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Welcome Welcome to the first edition of the new style Thinking Business. Working with our publishing partners Benham Publishing, we aim to provide you with a quality business magazine with relevant and informative content. I hope you enjoy this first issue and I would welcome your feedback and any suggestions for topics and themes going forward. It is only through your feedback that we are able to provide you, our Members, with relevant products and services to support your business. As a reminder, in each issue we will focus on a few key benefits available to you as a Member, these can be found on page 17. This month we have focused on Westfield Health and the Chamber Fuel Card, both designed to save you time and money. Contrary to national trends, I am pleased to say that your Chamber continues to see membership growth and is now one of the largest and most

active Chambers in the South East. You can keep yourself updated on all new members on pages 47, alternatively you can download a full list of Members via the Chamber website. We have an extensive programme of events lined up for you for the remainder of 2013, including three general Business Exhibitions and two sector specific Exhibitions, one in Manufacturing & Engineering, with the other in Construction. Again, full details are inside the magazine. As with the newsletter, your feedback on the events programme would always be welcome. It is your Chamber and we need to work together to make sure that it works for you. Enjoy the read.

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Chamber News Members News International Trade 24 hours with... Membership Benefits Policy Regional Focus Cover Feature Big Interview

Editorial and General Enquiries Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce Ashford Business Point, Waterbrook Avenue, Sevington, Ashford, Kent. TN24 0LH Tel: 01233 503 838 Fax: 01233 503 687 Email: info@kentinvictachamber.co.uk Web: www.kentinvictachamber.co.uk Chief Executive: Jo James Publisher Benham Publishing 4th Floor, Orleans House, Edmund St, Liverpool L3 9NG Tel: 0151 236 4141 Fax: 0151 236 0440 Email: admin@benhampublishing.com Web: www.benhampublishing.com Published May 2013 Š Benham Publishing

Jo James Chief Executive

Advertising and Features Helen Gowland Tel: 0151 236 4141 Email: helen@benhampublishing.com

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The Economy Chamber Chatter Chamber Events Chamber Exhibitions Regional News New members The Last Word Movers & Shakers

Production Manager Fern Badman Tel: 0151 236 4141 Email: studio@benhampublishing.com Media No. 1338 Disclaimer Thinking Business is published for Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce and is distributed without charge to Chamber members. All correspondence should be addressed to the Editor at Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce. Views expressed in Thinking Business are not necessarily those of Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce. Reprinting in whole or part is forbidden except by permission. Š 2013. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy and reliability of material published in this journal, Benham Publishing and its agents can accept no responsibility for the veracity of claims made by contributions in advertising or editorial content. Benham Publishing cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies in web or email links supplied to us.

June-July 2013 ThinkingBUSINESS

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CHAMBERNEWS

BitesizeNews Join us for the 10th Annual BCC National Awards Celebrating ten years of success, the Chamber Awards are considered one of the UK’s most hotly contested and prestigious business awards. The Awards recognise and reward business success across the UK, with a range of specialist categories to meet the needs of any organisation. Each year hundreds of businesses compete for the coveted National Chamber Awards along with the £25,000 cash prize on offer. We are now open for entries in the following categories: • