Wednesday, 23 December 2009

The Chamber Insider

Business Survey Needs You

A plethora of economic data was released last week. Inflation rose by more than expected, unemployment figures did not rise by as much as expected, and retail sales were disappointing. The British Chambers of Commerce’s reaction to all of these statistics pointed to the underlying weaknesses within the economy, such as poor access to finance and an over-reliance on the public sector.
As ever, the BCC would like to contribute to the economic debate with real authority. To do this, they need Chamber members’ views. If you have a moment before you break for Christmas please complete the Monthly Business Survey. .

Veolia Water Southeast Wins Gold

Our congratulations go to local utilities company, Veolia Water Southeast who has carried off a top Gold Award in the Considerate Contractor Scheme run by Kent County Council and Medway Council. The Awards are given for high standards of workmanship on the roads and pavements to contractors who operate in a safe, consistent and considerate manner.

This is the third award with a safety theme that Veolia has won this year and follows on from top national awards made by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) and the British Safety Council.


Kent Excellence in Business Awards 2010

The KEIBA 2010 is now open for entries and this is a great opportunity to demonstrate how Chamber members have successfully overcome the challenges of the last 12 months. Awards are one of the most powerful and cost-effective marketing tools.

Winning a prestigious KEiBA category will help your organisation to stand out from the crowd, send a positive message to your existing customers and attract new business. Full details on how to enter are available on www.keiba.co.uk

Workshop Programmes for 2010

Channel Chamber Training’s series of one-day workshops has been designed to give Chamber members’ and their staff a range of practical tools and techniques to increase business performance and help you survive.

A list of these Workshops is provided below. We do have a very flexible approach to training so if any of these dates don’t suit you, please contact us and lets see what we can sort out:

Guerrilla Marketing (25 Feb) Turbocharge your marketing, Learn how to increase market share on a limited budget.

Do Unto Others - Managing Customer Service (16 Mar) This is a great workshop for those working or managing a customer facing team and want to improve delivery standards.

Maximise & Nurture - Appraisals & Job Descriptions (31 Mar) This workshop will highlight a number of approaches and a wealth of techniques and tactics to ensure that the appraisal process becomes more structured, productive and positive.

Innovate to Survive- (15 April) Use innovation as a tool to grow your business. This workshop will help you discover that not only can you increase your creative options but also encourage truly innovative solutions to emerge, benefiting you, your team and your company.

The Workplace is Stressful - How to Manage It (29 April) How to enjoy a happier and healthier workforce. Manage stress in your workplace and comply with current legislation.

The cost per workshop is just £155 for chamber members and staff (non members cost £190.00). Workshops start at 09.15 and finish at 16.30, this includes tea/coffee and a buffet lunch.

The Workshop venue, Shearway Business Park in Folkestone is adjacent to Junction 13 on the M20 where free parking is available.

For further details please call Susan Filby on 01303 270022 or email: susan.filby@channelchambertraining.co.uk

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

The Chamber Insider

Promoting Folkestone in London: Monday 14 December!

Following news about the pre-Christmas poster advertising campaign in London we have now spotted on the Council’s website that they are organizing a promotional day at St Pancras Station on Monday 14 December.

Robert Bliss and fellow district councilors will be travelling up on the High Speed 1service to promote the advantages of moving to the Channel Coast and talk to commuters.

It has already been suggested to the Chamber that we also need a more effective local campaign to make local residents more aware of the fantastic service now being offered to them.

What do you think ? Have you any ideas on what else needs to be done? Post your thoughts on the SERP Blog today ! www.regenerateshepway.wordpress.com

Becoming a Young Enterprise volunteer
Members will already be familiar with the Young Enterprise scheme and we are delighted to introduce you to Rachael Fagg, their Development Manager who is now responsible for YE in East Kent.

You will no doubt meet her at forthcoming Chamber networking events but, in the meantime we would like to encourage Chamber members to become one of their Business volunteers. No previous experience or expert knowledge is required, other than individual experience of work, business and enthusiasm to work with young people. Business volunteers act as role models from the world of work. They work alongside teachers with specifically designed Young Enterprise programmes and each has a volunteer pack containing information on the programme and how to present/facilitate it as well as support from Young Enterprise on hand if needed.

By getting involved you can make a real difference to the aspirations and potential of young people in the community helping to encourage creativity, build their confidence, life and future employment skills, as well as gain satisfaction by investing time, skills and knowledge for the benefit of a new generation.

If you are interested please contact Rachael on 077028877997 or email: Rachael.fagg@yese.org.uk

Christmas in Folkestone, Hythe and Romney Marsh
For details of all the Christmas festivities in Folkestone contact FTCM Ltd on 01303 850522 or visit www.discoverfolkestone.co.uk for many more Christmas events in Folkestone, Hythe & Romney Marsh.

