Latest Updates From Surrey Chambers CEO – 1st February 2023
1st February 2023
Only one month into the year and there are so many activities and opportunities for Companies to get involved in which will help to enhance the success of their businesses.
The Chamber has been very active in securing funding for various training programmes. Our Multiply offer kicks off this month, providing people in employment with a refresher on all things mathematical to help them improve their numeracy skills at work and at home. Through a fun session, delivered by Activate Learning our delegates will learn several business focused number challenges as well as having the opportunity to build their own network of other local businesspeople. We will be continuing these courses across the rest of the year and hope to see as many businesses as possible benefiting from them.
We have two excellent offerings for businesses thinking of or already working internationally. The first is a series of training courses, usually running at £250-£300 per person, covering all aspects of international Trade. We also have our International Trade Forum, which is building a series of introductions to overseas markets via the British Chambers based there.
Businesswomen in Surrey
We are really excited to be running our annual International Women’s Day on the 8th March, kindly sponsored by Nat West Bank and Surrey Business School. The theme this year is #EmbraceEquity. Equity isn’t just a nice-to-have, it’s a must-have. We are pulling together a strong panel of speakers and everyone is welcome to attend, whether they are a woman or man in business! We also have some exciting additions to this event as we will be reminding people of the Dynamic awards, which are celebrating the remarkable achievements of businesswomen in Surrey and Sussex. These awards are now open for entry and we hope to see many Surrey stars up for recognition. We will also be sharing the exciting news that Surrey Chambers is sponsoring a full scholarship for someone to enrol on Surrey Business School’s MBA.
The Local Skills Improvement Plan is coming together, with nearly 200 businesses responding to our survey. We continue to have our ears wide open for any feedback on skills gaps, so that we can share a true picture of the gaps locally to all the providers. We have started a series of events to glean more detail from different sectors and urge businesses to attend and share their experiences.
The economy and its impact
In the Chancellors recent speech, he detailed his focus on ‘enterprise, education, employment and everywhere’. Disappointingly there was no mention of energy and exports, and until these two areas are addressed our economic growth will continue to be stunted. Our Chamber membership is jam-packed with innovative and forward-looking firms, who are developing new products and services that can sustain our economy for years to come. While wholesale energy costs might now be starting to fall, the reality is that thousands of businesses were locked into new contracts last year at prices that will remain far higher for months to come. This will be unsustainable for many and must be addressed. It was also very disappointing that he did not mention exports at all. Government must help businesses to harness the opportunities provided by existing free trade agreements, and those coming on stream. We will continue to challenge the government to support you the businesses, the creators of wealth within our economy.