Bournemouth Chamber of Trade & Commerce


Bournemouth Chamber of Trade and Commerce


Apply for a Kickstart Scheme grant

If you are an employer looking to create job placements for young people, you can apply for funding as part of the Kickstart Scheme. You no longer need a minimum of 30 job placements to apply and  can spread the start date of the placements up until end December 2021.

Apply online or get help from a Kickstart Gateway such as Dorset Chamber of Commerce.

If you need help with the Kickstart Scheme process, contact your local Kickstart Scheme contacts. For promotional materials, check out theKickstart Scheme employer guide.

Cabs 4 Jabs from PRC Streamline Taxis

PRC Streamline Taxis  are currently working  with the local community to raise funds to provide over 1000 free cab rides for those in the  Bournemouth, Poole, Christchurch, Wimborne, and Ferndown areas who cannot afford to pay to travel for their Covid – 19 vaccinations.

Some people are concerned about using public transport, exposing themselves to more people than they would in a taxi so we want to make it safer for those who are more vulnerable and the elderly to travel alone or with one other person from their household or bubble. Public Health Dorset would rather they didn’t ask neighbours, not in their bubble, for lifts as this might also spread the virus. We already provide discounted fares for vaccination trips but having seen Cabs4Jabs on the TV, thought that we should go the extra mile and get involved.

PRC Streamline are not in a position to offer this service for free as drivers are already working on a much lower income due to the pandemic and the reduction in work. We are working closely with many of the vaccination centres in the BCP area and beyond so  please get in touch  as soon as you receive your Covid appointment.

We’d like to thank those who have donated and would be grateful if you can all share the link and spread the word to others who can donate and support this initiative.

We are working closely with many of the vaccination centres in the BCP area and beyond so  please get in touch  as soon as you receive your Covid appointment.

If you want to book a free cab to get to your Covid Appointment please call  01202 37 37 37. You’ll need to confirm your appointment time and location please.

PRC Streamline Cabs for Jabs fundraising team will only use your donation to pay for taxi fares for local older and vulnerable residents who require assistance getting to and from their Covid vaccination appointment only.

Donate here: Go Fund Me Cab 4 Jabs

New Investor P​olling system enables investors to interact and privately register interest

Dorset Business Angels (DBA) held their first online quarterly pitch event in 2021, attracting a record number of some 59 attendees registered and 30 DBA members present. It also saw the introduction of a new polling system.

5 entrepreneurs pitched to the savvy investors and partners. Pitches were followed by a Q & A session, whereby would- be investors could further interrogate the entrepreneurs on their business, ideas and potential opportunities and markets. Questions came from across the board.

A new polling system was then introduced in which attendees were asked to rate the presentation that they had just heard and also to register their interest to find out further information about the pitch and carry out due diligence on the investment opportunity.

DBA member Frank Guinn who chaired the event said, “The polling proved particularly impactful as it provided us with immediate levels of investor interest.  Coincidently, our investor interest was at an all- time high, for the 2nd consecutive pitch event, and we felt that the anonymous system allowed attendees the privacy to express their intentions to get involved.  21 expressions of interest were shown in total at our event.

“The investor feedback on the presentations also provided invaluable data to be fed back to the entrepreneurs presenting.”

Business pitching included:

·       A business in the Advanced composite materials sector, with aims to increase the capabilities of the world’s most demanding products through the application of advanced materials and manufacturing techniques. In revenue and with an expanding customer base, the Company is currently focussing on the delivery of key contracts in the automotive, electrification, electric machines, defence, and aerospace sectors.  Investors were particularly impressed by the list of businesses and sectors that were being supported – Airbus, Safran and Electric Motors & Generators were name dropped, to name a few. The ambition of ‘Sustainability with Enhanced Capability’ was shared and the impressive pitch resulted in an extremely positive 9 expressions of interest.