Christmas Lunch with the Chamber President – Places still available!
On Friday 11th December at the Mercure Hythe Imperial both Michael and Sandra Howard will be joining Chamber members and their staff for a fabulous three-course lunch, wine, coffee, mince pies, Christmas carols, a charity raffle and a host of entertainment.

Book individually from £29.50 (per member). Or to book a table telephone Tracy Reynolds on 01303 270022.


Raffle prizes donated so far:




· Bottle of wine - First Learners Nursery

· Cream Tea for Two – The Grand

· Bed & Breakfast Voucher – The Marquis of Alkham

· Aromatherapy facial – The Mercure Hythe Imperial

· A1 poster of The Specials "Ghost Town" – Picture This

· 8 x A5 postcards of 2-Tone designs www.2toneposters.co.uk – Picture This

· Family Ticket for Four – Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway

· Hologram paperweight – Benham Covers Ltd

· Two Bottles of Mo√ęt Champagne - Girling Solicitors

· A Meal for Two – No 11 Restaurant

· A Luxury Marylebone Food Hamper – Christchurch Nursery School

Have a great time AND raise funds for local charities
With more than £25,000 raised for local charities this year, the London Beach Country Hotel and Spa is pleased to announce that it is introducing a special “Christmas Party Lunch Charitable Offer”. The Charitable Christmas Party Lunches will run from December 1st to 31st and will require pre-booking with a minimum of six guests. The total food bill will be donated to the charity of choice, which has to be stipulated at the time of booking.

Pierre Edmonds, the Hotel Manager is hoping that businesses and their guests will be able to fully enjoy the Christmas festivities while at the same time knowing that the total value of their Christmas lunch will go to support their favoured local charity.

For further details contact Pierre on 01580 766279

An Offer from our Insider Sponsor McCabe Ford Williams
Free 2 hour meeting offer until 22 December 2009 to discuss how MFW could reduce your tax liabilities or accountancy fees,

Call John Shipley now on 01304 204006.

Here are some useful tips for fellow members in the lead up to Christmas from our Chairman, Ray Johnson. Please don’t hesitate to let us know if you’re doing anything unusual that you are happy to share with other local businesses.


Ask staff for ideas – they know what they want so why not follow it

You could consider a buffet/takeout in the office instead of a meal – much cheaper than going out

Why not share an event with another company

Get your own DJ – maybe a member of staff! Or everyone could contribute with their ipod!

With all the stuff on the TV at the moment, why not do your own ‘Strictly’ or X Factor’ for a laugh

Organise a secret Santa - good fun and staff contribute between £5 - £10 each

Get staff to enter the local Santa Fun Run event, dress up in Santa costumes and run for charity. Great fun, good for team morale and, for your health!

Why not donate a prize to a local charity Christmas raffle

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

The Chamber Insider

Folkestone – An hour way from London

If you’re visiting London before Christmas take a look at the poster campaign advertising Folkestone at both Kings Cross and St Pancras Station. Thanks to Shepway District Council these images are currently selling Folkestone as under an hour away from London on the new High Speed 1 service. It’s important that the benefits the High Speed 1 service will bring to our town are highlighted and that we promote all the good things Folkestone has to offer not only to visitors but those who might choose to make their home here now that commuting times to the capital is under an hour. What do you think of these posters? Have you any ideas on what else needs to be done ? Post your thoughts on the SERP Blog today! http://regenerateshepway.wordpress.com/

Businesses report worsening access to finance situation

Access to finance remains a serious problem for British businesses, despite the Bank of England pumping £200 billion into the economy to boost money supply and stimulate lending.In the latest Monthly Business Survey, published by the British Chambers of Commerce, 33% of companies reported that accessing finance had been more difficult over the last three months. This compares with the same question asked in June, when 20% of businesses believed access to finance had worsened.

Furthermore, the number of firms reporting an improved access to finance situation fell – dropping from 6% in June, to just 3% in the latest survey. Despite the results pointing towards continued lending constraints, of the 400 businesses questioned, 64% said that their biggest barrier to growth over the next 12 months was a lack of customer demand. The Chamber network is pushing for The Pre-Budget Report on December 9th to include measures that encourage companies to invest and improve confidence.
Do you agree with these findings? Is this the situation in East Kent ?
Post your comments on the SERP Blog today ! http://regenerateshepway.wordpress.com/

Kent 2020 – Join Kent’s Networking Wall At the launch of Business Link’s Kent 2020,

Chamber members and other attendees were invited to enter their contact details onto a magnificent ‘Networking Wall’ that will be displayed at the event on Thursday 22nd April at the Kent Showground, Detling.
All these contacts can now be viewed by visiting www.kent2020.co.uk/networkingwall

During the next five months, at each of our networking events, Channel Chamber will be encouraging members and their guests to complete a card so that their details can be added to this ‘Networking Wall’ online. There’s also an opportunity online to view Lord Digby’s speech and a short clip of the launch event, please visit www.kent2020.co.uk/launch 2010 Business Rate revaluation

The government has announced further details of the post-2012 Revaluation business rate framework, which can be found at:

http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/localgovernment/pdf/1384557.pdf

As a result of the new multiplier, businesses will pay 41.4p in the pound for large premises and 40.7p in the pound for 2010/11. Following a consultation the government has also decided to try and protect businesses from large upfront increases through a self-funded, five year transitional scheme, under which rate increases will be capped at five per cent for small premises and 12.5 per cent for large.

