Dorchester Chamber for Business Where Dorchester's Businesses Do Business Tue, 19 May 2020 14:51:03 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 Dorchester Chamber for Business 32 32 Free Website Health Check Tue, 19 May 2020 14:51:03 +0000 Read moreFree Website Health Check


Member SiteBySimon is offering a free website health check for members during the Coronavirus Crisis.

Please contact Simon Chilton by email: or call 07747 035 253.



President’s letter to members Sun, 17 May 2020 09:07:25 +0000 Read morePresident’s letter to members

I hope that you and your families all remain safe and healthy.

After a number of quieter weeks, we have seen a series of announcements from the Government this week and a new raft of guidance.  I am sure that most of you will have followed that in the press, but by way of a summary the important changes are:

  • The Government guidance remains to work from home wherever that is possible, but you may now go to work where it is not possible to work from home provided the workplace is safe. The full guidance measures are on our website: The Government’s Recovery Plan.

The Government has issued a series of eight “Covid Secure” guidelines on the measures required to  make workplaces safe, each of those can be found on our website: Secure guidelines for employers.

  • The furlough scheme has now been extended to October.  Currently, the suggestion is that it will remain in its current form until the end of July with the Government continuing to meet 80% of earnings up to £2,500 per month, but there will be variations from the end of July to see employers ‘sharing the burden’ of the payments. That change is likely to increase employer’s contributions and enable part time working, but the extent of those are yet to be seen.
  • Measures are being taken to reopen the property market with viewings now being allowed and estate agents and solicitors allowed to re-open.

Whilst all of these are only small steps, it does feel to me that we are approaching a phase of re-awakening of our local economy. That clearly has to be done in a safe and cautious manner to avoid the all important “R number” from increasing.  Next week I will be having  discussions with Dorset Council, The Town Council and BID about what we can do to smooth the process of re-opening and to support the local economy.  If you do have any comments that you would like to feed back please do let me know.

We had our first networking event remotely on Tuesday and it was very pleasing to hear that the businesses which attended were adapting to their changing landscape and approaching the situation with positivity.  We are widening the numbers for our networking on the 26 May and please do join us and share in that. Full details can be found at 26 May Virtual Networking Meeting.

I appreciate that not all businesses will not be finding the situation easy and if anybody wants to discuss their particular circumstances, risk assessments, staffing position, funding, etc. then I am always here to listen and offer advice where possible. By way of reminder my contact details are or I can be contacted on 01305 756309.

Master your Visibility on LinkedIn Wed, 13 May 2020 13:31:08 +0000 Read moreMaster your Visibility on LinkedIn

Successful Women in Business are offering Dorchester Chamber members a free ticket to the Power Hour on Thursday, 28th May 20202 from 2,00-3.00pm


Book as a SWIB member on the booking form for £0 (You will need to enter card details but won’t be charged).

For further information or if you experience any problems, email Gill Donnell at

Chancellor extends furlough scheme until October Tue, 12 May 2020 15:02:06 +0000 Read moreChancellor extends furlough scheme until October

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced that the furlough scheme will be extended by a further four months with workers continuing to receive 80% of their current salary.

The scheme will continue in its current form until the end of July and the changes to allow more flexibility will come in from the start of August. From the start of August, furloughed workers will be able to return to work part-time with employers being asked to pay a percentage towards the salaries of their furloughed staff. The employer payments will substitute the contribution the government is currently making, ensuring that staff continue to receive 80% of their salary, up to £2,500 a month.

More specific details and information around its implementation will be made available by the end of this month.

The government will also explore ways through which furloughed workers who wish to do additional training or learn new skills are supported during this period. It will also continue to work closely with the Devolved Administrations to ensure the scheme supports people across the Union.

Further information can be found on the government’s website.

Embroidery Barn produces face masks for businesses and families Tue, 12 May 2020 14:52:20 +0000 Read moreEmbroidery Barn produces face masks for businesses and families

The Embroidery Barn has started to produce masks for businesses and families following recent government advice. The masks are £5 each and are made with a colour fabric of choice with organic cotton natural rubber elastic (softer on the ears than usual elastic used). If companies want their logos on they will be £9 each.

Since the beginning of lockdown the company has been making masks for key workers under its #Masks4All Dorchester campaign. So far 600 handmade masks have been distributed to key workers, care homes, GP surgeries and food banks. It has raised over £1,700 and it is hoping to get more funding soon so they can keep producing.

These masks are for residents at risk (with Covid-19 or with long-term health conditions), including people on a low income; all Dorchester and Poundbury support groups; food banks; NHS staff and key workers.
Big thanks to Emma Teasdale, Emma Scott and Rosie Lees for all their hard work.
If you are interested in buying a handmade mask email: