Government to publish code of practice with commercial sector in boost to high street

High street businesses and landlords are set to benefit from a new code of practice, which is in development to provide them with clarity and reassurance over rent payments.

A working group has been established by the government with the commercial rental sector to develop a code which encourages fair and transparent discussions between landlords and tenants over rental payments during the coronavirus pandemic and guidance on rent arrear payments and treatment of sub-letter and suppliers. This will enable collaboration and cooperation within the sector and help ensure no one part of the chain shoulders the full burden of payment.

The group will also seek to involve wider business input through its sector members to ensure a greater number are consulted and able to share their views.

Communities Secretary, Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said:

We are developing a new code of practice, working alongside the industry’s leading bodies, to provide that clarity and reassurance to both commercial tenants and their landlords in recognition of the challenges they are facing as a result of coronavirus.

We expect all parties to come to the table so our high streets and town centres are in the best possible position to come back from these challenges

We are giving clarity to landlords and tenants who are both facing equal pressures on their finances so they are all able to stabilise their finances and bounce back.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak MP said:

The government is committed to supporting the commercial rental sector as it deals with the disruption caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

We continue to work with lenders to ensure flexible support is provided to commercial landlords, including payment holidays and restructuring facilities, and it is right that where landlords receive support, they extend this to their tenants.

Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium said: 

The Coronavirus pandemic has accelerated longer-term trends in retail property. Rent demands are increasingly out of kilter with current property values and many retailers are being forced to pay rent on closed stores. 

We welcome the government’s Code as a positive first step and are working constructively with it and landlords to ensure that otherwise viable businesses are not forced into administration. However, all sides must be prepared to do more if necessary, given that the commercial lettings market is in need of wider reform.

Melanie Leech, Chief Executive, British Property Federation said:

Coronavirus is placing an unprecedented strain on property owners and the businesses who occupy their buildings, and we need a united approach in response. 

The majority of property owners and tenants are already working well together, effectively engaging and agreeing sustainable plans, and we welcome the opportunity to work with government and others to codify this good practice. 

Fair collaboration among lenders, property owners and tenants is vital to the UK’s recovery and it will ensure that viable businesses in distress as a result of coronavirus are supported, to protect both people’s jobs and the local authorities, savers and pensioners who own the majority of our town centres.

Kate Nicholls, CEO, UKHospitality said:

A code of conduct is a significant step in unlocking the current impasse in the commercial property market. Now is the time for all stakeholders to come to the table and broker an agreement. 

Hospitality businesses have seen revenues all but dry up since March, so government intervention is desperately needed – with a sustainable financial plan in place. 

Our sector needs enforceable measures in place, so that the burden currently borne by operators is shared more equitably. This code could be pivotal in protecting communities and high streets from mass closures and job losses.

The code will be temporary in nature and the government will explore options to make it mandatory if necessary. We will engage with Devolved Administrations to ensure the code applies across the UK and are working to publish it prior to the next quarterly rent payment date.

Today’s announcement comes as UK Finance confirms its members’ continued support for commercial landlord customers including amendments to facilities and capital payment holidays.

Ahead of the June payment day, all the main commercial lenders will be in contact with their major commercial landlord borrowers to identify concerns they have and provide support where appropriate. 

The government’s package of measures for the commercial sector also includes;

  • Measures, including in the Coronavirus Act, to prevent any business being forced out of their premises if they miss a payment until 30 June. The government has an option to extend this if needed.
  • Temporarily banning the use of statutory demands (between 1 March 2020 and 30 June 2020) and winding up petitions presented from Monday 27 April, through to 30 June, where a company cannot pay its bills due to coronavirus. This is included in the government’s Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill.
  • Laying secondary legislation to provide tenants with more breathing space to pay rent by preventing landlords using Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery unless they are owed 90 days of unpaid rent.

These measures do not account to a rental holiday but allows breathing space for tenants facing significantly reduced income due to the closures measures and current economic circumstances. Rent is still owed, and those tenants who are able to pay some or all of their rent are expected to do so. 

The government is also reminding the sector of the existing measures in place that affect the sector’s landlords, this includes:

  • Flexibility for Real Estate Investment Trusts when distributing income

  • A Practice Direction issued by the Master of Rolls with the agreement of the- Lord Chancellors which stays possession proceedings for 90 days from 27 March. This applies to commercial premises.

Further information

Further detail on support for commercial landlords and tenants can be found on the UK Finance website.

Facebook and Live Music

If, like me, you are always doing LIVE video’s on Facebook TAKE CARE. Facebook are using a software which nows listens to your video and if you have any music in the background or you are filming a band Facebook will mute your live feed.

This happened to me. I was filming the start, LIVE, of the Cancer Research Race For Life on my iPhone 8 Max in 4k with a Rode mic attached all on a camera mount fixed to a tripod. Easy simple set up not including the cost of the phone under £100. It gets great results.

My normal set up. NOTE this is not from the Race For Life event…..