Christmas Lunch with the Chamber President – Places still available!

On Friday 11th December at the Mercure Hythe Imperial both Michael and Sandra Howard will be joining Chamber members and their staff for a fabulous three-course lunch, wine, coffee, mince pies, Christmas carols, a charity raffle and a host of entertainment.
Book individually from £29.50 (per member). Or to book a table telephone Tracy Reynolds on 01303 270022.

An Offer from our Insider Sponsor McCabe Ford Williams

Free 2 hour meeting offer until 22 December 2009 to discuss how MFW could reduce your tax liabilities or accountancy fees,
Call John Shipley now on 01304 204006.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

The Chamber Insider

Its Off? Its On?

Last week’s announcement from the Energy Minister that Dungeness was not on the short-list of potential new nuclear power stations came as a bitter blow to us all but, within 24hrs we were being reassured by the Prime Minister himself that all was not lost.

Channel Chamber and its partner, SERP (Shepway Economic Regeneration Partnership) simply cannot accept that plans for Dungeness should be scrapped and we will be carefully studying the reasons given by Govt before we embark upon a strong lobbying campaign.

Please use the SERP Blog http://regenerateshepway.wordpress.com/ to share your views on this subject.


Kent Transport Summit: Keeping Kent Moving

At Westminster last Tuesday, a group of 50 industry leaders, transport operators, locally affected businesses and the public sector put forward a powerful argument to press for solutions to Kent's transport challenges.
A report of this meeting will be circulated shortly to Chamber members and this will be used to continue to press Kent’s case with government for solutions to Operation Stack and improved transport connections with the rest of the UK.
More information about the “Enough is Enough” transport campaign can be found at www.kent.gov.uk/enough

Dreamland Resurrected

There has been some great news this week for Margate and it's Dreamland site. It has been awarded £3.7m from the Heritage Lottery Fund for the development of a vintage theme park. Further details are provided within the BBC ‘s web report:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/kent/8361781.stm


High Speed, High Time: the business case for high-speed rail

The British Chambers of Commerce along with the Chamber Network launching its high-speed rail report highlights the business case for faster journey times and additional capacity. In particular, it calls for a binding agreement from the main political parties to agree a funding mechanism for new lines - while also calling on the parties to maintain the work of HS2 Ltd - the Government’s high-speed rail development company. Crucially the report makes clear that the business community demands a UK-wide network, reaching both North-South and East-West if the full benefits of new high-speed lines are to be truly realised.
Copies of the BCC report will be posted on Channel Chamber’s Website:

30th Anniversary for Edwards Harvey

One of the county’s leading PR and marketing agencies Edwards Harvey is celebrating its 30th Anniversary. With a portfolio ranging from multinational and blue chip companies to regional and local businesses, they are particularly proud of their 30-year relationship with Shepherd Neame, Britain’s oldest brewer and the work they are currently doing with fellow chamber members, Lydd Airport.

Kidzplanet is not only playtastik it’s now toytastik!

Our member, Kidz Planet has opened a new toy shop inside their playcentre, Caesers Way, Cheriton. The shop named Toytastik opened last Saturday and carries some 180 lines. For a limited period only, as an incentive to entice customers in, all non-branded items are “buy one, get one half price”.

Also, Santa will be visiting the playcentre again this year on Friday 4th December, please call to book your slot (limited availability). Kidz Planet can be found in Caesars Way, Cheriton. Tel: 01303 277773

Christmas Lunch with the Chamber President

On Friday 11th December at the Mercure Hythe Imperial both Michael and Sandra Howard will be joining Chamber members and their staff for a fabulous three-course lunch, wine, coffee, mince pies, Christmas carols, a charity raffle and a host of entertainment.

A table for eight costs only £225 or you can simply book individually from £29.50 (per member). Don’t delay, telephone Tracy Reynolds on 01303 270022.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

The Chamber Insider

Ecommerce in Kent Award - Sponsored by the Ice Lab
 
After months of public voting online six finalists made it through to the final judging stage of the ECommerce in Kent Award – sponsored by the Ice Lab Ltd. The Judging Panel met last Friday and as a result of their deliberations the winner of the 2009 Award for the best shopping cart site based (or created) in Kent was duly announced at the Ice Lab's annual champagne reception held in Northbourne. Our congratulations go to the winner - www.ecorium.co.uk

Global Entrepreneurship Week is on the way!

Global Entrepreneurship Week tales place from 16 – 22 November 2009. It is a worldwide movement of entrepreneurial people with millions unleashing their enterprising talents and turning their ideas into a reality. Find out more at:http://www.gew.org.uk/

Business Growth Club Workshop

Channel Chamber’s first Business Growth Club Workshop is being held next Monday 16th November at our offices on Shearway Business Park, Folkestone, focusing on Information & Communications Technology - don't miss out !  This FREE workshop will give you direct access to industry experts from BT and will bring you together with a select group of businessmen and women to help sharpen your focus even further. You will be part of an open forum so you can talk about real issues and help shape the content to make sure it’s relevant to you and your business. There are only a few places left so, don’t delay, book today by calling Sezen Zeki on 01303 270022 or email: sezen.zeki@channelchamber.co.ukBusiness

Networking Breakfast at Sandwich

‘Adding Value’ is the theme of the business networking breakfast organised by our partners at the Thanet & East Kent Chamber, taking place at the Pfizer Social Club, Sandwich on Tuesday 24 November (7.30am – 9am). Delegates will be treated to a series of two-minute presentations by experts in sales, marketing, business planning, waste reduction and a range of topics all designed to boost your turnover or reduce your costs. There will be an opportunity to book a free consultation with any of the expert speakers. Enjoy an English breakfast and the opportunity to promote your goods or services to fellow delegates. Cost: Chamber members: £12.00, non-members: £15.00. For details, email admin@tekc.co.uk with the subject line

“Business Breakfast 24th November 2009” Performance Management Workshop

Channel Chamber Training’s One-day Business Workshop is entitled ‘Maximise and Nurture’ and takes place on Wednesday 25th November at our offices on on Shearway Business Park, Folkestone. This workshop will highlight a number of approaches and a wealth of techniques and tactics surrounding effective performance management so as to ensure that your appraisal process becomes more structured, productive and positive.
The cost of the Workshop is £155.00 per member (non members cost £190.00) and this includes tea/coffee and a buffet lunch. Places are limited so you’ll need to BOOK without delay by telephoning Susan Filby on 01303 270022 or email: susan.filby@channelchambertraining.co.ukHow to … Speak Confidently in Public University Centre Folkestone in Mill Bay are hosting another lively networking event for KAYE (Kent Association of Young Entrepreneurs) on Thursday 26 November from 5.30pm-7.30pm

Find out how to make the most of every public and private speaking opportunity.

The Event will be free to non-members but places are limited so please book now by telephoning 01732 849570

An Offer from our Insider Sponsor McCabe Ford Williams

Free 2 hour meeting offer until 22 December 2009 to discuss how MFW could reduce your tax liabilities or accountancy fees,
Call John Shipley now on 01304 204006.

Friday, 30 October 2009

Hythe’s Future

Two major planning issues in Hythe are being discussed tomorrow by Shepway’s Development Control Committee – and Channel Chamber is speaking in support of both applications. As a business support organisation your Chamber firmly believes that Hythe will benefit from a new Sainsbury’s store as well as the refurbishment of the Hythe Imperial Hotel and relevant property development. Although these are hugely different, both offer Hythe the opportunity to attract more visitors and will encourage them to spend their money locally. More local jobs are also a vital ingredient for our local economy and hopefully, both developments may even stimulate other businesses to review their plans and think of Hythe as a place they want to relocate to.

The public gallery at the Civic Centre in Folkestone is most likely to be full of objectors to these applications, but if any Chamber members want to join us in support please ensure you arrive before 6.30pm to secure a seat.

Kent Property Market Report

The eighteenth edition of the Kent Property Market report has been published last Friday reviewing activity and major property deals throughout 2008-09. Encouragingly this report reveals that despite the economic situation,the Kent commercial property sector has continued a relatively healthy performance over the last year. The report also looks in detail at residential, tourism, retail and this year also the rural sector.The regeneration section features current and planned developments across Kent and Medway, focusing particularly on the growth areas of Kent - Thames Gateway Kent and Ashford. The report is available to view online via www.kentpropertymarket.co.uk.

Electronic VAT Returns and Payments from April 2010

For all businesses with an annual turnover exceeding £100,000 compulsory electronic filing of Vat returns and electronic payment of Vat begins on 1st April 2010.In addition all new businesses registering for VAT from 1st April 2010 will be required to file returns and pay electronically irrespective of their size.Unlike the introduction of online filing for PAYE returns, where the filing was optional and a financial incentive was paid to encourage online filing, the Vat change is compulsory and no incentive will be provided.

