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!

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 !

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

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 2010 Business Rate revaluation

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

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 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

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:

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 -

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:

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:

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 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: 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.