Latest Updates From Surrey Chambers CEO – 25th January 2022
25th January 2022
On Tuesday 11th January we were delighted to hold our first Business Breakfast of 2022 at the fabulous Woodhaven Space, Woking, in even though most other face to face events were not happening. Overcoming the current challenges, it was great to see our members in person and our hosts, Nicky and Jeremy, ensured that everyone who attended felt confident with the covid measures in place. As an eco-venue, Woodhaven Space provided delegates with an opportunity to discuss issues around the environment and sustainability and in effect, the venue became the speaker for the event! Delegates were then able to take a tour of the venue after a delicious and very healthy (another topic of discussion!) homemade breakfast. We will be holding our New Year Celebratory lunch this week, welcoming 50 businesspeople to the Brooklands Hotel, Weybridge. Sponsored by the Surrey Research Park, we will be enjoying connecting with colleagues from across the County.
In line with government policy
As we started to move things forward so the government announced the lifting of the measures put in place under Plan B Coronavirus restrictions in England. News of the end of work from home guidance was welcomed by businesses, particularly those based in town centres which rely on footfall from office workers. The removal of the requirement for vaccine passports will also be positive for our members in the events sector and night-time economy. With infection rates still high, many firms are experiencing significant staff absences and will be cautious about teams rushing back to the office when that could result in further absences. As we move forward, businesses will now want to know what the Government’s longer-term contingency plans are to support firms should a new variant create a fresh wave of serious infections and require restrictions.
At the Surrey Chambers of Commerce, we believe that international trade can make every business a better one. Chambers of Commerce have a long history of successful delivery of trade facilitation, trade promotion and support services, underpinned by a strong policy development capability, with expertise and knowledge both at the centre and through the whole network. Along with our national network of chambers we have launched our International Trade manifesto. Research by the British Chambers of Commerce has shown that exporters are more likely to undertake innovative activities, such as the introduction of new products, services, or production methods, than firms which don’t. Additionally, research undertaken throughout the pandemic, shows that these businesses, while significantly impacted, have still been more likely to report increased investment and cash flow. As we move out of the pandemic and the UK’s trading relationships around the world change, we understand that businesses will need greater support, information and incentives to adapt and to identify opportunities to increase trade and attract investment. Importing is also crucially important to the wider economy, providing key products and services for consumers. They also contribute to manufacturing and processing supply chains, whether in clothing or textiles, automotive or industrial production. The world of trade is changing, fresh markets are emerging, greener, sustainable goods and services are being developed and we have an opportunity to be in the vanguard of this new wave of commerce. The International Trade team at Surrey Chambers stands ready to support all businesses embarking on overseas trade.