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EU Policy – UK Business May 18, 2009

Posted by liverpoolchamber in Legislation, Policy.
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eu-flagWith the European elections less than three weeks away Liverpool Chamber of Commerce is urging business leaders to consider the implications of EU legislation on UK business and the UK economy.

Liverpool Chamber’s Head of Policy, Maresa Molloy stated: “Business leaders need to be aware of the following key changes to UK legislation implemented by the European Parliament.”

  1. Agency Workers and the Working Time Directive
  2. Pregnant Workers
  3. Small Business Act. & 3a. European Company Statute
  4. Regulatory Reform
  5. Late Payment Directive
  6. Services Directive.
  7. EU Recovery Plan.

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Let Us Know How The EU Affects You May 6, 2009

Posted by liverpoolchamber in Policy.
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eu-flagIt is vital to the interests of the UK that the European Union (EU) succeeds as a competitive and growing economy.  However the EU is increasingly facing a number of challenges to boost growth and employment across all member states.

For example, the challenge to reduce and improve the quality of regulation; the challenge to complete the single market and make it work; and the challenge to deliver more flexible labour markets.

All of these have a direct impact on businesses in the UK. The aim of this regional survey is to determine how much these challenges are impacting on our members in the Northwest.

We’re also looking for examples of specific legislation that have affected your business that we could use as case study material in our lobbying campaigns.

Please complete the survey online here.

The deadline for responses is Friday 15th May 2009.  We intend to launch the results in advance of the forthcoming European elections on 4th June.  A copy of the final report will be available to all members on request.

This survey will be one of the most important pieces of work that Chambers of Commerce in the Northwest will be doing collectively.  Your help in completing the survey will be greatly appreciated.

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.”

Give Your Business The Green Edge April 24, 2009

Posted by liverpoolchamber in Environment, Events, Liverpool, Policy.
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tree.jpgLiverpool Chamber is continuing its pledge to ‘Give businesses the green edge’ by supporting a Green Business Day being held in Liverpool city centre as part of Liverpool’s Year of the Environment 2009.

The event will take place on Thursday 7 May, to coincide with European Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) week 2009. The week will see a huge variety of events taking place across the European Union.

A giant marquee in Liverpool One’s newly completed Chavasse Park will act as the focal point for the day, with a green business fair taking place inside between 10 am and 4 pm.

Merseyside SMEs are being invited to come along. Environmentally focused businesses from across Merseyside will be demonstrating easily applicable green measures any company, individual, school or community group could take to save the environment.

As part of the day, Liverpool Chamber will be hosting a free seminar and workshop within the Chavasse Park marquee, from 2 until 3pm, titled ‘Giving Businesses the Green Edge.’

The seminar will see a number of key speakers, including Emansys principal consultant and head of the Liverpool Chamber environment committee, Stephen Sykes.

Businesses attending the workshop can learn about environmental management systems, waste management applications and a range of practical eco-friendly measures. There will also be an opportunity to join Liverpool Chamber’s Environment Club.

We hope the event will encourage companies to take a Year of the Environment Green Pledge or go further to become a Green Business Ambassador.

In order to become a Green Business Ambassador, a business must have achieved a standard, won an award or have outstanding green credentials before applying for the title. Successful ambassadors will be able to raise their profile, and that of Liverpool as a leader in the tackling of climate change.

There will be locally sourced food for sale and eco-friendly entertainment for the public to enjoy throughout the day

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

Housing Land Availability Assessment – Call For Sites April 8, 2009

Posted by liverpoolchamber in Liverpool, Policy.
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hard_hatLiverpool/Wirral Joint Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) – Call For Sites

Liverpool City Council’s Development Plans Team are undertaking a ‘Call For Sites’ exercise.

It involves inviting landowners, developers, businesses and members of the public to submit details of sites that they consider suitable for housing development, or re-development in the period up to 2024.

Sites suggested will be assessed against a number of criteria as part of the SHLAA. This in turn will be used to inform planning policy used to guide future development in the city.

Submission formas are available on the Council’s website.

Alternatively they can be obtained from the Council’s planning reception at Ground Floor, Milennium House, Victoria Street, Liverpool, L1 6JF.

To find out more, visit the website or contact the Development Team at development.plans@liverpool.gov.uk or call 0151 233 3021

Join Liverpool Chamber’s Members Council April 8, 2009

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birds_meetingThe Members Council here at the Chamber is currently seeking nominations for new Council members.

