Creating economic growth in Spelthorne, together!

Chambers of Commerce

Surrey Chambers of Commerce weekly update

Now that Easter holidays have begun and businesses are in a little bit of a lull, we’re frantically getting ready to bring you a ridiculously jam-packed calendar of events for May. We know you don’t really want to hear much about Brexit, so let us take your mind off it, and instead why not join us for all sorts of topical, informative networking sessions where you can raise your business profile and increase awareness of your brand!

In addition, we’re also running a series of monthly training workshops, each one on a different topic. But you’ll receive more personal, tailored advice in these half day sessions, so maximise your knowledge and book on today!

Don’t forget to scroll down for all the ‘Save the Dates’ that are all ready to book online – we’ve just got so much going on that we’ve run out of space!

Keen to have your business associated with one of our events? Why not enquire about event sponsorship?

Are you recruiting?

Sign up now for your free stand at Kempton Park

The SBF are involved in organising the annual Spelthorne Skills and Careers Fair on 19th September at Kempton Park.

Do you want to raise you profile with local job seekers?

Would you like to encourage local students to aspire to work for you?

Would you like to network with over 60 local businesses and skills providers?

If the answer to these questions is yes then reserve your complimentary stand today.

More details here.

Surrey Chambers AGM

SURREY CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE LIMITED

Registered in England and Wales with number 03027072

NOTICE OF ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Annual General meeting of the above named company will be held at 5.15 pm on the 9th July 2018
at
Guildford Pavilion, Guildford Cricket Ground, Woodbridge Road, Guildford, GU14RP

Ordinary Business:
1. To approve the minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on 27th  September 2017
2. To receive the Report of the President for the year ended June 2018
3. To receive the statement of Accounts for the year ended 31st December 2017
4. To elect Council members for the ensuing year
5. To approve Directors for the ensuing year.

The formal meeting will be followed by a Members’ Networking Evening kindly sponsored by Guildford Cricket Club

To book on, please click here.

Ashford Wide

Ashford Wide

Ashford Wide is the new community group bringing together Business, Community and Events in Ashford, all working together for a better Ashford.

Over the past few years, there have been several local groups working independently,all with different objectives but all with the same goal and that has been to bring something positive to Ashford whether that be in business or through community groups or local events.

The main groups met recently and unanimously decided that working together as one group with one vision would be a great way forward.
Ashford Chamber of Commerce, Ashford Pride, and Ashford Events have merged with the current Ashford Wide group to form this new and expanded group and are very much looking forward to bringing new and exciting projects to Ashford in 2018 and beyond.

Individually the groups have achieved a lot over the past few years but
are very motivated by what can be achieved by working together.
Some of the ideas include a Community Mural Project an Open Air Cinema evening in the late Summer, plans for a ‘Vision of Ashford’ competition and also a Christmas Event in our town this year.

Ashford Pride has always done a great job with the flags in the town, commemorating and celebrating special and significant days throughout the year, and this is something that will continue.

For the past number of years, it has been Ashford Chamber of Commerce, along with the support of our local businesses that have been responsible for the Christmas lights in our town, this year Ashford Wide will take on the task of lightning up Ashford!

The new AW Team are keen to hear from you, the local community and you can find out more at www.AshfordWide.com, get in touch by email or keep up to date with new projects on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AshfordWide.

Half of businesses not seeing improvement in UK mobile network

Only half of businesses believe the UK’s phone network is more reliable than five years ago, according to new research by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) released today (Friday).

A survey by the BCC of over 1,100 businesses, found that while 53% of firms believe the reliability of the UK’s mobile phone network has improved compared to five years ago, 30% believe there has been no change and 16% say that it is less reliable.

Despite welcome investment and progress in the rollout of mobile coverage, businesses across the country still report problems with accessing reliable mobile coverage. In response to the frustration of business communities, last month the BCC launched its No More Not Spots campaign to end not spots for voice coverage where UK phone users live, work, travel and play.

As part of the campaign, business communities have been identifying gaps in UK mobile coverage by logging them online. In one month, over 500 not spots have been identified across the country.

Not spots, and areas of partial not spots, undermine the connectivity and productivity of UK businesses. The recent survey also found that 21% of businesses don’t believe the UK’s mobile phone network meets their needs in accessing new and existing customers, suppliers and employees.

Read full article here.

Opportunity at Surrey Chambers

Surrey Chambers of Commerce are seeking a new Events and Member Services Coordinator, based in Woking. If you know someone who might fit the bill then please do send them this link which has more details about the role.

 

£3000 grant towards the installation of a gigabit capable connection

 

The Department of Digital, Culture, Media & Sport are offering SMEs the opportunity to apply for a voucher of up to £3000 towards the installation of a gigabit capable connection. 

The £67m Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme is available nationwide and we are keen for as many Surrey SMEs to benefit from it as possible.

Find out if your business is eligible here.

BCC: Work Needed to reverse fall in apprenticeships

Commenting on the Apprenticeship Levy statistics, published today by the Department for Education, Jane Gratton, Head of Business Environment and Skills Policy at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

“With our research showing three quarters of businesses facing skills shortages, it is vital that employers can recruit young people into the business and upskill workers at every level of the workforce.

“Apprenticeships are very much part of the solution, but the restrictions and complexity around the use of the Apprenticeship Levy have made it more difficult for firms to use them to train staff and plug skills shortages. Since the Levy was introduced nearly a year ago, we have seen a worrying fall in the number of new apprenticeships started. This is limiting opportunities for people and could impact on business competitiveness. Something must be done urgently to reverse this trend.

“The Government urgently needs to work with businesses to find ways to make the Apprenticeship Levy work better for everyone, and ensure that the UK economy has the skilled staff it needs. Some quick fixes include giving firms more time to source apprenticeship training, introducing more flexible payment schedules and doing more to help SMEs access apprenticeship funding.”

Read article here.

Talent shortages endangering the UK’s growth engine, according to new Smith & Williamson research

Smaller and growing businesses are struggling to hire the right talent, according to the most recent survey from Smith & Williamson, the accountancy, tax and investment management group.

66% of businesses are seeking new hires, according to the Enterprise Index survey, a quarterly barometer which tests the views of over 200 business leaders and entrepreneurs. However, only 38% believe that the workforce is sufficiently trained or educated to help them achieve their growth plans.

“Having the right people available to support our smaller and growing businesses is crucial to their success. They need to hire to grow, but the talent is scarce,” said Jeff Selden, partner and specialist in business services at Smith & Williamson in Guildford.

Read report on Surrey Chambers’ website.