·       A provider of online education seized the moment and grabbed investor attention, with 4 expressions of interest shown. This currently ‘hot topic’ business stated that it focuses on life skills that promote social and emotional wellbeing and dynamic thinking with an aim is to help young people to thrive in life, both at home and in their future work-places. By complementing the traditional academic education with live, interactive online and offline courses for 5-13 year-olds, they help develop young people’s skills in leadership, confidence, resilience and creative problem solving.

They shared their vision to be a global leader in developing life skills, with the goal of transforming the lives of at least a million young people. They backed up their vision by advising that ‘now, more than ever, the world needs people with the empathy, resilience and confidence to thrive.’

Discussing the size of the opportunity, they explained that the UK private tuition market is worth £2bn and the global private tuition market £75bn, with a forecast that the global private tuition market would be worth £139bn by 2026.

·       A Customer Data Processing software business which offers its clients a platform that immediately creates a seamless customer experience easily and at scale. Formed 5 years ago with the founder’s own money, the Company is now employing AI techniques to further enhance the efficiency of their model, to the satisfaction of their growing client base.

It claims to view complete customer profiles, improve and enrich data, understand customers and develop strategies to help the business grow, activate the date across all customer touch points and to measure the success and effectiveness of strategies. Currently working with Crowdcube, they shared the impressive testimonial from Crowdcube co-founder and CMO Luke Lang who said, “Crowdcube literally wouldn’t be where it is today without Distil.”  5 expressions of investor interest were shown.

·       A company with a range of healthy drinks, containing all the nutrients necessary to produce many tasty options, without the sugar and artificial ingredients usually found in traditional soft drinks. Their ‘health pod’ modules offer users the facility to use their home coffee machines to provide a quick and easy way to get these nutrients into a cold press juice or smoothy for around 70p per unit. UK distribution is now ramping up with the product available in 5 supermarket chains and the Company is distributing their range door-to-door in over 50 countries. The product launches in the US in January.

The passionate founder of the business shared the experience of his team, which includes 4 investor directors with experience ranging from entry and exit for FMCG brands, to former directors of investment banks.  He also told investors that he is mentored by Stephen Hann, MD at Graze. Clients gained have included John Lewis, Morrisons, Holland & Barret, Costco and David Lloyd Clubs. 2 expressions of interest were shown.

·       A pre-launch Fintech Investor Analysis SaaS company that has developed a platform that tracks the data performance of private, early-stage companies and gathers operational metrics. The platform is now capable of profiling the investment readiness and business potential of start-ups and early revenue companies extremely well. In the present pre-launch phase, the Company has 12 customers paying monthly recurring revenues and has generated 1300 worldwide data profiles that help with the investment analysis and business decision making of its current users, namely, angel investors, accelerators, funds, support organisations and consultants.  1 expression of interest was received.

Roger Wareham, Partner at DBA Sponsors Saffery Champness advised, “It was great to see such a wide range of businesses pitching and pleasing that there is still positive growth and opportunities coming through. It was also really encouraging to see the level of interest and potential appetite from the investors attending.”

DBA was formed in 2013 with the aim to bring investors and entrepreneurs together to accelerate the growth of early stage businesses. DBA provides quality, private equity investment opportunities to local high net worth (HNW) and sophisticated investors (SI).

Four times a year companies are invited to attend an event at which they pitch their business to the savvy Angels in a Dragon’s Den type scenario. Angel investment might come from a single investor or it could be 2 or 3 Angels pooling funds together to support a company. Any investments are in the form of an equity investment and not a debtor’s loan. Investments are made across all sectors.

DBA is sponsored by Saffery Champness Accountants, Ellis Jones Solicitors and Investec Wealth and Investment. To find out more about Dorset Business Angels visit

HM Revenue: No Self Assessment late filing penalty for those who file online by 28 February

Self Assessment customers will not receive a penalty for their late online tax return if they file by 28 February, HM Revenue and Customs’ Chief Executive Jim Harra has announced.

More than 8.9 million customers have already filed their tax return. HMRC is encouraging anyone who has not yet filed their tax return to do so by 31 January, if possible.

Anyone who cannot file their return by the 31 January deadline will not receive a late filing penalty if they file online by 28 February.

Taxpayers are still obliged to pay their bill by 31 January. Interest will be charged from 1 February on any outstanding liabilities. Customers can pay online, via their bank, or by post before they file.  More information on how to pay is at GOV.UK.

Taxpayers who cannot afford to pay their tax bill on time can apply online to spread their bill over up to 12 months. But they will need to file their 2019-20 tax return before setting up a time to pay arrangement, so HMRC is encouraging everyone to do this as soon as possible.

HMRC’s Chief Executive, Jim Harra, said:

“We want to encourage as many people as possible to file their return on time, so we can calculate their tax bill and help them if they can’t pay it straight away. But we recognise the immense pressure that many people are facing in these unprecedented times and it has become increasingly clear that some people will not be able to file their return by 31 January. 

“Not charging late filing penalties for late online tax returns submitted in February will give them the breathing space they need to complete and file their returns, without worrying about receiving a penalty. We can reasonably assume most of these people will have a valid reason for filing late, caused by the pandemic.”

Normally, late filing penalties are applied to all returns filed after the 31 January deadline. Those penalties are cancelled if the customer has a reasonable excuse for filing late. However, this year HMRC is not issuing late filing penalties for a month to help taxpayers and agents who are unable to meet the deadline. Late filing penalties will not be issued for online tax returns received by 28 February.

HMRC has previously said that it was keeping the situation closely under review. It has become increasingly clear from the filing rate that some taxpayers and agents cannot file on time, and the department has now determined that ensuring no customer will receive late filing penalties if they file online before the end of February is the best way to help them.

HMRC has increased support for customers who may need help with their tax liabilities. Once they have completed their 2019-20 tax return, customers can set up an online payment plan to spread Self Assessment bills of up to £30,000 over up to 12 monthly instalments. Customers can apply for self-serve Time to Pay via GOV.UK. Interest will be applied to any outstanding balance from 1 February 2021.

More than 42,000 customers have already used the service, without needing to call HMRC, to manage their liabilities totalling almost £130 million.

Customers with bills over £30,000, or who need longer than 12 months to pay their bill, can call HMRC 0300 200 3822 to discuss time to pay.

Customers who are required to make Payments on Account, and know their bill is going to be lower than the previous tax year, for example due to loss of earnings because of COVID-19, can reduce their Payments on Account. Visit GOV.UK to find out more about Payments on Account and how to reduce them.

Customers who are trying to contact HMRC in the run up to the deadline can do so via webchat, Twitter or the Self Assessment phone helpline. They may also find the information they need via the free HMRC app or their Personal Tax Account.

The phone helpline and webchat will both be open on 30 and 31 January, in addition to the weekday service. Opening times are below:

  • Telephony and Card Payment Lines: Saturday 30 January: 08:00 to 18:00 and Sunday 31 January: 09:00 to 18:00
  • Webchat: Saturday 30 January and Sunday 31 January: 08:00 to 20:00

To protect against identity fraud customers must verify their identity when accessing HMRC’s online services. They must have two sources of information including:

  • credit reference agency data
  • tax credits
  • P60/payslip
  • UK Passport

Patron: Small businesses to receive payments from business interruption insurance policies

The Supreme Court has ruled in favour of small businesses receiving payments from business interruption insurance policies.

Following the ruling, it is expected that tens of thousands of small businesses will receive insurance payouts covering loss of profits from the first national lockdown. Whether you can qualify will need to be discussed with your insurer/broker.

The case only covers the first lockdown. If extended to the subsequent lockdowns, either local or national, then any sole traders or partnerships that have made claims under Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) may need to repay some of the grants.

