Sara’s blog: Queen praises Chambers of Commerce

A bit of a mixed bag to end the week!

I’d like to start the blog by saying that I could not be prouder at this moment of Staffordshire Chambers, of being an accredited  British Chamber of Commerce and all the incredible businesses who support us to carry out our work, and more importantly support each other and the local community.

On that note, the highest possible praise for Chambers of Commerce comes this morning in a letter from Her Majesty The Queen.

Queen Elizabeth, who is Patron of the British Chambers of Commerce, praises Chambers’ contribution to business communities during the Coronavirus pandemic and the work we are doing as more businesses across the UK are reopening and adjusting to a new normal.

The letter says: “ At a time of great difficulty for many, it is heart-warming to see civic response and generosity of so many businesses, small and large, to the challenges posed, whether supporting the health sector or vulnerable communities.”

The Queen goes on to recognise the contribution Chambers of Commerce and their members have made during the pandemic. “As Patron of the British Chambers of Commerce, it gives me great pride to see the contribution of you and your members are making to help firms, champion trade and rebuild communities.”

Moral support such as this is crucial as we look to work together to rebuild and renew our local economy.

You can read The Queens letter in full at:

After seeing the high streets reopen and the tremendous work that so many national chains and our brilliant independent retailers have done, it is encouraging that for the cities and towns in Staffordshire people are returning to spend locally.

It is a tribute to the businesses and the local authorities who have worked tirelessly to get the high streets open and to provide excellent support to ensure that customers and staff feel safe and comfortable as we move back to a more sociable way of living.

Businesses also need to be aware of the issues on the changes to the government’s support. Most people will know that the furlough scheme is changing and there are daily updates on easing of restrictions and their implications for business.

The other big issue is the HMRC VAT payment deferral period, bought in to alleviate financial pressure during the lockdown, ends on 30th June. You need to set-up direct debits now to allow enough time for HMRC to take payment (as well as submitting your VAT returns as normal, on time and pay the VAT in full on payments due after 30th June). And any deferments taken so far will need to be paid in full on or before 31st March 2021 if you are unable to pay the VAT due and may need time to pay. All information and advice on VAT deferral can be found at:

If you want to talk to us about any business issues, you can call our switchboard on 01782 202222 or call the Stoke and Staffs Growth Hub Helpline on 0300 111 8002. We also have a Twitter hour each Tuesday and Friday from 11am – 12noon #StaffsChamberChat





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