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British Chambers Conference Attracts Budget Debate April 28, 2009

Posted by liverpoolchamber in British Chambers of Commerce, News, Policy.
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British Chambers of Commerce

Last week’s budget was top of the agenda at the British Chambers of Commerce’s annual convention held yesterday, 27 April 2009, as business leaders and politicians debated the best ways to find the ‘road to recovery’ for the economy.

The conference, held at the International Convention Centre (ICC) Birmingham, was opened by British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) president, Neville Reyner and BCC chairman David Frost. Birmingham City Council leader Mike Whitby also welcomed the conference to the city.

The scene was set by David Frost as he outlined how the government could do more to support business and free up stifling regulation, legislation and taxation.

Business minister Shriti Vadera, then responded to the BCC’s concerns and suggested ways in which the latest budget, announced by Alistair Darling last week, will extend to support businesses.

Baroness Vadera was then rebutted in a speech from the shadow business secretary, Kenneth Clarke, who suggested that the Conservatives will offer businesses greater levels of support if they come in to power at the next general election.

A panel discussion was also held with the assembled politicians and business leaders, where questions came from conference delegates on topical issues such as gender pay audits, empty property rates and car parking tax.

The Liverpool Chamber of Commerce was at the conference to forward members’ concerns to policy makers at the BCC, and to pool opinion with other chambers from across the country.

The issue of car parking tax was particularly focused upon by the BCC, who are currently collecting signatures for an online petition. Chambers from around the country united to voice there concerns to the panel of politicians and business leaders, in an effort to stop the work place parking levy (WPL) coming into effect across the country.

Chairman of the BCC David Frost commented:

“The British Chambers of Commerce and its accredited network have a real voice in government. If there was ever an example of this, it would be after our quarter 3 quarterly economic survey directly influenced the 1.5% cut in interest rates last November. And we can do a great deal more again.”

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Liverpool Chamber Sees ‘Mixed’ Budget April 22, 2009

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graphBrian Mc Cann, Board Member of Liverpool Chamber of Commerce commented on today’s budget saying: “It’s been a mixed budget, though importantly it is one which should have an immediate impact. The measures announced will help businesses now rather than in 12 months time, particularly the support becoming available for the automotive industry.”

“I am pleased to see the £750m investment fund being made available for bio and digital industries, as this is an emerging sector in the Merseyside economy.”

“There have been some good measures for existing businesses coming out of this budget too. The doubling of the main capital allowance rate to 40% will encourage firms to bring forward investment. The ability for businesses to reclaim more taxes paid in the last three years until November 2010 should significantly ease the issue of cash flow, helping to keep the companies trading during this difficult economic period.”

Maresa Molloy, Liverpool Chamber’s  Head of Policy commented: “We are pleased to see £250m investment in jobs and training and the planned investment in green, creative and digital technologies will have a positive impact on the city if we can get the money to come through quickly enough.

Support for the emerging ‘green economy’ was on Liverpool Chamber’s ‘wish list’ and we welcome the increased funding. Low carbon energy and advanced green manufacturing is a growth area in Merseyside.

Next quarter’s QES results, due in June, will show the immediate reaction of the region’s business community to this budget.”

The ‘car scrappage’ scheme will stimulate demand in the in automotive industries that is good news for both Halewood and Ellesmere Port and the thousands of jobs dependant on the success of this industry.

Value retailer, Joe Morris from Liverpool based chain, Home Bargains gave his view saying: “My biggest concern is that the economy is predicted to drop by 3.5 per cent next year. The country needs businesses to be profitable, to pay taxes and NI and create employment. I can’t where the spending that the Chancellor has committed to is going to come from.”

Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), David Frost, said:
“The Chancellor appears to have understood that it will be business driving the economy out of recession, and there are some good measures that reflect this.

