View from the Chamber: January 17 2013

Lisa Bates, Peter Goodman and Louise Robson

Lisa Bates, Peter Goodman and Louise Robson - Credit: Archant

IS your business not as fun as it used to be? Most entrepreneurs go into business because they want to have fun working and to have control of their destiny – but as a business expands their feelings can change.

Is this how you feel right now: considering how hard I work, I’m not making enough money! I don’t get enough time with my family, my employees are not as diligent as I am and they avoid responsibility, my time gets taken up with everyone else’s problems, I get bogged down in details and admin, how will I get out of the business?

Thomas Cox & Co (Chamber members) are addressing this by running a seminar on the Luton Hoo Estate on February 13 led by Gordon Gilchrist of 20/20 Group, an inspirational speaker and renowned expert in the field of SME business development. The day starts at 9.30am with coffee and finishes at 12.30pm followed by a buffet lunch. If you are interested in attending please contact Peter Cox on 01582 482224 or email

We have a great calendar of networking events lined up for 2013 and plan to invite various speakers along to our meetings to both inspire and update us about local and national issues that may affect your business.

Anne Main MP will hopefully be our guest in the spring and we also hope to hear from James Hannaway and Oaklands College too in the coming months.

The Chamber AGM 2013 will take place during National Apprenticeship Week at the new discovery centre at Oaklands College We hope to engage more with the college helping them identify businesses in the area that are receptive to taking on apprentices, please tell us more about how this works for you.

The first Chamber Business breakfast of the year has sold out. It takes places at the Wicked Lady in Wheathampsted with a guest speaker from the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). Hertfordshire is home to around 55,000 active businesses, with an economy worth £25bn p.a.

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Compared to most areas of the UK, our county is more prosperous and our residents have a better quality of life. However, Hertfordshire’s growth, compared to some of its nearest neighbours, has been more sluggish; both in terms of employment growth and in levels of inward investment.

We need to ensure we remain an attractive proposition for private sector investment and that’s where the Local Enterprise Partnership comes in. Local Enterprise Partnerships are being asked by Government to lead local responses to the worst financial crisis in living memory.

The operations manager of Hertfordshire LEP, Paul Witcombe, will talk about the emerging role of the LEP and how its influence is likely to grow following the Chancellor’s Autumn statement. He will also discuss how businesses in St Albans can become involved, through local chambers, and help develop a shared approach to delivering our mutual priorities for growth.

We are already in preparation for our biggest event of the year the St George’s Day Lunch at Sopwell House hotel on Friday April 19. Half of the tables have already been sold so if you are interested in attending please do get in touch with us, tickets are £65 and can be booked online.

There are sponsorship opportunities available for this event if you would like more information please get in touch, this is a great opportunity to raise your business profile and entertain clients at the same time.

Louise Robson, a St Albans resident and lawyer at City Lawyers who are Chamber members is training hard for her first London Marathon.

Mother of two Louise (pictured) is fitting in a gruelling schedule around a busy family life and career to raise money for the Spinal injuries Association charity, her chosen charity.

If you would like to sponsor Louise please do so by visiting her fundraising webpage

Louise is hosting a fundraising evening on March 9 in St Albans and is also looking for raffle prizes, if you can help with this please contact her directly by email

The Chamber welcomes the following businesses who have recently joined up: Noke by Thistle Hotel, GHM Partnership Ltd, Worldwide Special Risks, The Orchid Group, Glinwell PLC and Suttons and Robertson’s. We look forward to hearing from you!

For more information about joining the Chamber of Commerce and becoming a member go to

If you have any questions about the Chamber and how we can help raise your company profile in the district, please give us a call – we would love to hear from you 01727 863054.