions imposed on Russian exports. The organisation has advised businesses on several key points: • The UK does not import significant amounts of gas from Russia, despite its status as the second largest gas producer in the world (contributing 17% to global gas output in 2020). However, the current energy crisis in the UK is being driven by rising global gas prices. Volatility in this market will continue to affect UK energy costs. • Around 5-6% of UK gas imports come from Russia. • With Russia withholding resources over the last two years, the UK has been exposed to volatile international gas markets. While our supply is unlikely to be affected, the price we pay for gas is, leading to rising energy bills this year.

• Many European nations have agreed that increasing the use of renewable energy is one of the solutions to reliance on Russian gas. The Prime Minister has confirmed that the UK will “cease the dependence on Russian oil and gas that for too long has given Putin his grip on western politics”. The UK will therefore have to reduce its demand for gas or replace it with other sources. In the near-term, the UK’s reliance on Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) is likely to increase, but increased global competition for this resource will drive costs up. • The energy price cap in the UK has risen from £1,277 to £1,971 in response to rising gas prices. Gas accounted for at least £500 of that increase. • Energy UK has warned that the price cap may increase again to £2,400 in October. The conflict in Ukraine has seen these estimates rise to around £3,000, again driven by global gas prices.

• As gas, which generates 40% of the UK’s electricity, still sets the price for all generators, the increase in gas prices is also driving a rise in electricity prices. These costs are felt by consumers and businesses. The BCC said: “The UK government has been clear that investment in renewable energy is key to mitigating against price rises. The UK is already a global leader in the production of renewable energy; continuing to invest in home-grown energy will shield businesses and households from further price spikes. “Since the onset of the energy and gas crisis, the concept of increased energy efficiency has received additional attention as a means of reducing gas and energy consumption, thereby reducing bills. Reducing the amount of energy that you consume on your premises will be vital for businesses in the immediate future. With gas prices set to continue rising, this is likely to be the most effective way of lowering bills for some time.”

❛❛The UK government has been clear that investment in renewable energy is key to mitigating against price rises. The UK is already a global leader in the production of renewable energy; continuing to invest in home-grown energy will shield businesses and households from


further price spikes.



ECONOMIC GROWTH set to halve, predicts BCC T

he BCC has downgraded its expectations for UK GDP growth this year to 3.6%, from 4.2% in its previous forecast in December 2021 and less than half the growth of 7.5% recorded last year. The downgrade largely reflects a deteriorating outlook for consumer spending and a weaker than expected rebound in business investment:

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UK economic growth is expected to halve this year amid soaring inflation, major tax rises and global shocks – including Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. That’s the main conclusion of a new report by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC). 42

• Consumer spending is forecast to grow at 4.4% in 2022, down from its previous forecast of 6.9%. The downgrade reflects the historic squeeze on real household incomes from high inflation. Inflation is projected to outpace wage growth until Q2 2024, maintaining the squeeze on household finances. Weakening consumer confidence is expected to limit households’ willingness to support spending by running down savings built-up during COVID. • Business investment is forecast to grow at 3.5% in 2022. This is down from the previous forecast of 5.1% and materially lower than the Bank of England’s latest projection of 13.75%. The downgrade reflects the expected weakening in investment intentions from rising cost pressures, higher taxes and weakening confidence amid deteriorating UK and global outlooks, including the current impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Rising raw material costs, the increase in the energy price cap, the reversal of the hospitality VAT cut and upward pressure on energy and commodity prices from the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are expected to lift CPI inflation to a peak of 8% in Q2 2022. If realised, this would be the highest rate since July 1991. The impact of the invasion and rising raw material costs are also projected to keep UK inflation higher for longer. CPI inflation is now expected to fall back to the Bank of England’s 2% target in Q4 2024, over a year later than the previous forecast of Q2 2023. UK interest rates are projected to double over the course of this year, from 0.5% to 1%. However, with the current inflationary spike mostly driven by global factors, higher interest rates are expected do little to curb further increases in inflation.