“The Budget rightly acknowledges that the official GDP forecasts in the November PBR were far too optimistic. The recession is clearly much deeper than previously envisaged. The new GDP growth forecast, of –3.5% in

Misunderstanding Your Chamber Of Commerce March 30, 2009

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diving_chamber Liverpool Chamber’s CEO, Jack Stopforth, has penned a few words to help stop the confusion many people seem to have about what it is we actually do:

The celebrated management thinker and erstwhile Liverpool University lecturer C. Northcote Parkinson (of Parkinson’s Law fame) once wrote, “A failure to communicate produces a vacuum which is quickly filled with drivel, misrepresentation and poison”. How right he was. Another aphorism is that “when communication fails it is the fault of the transmitter, not the receiver”. Therefore, with some embarrassment I have to concede that our transmitter must be faulty.

Nationally, more than 5 million people work in businesses that are members of an accredited Chamber of Commerce, but every day I encounter businesspeople who know little or nothing about Chambers generally and Liverpool Chamber in particular.

In these interesting times, it has never been more important for businesses to appreciate the business opportunity represented by their local Chamber of Commerce and yet some frequently asked questions include:

“Aren’t you part of the Council?” – To which the answer is either “No” or “Hell, no!” depending on how upset we are with the debacle of the day. We are a business generating revenue through subscriptions and commercial services, from training to international trade. Think AA or RAC and you have a better feel for the business model.

“Aren’t you all about ‘funny handshakes’?” – Certainly not. We are not a secret society, a charity or a club. We are not Freemasons or Knights of St Columbus. We are a business whose job it is to promote the best interests of business. We have more than 1800 businesses in membership and this year we anticipate a turnover in excess of £9 million. Membership is open to all.

“Isn’t it all old men in suits?” – We have a young woman as Chair of the Chamber’s Council and another as Vice Chair of the Board. My Deputy CEO is female and a majority of our 90 staff (just) are, too. These include our Head of Members’ Services, Head of Policy, Events Manager and the General Manager of our training business, Trident Training. As for the “old men”, the average age of our board of directors, sadly excluding our Chairman and me, is around 42. Factor us in and it rises to 46.

“What is your day job?” – Some people assume that running the Chamber is a community service and that I must surely earn my daily bread doing something else. In fact, this is the fullest “full time job” I have ever had. With a multi-million pounds turnover, ninety staff, a Members Council, Board of Directors and latticework of committees to service, the Chamber takes a bit of managing.

“Sounds like a talking shop” – No it is not. We take businesses on international trade missions, train young people in business administration and other skills and run non-partisan political campaigns to ensure that politicians take the views of business intoJack Stopforth small account, whether in Wavertree or Westminster.  We work with the police to tackle business related crime, we help people start up in business and we help existing businesses procure substantial new accounts. Oh, and for every business event we run, there is a corresponding social do, so we like to have fun.

So there you go. Visit us at www.liverpoolchamber.org.uk to learn more, or call us on 0151 227 1234 if you’d rather speak to a real live person.

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Get Innovation Vouchers Worth Up To £3000 February 2, 2009

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financeforbusinesslogo

Would you like up to £3000 worth of expertise to help take your business forward?

Are you an SME, charity or social enterprise?

Apply for an Innovation Voucher now from the North West Regional Development Agency…

Innovation Vouchers are designed to help North West businesses owners, entrepreneurs, charities and social enterprises to purchase an academic’s expertise to develop innovation and enhance business.

It provides a voucher up to £3,000 to new and growing businesses, charities and social enterprises. It was set up to encourage and make it easier for more people to engage with the knowledge base and in particular universities and further education colleges.

The key benefits are:

  • Access the wealth of knowledge from our academic institutions
  • Resolve a business issue, quickly, efficiently and through a source not previously utilised
  • Easy to apply and ‘spend’ the voucher

For more information see the NWDA Business Finance website.

Apply NOW. Closing date for applications Friday 6th February.

Launch of ‘Stop Abuse’ Campaign December 4, 2008

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stethWith the Christmas season well underway, the ‘Stop Abuse’ campaign has been launched across the North West.

It aims to raise awareness of the violence and aggression that is directed at ambulance staff across the North West, reinforcing the message that it will not be tolerated.

