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

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:

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 !

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:

Christmas in Folkestone, Hythe and Romney Marsh
For details of all the Christmas festivities in Folkestone contact FTCM Ltd on 01303 850522 or visit 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 – 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