All started well count down to the start 10,9,8 etc then as soon as the gun went off they started playing ‘This Is Me’ from the Greatest Showman. Perfect song for the start. Everyone running or walking past my camera waving, smiling and of course “hello mum” Then up pops the sign “this video has been muted”. In fact all you can hear is the count down and for some reason the picture quality from the mute section is awful. Why? well is a simple case of copyright protection.

Since all the bad media regarding Facebook they are now toughing up on anything to do with music and copyright. Especially if its a clear good quality recording like mine are. So what do you do if you are entitled to record? Well, all is not lost. Facebook has a dispute procedure. Which it clears point you too. When you click the dispute button you have several options why you feel you are entitled to record the music. There is also Explanation box where in 200 words you can give more of an explanation. Hit the submit and then wait and wait and, as of writing this post 24 hours after hitting submit button, keep waiting.

Deadline is 30th June. I will keep you posted.

So what can you do to stop this from happening. There are several options the easy one is make sure there is no music in the background or talk over it. Not ideal but works. The other is to create a video that looks live and publish straight away. There are so many great FREE apps out there which can help. I use Splice. an easy to follow app that lets you add video and images. there is also a great collection of FREE music which you can use to add to your finished video. Once you are ready it then puts them altogether in a professional looking video in a matter of seconds.

Look for Splice – Video Editor & Maker logo in your App Store

The other option takes more time but the end results can be very rewarding and that is to use a professional video editing software. There are several options I would recommend . First if you are looking to work on a budget and not sure how to edit movies then go for HitFilm Express Video editing, VFX, and all the power you need to make something cool. It will help you take your first step towards becoming a pro filmmaker . HitFilm Express. is perfect for beginners, film students, and YouTubers. my photo editing I have an account with Adobe and have access to what I feel is is

Once you get the hang of HitFilm Express and what more control then for me the only option is Adobe PremierePro This is top end editing software. Allowing you to edit the colour, sound levels, add special effects and so much more. BUT at $19.97 a month (as of 24/06/2019) you need to make sure you really need it.

So you have your film, you have your editing software what about the music? Again there are plenty of Royalty Free Music websites out there and Facebook will question if you have the right to use the music. The best thing is YOU DO, if its royalty free,. Most music sites ask that you add some text stating Music by :……. I use Bensound.com free music, as long as you put Music by Bensound.com. There are a few you need to pay for before you download but the majority is free.

Video is important to have on your social media especially Facebook. More videos are viewed on Facebook than YouTube. It is great to help your page reach more people and if your videos are longer than 3 minutes there is a small chance of a revenue from your films. I will cover this in another post later.

Thank you for reading this post if you use any software not mentioned above which will help others please comment below. Again any advice you may have on this subject please let us know below.

UPDATE: Facebook approved the recording and unmuted the sound. They did this on the 30th June the deadline day

NEW My Business Support Forum

My Business Support is your Forum

We’re excited to launch a brand new Forum for our members – people who are involved in small businesses.

Members can gain valuable support from others in the Forum, share their expertise and promote their businesses. It’s also the place for coffee break chats!

You need to join to be a My Business Support member first to join the Forum. CLICK HERE. If you are a My Business Support member already, simply go to the members’ page and login. CLICK HERE.

The Forum is just for members of the My Business Support Group.

A Cup of Tea

Do you want to make your business more efficient? Try making yourself a cup of tea. When you make that cup of tea, think to yourself, how can I make it more efficiently? The chances are that you can’t.

Over all the years that you have been drinking and making tea, you have slowly but surely located the teabags in the jar behind the kettle, moved the mugs to the cupboard above the kettle and the kettle itself will be a step away from the tap. The whole process will be executed with a few movements, and the total time taken will in all likelihood be within seconds, the same every time.

Now when you get to work, take a moment and take a look around. Each series of actions taken to achieve something is a process. Your business will be made up of many processes from taking a customer order to requesting items from stock to ordering advertising space in the local paper. Everything is process.

Now pick one. Pick any process more complicated that sharpening a pencil. Write down the process step by step, and make sure it is the process that is really happening and not the one that you think happens. Watch what people do and ask questions. Once you have captured the process review each and every step. Ask yourself why each step occurs, does it need to happen and what would happen if it didn’t happen?

Think about your distances, think about the mugs kept above the kettle. You may well find that there are things that can be stopped, and no one will care! So, what will your staff think of your scrutinising their tasks? Well if you involve them and ask their opinion you might find some great suggestions that you hadn’t thought of.

Now write your new streamlined process down and share it. If you introduce it in the right way you will find that people will be happy to know what is expected of them. You may also find that documented processes that are followed require less management time.

Once you have reviewed and improved a process, I suggest that you just may have deserved a cup of tea!! There will surely be many more processes to be tackled. If you want to think about something while you are sipping your tea, think about the hour that you spent saving 5 minutes. Then think about how many times over you will save that 5minutes.