The ‘Stop Abuse’ Campaign is believed to be the biggest anti-violence initiative of its kind and unique in its partnership with the Pubwatch scheme across the region. It will operate in Blackpool, Carlisle, Chester, Liverpool and Manchester, following a highly successful trial in Liverpool in December 2007.

Under the ‘Stop Abuse’ campaign any individual who launches a verbal or physical attack on an ambulance crew member will be banned from all Pubwatch member premises in that area, regardless of whether or not police action is taken. The aims are to both raise awareness of the unacceptable behaviour towards ambulance staff, and punish perpetrators who commit such offences.

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BBC Seeks Family Run Businesses December 1, 2008

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open_all_hoursThe BBC have been in touch. They would like to find some family-run businesses for a new series they are producing.

They said:

We are currently researching new ideas for BBC television and are looking for family-run businesses which may like to take part in an exciting new project. We want companies who would appreciate some advice from a top business guru on how to run their business more effectively.

If you would like to learn more, please contact Deoborah at deborah.van-bishop@bbc.co.uk

Northwest Business Environment Awards 2009 November 27, 2008

Posted by liverpoolchamber in awards, Environment, Events, News.
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Green Logo CMYKBusinesses of all shapes and sizes are now being invited to enter the 2009 Northwest Business Environment Awards.

They can nominate themselves, via a simple application entry form, in one or more of the following award categories:

  • Best Environmental Practice (products and service)
  • Built Environment
  • Sustainable Procurement
  • Environmental Innovation and Environmental Champions.

The awards are a great way to let customers and staff hear about your hard work. Winning an award can help raise profiles and boost reputations as well as gaining recognition from the high-profile media and marketing campaign.

Previous finalists have all cited the awards as a great opportunity to demonstrate their green credentials.

Entry to the awards is free and easy, and I have taken the liberty of attaching the entries forms. Entry can be made online at the Mersey Basin website.

If you would like to discuss your entry in more detail, please contact the Mersey Basin Campaign direct on 0161 242 8200.

Closing date for entries is February 2nd 2009.

Arts And Cultural Grants Programme For 2009/10 November 25, 2008

Posted by liverpoolchamber in 2008, Capital of Culture 2008, Culture, Liverpool, News.
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Here’s some info on the upcoming grants programme from our friends at the Culture Company. If you are planning any projects or events, these briefing sessions may be useful:

The Arts and Cultural Grants programme for 2009/10 will be announced shortly. In advance of the grant scheme going live we would like to draw your attention to the following programme of briefing sessions and surgeries which aim to provide officer support during the application process.

Booking

To book a place on the grant briefing sessions or to arrange a time at one of the surgeries please contact:

Phil Taylor
Liverpool Culture Company
Tel: 0151 233 5604
Email: phil.taylor@liverpool.gov.uk

Click ‘more for the dates and venues of the sessions.
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Tracy Emin Wins Arts Award For Liverpool Cathedral November 21, 2008

Posted by liverpoolchamber in 2008, awards, Capital of Culture 2008, Culture, Liverpool, News.
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tracey-emin-02Liverpool Cathedral was last night announced as the first winner of the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce Arts Award.

The award is designed to stimulate Liverpool’s tradition of patronage by rewarding the company or organisation who funded the best publicly available art in Liverpool in the last five years.

The piece, titled ‘For You’ by Tracy Emin, RA takes the form of a pink neon wall mounted sign in Tracey’s own handwriting carrying the message ‘I felt you and I knew you loved me’ The judges were impressed with this dual personal and spiritual message in such a sacred space.

The judging panel made up of the crème of the Liverpool arts establishment ; Lewis Biggs Director of  Liverpool Biennial, Brenda Parkerson, Business Development Manager of Arts & Business, John Entwistle, sponsor and Christoph Grunenberg Director of Tate Gallery Liverpool felt that the Cathedral’s on-going work with such a cutting edge contemporary artist had produced a very bold and courageous piece.

