More opportunities to raise your business profile with new Merton Best Business Awards Categories
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March 2017!

Spring has finally arrived! With longer days and more sunshine, March has been a great month for Merton Chamber of Commerce. We launched the Merton Best Business Awards at South Thames College, with new categories, which you can find more details about below, and I urge you all to get your applications in or put yourself up for nomination in the public vote categories.
Thank you to all of those who filled in our recent business survey, your feedback is incredibly valuable to us.

Key findings show that quite a few businesses have yet to take up their free business review, although many said they would like more information about it. Raising business profile is still the top priority for many of our members and we had a very positive response to our suggestion of 
half-day ‘taster’ workshops to give businesses an opportunity to get a taster of the business services available, so watch this space on how we will take this forward.

Congratulations to Safety Delivery Ltd, Kew House and Wow Your Crowd who filled in the survey and have been chosen to receive Elys vouchers and will be featured in next month's e-newsletter.

Business News

New award categories announced at the Merton Best Business Awards 2017 launch event!
The fifth Merton Best Business Awards were launched on 9th March at the fabulous Taste Restaurant, at South Thames College,
with the announcement of exciting new categories including Best Business over 50 employees, Best Business under 50 employees, and the brand new Best Healthy Workplace award.

Plus new for 2017, in addition to the online vote for Best Customer Service, there is Best Pub of the Year and Best Restaurant of the Year.  With nominations closing on Monday 1st May 5pm don’t delay nominating your business TODAY!

Headline sponsors WSM Business Advisory, Simon Marsh said, “As events at the Oscars showed in spectacular fashion, awards matter and are big news – not just for the winners but for all those taking part! And for local businesses and business people there are none bigger or better than the Merton Best Business Awards. For those businesses, which want to showcase their expertise, enjoy fantastic free publicity opportunities and be in with a chance of winning, it is as simple as putting in an entry for the Merton Best Business Awards 2017.”

Entries are open now and we encourage all businesses to register as soon as possible.

To see a full list of categories and full details on how to enter visit

Merton Chamber & Love Wimbledon take over Wimbledon Young Professionals Group
On 2nd March Morrisons Solicitors put on their last WYPG event at the Old Frizzle in Wimbledon. There was a fantastic networking buzz amongst all the 'young professionals' in attendance and representatives from both Merton Chamber and Love Wimbledon were there experience the flavour of the evening, gain an understanding of why this is such a popular event and how we can run WYPG going forward. We are excited to be taking on this new venture as WYPG is a great forum for young and junior professionals to build connections and network in a relaxed environment.

Our first WYPG event with Love Wimbledon will be held in the summer, so watch this space for more information about date and venue. I
f you would like to be added to the database to find out more about these events email 

*Quarterly Sponsorship Opportunities for Business*
If you are a business that would like to know more about sponsorship of our WYPG events please do get in touch. This is a fantastic way to raise your profile in the local business community and help support our young professionals.
How is your business planning for the future?

On April 6th the Government will start charging larger business a new Apprenticeship Levy. Join us on 27 April for an insightful lunchtime event hosted by Premier member South Thames College, as part of our Take One service. Relevant to Premier members and large employers with a payroll in excess of £3,000,000 you will be able to exchange views, share your ideas and concerns and hear from experts on how to maximise your investment in apprenticeships and training standards. Please contact Caroline Cook to reserve your place.

Merton Council freezes core council tax, invests £9 million extra in adult social care and agrees 3% government precept

Merton Council agreed its budget for 2017/18 in a meeting earlier this month. In response to what the Local Government Association has called a 'national crisis in adult social care', the council committed an extra £9 million in its 2017/18 budget to care services for older and disabled residents.

Members voted to freeze Merton’s core council tax and to implement the government’s precept to help towards funding adult social care. Click here to find out more.


HMRC tool to check employment status

HMRC has launched a new online tool to help determine whether a worker on a specific engagement should be classed as employed or self-employed for tax purposes. The employment status tool can be used for both public and private sector engagements. It will provide a view about whether IR35 rules apply to the engagement or if the worker should be taxed through PAYE. HMRC has confirmed it will recognise the tool's result unless the information used was found to be inaccurate.
For further information, click here.