One final thing. If you think I forgot about the milk in the tea, I didn’t. It’s in the fridge on the other side of the room as a reminder that you should be giving it up and drinking your tea black!

If you would like to talk about your business & processes over a cup of tea, let me know. Simon@UKBusinessmentoring.co.uk

A Story To Inspire You – Carl Fraser On Selling Magic Tricks Online

Tim chats to Carl Fraser. Carl has been running his own business since the end of the 1990s.

He started one of the largest magic tricks websites which became very successful – he later bought his own warehouse.

He then used the same formula to develop a number of other websites including one that sold shoes.

Carl also employed staff but after increasing competition decided to wind down his ecommerce business. He now is a website developer and a voice overs artiste. Carl talks about what’s he learnt from being a small business owner.

Tim Talks To Alan MacLachlan About Making Money From Selling Jigsaws on The Web

Alan Maclachlan started selling jigsaw puzzles from his back bedroom in 2000.

I was delighted to help him build the business. We eventually employed a large number of staff, had our own warehouse and were taking around about £20k a day at peak times.

On this web chat we talk about how we made this business so successful.

Alan continues to do well by now selling books on Amazon and by helping small businesses mainly around Sussex with their Facebook ad campaigns.

Another great web chat.

Tim

My Phone is My Office

Like most people I couldn’t be without my smartphone. It is my office. It allows me wherever I am to run my business.

My business is Social Media Management a role which is 24/7. With today’s current smartphones I am able to contact people, Do my Accounts, Create and edit photos and videos and post to my social media platforms.
The key to be able to do this is good Apps. So what are my top Apps and why?

Facebook Pages Manager

My number one app is Facebook Pages Manager. If you ask anyone what app do they use for their facebook business page they will tell you the standard blue Facebook app. WRONG the problem with this is to get to your business page you have to change to your business page before you start posting. With the Facebook Pages Manager you are automatically signed in to your business page and at a simple tap change to any other business pages you are admin on. The beauty of this you will always post as your business. Unlike the standard blue Facebook app where it is possible to comment or post as yourself and not your business.

Snapseed

Next it’s the brilliant Snapseed. All smartphones have their own photo editing software but Snapseed takes it to another level. It has 28 simple tools and 11 set looks to transform you photos way beyond what your standard editing programme can do. Just one of the tools Tune allows you to change the basic look of your image, you can change the exposure of your shot as well as the standard crop tool and white balance. But then you can create Grunge, Drama, Grainy Film, Glamour Glow and Noir looks in seconds. You also have the option of saving the image as a new image or save over your original shot. There is so much stuff on this app you can create several different looks for the same image and each one will be so different.

ProCam

Of course the cameras on smartphones are getting better all the time but they are not as good as a DSLR. But with the ProCam app you can now manually adjust your camera. It allows you to set ISO, Shutter Speed, White balance and it even lets you adjust the exposure vale (EV). If you are one of these people who sets the camera to Auto and click away then ProCam is not for you. The quality of the images are better BUT remember it’s still a phone so if you are looking at slow shutter speeds you will need a tripod and a camera holder. But all in all I won’t be without it.

IFTTT

So that is about it for my social media apps. Of course I use the standard Instagram and twitter apps but I have just started using IFTTT. Now this app Im just getting use to but I am starting to like how it works. What it does is it links your social media accounts and lets them interact better then if you just linked your accounts normally. It uses Applets which each have different tasks. For example my favorite is Instagram to Twitter applet which tweets your Instagrams as native photos on Twitter. Also just starting to use an applet which allows you to post Facebook Live to to your Twitter feed as you do it. As I said just started using this app and liking what I see.

Haystack

So what Apps do i use not for social media which make a difference? Well apart from my banking app, accounts app and email app not much else. With these 4 apps and the ones above that pretty much covers my day to day role. But there is one which save me having hundreds of businesses cards laying around as well as making it easier to keep my contacts up to date and that is Haystack. With this app every time you are given a businesses card all you have to do is take a photo with the app and Haystack does the rest. it reads the info on the card and adds it to the app. You then have the option when you are in the app of Calling, Emailing or Visit their website.

So these are my favorite apps that make my life a lot easier and allows me to do my job. BUT there is one thing I forgot to mention they are all FREE

Let us know what App you couldn’t be without in the Comments section below and Thank You for reading.

How To Post To Instagram via Your PC or MAC

I have always found not being able to post to instagram from my laptop a real pain. As a photographer I take a lot of pictures which means a lot of editing. When I have finished editing I always like to post a photo of my day or what story I have been covering to Instagram. Which means normally sharing to a cloud database  or emailing myself. Not any more. I learnt the other day that using Google Chrome it’s possible to turn your PC or MAC into a mobile device allowing you to post to instagram as if your were on your mobile device.

It is remarkably easy to do and takes just a few a few clicks. No IT or coding knowledge required. If I can do it so can you. To find out how easy it is and how to do it just click on my video below.

 

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