The award sponsor, John Entwistle commented: “I’m very keen that this competition encourages the tradition of patronage of the arts in Liverpool and I’m delighted that work of this calibre is being commissioned in Liverpool.”

Santa Claus Is Coming To Town! November 10, 2008

Posted by liverpoolchamber in Events, Liverpool, News.
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santa-catThere’s no stopping us now…

Here’s details on Liverpool’s 2008 Christmas Magic Moments Programme.

That’s a posh weay of saying when the shops are open and when things will be happening in and around the city centre.

November 13
(The streets will be animated every Thursday evening (5pm-8pm) from now until Christmas):
Choirs, brass bands and street theatre performers will perform throughout Church St, Lord St, Whitechapel, Clayton Square and Williamson Square. Your favourite Christmas songs will be funked up by The Red Hot Santas; acrobatic elves present a vibrant festive performance and ice-cool stilt walkabouts from The Jacks of Frost, Snowman, plus Reindeers Rudolph and Vixen.

November 20
Festive musicians and the sights of sparkling festive entertainers, including Titan the Robot, will bring you colossal Yule tide numbers; watch out for the roller skating Christmas characters and carol-singing elves will convince you ‘tis the Season to be Jolly.

November 27

The Christmas Tree in Church Street has arrived !….and there will be fun for all the family on this evening. Adults and children can mingle with real reindeer at the Met Quarter. Carol singers will also be performing traditional festive tunes, whilst a selection of street performers will also be on Church Street, Lord Street and Williamson Square to entertain the crowds. The evening’s festivities will be sprinkled with a drift of snow, keeping things suitably festive.

December 4

The festive frolics continue in the retail area including Bold Street with entertainment on virtually every street corner – real reindeers, seasonal music and drifting snow to add to the true spirit of Christmas.  Bring the family to meet the real Father Christmas. There will be lots of events in stores and opportunities to purchase that special gift.

December 7
LIverpool Santa Dash.

Sunday 7th December at 9.30am

For details go to http://www.runliverpool.org.uk

December 11
The Liverpool Christmas Market has arrived in Williamson Square (from Dec 5) selling festive food, mulled wine and crafted gifts from across Europe from a choice of over forty fabulous stalls. Street entertainment includes roller Skating Snowman, Scrooge, Snow Queen, the Bad Santas and Elves of puddings…

December 18
Reindeers on stilts, Jack Frosts, Brass Bands, Victorian entertainment on Bold Street, market in Williamson Square and many stores will stay open until late for Liverpool’s final Christmas Magical Moment.

Other Liverpool Christmas Events include:-

St George’s Hall:
A 12m by 12m skating rink will be outside the hall on the plateau and will be open daily (not Christmas Day) from Friday, December 19 until Saturday, January 4.

The new Santa grotto in the Heritage Centre from Wednesday, December 3 until Monday, December 22. (Not available on Thursdays as he is in Lapland putting the finishing touches to his gifts.)

Celebrate 08 With Santa at Lewis’s.
Santa arrives on Saturday, November 8 at 12 noon – with proceeds donated to The Lord Mayors Charity Appeal. GROTTO OPENING HOURS VARY FROM MAIN STORE PLEASE CHECK WITH STORE FOR DETAILS.

Breakfast with Santa – Sunday-Sunday, December 7 – 14 tickets go on sale from the Customer Services Department  2nd Floor from Saturday 8th November. Always a popular event so book early to avoid disappointment.

Met Quarter
Christmas choirs, wine tasting. Post your letters to Santa and special giveaways for those who visit the reindeers.  Late night shopping every Thursday also every night from 4 December.

Spirit of Christmas – Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra – December 18 – 21
Vampires Rock Christmas – Echo Arena – December 27
The Emperor’s New Clothes – Unity Theatre – December 2 – January 17 2009
Cinderella – Empire Theatre – December 11 – January 4 2009
Night Collar – Royal Court Theatre – December 11 – January 17 2009
Mother Goose – Everyman Theatre – December 8 – January 31 2009

So get your tiiiiny sausages wrapped in bacon ready and get festive!