Following forecasted GDP growth of 3.6% this year, UK economic growth is expected to slow sharply again to 1.3% in 2023, before easing to 1.2% in 2024 amid the limit on activity from the cost-of-living squeeze, weak business investment and sluggish export growth. The BCC’s latest outlook also projects that a legacy of the pandemic, and the ongoing issues with the UK’s trade deal with the EU, is a more unbalanced economy with business investment and trade lagging the wider recovery. Suren Thiru, head of economics at the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “Our latest forecast signals a significant deterioration in UK’s economic outlook. The UK economy is forecast to run out of steam in the coming months as the suffocating effect of rising inflation, supply chain disruption and higher taxes weaken key drivers of UK output, including consumer spending and business investment. “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is likely to weigh on activity by exacerbating the current inflationary squeeze on consumers and businesses and increasing bottlenecks in global supply chains.”

❛❛The BCC’s latest outlook also projects that a legacy of the pandemic, and the ongoing issues with the UK’s trade deal with the EU, is a more unbalanced economy with business investment and trade lagging the wider recovery.


SPONSOR LICENCES Opening a world of possibilities for your business Woodcock Law assists companies in the hiring of international talent. In this article, we outline our services and explain how they can help to grow your business.


he demand for global mobility means that it is critical to ensure you have the people you need in your business. Whether you wish to recruit foreign workers, establish a UK branch of an overseas company, or carry out an intra-company transfer of an existing employee, our immigration solicitors can assist you. Woodcock Law is a modern, innovative, and fast-growing immigration law firm. We provide expert legal services for corporates, including business owners, managers, and HR professionals. We also provide immigration advice for high-net-worth individuals and bluechip corporations.

The importance of hiring international talent The UK is one of the most coveted places to

What is a Sponsor Licence?

• Boost the economy by filling vacancies in

A Sponsor Licence allows UK organisations to employ non-UK resident workers in skilled roles. The organisation must make an application and, if granted, will be responsible for managing the licence along with their sponsored workers.

shortage occupations • Solve your labour shortage problems at all levels.

How does the application process work? The application for a Sponsor Licence requires your business to have appropriate infrastructure in place before an application is submitted. Information regarding compliance is available via the Home Office. After your application is submitted, and after a review of your supporting documents and risk status takes place, your organisation could be subject to extensive checks. This may include a Home Office visit to make sure your business is capable of carrying out its duties. Following a successful Sponsor Licence application, your company is placed on the List of Registered Sponsors. You will be given a licence rating and will be permitted to assign Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) to qualifying candidates. The candidate will then use their

“Companies in the UK have had to change the way they recruit and retain international employees since Brexit.” What sectors can take advantage of the scheme? Companies in all sectors can apply for a Sponsor Licence. A common misconception is that Skilled Worker visas are reserved for the use of companies that lead their respective field. In fact, any company can submit an application for a Sponsor Licence. Your business only needs to have the required HR infrastructure.

Why us? The Sponsor Licence application process is one of the most complex areas of immigration law, and it is important to get expert advice you

work and live in the world. Each year, thousands of workers and their families migrate to the

CoS in their application for a visa.

can trust. We know what’s required to get your application approved without inconvenient delays.

country under Skilled Worker routes. According to the latest Home Office statistics, there were

Benefits of having a Sponsor Licence • Expand and diversify your talent pool

The legal team at Woodcock Law has extensive experience in helping UK companies apply for

172,045 work-related visas granted in the year ending June 2021. This number is anticipated to grow immensely, especially considering the economic and social conditions triggered by recent uncertainty.

• Make your company more attractive to prospective employees

Sponsor Licences. We also have first-hand experience gained from employing international

• Gain skills and experience not available locally • Increase creativity with ideas from different

workers ourselves, which provides us with the expert knowledge needed to guide others

countries and markets

through the process.

We provide immigration advice to help companies recruit the international talent they need.