To register online on your own behalf you will first need to register with the Government Gateway. To start this process choose VAT Online from the green box on the HMRC homepage (www.hmrc.gov.uk) and then click on new users

Alcohol Awareness Week

This national campaign runs from 19 to 25 October and aims to encourage adults to think about how much they are drinking. Did you know that nearly one in three men and one in five women drink more than the NHS recommended unit guidelines for alcohol? Employers are being asked to get involved and to help promote this initiative amongst their staff and information is available inline at: http://www.alcohollearningcentre.org.uk/_library/AAW_stakeholder_pack.pdf

Free Cosmetic Surgery Information evening

A Free Cosmetic Surgery Information evening is being held on 6 November at the Ashford International Hotel organised by Chamber member – Spire Health Care (Spire St Saviour’s Hospital). Chamber members and their staff are welcome to attend and will receive a free consultation (normal cost £100). To book on this event please call 01303 233766.

Risk Management

Business insurance and risk management are closely related. The insurance is there to provide protection when the incident occurs and it works best when the claim is dealt with swiftly and efficiently.

However good your insurance protection, an active approach to risk management can help to reduce or even prevent a loss and the resultant disruption to the business.This in turn helps make the business attractive to insure and has a beneficial effect on premiums.

Our Insider Sponsor - Stennings offer general risk management advice and have access to specialist services that can undertake Health & Safety and Fire Risk Assessments, Business Continuity Planning, Fixed Wiring and Portable Appliance testing to give a few examples, together with training in a number of areas.Not only do these services improve risk management but in certain cases help businesses meet legal obligations.

To find out more please contact Stennings on 01303 864198 and ask to speak to either David Donald or Martin Bridges. October 19th, 2009

Hythe’s Future

Two major planning issues in Hythe are being discussed tomorrow by Shepway’s Development Control Committee – and Channel Chamber is speaking in support of both applications. As a business support organisation your Chamber firmly believes that Hythe will benefit from a new Sainsbury’s store as well as the refurbishment of the Hythe Imperial Hotel and relevant property development. Although these are hugely different, both offer Hythe the opportunity to attract more visitors and will encourage them to spend their money locally. More local jobs are also a vital ingredient for our local economy and hopefully, both developments may even stimulate other businesses to review their plans and think of Hythe as a place they want to relocate to.

The public gallery at the Civic Centre in Folkestone is most likely to be full of objectors to these applications, but if any Chamber members want to join us in support please ensure you arrive before 6.30pm to secure a seat.

Kent Property Market Report

The eighteenth edition of the Kent Property Market report has been published last Friday reviewing activity and major property deals throughout 2008-09. Encouragingly this report reveals that despite the economic situation,the Kent commercial property sector has continued a relatively healthy performance over the last year. The report also looks in detail at residential, tourism, retail and this year also the rural sector.The regeneration section features current and planned developments across Kent and Medway, focusing particularly on the growth areas of Kent - Thames Gateway Kent and Ashford. The report is available to view online via www.kentpropertymarket.co.uk.

Electronic VAT Returns and Payments from April 2010

For all businesses with an annual turnover exceeding £100,000 compulsory electronic filing of Vat returns and electronic payment of Vat begins on 1st April 2010.In addition all new businesses registering for VAT from 1st April 2010 will be required to file returns and pay electronically irrespective of their size.Unlike the introduction of online filing for PAYE returns, where the filing was optional and a financial incentive was paid to encourage online filing, the Vat change is compulsory and no incentive will be provided.

To register online on your own behalf you will first need to register with the Government Gateway. To start this process choose VAT Online from the green box on the HMRC homepage (www.hmrc.gov.uk) and then click on new users

Alcohol Awareness Week

This national campaign runs from 19 to 25 October and aims to encourage adults to think about how much they are drinking. Did you know that nearly one in three men and one in five women drink more than the NHS recommended unit guidelines for alcohol? Employers are being asked to get involved and to help promote this initiative amongst their staff and information is available inline at: http://www.alcohollearningcentre.org.uk/_library/AAW_stakeholder_pack.pdf

Free Cosmetic Surgery Information evening

A Free Cosmetic Surgery Information evening is being held on 6 November at the Ashford International Hotel organised by Chamber member – Spire Health Care (Spire St Saviour’s Hospital). Chamber members and their staff are welcome to attend and will receive a free consultation (normal cost £100). To book on this event please call 01303 233766.

Risk Management

Business insurance and risk management are closely related. The insurance is there to provide protection when the incident occurs and it works best when the claim is dealt with swiftly and efficiently.

However good your insurance protection, an active approach to risk management can help to reduce or even prevent a loss and the resultant disruption to the business.This in turn helps make the business attractive to insure and has a beneficial effect on premiums.

