Get recognition for your business, support for your rates bill and networking opportunities

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News for businesses in Havering. Week ending Friday 22 September 2017.

Get recognition for your business

HBA 2017/18

Let everyone know about your amazing products and staff, and highlight your success by entering the Havering Business Awards 2017/18.

Nominations are now open and and the entry process is easier than ever. New this year is the Large Business of the Year award.

The awards will take place at the borough’s prestigious event venue - CEME Conference Centre in Rainham, also one of Havering’s biggest business hubs, on Thursday 8 February 2018. 

This year’s categories are:

Apprentice of the Year

Best Customer Service

New Business of the Year

Growing Business of the Year, sponsored by Haines Watts

Small to Medium Business of the Year, sponsored by Romford Recorder

Large Business of the Year

Business Person of the Year

Havering Business of the Year

Entries close on Monday 13 November.

Enter here

Confirmed sponsors so far include the Romford Recorder, Haines Watts, Time 107.5 FM, CEME Conference Centre and Respondit – the website providers. If you would like to sponsor award plaques, award categories or entertainment for the evening let us know. 

Sponsor here

Business rates support scheme

Shopping parade

In March the Government announced that it wanted Local Authorities to develop a Discretionary Re-Valuation Support Scheme to help small businesses cushion the effect of increases in their business rates charges, following the 2017 Re-Valuation. 

Havering Council therefore has a scheme to maximise the help and relief to small businesses that have seen an increase of over 2% in their business rates charge, and who have a Rateable Value between £15,000 and £50,999 for a period of up to two years. Businesses likely to fall into this category include shops (such as florists, bakers, butchers, grocers, greengrocers, jewellers, stationers, off licence, chemists, newsagents, hardware stores, supermarkets), car show rooms, restaurants, bars and warehouses. 

If that's you then you should have received a letter from the Council inviting you to apply for rate relief. If you haven’t been contacted, and you think you may be entitled to this relief, please contact the business rates team as soon as possible by e-mailing

StartUp bus returns to Romford

Start up Bus 2017

The NatWest Boost bus offers local entrepreneurs and SMEs the opportunity to boost their business with free advice and support. It will be in Romford Market Place on Friday 13 October from 10am until 4pm.

Enterprise Nation, who are providing the Havering StartUp Support Programme on behalf of Havering Council, will be joining NatWest to help local businesses access experts, advice, resources and networking where it is needed most - in their local communities.

Visitors will receive valuable guidance to help them on their business journey, while having the opportunity to ask questions and engage in discussions with other entrepreneurs and experts.


Grow your business

CEME exterior

The Launchpad Centre at CEME in Rainham provides companies with the ideal environment, location, support and scalability to reach their potential quickly.

Take advantage of highly-affordable office space, a range of fixed and hot-desking, the latest equipment and full-time business support from a Resident Entrepreneur.


Showcase your business

Queen's theatre Aug 2017

Havering Chamber of Commerce, in association with the Queen's Theatre, will be hosting a business showcase and networking exhibition on Monday 9 October from 6.30 - 9.30pm.

The event, held at the theatre in Hornchurch, will include a complimentary drink and buffet, guest speakers, a networking area and is free! It's open to members and non-members of the Chamber but please register on Eventbrite or by emailing:


Feeling entrepreneurial?

Innovate 2017

Innovate 2017 is Innovate UK's annual event showcasing innovation. This year, the event will focus on global challenges and how they affect government, businesses and individuals. 

Practical advice and business development support will also be available.

Event details

8 - 9 November 2017 in NEC, Birmingham

If you order tickets before 8 September you will receive a discount.


Smarter travel and your business

Cycle confident training course

There are lots of ways Havering Council's Smarter Travel Team can help your business. Here are just a few:

Free Driver CPC Training – Attending these fully accredited driver CPC (Certificate of Professional Competence) training courses contributes a full day towards the 35 hours Driver CPC training that professional drivers need to complete every five years.

Electric Vehicles / Ultra-Low Emission Vehicles – information and some helpful facts about EVs and their benefits.

Small Grants for Business – apply for a grant worth up to £3000 to help you increase active travel (cycling and walking) at your business.

Please contact Martin Day to discuss any of the above opportunities or about applying for the grant.

Be careful out there

National Fraud Office

Opportunities within horse racing appear to be a trend emerging in investment fraud.

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) have received reports recently about suspects claiming to use software for placing bets on horse racing on a victim's behalf. Whilst this would fall under the guise of betting and gambling it appears to be pitched as an investment opportunity.

The NFIB have also noticed the re-emergence of another potential investment fraud opportunity where individuals can invest into ownership of a race horse. The reports have indicated that people are primarily being contacted by post; however there is evidence to believe individuals could also be cold called by the fraudulent company. The Financial Conduct Authority has advice on unregulated collective investment opportunities:


Networking in Havering

network meeting

Networking is a proven way to build good relations with other businesses, which can lead to referrals and new business. There are a number of networking groups in Havering including those listed below.

Havering Chamber of Commerce and Industry hold regular breakfast networking meetings on the second Friday of each month at Havering Museum in Romford. 

Havering B-Hive geared towards start-up businesses meet at various locations around the borough on the third Thursday of each month at 9.30am. It includes informal networking with presentations and pitches.

The Havering Business Network provides a unique opportunity for the local business community to engage with the Members and/or Senior Officers from the Council. Their next event is on Wednesday 30 November.

Havering Young Professionals Network aim to give the youth of Havering's businesses a platform to grow and develop long lasting relationships, in their own way. Events are held monthly at various times and locations, with a blend of traditional business networking with a youthful twist.

BNI Evolution Chapter meets each Wednesday morning at Maylands Golf Club, Colchester Road, Harold Park,  RM3 0AZ from 7am – 8.30am.

BNI Valour chapter meets each Tuesday morning at Thames Gateway YMCA, Rush Green Road, Romford, RM7 0PH from 7am - 8.30am.

Collier Row Business Network Forum holds a number of workshops, and seminars throughout the year and is a chance to network with other local Collier Row businesses. The Forum is for all businesses including sole traders and home businesses to discuss and support each other. 

4N networking group meets every fortnight at Liberty Bell, Mercury Gardens, Romford, RM1 3EN on Thursdays from 8am - 10am.

ebn Upminster and Hornchurch group meets at Manor Hotel, Berwick Pond Road, Rainham, RM13 9EL from 8am - 10am on alternate Tuesdays.

Forum of Private Business meets on the second Friday of each month at YMCA, Roneo Corner, Rush Green Road, Romford, RM7 OPH, from 7.30am. More information: Gerry Goldner.

Romford Makerspace Meetup Are you are a maker, a 3D print enthusiast, or into robotics? Do you like tinkering with electronics and technology? Are you are close to Romford, and interested in meeting similar people locally? Then, this is the group for you.  Join in a twice monthly meetup to share ideas and plan ahead. 

WordPress meetups are the chance for all WordPress users (and those who want to know more about WordPress) to get together and discuss various aspects of designing, developing and marketing WordPress websites and blogs. Meeting on the third Tuesday of every month from 6pm at The Retailery, in Romford's Market Place.

Check group websites for latest info. 

New in the borough

Bluebird Care

A care provider in Havering has gone mobile and invested in a pioneering new app to enable all of its staff to provide better care. 

Bluebird Care Havering is giving every member of staff access to the new PASSsystem app on their mobile devices.


Cold work

Polar walk

Rainham based A1 Pharmaceuticals Plc have said that they will be a key sponsor of  an epic walk to the South Pole.

In November 2017 Lieutenant Scott Sears will attempt to break the record for the youngest person ever to reach the South Pole completely alone, unassisted and unsupported, in an effort to raise £25,000 for the Gurkha Welfare Trust.