0800 049 2471

HR Clubs Concerned about bullying and harassment in the workplace? Confused by discrimination claims? Unsure about flexible working requests? Worried by upcoming legislation? Join our HR Club, a network of HR professionals, hosted by employment lawyers from Thomson Snell & Passmore. We meet virtually on a regular basis and offer a chance to network with peers, share thoughts and ideas and discuss a wide range of employment law issues that HR professionals deal with on a day to day basis. Upcoming HR Clubs include: • •

Wednesday 13th July: 12pm - 1pm September: TBC

Our expert lawyers also produce a monthly newsletter – Workplace Law – which includes a host of informative articles and videos on relevant topics. Visit to sign up to both the HR Clubs and Workplace Law. @pragmaticlawyer 01322 623700

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out of 10 on

Health and Wellbeing

The business benefits of laughter Monday morning is hardly the most joyous time in any office or business. It’s a long haul to Friday evening so it’s hardly surprising that not everyone is smiling or laughing. But does it have to be that way? It makes sense that a happier staff would be more productive, communicate better and be more cohesive as a team.

But what can be done to achieve this?


t’s probably too much to ask of a CEO but for a CHO (chief happiness officer), getting employees to smile and laugh at life, work and everything else is the very essence of the job! This is not to throw pie in anybody’s face or pie in the sky. There’s a growing body of evidence that employing a CHO could be a smart move for any business. A study at the University of Warwick showed that happier employees are 12% more


Photo Credit: Adam Lawrence

productive. Meanwhile, St Edwards University reports that “an Australian industry-wide study of 2,500 employees found that 81% believe that a fun working environment would make them more productive, and 93% said that laughing on the job helps to reduce work-related stress. A further 55% said they would take less pay to have more fun at work.” I look forward to future studies showing that happier employees take fewer days off due to illness.

Companies and corporations that have joined the trend to appoint CHOs include Amazon, Google and AirBnB. Usually, they recruit someone with a good sense of humour from the HR department and send them for specific CHO training courses. Small companies, while not being able to afford a full time CHO, can still employ laughter gurus or comedy coaches such as L. Vaughan Spencer, the spoof business coach and alter ego of top improvisational comedian,

Health and Wellbeing

Neil Mullarkey, whose anthem for business success is: “don’t be needy, be succeedy!” This approach works on two levels. Everyone feels better when laughing at the comedy coach but when you laugh as you learn, you also tend to remember the lesson much better. As a medical doctor, it’s clear to me that while laughter is not always the best medicine, it has been scientifically proven to reduce stress, improve breathing, increase immunity and raises our endorphins, the natural high-making chemicals in the body. On a psychological level, it’s obviously good for us. Very few of us don’t enjoy a good laugh but humour and reverse psychology can also be used warmly and effectively to get people to laugh at the parts of themselves that are holding them back. The Almost Happy approach uses comedy and reverse psychology in the form of funny,

❛❛Everyone feels better when laughing at the comedy coach but when you laugh as you learn, you also tend to remember the lesson much better. wearable badges such as “Grim Executive”, “Dedicated Commuter”, “Creative Dictator” and many more to satirize aspects of employees that may be keeping them unhappy or only almost happy at work.


When we’re encouraged to laugh at the parts of ourselves that are holding us back, we decrease the power of those parts over us and are happier, more congruent and more productive in the workplace.

Dr Brian Kaplan is the co-author of Almost Happy: Pushing Your

Buttons With Reverse Psychology with Hephzibah Kaplan.

OUT NOW, priced £16.00


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...and finally

And finally...

• What was your first job and what was the pay packet?

McDonald's - £30 Fortnightly Saturday and Sunday.

• What would you do with your last pound? Buy a chocolate bar.

• What is the biggest challenge facing your business?

Currently looking for drivers for our 2nd van.

• If you were Prime Minister, what would be your first decision?

Provide help and funds to Micro businesses who take on staff.

• If you could do another job what would it be?

Adrian Thompson

Director DTT Removals Ltd

Something online.

• What book are you currently reading? None. I graze the Internet for information.

DTT Removals can help with: • • • • • •

Part & Full Moves House & Office Moves Collection & Deliveries Rubbish Clearance Storage Solutions Covering London, Surrey and Kent

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