View from the Chamber, August 1

Michael Gove visits Herts Ad.

Michael Gove visits Herts Ad. - Credit: Archant

THE district council is looking at how they can make it easier for local businesses to compete for council work and for you to use council services. They want the Chamber to help them find out what businesses and the council should do to make the whole process simpler and accessible to all. We are therefore asking our members to complete a short survey to support this.

The council spends around £21 million a year on a wide range of goods and services.

The required services are very wide-ranging including building and construction, building professionals’ services, leisure services, grounds maintenance, legal, accounting, debt collecting, IT and software, catering, advertising and marketing, design and print, stationery and office equipment, waste services, security and events equipment. Some of their larger contracts are then sub-contracted out to smaller companies.

Is your business operating in any of these sectors? If so you could be a service provider and tender for contracts, this can only improve the district’s economy.

The council has already started to look at how it can improve what it does, including looking at good ideas from other councils. They want to know whether you think these ideas would help you and whether you have other suggestions. To help them understand our needs please answer this very short survey by August 27, 2013. If you cannot respond to the survey by this date, the council would still like to hear your views to help them develop this work further.

We will keep you posted on how this shapes the council’s plans to make it easier for you to compete for their business and use their services. The Chamber is very keen to promote commerce within the local business community and is very pleased to work with the council to encourage the use of local trades. Let’s keep our local business community thriving!

There are a few places left at the next Speed Networking evening on August 21, if you would like to attend and meet every other delegate on the night please let us know or book your place online. It is great fun and a good way to start building some business relationships in the area.

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People are most likely to refer their clients to you or recommend your business if you are known to them personally. So do join us at The Bistro, Westminster Lodge, we would love to meet you and hear all about your business and see if we can help you in any way.

After our business breakfast on September 11 at Cote Brasserie we host a new event scheduled for the autumn, a political networking lunch with education minister Michael Gove MP.

We have many representatives from local secondary schools attending this event, and if you would like to hear his views on how our government is preparing young people to hopefully become business leaders or your future employees, come along on Friday November 11.

There will be an opportunity to ask questions after lunch. Individual tickets and tables of 10 are available, our event sponsor is Oaklands College and additional sponsorship is from Cheeky Munkey.

At this time of year when many people will be heading away to sunnier climes it has been great to see the café culture successfully hitting St Peter’s Street.

With Pret and Costa off to a roaring start and the new hotel development nearby well underway the flurry of long awaited change is very exciting. It seems not only the weather has picked up but at last our economy is showing signs of picking up too, figures released last week showed small but welcome growth across all sectors, let’s hope it lasts longer than the sun!