Our Insider Sponsor - Stennings offer general risk management advice and have access to specialist services that can undertake Health & Safety and Fire Risk Assessments, Business Continuity Planning, Fixed Wiring and Portable Appliance testing to give a few examples, together with training in a number of areas.Not only do these services improve risk management but in certain cases help businesses meet legal obligations.

To find out more please contact Stennings on 01303 864198 and ask to speak to either David Donald or Martin Bridges.

Friday, 24 July 2009

Your Business News Round UP

Free Office Space for Start-Ups and Charities

Chamber Members Basepoint has two very special offers for their Folkestone centre. Charities and other not-for-profit and social enterprises are being offered free office space with no deposit required for twelve months. New businesses just starting up or moving from home are being offered free office space for six months. Conditions Apply – please call Lorraine Grover on 01303 298298 or see www.basepoint.co.uk.

Tesco Expansion Plans

Plans for the considerable extension of Tesco Stores at Cheriton have been submitted and can be viewed on line at www.shepway.co.uk - use the planning reference Y09/0681/SH

College Merger

After careful deliberation there is a proposal to merge South Kent and West Kent Colleges. The LSC are seeking your views on the merger before the 9th September – the consultation document is available at www.lsc.goc.uk/regions/southEast/

110 Years

The Chamber will be celebrating its 110-year anniversary on 17th September 2009 at the Grand Hotel in Folkestone – the Grand is also celebrating its 110th birthday this year – so it seemed most fitting. We aim to attract at least 110 attendees at this special extended big breakfast! The event has limited exhibition opportunities available to members only – more details will be following in the next few weeks but please save the date- to find out more about exhibiting and get your name on the list – please call Sezen on 01303 270022 or email sezen.zeki@shepwaybc.co.uk

New tax service helps businesses manage cashflow through downturn

If you’re worried about finding the cash to pay your taxes, a new service from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) could bring welcome relief. The new Business Payment Support Service makes it easier for cash-strapped businesses to stay on top of their tax payments by spreading them over a period of time. It’s aimed at businesses and self-employed individuals who are facing temporary financial difficulties and are unable to pay their tax. Call HMRC’s Business Payment Support line now on 0845 302 1435. You’ll need the following information to hand when you call: your tax reference number, details of the taxes that you are worried about and when you expect to be able to pay the bill.

All Change Cabinet at Shepway

The Environmental Services portfolio has been discontinued and its functions split between other Cabinet Members. Cllr Alan North will step down from the Cabinet, but will retain the role of Lead Member on Recycling and Waste. Cllr David Monk is to add Parks and Open Spaces to his portfolio and will relinquish Property Maintenance, Asset Management and Commercial Property, which will be added to Cllr Bliss’ (the leader) portfolio. Recycling, Waste, Street Cleansing, Toilets and Beach Management have been transferred to Cllr Rory Love. Additionally, Cllr Anthony Dunning’s responsibilities as Lead Member will cease.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Date set for Lydd Airport Decision

After nearly 2 and half years after original plans were submitted, Shepway District Council have set a date to determine Lydd Airport's expansion plans.

SDC's full council meeting on Thursday, July 9 will decide the two applications currently submitted by LAA - one for a runway extension of 444m and the other for a new terminal building.

Lydd Airport managing director Cliff Spink warmly welcomed news that Shepway District Council has set a date for the long-awaited meeting to consider its planning applications.

By the 9th July it will be more than two years and six months since we submitted our planning applications to redevelop the airport.

“I am confident that we have put forward a compelling case for development at Lydd. At a time when our economy is stagnating and unemployment rates are

soaring, both nationally and locally in Shepway and the surrounding areas, our planned investment must be good news for local communities.


What are your views - let us know on this survey page





Thursday, 28 May 2009

Online petition supporting Kent & British Food

We have received the following from Frazer Thompson (of the English Wines Group) and thought there might others of you who would also want to add your names to the No 10 online petition

"We passionately support Kent business and the need to support local products and services.

Sign our petition and you can not only give the Government an even bigger headache, but also support our County's fantastic Food and Drink businesses!

This isn't some Nationalist scheme advocating isolationism - just a way of ensuring that our food and drink culture starts to become embedded in our thinking and for our obsession with price to be tempered by our awareness of the economic, environmental and social benefits of local sourcing and our pride at the quality of our local produce. KCC have been fantastic supporters of this cause and we'd like that attitude to spread. It starts with HM Government... Sign up now please!

Click this link then respond to confirm as instructed.

Any help you can give to passing this message on would be appreciated

http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/British-produce/

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Special Offer for Chamber Members

Chamber members Romney Hythe & Dymchurch Railway are offering their exclusive dining train again on Saturday 6th June and a few tickets still remain.


