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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.”

Chamber Chief Hands Out Award September 16, 2008

Posted by liverpoolchamber in Culture, News.
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The Plaza Cinema in Crosby was today awarded with a cheque for £2,300 from the Merseyside High Sheriff and Chief Constable’s Charitable Trust.
Liverpool Chamber of Commerce chief executive, Jack Stopforth, who is a trustee for the organisation, presented the cheque to the community ran cinema.
Arts and education manager Christine Physick was on hand to receive the money, she said:
“We’re delighted to receive the money. The cinema is hugely important for the local community. We constantly need donations to help keep the project open and the cinema in good condition. Our team of volunteers has worked hard to keep this cinema in the community and it’s great to see that our work is being recognised.”
The cinema faced closure for redevelopment in 1997, though after a successful petition of 10,000 signatures to the council, and with publicity in the local press, was saved by locals.
The cinema is now run as a community centre and provides a wide range of programmes for young people and pensioners in Crosby. An outreach programme established to involve local kids in positive activities sees regular attendances, particularly to the Saturday morning club, where youngsters enjoy film showings and a disco. Thursday mornings are popular with pensioners, with two games of bingo and a film on show for just £2.50.
The Plaza Cinema was first opened in 1939 and has been at the heart of the community ever since. It originally had just one main screen with around 1,500 seats. Today it has three screens, with the original main screen having 500 seats in impressive surroundings.
The ageing building is maintained, supported and operated entirely by volunteers, donations and the funds from a charity shop. There are around 20 young people amongst the extensive group of volunteers.
The Merseyside High Sheriff and Chief Constable’s Charitable Trust is funded by official bodies, other trusts, private donors and the business sector. Local community groups who aid crime prevention through education or public safety measures may apply for funding.

Visit the Plaza Cinema’s website by clicking here…

Pathways to Level 2 NVQ Training Available September 15, 2008

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Pathways to level 2 NVQ is a major new initiative from Liverpool Chamber of Commerce’s training arm, Trident Training Ltd.  The programme is designed to help get staff trained in order for businesses to better succeed and experience the positive impact of skills training. Prior to 2010 such training can be fully funded by the government. After this date all organisations will be expected to bring their employees’ qualifications up to the expected level 2 national standard and fund it themselves.

Any organisation regardless of size is eligible for Trident Training’s  scheme, and any staff member aged 19+ (no upper age limit) with less than 5 GCSEs at grade A-C who have not previously achieved an NVQ. Residents or employees in the Wirral, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Knowsley areas are all eligible.

Courses and qualifications that will be available include introductory courses, covering use of the internet and e-mail, business admin and customer service, as well as a range of NVQ Level 1 courses. Bespoke training packages can also be arranged. Candidates will then progress on to a Level 2 NVQ Qualification in their chosen sector.

Providing candidates meet the relevant criteria all the training provided will be free, including the progression, to both organisations and employees. Training can be scheduled at a time and location to suit the needs of individual businesses. Most NVQs are also available via ‘E-Portfolio’, accessible over the internet, therefore allowing additional flexibility for those participating.

For more information contact Sharron Woods at Trident Training on 0151 227 1234, extension number 2248. Or email sharron.woods@liverpoolchamber.org.uk

Your Chance to Trade on the Global Stage September 15, 2008

Posted by liverpoolchamber in Events, Liverpool, News, Travel.
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The Liverpool Chamber of Commerce’s International Department is announcing a broad range of events aimed at helping your company compete on a global basis.

Here’s the FULL run down of the events, as well as all of the information you need.

27th September – European Day of Languages

The Chartered Institute of Linguists is holding its annual Members Day on Saturday 27 September in Liverpool, the European Capital of Culture 2008. Founded in 1910, the Institute is constantly working to improve the status of all qualified professional linguists and increase the recognition of this profession in today’s society. This is done by setting and improving standards of modern language competence and by helping clients and businesses identify their needs in terms of language capabilities and requirements.

