Tuesday, 11 January 2011

The Insider


Does your business have any outstanding work or tasks to achieve, but doesn’t
have the money to hire additional staff?

Do you have any urgent customer orders to
fulfil but are struggling for time and manpower? If yes, please read on.

We know that many small businesses are looking to recruit young people from the local area, but are finding the process frustrating, time-consuming and expensive. Channel Chamber can now assist businesses to access the wealth of local talent available with our new work placement programme.

Our pool of young people, aged between 18-24 years old, are all actively seeking employment and are available immediately for periods of between 4 to 6 months FOR FREE. Working with Kent County Council and local partner LSBC (Learning and Skills for Business and the Community), Channel Chamber is delivering the Government’s ‘Future Jobs Fund’ programme aimed to get young people into employment.

Our teams in Thanet, Dover and Folkestone can arrange interviews with potential candidates matched to your organisation’s needs, with no obligation or cost to you. Towards the end of each work placement, employers will be invited to assess each individual's ability and aptitude and if you wish can offer them permanent employment.

Telephone calls are made being made this week to a cross section of Chamber members to identify suitable work placements across the area. Alternatively, if you have an urgent need please telephone Channel Chamber TODAY at 01303 270022 or email: sezen.zeki@channelchamber.co.uk

Shepway’s Future – Join the Open Debate

Chamber members are invited to join local business leaders and senior representatives of the District Council at an OPEN MEETING of the Shepway Economic Regeneration Partnership (SERP) to discuss important local regeneration issues for the year ahead.

Taking place at Lydd Airport on Friday 28th January the meeting will start (at 10am) with an opening address from Damian Collins MP.

To book your place please telephone Tracy Reynolds on 01303 270022 or email: tracy.reynolds@channelchamber.co.uk

Your Business and the Spending Review

A big thanks to so many Chamber members who responded to our earlier request. If you have a moment spare, and want to let Channel Chamber know what you think about the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review and what challenges this is likely to pose please complete our online survey at: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/LXGZT9S

Monday, 10 January 2011

The Insider

Business Link Service to Close

Government has announced that the Business Link regional service in Kent is being closed in November 2011. Future public expenditure will be spent on increasing the number of high growth businesses and on improving the information and guidance to business provided online and over the phone.

We are aware that many Chamber members across East Kent have been using Business Link services throughout the past decade and we will be most interested to learn how this decision is going to impact on them and what ‘support’ is likely to be needed by local businesses from now on.

Please email your comments to Peter.hobbs@channel chamber.co.uk

BUSINESS FORUM - 'New Tax Rules for 2011'

Canterbury Christchurch University are holding their next Business Forum on Tuesday 18th January at Hall Place
, Hall Place Enterprise Centre, Canterbury, commencing with a networking breakfast and coffee at 7.45 hrs (finishing approximately 10.30 hrs). Cost £10 payable by cheque or cash on the day.

The presenters for this event are Sue Clarke and Karen Burns from the Business Advice team at HM Revenue & Customs who will provide an update on all the new policies regarding business tax in the coming year.

To book please email fonte-maria.totaro@canterbury.ac.uk or call on 01227 782666.

EU grants for innovative SME's

EUREKA 's Eurostars Programme is the first European funding and support programme to be specifically dedicated to SMEs. Eurostars aims to stimulate small & medium sized businesses to lead international collaborative research and innovation projects by easing access to support and funding.

For further information http://www.eurostars-.eu/ or telephone Channel Chamber for further information on 01303 270022.

Kent Trading Standards Guidance and advice

Kent Trading Standards is responsible for enforcing a wide range of consumer legislation concerning fair trading, quality, quantity and safety and to control farm animal welfare and disease. They offer advice and information to help local businesses comply with the law and work to national guidelines

For guidance and advice businesses are invited to visit their website at http://www.tradingstandards.gov.uk/kent/business.htm If you would prefer to talk to someone and you are based in East Kent please phone: 01233 898825 or email: trading.standardseast@kent.gov.uk

Green Business Grading Award

Our congratulations to Chamber member - The Ramada Hotel Dover who have achieved a Silver Grading at their first inspection by Green Business UK. To achieve this grading the Ramada has implemented a strong environmental policy together with procedures and a plan to minimise energy consumption. Part of this plan has included buying locally wherever possible.

If you are interested in any tips or advice about achieving this award please contact Trevor Bond (Group Sales & Marketing Manager - Ramada Hotel Dover) on 01304 821230

The Insider

VAT Increase

Just in case anyone has forgotten may we remind you that the Standard rate of VAT will be increasing to 20% on or after 4th January 2011.

Weekly Policy Updates

We have arranged for Channel Chamber members to start receiving Weekly Business Policy Updates direct from the British Chambers of Commerce. This e-newsletter gives an insight into what the policy team at the BCC have been working on
each week, along with any Government announcements that might be relevant to their policy work. Adam Marshall, the BCC Policy Director writes an upfront introduction giving an overview of what has been happening in Westminster throughout the week, and there are contact details for the relevant policy staff if more information is required.

University Support at 50% Discount

A new initiative has been launched by the University of Kent which enables businesses to tap into their expertise and assist you with the development of innovative, creative or enterprising projects. The Innovation Voucher scheme offers a contribution of 50% (excl VAT) of the cost of working with the University on projects such as consultancy and training.

Innovation Vouchers give businesses the opportunity to improve growth and performance by tapping into the University of Kent’s academic expertise and gaining access to specialist facilities and knowledge. It may be that you have a technical issue that requires the latest research to produce a new product or service; or it may be that your workforce requires special training to improve their management skills or special presentation techniques to secure new orders.

Further details may be found at: www.kent.ac.uk/enterprise/innovationvouchers

Big Society Workshops

The East Kent LSP and CASE Kent are hosting a series of learning workshops on social enterprise which will run from January until March 2011. Bookings will open in January 2011; in the mean time please register an interest with Marie Hamm on marie@eastkentlsp.org.uk

The Impact of High Speed Trains on the local economy

Chamber members wishing to contribute towards this survey please visit the EK LSP homepage www.eastkentlsp.org.uk The closing date is 21st January 2011.

Channel Chamber Closing Dates

Channel Chamber’s offices at Folkestone, Ramsgate and Dover will be closing at noon on Friday 24th December and will reopen again on Tuesday 4th January at 9am.

If members have any urgent needs or queries please do not hesitate to email myself or Sezen and we will pick these up remotely. Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year.