Guidance on changes to VAT Flat Rate Scheme
Updated guidance on changes to the VAT Flat Rate Scheme that are being introduced in April 2017 has been published by HMRC. The Flat Rate Scheme simplifies sales and purchase records for small businesses with a taxable turnover of less than £150,000. Under the changes, a small business that meets the definition of a limited cost trader will be subject to a higher rate of VAT. HMRC has developed a calculator to help a firm work out whether or not it is a limited cost trader.
Read more by clicking here.

Regulator plans auto-enrolment spot checks
The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has announced plans to carry out spot checks of employers as part of its work to enforce automatic enrolment legislation. The checks will focus on sectors where TPR considers there is most risk of employers failing to meet automatic enrolment duties, such as in retail and catering. The purpose of the checks is to investigate any compliance failures, to help employers comply and to gather insight into good and bad practice. Employers will be given a "short period of notice" before checks take place.
Read more about the spot checks here.

Membership goes from strength to strength

"Delrose Earle Training has had a long and positive relationship with Merton Chamber. During this time we have capitalised on the high quality courses on offer, information received through newsletters and connections made at networking events. We recognised a great opportunity to receive a business appraisal, followed by one to one support, gain access to targeted networking events and the ability to have ‘our say’ on the MCC website throughout the year. The cost of Premier Membership was dwarfed by the cost of acquiring those opportunities on the open market." - Delrose Earle
It is easy to become a Member, and you have a choice between two packages Standard and Premier. Here are just some of the ways we can help you on your business journey:
  • Personal introductions
  • An agreed action plan to help you achieve the most from your membership
  • Member discounts on training and networking events and workshops
Easy monthly payments are available.  Want more information?  Just call us on 020 8944 5501, email or click the button below to join straight away!
Join now
School pupils up their game thanks to connections with Merton Chamber of Commerce
Year 6 pupils at Merton Park Primary School have been learning about Games Design with a view to enter some of their games into the BAFTA Young Games Designers 2017 competition. They have been learning all aspects of design from games analysis, character design, story development, through to how to properly market their games.
As part of their learning, Merton Chamber of Commerce introduced the school to local business people - Simone Salardi of Matiky London and RosaliaTrupiano of outofthebit.

Simone’s company, based at WimbleTech, specialises in branding and design. Simone spent two mornings in the school teaching the children about the concept of branding and how to use an app to develop their own design briefs and logos. Simone said of the experience, “I really enjoyed working with the children; they are so curious and open, so reactive. Also, this experience made me think seriously about sharing the design culture with children of that age, I saw in their eyes the light and excitement of creativity and that’s so inspiring."

Class teacher, Deborah Hastings said,

“We are so fortunate to have local business connections through Merton Chamber. These visits really made the children’s projects come alive and encouraged them. The excitement level in the classroom has definitely moved up a notch! This has been a very cross-curricular project. These visitors are very good role models for the children – they expand their career aspirations and remind us of the creative and tech talent that exists on our doorstep. Many thanks to all those involved.”

To find out more about making connections with schools, charities and other local businesses in the borough contact or call  020 8944 5501
Upcoming Events
Our 2017 programme of events has been designed to help you develop and grow your business through better marketing, communications, opportunities for developing your people and making valuable contacts.

Love to Lunch at the Old Frizzle - 22nd March
Merton Chamber of Commerce and Love Wimbledon would like to invite you to join us for our first joint networking event of 2017 at The Old Frizzle in Wimbledon.
Bring your appetites, networking skills and business cards and make some vital new business contacts.

Emergency First Aid at Work - 28th March
Equip your staff with vital life saving skills, and workplace health and safety regulations.

Thinking of Starting a Business - Business Basics - 29th March
Obtain expert, practical advice including legal structures, finance and business planning. This workshop is for those who are beginning the journey of starting a new business.

Strategies for Being More Productive - 4th April
This practical workshop is full of tips and exercises to help business owners and leaders work more productively on the things that matter. And will help you to get focused on the handful of tasks that make a real difference to your business and set yourself up to achieve those tasks every day.

What Makes a Good Leader? - 20th April
The workshop focuses on a number of the skills that good leaders possess, inviting attendees to explore ideas they may hold around leadership, raise levels of self-awareness, look at the issue of communications, as well as each individuals own business objectives, and what might be stopping these objectives from being fulfilled.

Copyright © *2017* *Merton Chamber of Commerce*, All rights reserved.

*Merton Chamber of Commerce is affiliated to the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), an accredited member of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC).

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