In order to introduce the Institute and its work to a wider audience and to celebrate the European Day of Languages, we would like to invite you and a colleague to a short presentation at the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce, 1 Old Hall Street, Liverpool L3 9HG at 4 pm on Friday 26 September. The presentation will be followed by drinks and canapés.

3rd October – Dubai Business Briefing

Liverpool businesses are set to build links with Dubai with the launch of a free business briefing event.

The Liverpool Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Government of Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), is to hold the event on Friday 3rd October 2008 from 10:30am till 2:30pm.

The Dubai Business Briefing aims to raise awareness of the potential opportunities for business in Dubai, as well as provide knowledge and expertise for Liverpool companies looking to expand their horizons.

Set at a strategic location on the crossroads of Europe, Asia and Africa; Dubai is a global hub for many business opportunities. Dubai hosts a successful economy with a highly developed and modern infrastructure, a comprehensive selection of free zones, tax benefits and modern facilities.

This Business Briefing is aimed primarily at small to medium sized companies with little or no activity in Dubai, but who want to expand their businesses in the Emirate. DTCM is sponsoring this event and there is no charge for delegates attending.  The event will begin with registrations from 10.15 am and will include a presentation, a short video and a Q&A session with a representative from Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing.  This session will conclude with a networking lunch at 1pm and a DTCM representative will be available for private consultations afterwards.

Liverpool Chamber is also organising a trade mission to Dubai and the Emirates in November 08. See below for details.

10th October – Thailand Means Business Seminar

Trading with Thailand is to be made more appetizing for Liverpool businesses.
The British Chamber of Commerce Thailand (BCCT) in co-operation with Liverpool Chamber of Commerce is holding a ‘Thailand means business 2008’ breakfast seminar.

Being held at the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce on the 10th October from 8:30am to 10:30am, the seminar will allow companies to discuss the potential of trading with the far eastern country.
Chairman of the BCCT Rodney Bain, who has lived and worked in Thailand for 23 years, will address the Liverpool businesses in attendance on the opportunities and challenges facing businesses investing or trading in Thailand. There will be a session demonstrating how the BCCT can support businesses wishing to invest in Thailand and a selection of case studies of previous companies already successful in the South East Asian country.

16th – 19th November – Trade Mission to Spain

To support SME’s in Merseyside wanting to expand their activity in the Spanish Market

Spain is a highly developed, competitive market. Almost anything sold in the UK is likely to sell well in Spain.
The Spanish government is committed to opening up the Spanish market and has embarked on an extensive privatisation programme. Spain therefore offers many opportunities to the British exporter across a wide range of sectors.
It is also worth noting that some 17 million British tourists visit Spain each year and over 750,000 Britons now live in Spain permanently (mainly around the coasts).

Don’t worry if you have little or no overseas experience, help and support are available at any stage throughout the market visit through our experienced International Trade Executives.

Whilst in Spain there will be an in-country briefing, where you will be presented with a market overview, cultural information and tips on how to conduct business. Thereafter, you will be free to attend meetings with your potential clients, identified through research or by yourself. Some of these companies may be based outside of Madrid therefore additional travel may be necessary.

This is a fabulous opportunity for Merseyside businesses. Having successfully secured European Funding, we are now able to offer you a chance to participate in this trade mission at a more affordable price. Eligible companies will receive subsidy of 50% towards expenses, maximum eligible expenditures of £1000, covering flight travel, accommodation, in-country travel, interpreter costs, in-market telephone calls etc.

Companies book their own flight, we advice delegates to stay at the same hotel. We are presently negotiating rates at a hotel near the Embassy. These will be available upon request. 

21st – 29th November – Trade mission to United Arab Emirates 

This trade mission is designed to support SME’s in Merseyside wanting to expand their activity in the United Arab Emirates market.  This follows a highly successful visit in February 2008 when this programme funded 15 delegates visiting and some exhibiting.  This was a great success with many signing orders and appointing agent distributions.