The third version of SEISS required the claimant to declare any anticipated significant reductions in their trading profits. Therefore, if the insurance claim replaces those profits then there will not be a significant reduction in profits and consequently, the SEISS grant will need to be repaid.

If you would like assistance with evaluating the potential losses for your insurance claim then please contact your TC partner on 0330 088 7111 or visit

Lift off for the South Coast Events Forum

From every challenge comes opportunity.

Set against a backdrop of the most challenging year in the event industry’s history, the South Coast events community has pulled together to create the South Coast Events Forum (SCEF).

From award-winning event organisers to industry-leading event suppliers, the forum brings together the very best event professionals from across the South Coast with a combined aim to re-emerge from the coronavirus pandemic with a more unified, collaborative and sustainable offer.

The not-for-profit forum will be led by a newly-formed steering group consisting of 9 hugely-experienced professionals from across the events industry including chair, Craig Mathie, Managing Director of Bournemouth 7s Festival.

The entirely voluntary board of the South Coast Events Forum also includes Nicole Richman, a highly experienced events professional and owner of NR Event Services; the owner of V-Dub at the Pub Festival and event delivery expert, Alan Dove and Simon Stewart who owns and operates a host of fantastic food festivals across Southern England.

Representing suppliers, Garry Wakefield, Director of the recently formed Capital Barriers and Temporary Fencing and Gavin Barnard founder of industry consultants, Event Advice Agency, bring immense expertise, great industry networks and more than 50 years’ industry experience to the organisation.

Suzy Wheeler runs her own events and marketing company, Strawberry Fields RePresents alongside her role at Absolute Music whilst Paul Ashurst, Events Director at Bournemouth 7s Festival, is widely recognised for his expertise in event delivery, content and promotion. Adam ‘Ski’ Hart prides himself on representing the ‘little guys’ of the events industry and also liaises with musicians, performers and venue owners.

Full of excitement about the new group, Craig Mathie commented:   “It is an absolute privilege to have been joined in this concept by so many excellent industry professionals. In these most challenging times, I have been blown away by the spirit of collaboration and positive approach of our members and the fantastic steering group who will represent them.

We are full of admiration for everything that has been achieved by the national organisations who represent our industry to government and help to drive standards across the industry. Groups such as the South Coast Events Forum will help us to engage with local decision makers, to influence regional strategy and share best practice with those we work with most regularly.”

The group’s membership consists of a variety of organisations of all sizes and includes event and exhibition venues, festival promoters, contractors, agencies and freelancers. Members will benefit from monthly networking meetings, regular communication and a conference scheduled for Autumn 2021.

Membership of the South Coast Events Forum is free for both organisers and suppliers. To join or for more information please: visit

Furloughed? Volunteer to end COVID-19 in Dorset

This is an exciting opportunity to join The Community Action Network (CAN) and play your part in history by protecting the community and saving lives.

Community Action Network, is a local infrastructure charity with a mission to
empower the voluntary sector, enable volunteering and involve communities across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole. Working in partnership with Volunteer Centre Dorset, they inspire and support people to  volunteer in the Dorset Council area.

The NHS in Dorset have asked CAN to help them make sure people coming for their vaccinations feel welcomed, comfortable and safe.  CAN is recruiting, training, deploying and supporting Volunteer Marshals to help make this happen.

Interested in becoming a Marshal?  Read for more and register here.

⚠️ Rapidly rising cases of COVID-19 in BCP

The threat from COVID-19 has never been greater locally. COVID-19 infection rates are currently doubling every five days in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.

In the latest published seven-day data, 786 people in every 100,000 people have COVID-19 in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole – more than double the number the week before.*

Since New Year’s Day, someone has been admitted to hospital with COVID-19 every hour in the local area, and someone has died every six hours.

It is vital that we all stay at home. 1 in 3 people with COVID-19 don’t have any symptoms. Please don’t risk passing it onto others.

*Data for 7-day period ending 5 January 2021