If you would like an evening out with a difference on one of the longest evenings of the year then please give our ticket hotline a call any day between 09.00 and 5.00 on 01797 363256.

Tickets normally cost £40 per person and include a welcome drink, a four course meal at Dungeness, the train ride in one of our first class coaches, which includes the return journey after dark, a particularly magical experience.

Chamber members get 10% off so tickets are only £36 each - a bargain - hope to see you there.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Twitter -

FletchMcGull from Sagittarius and Jo Dodds from Counterpoint Networking and Caroline from the Chamber have just been videoed for a piece for the BBC about Twitter for Business Networking - you can see it here!

Monday, 18 May 2009

New Superstore for Hythe

Board members met today with planning consultants from Sainsbury to discuss their proposals for the Military Road - Hythe site bought earlier this year from Smith Medical. .

The board learned that 300 new jobs would be created by the re-development of this 34,000 sq ft shop, with 270 free car parking spaces. The design is more aesthetically pleasing than the existing buildings and we are confident that any design/parking/access issues can be resolved through consultations starting with the community this week.

The Local Household survey conducted for Sainsbury revealed that 63% of Hythe residents currently leave the town to do their main food shop - we believe that having a store such as Sainsbury in the town will help stem the flow of people, increase choice and encourage more people to shop on the high street. In recognition of Hythe's outstanding tourism offer we have encouraged Sainsbury to explore opportunities to boost tourism/social events in the town through the use of a Section 106 arrangement with an example given of a local town hopper bus service.

Too many times in the past Hythe have turned down or opposed opportunities that could have improved the town for the benefit of all. In the current economic environment we cannot afford to say No to these proposals, we need to work with Sainsbury's to get the best possible outcome for our community as a whole - including residents, young people looking for work and independent traders.

We would encourage local businesses and residents to pop along to Hythe town hall on Wednesday and Thursday of this week between 2pm and 8pm to learn more about the proposals.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Silver Surfers Day


Try Something New Today - Online

@Sainsburys Park Farm, Folkestone

As part of our Digital Mentoring programme we are organising a taster day – with a difference. We will be setting up laptops with mobile internet (thanks to chamber members o2) at Sainsbury in Park Farm, Folkestone from 10am until 4.00pm on Friday 15th May.


The aim is to get people to try something new and take their first steps online. We are looking for some volunteers from the business community to help – if you can volunteer an hour or more of your time we would be most grateful to book a time slot please call Tracy on 01303 270022.

You can find out more about Silver Surfers day at http://silversurfers.digitalunite.com/ and if you cant take part in our initiative, why not organise you own, invite an over 50 into the office to take their first steps getting on line.

Digital Mentors

The scheme will be bringing together business people who are willing to share their knowledge and experience of the Internet with other people in the community who are interested in getting to grips with new technology. These volunteer Business Mentors will work alongside a range of local voluntary and community groups and their clients to achieve their digital goals.

This mentoring scheme will help drive significant cultural and social change within Folkestone by enabling participants of all ages to make full use of the Internet, using email, podcasts, on line publishing tools and Social Networking sites.

Everyone will be encouraged to make full use of the range of support groups and facilities that already exist within the local community. They will also be encouraged to access the Internet and to take advantage of the expanding 'social networking' opportunities in an effort to improve access to the public services available to them and the wider benefits the digital age has to offer.

Initial levels of interest have been most encouraging - at the moment we are asking would be mentors to sign up with a profile on http://shepway.ning.com/ and we will be in touch with details of training sessions and when we can start.

If you are a potential mentoree or run a voluntary or third sector group in Folkestone that could benefit from support from a mentor to help access these technologies - please call Caroline Chambers on 01303 270022.

Why Are We Running Digital Mentors?
Recently we set up a Facebook group to garner support for keeping the Leas Cliff Lift Open. Within 2 weeks the group had grown to over 2,800 members - from Shepway and nationwide - sharing their views, opinions and offering support for the campaign.

Our Social Networking Explained Course has enabled members of the business community to use these tools to help grow and expand their business. This blog is tweeted and shared with over 1,200 users on Twitter. The possibilities are endless!

Social Networking and Web 2.0 open up all sorts of opportunities for individuals to share photographs with their families, to shop online, access government services, campaign and lobby their council, find out about new products and services and be part of a connected communication process.

Many parts of our community here in Folkestone are simply not able to access these tools, and our new Digital Mentors project aims to connect those that can with those that need.

This project has been made possible by support from Awards for All and the East Kent and Coastal Primary Health Care Trust. Our mentoring scheme will encourage local businesses in Folkestone to support their local community both directly and in conjunction with the voluntary sector, in more ways than just giving money. It gives their staff a real and direct link to the wider community.

Why not join us?

Monday, 9 February 2009

10 Reasons You Should Be A Member

TEN REASONS FOR BEING A CHAMBER MEMBER IN 2009

You invest in your business & you invest in your market, too!

