Tuesday, 3 August 2010

The Insider

Your views are needed

At Channel Chamber, we take the views of local businesses seriously. Our annual survey helps to provide us with a better understanding of the needs and expectations of both members and non-members in the current economic climate, and also helps to ensure our services remain relevant to the business community across East Kent .

The survey will take on average less than 10 minutes to complete.

Win Chamber Membership FREE for Three Months - All completed surveys submitted to us by 31 August 2010 will be automatically put into a draw and the winner will receive Chamber membership free for three months. You can of course enter your data anonymously if you wish.

Thank you for your cooperation. Your answers will not be released separately without your prior consent. If you have any questions or would prefer to complete a paper survey please call us on 01303 270022 or e-mail us at info@shepwaybc.co.uk

Survey (Link)

Business As Usual for Business Link, South East

Recent announcements from the Department for Business Innovation and Skills have confirmed a commitment to replacing Regional Development Agencies with local enterprise partnerships. This includes reviewing responsibility for business support. The Department has also explained that in the meantime Business Link will continue to offer support to local businesses in their areas.

Peter Green, Partnership Manager of Business Link in Kent, which is delivered by Serco, acknowledges that the business support landscape is under review but emphasises it remains 'business as usual' for all Business Link customers.

"We remain absolutely committed to delivering effective business support via the Business Link service in the region. We continue to provide advice and support services as well as events and on-line resources for all of our local business communities, and will work with SEEDA to implement any future policy changes as necessary."

Folkestone Racecourse

Arena Leisure, owners of Kent’s only racecourse are currently working on proposals to develop an all-year-round facility which will provide a significant increase in the number of permanent, race day and spin-off employment opportunities for business, leisure and tourism. They will also seek to improve the current on-site access arrangements for each of the Racecourse, Westenhanger train station and Westenhanger Castle

To help fund these proposals, an enabling development is also planned to include residential development supported by employment and community facilities.

Arena Leisure intends to keep local residents and the business community fully informed as the process moves forward and will be presenting development options at a Public Exhibition, most likely to be held in mid-September 2010. To be kept informed of events, please do not hesitate to contact racecourse@rpsgroup.com or visit the project website – www.folkestone-racecourse-consultation.co.uk

Launch of ‘Partner Finder’ online tool

A new FREE online tool has been launched designed to help find the right European partner for your business.

Thousands of the latest business opportunities are available from over 44 countries within this network. If you are looking to trade with Europe and want to find a commercial partner, a technology partner or a research partner, please contact www.enterpriseeurope-se.eu/partners

Online Business Support

BT have developed a web site for small businesses and entrepreneurs that provides a wealth of practical tips and resources across a number of business areas. Some of the key themes include how to boost productivity, keep customers happy and reduce costs.

This online resource is a great tool for members to access information and download guides on everything from day to day and long term planning for success, getting the best from suppliers and advice on marketing your business and increasing sales.

Please do visit the site at http://www.insight.bt.com/

Your Help is Needed

Enthusiastic Shepway-based employers are being sought by Pent Valley Technology College and the Marsh Academy to help with the design and delivery of the new Diploma IT programme. Throughout the next two years course students aged 14 – 16 years will be applying their practical ICT skills into business contexts and preparing themselves for the job market of the future.

Local employers and their staff are needed to become involved in a range of activities including work experience programmes and visits to the company premises.. Visits to the schools will also be encouraged using business scenarios that are based on the company’s’ history and performance or using standard business document as exemplars.

If you feel your business can support this new Diploma programme please contact Katy Tibbles at Katy.Tibbles@pent-valley.kent.sch.uk

Improving Speaking and Listening Skills -

This is a call to business who want to help Improve standards in secondary schools in Dover Canterbury and Thanet. Business volunteers are being sought to provide up to 6 x 2hr sessions in their local school. Free training is provided along with a CRB check if required.

A business breakfast in October for interested parties is planned and if you would like further details pleas contact Peter Gabriel at Roger.Gabriel@kent.gov.uk


Annual Leave

A recent European court decision has addressed the issue of the annual leave of an employee who converts their employment from a full time to a part time basis. In the recently reported decision of the European court in ZDL Tirols v. Land Tirol, the European Court has confirmed that a reduction of working hours when moving from full time to part time employment cannot reduce the right to annual leave that the worker had accumulated during the earlier period of full time employment. More

National Minimum Wage Rates

National Minimum Wage rates are to rise October 2010 with the minimum rate for workers aged 21 and over raising to £5.93 an hour. Also for the first time a minimum wage for apprentices has been set. More

Folkestone Quaterhouse –Autumn Season 2010

The Quarterhouse in Folkestone are delighted to present their autumn programme packed with a fantastic mix of top comedy acts, live music, theatre, family shows, free family workshops, films and the Folkestone Book Festival.

If you visit Quarterhouse to pick up a copy of their new brochure you can collect a wristband that will entitle you to 10% off tickets for any event in the autumn season and 10% off your bill from the Quarterhouse bar & restaurant.

Channel Chamber Breakfast at the Grand 11th August 2010

Our networking breakfast does "exactly what it says on the tin", it gives members and non-members an opportunity to network, to meet many other businesses in a relaxed, fun yet business environment.

We meet from 7.30am onwards for open networking, with breakfast being served at 8.00am, We have a ten-minute speaker slot, followed by a quick round the room introduction, there is never any pressure to give referrals or to speak in public if you don’t want to.

Good humoured and inclusive, and you are bound to feel at ease, and able to sell yourself and your business. Remember to bring your cards!! To avoid disappointment please contact Tracy Reynolds on 01303 270022 or email: info@channelchamber.co.uk

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