The Members Council represents the collective interests of Liverpool Chamber’s membership.  The key role of the Council is to enable discussion and debate.  Council members are a key source of intelligence for the Policy Team and are expected to identify issues facing the private sector and aid policy formulation.

The Council consists of 36 individuals who are elected at the AGM.  Council members serve a maximum of two (three year) terms.  Currently, the Council meets on the first Wednesday of every month

This year we are particularly keen to welcome nominations from women, ethnic minority groups and people with disabilities to ensure Council reflects and is representative of the wider business community.

If you are interested in applying for a position on the Council, please fill out the nomination form linked below and return it by 30 April 2009.

Interviews will be arranged in May.  Nominations are sent to Council in June for approval, and the election takes places at the AGM on 9th July.

If you would like to discuss the role of the Members Council or the nomination and election process, please contact Maresa Molloy, Head of Policy and Information maresa.molloy@liverpoolchamber.org.uk or 0151 227 1234 #2234

Download the Nomination Form here [Word doc]

Cost Of Regulation On British Business Rises To £77 Billion March 31, 2009

Posted by liverpoolchamber in British Chambers of Commerce, Legislation, Policy.
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BCC crop The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has today released its 2009 Burdens Barometer – the first time it has been published during a recession.

The Barometer shows that the cumulative cost to business of new regulation since 1998 has risen to £76.81 billion. This is a jump of over £10 billion from last year.

There is a positive note to this year’s Barometer with 18 regulations since 1998 now producing a total saving for business worth £1.4 billion. This is evidence that the government’s better regulation agenda is beginning to do its job. However, considering the current financial pressures on many firms, much more needs to be done to immediately reduce the overall burden.

With business cash-flow being severely squeezed and many good firms going bust, the uncomfortable truth is that despite three Acts of Parliament designed to reduce the regulatory impact, the steady increase continues.

In 2007/08, companies were hit with 19 new regulations costing them £1.75 billion.

The two most burdensome regulations in the Barometer are:

  • Working Time Regulations 1999. To date this has cost business £17.8 billion with a recurring annual cost of £1.8 billion.
  • Vehicle Excise Duty (Reduced Pollution) (Amendment) Regulations 2000 (EU Pollution Directive 98/69/EC). To date this has cost business £10.4 billion with a recurring cost of £1.2 billion.

Commenting David Frost, Director General of the BCC, said:

“Businesses are facing the toughest economic environment for a generation. Company cash-flow is being squeezed and unemployment is growing as a result.

“The government needs to get serious about reducing the massive burden of regulation on business. Cutting unnecessary burdens and announcing a moratorium on new regulations set to come in this year, is one way of providing instant and inexpensive help to British firms.”

Professor Francis Chittenden of Manchester Business School, said:

“After more than a decade of uncontrolled and often ineffective regulation, government must build on these welcome early signs of improvement by introducing regulatory budgets to contain the flow of new burdens on business.”

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Invitation To Our Environment & Energy Committee Meeting March 18, 2009

Posted by liverpoolchamber in Environment, Policy.
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tree Chamber members (and non-members) are invited to our next Environment and Energy Committee Meeting.

Liverpool Chamber is a partner in Liverpool City Council’s ‘Year of the Environment 2009’. As part of this we are encouraging local businesses to become more involved in environmental issues, and how the Chamber can become a greener organisation.

25th March 2008

Time:    10am-12 noon

Venue:  FACT – 88 Wood Street, Liverpool, L1 4DQ

Please note the change from the usual venue. This month we look forward to welcoming you as part of the FACT Climate for Change exhibition. At the end of the meeting you are invited to stay for some lunch and networking.

If you are interested in attending, please email Maresa Molloy, Head of Policy

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Common Sense Over Car Parking? March 5, 2009

Posted by liverpoolchamber in Business, Policy, Travel.
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parked_carsLiverpool Chamber welcomes the City Council’s decision to suspend the implementation of extended car parking charges for the city centre, pending an inquiry.

The idea is simply madness and will do nothing but harm to the evening and night time economies of Liverpool city centre. We have opposed the proposal from the start, and encourage all our members and readers to do the same.

The decision has still to be finalised, so it’s important to keep up the pressure.

You can do this by:

And if anyone from the City Council would like us to take part in the inquiry, just email Jack Stopforth, our chief exec, to let us know where and when.

Read more about this and the campaign to stop it on Liverpool Confidential.