Channel Chamber membership is an annual commitment of funds, based on the size of business and number of employees. Members’ continued investment for the year ahead enables the Chamber to help you develop new customers and clients, new service providers, business skills, a skilled workforce, a more favourable business climate, peer and professional networks, and community presence.

1. Improve Your Bottom Line

Channel Chamber has a wealth of programmes and activities that can help your business prosper. All you have to do is get involved! Chamber members are encouraged to "Remember A Member" when fulfilling business and personal needs for goods and services. It's just good business.

2. Expand Your Networking

Annual Dinner - More than 300 business people attend the Chamber's premier event of the calendar year, and it's not unusual for deals to be made between starters and dessert!

Business to Business Show - this annual event exposes your business to more than almost a 1,000 visitors

Networking Breakfast - This structured networking opportunity has become a popular monthly Chamber event. Open to all members.

Update and Training sessions – offered free or low cost – a perfect way to meet fellow members and learn new skills.

New business openings – regular invitations to new business openings for members.

3. Enhance Your Credibility

Chamber membership tells your customers that you are a reputable company that actively participates in the local business community. Members are encouraged to display Chamber logos at their business locations, on company materials and in their advertisements as an integral part of their marketing.

4. Referrals

When contacted by the public or other businesses to suggest companies to fill a particular need, the Chamber refers only Chamber members. This happens several times a week!

5. Keep Up to Date

The Chamber newsletter – delivered monthly to your door – is packed with information on local companies, important legislative changes and local news stories.

Chamber members receive a weekly news bulletin by email and regular emails about exclusive member only offers and events.

If you want to keep in the know, you need to be a member.

6. Gain Increased Visibility through Cost-Effective Marketing

All members are listed on our web site's Member Directory. Each member receives two listings in the Kemps Kent Business Directory, which has a distribution of 2000+.

Members have opportunities to target their advertising to other members, who are the movers and shakers in the community.

Free display racks are at the Chamber for member brochures, business cards, and flyers on a first-come, first served basis.

Sponsoring Chamber events are opportunities for community recognition.

Newsletter advertising is another great tool to get your message out to the business community. Publication is mailed and emailed to members.

No-cost Internet Links - members can link their business web sites to the Chamber site, and it's Free!

Mailing Labels are an opportunity to promote your products or services to members

7. Tangible Benefits

Our FREE legal helpline, generous discounts on credit card processing machines, reduced rate AXA PPP and Westfield Health Care schemes, discounts on the AA Fleet Cover are just some of the nationally negotiated services available through our quality marked accreditation with the British Chambers of Commerce.

8. Have a Voice in Issues Affecting Your Business

The Chamber Board of directors have their finger on the pulse to help steer local and regional public policy to improve the general business climate in East Kent.

9. Receive Discounts available only to Chamber Members

Take full advantage of the Member2Member discount programme offering hundreds of pounds in discounts only for Chamber Members and their staff

10. Give Back to Your Community

Its not all take: get involved in Your Chamber and give back to the community by becoming knowledgeable about business issues and active in local projects. Your employees and your customers will thank you for your efforts.


If you can think of others, please feel free to comment below!

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Backing Kent Business

The video of proceedings at the Backing Kent Business event is available to view here

Monday, 19 January 2009

New Bank Bailout- is it really needed ?

The government has today announced a second bank bailout package which it hopes will boost lending to businesses and individuals.

The original bank bailout failed to unblock the paralysis in the credit markets and it has been necessary for the government to take further measures.

But, is this appropriate?

Local Businesses and Chamber members are invited to give their opinions either as a comment here or email to the office - let us know so we can inform the BCC (British Chambers of Commerce)

Monday, 12 January 2009

New Years Resolutions

Interesting website here (Click on the New Years Resolutions title) from Andy Lapota - who is a bit of a networking guru, and it is well worth a read if you get five minutes - explains why networking can work for you!

There is also a great site here - http://www.kintish.co.uk/ full of resources for those who would like more help with networking.

Our next Networking event is on Thursday 15th January at the Ramada Hotel in Dover - either call 01303 270022 or email info@shepwaybc.co.uk or leave a comment on here and we can book you in.

DO IT!

Monday, 5 January 2009

Start the Year As You Mean to Go On

Join us for Breakfast – AND a networking Bonanza. There is no better opportunity for you to meet new contacts and potential customers than our premier networking Breakfast event for 2009, being held at the Ramada Inn at Whitfield, Dover on Thursday 15th January starting at 7.30am. Our host, Trevor Bond always serves an excellent Full English Breakfast and with members coming from Thanet, Dover and Shepway districts this promises to represent an unrivaled return on your precious time – you can book now by phone to Tracy Reynolds on 01303 270022 or on line via the link above

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