The main thrust of Dubai strategic plan for development is to achieve high economic growth through promotion and strengthening of a number of fast growing sectors, including retail trade, transport, tourism, construction, manufacturing, finance and telecommunication.  We encourage companies to take advantage of visiting this exciting and expanding market which is full of opportunities and is a springboard to Gulf States.  Dubai ranks as one of the worlds leading trading centres and offers a gateway to a market of more than one billion people, covering the Gulf States, most of the Middle East, East Africa and Asia sub continent.  There are reported to be 90,000 British citizens living in the UAE. The trade mission will also visit Abu Dhabi which has approximately 10% of the worlds proven oil reserve and 5% of the gas

Don’t worry if you have little or no overseas experience, help and support is available when you need it.  An experienced member of our team will discuss your requirements prior to the trade mission.  Who will also accompany the visit to give you support whilst overseas.  Also we have a cost effective travel package.  In fact prior to the visit we will hold a briefing which will prepare your company for the event

Whilst in UAE there will be an informal country briefing, where you will be presented with a market overview and tips on how to conduct business.  Thereafter, you will be free to attend meetings with your potential clients identified through research or by yourself.  The visit will coincide with the Big5 Construction exhibition – the largest trade show for construction industry in the Arabian Gulf.  For further information please visit www.thebig5exhibition.com  We will also be organising group meetings/receptions to various Chambers of Commerce and Trade Groups – the aim is to provide companies with more information and contacts.

This is a fabulous opportunity for Merseyside businesses.  Having successfully secured European Funding, we are now able to offer you a chance to participate in this trade mission at a more affordable price. Eligible companies will receive subsidy of 50% towards expenses, up to a maximum eligible expenditure of £2000, covering flight travel, accommodation, in-country travel, interpreter costs, in-market telephone calls and certain market research.  UK Trade & Investment funding is also available to North West companies outside Merseyside.

If you would like to book your place on any of the above events, please contact the Chamber of Commerce’s International Trade Team on 0151 227 1234 or email export@liverpoolchamber.org.uk

Final entries for the Chamber of Commerce 5k Team Challenge! September 9, 2008

Posted by liverpoolchamber in Culture, Events, Liverpool.
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The final entries for this years 5k Team Challenge are flowing in thick and fast, with over 130 teams already entered. Though if you’re still wishing to take part, be quick! You’ve only got until the end of this week.

The Chamber of Commerce 5k Team Challenge (formerly known as the Corporate Cup) will see a whole host of Merseyside businesses competing along the city centre course. Each team must be made up of four runners, with at least one female in each team. You can have any or no amount of experience in running to enter. You can even walk if you like!

The 5k Team Challenge will benefit the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation.

The event takes place on Sunday 21st September. Runners will be given starters orders outside the Cunard Buildings on Brunswick Street, before making their way along the waterfront past the Three Graces. From here the teams will run out to the Stanley dock before reaching Waterloo Road and turning back. The race will then return past the Liver Building to the finish line.

The event is sponsored by Aldi, who are providing bottled water for thirsty runners, and by recruitment firm Adecco. Both firms are sponsoring the event for the first time. The event is co-ordinated by Run Liverpool in conjunction with the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce.

The Corporate Cup used to be the business community’s sporting highlight of the year, though during the years of the Big Dig, had to be moved out to Croxteth Park, where the event’s popularity waned. It is hoped that the event’s move back to the city centre will  re-spark interest within the business community, making the 5k Team Challenge once again the biggest corporate sports event of the year.

If you would like to enter complete an application form by visiting the Run Liverpool website here.

Double Awards For Business Crime Direct Manager March 17, 2008

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peter-wins.jpgLast week’s Action Against Business Crime Conference held at Nottingham’s East Midlands Conference Centre saw Business Crime Direct‘s General Manager Peter Jones receive two awards.

The first was for the excellent work done by BCD in Liverpool City Centre through their Liverpool Crime Alert project. He is seen here receiving the award from the Lord Dear, Chairman of AABC.

Later in the proceeding Peter received an outstanding achievement award for his work in the crime reduction field over the past 10 years.

Peter said, “I was both astonished and delighted to receive the award. It came completely out of the blue and I’m really chuffed to have received it. However, my work has relied heavily on my team of people and I dedicate this award to them as a thank you for their dedication and for all their help over the years.”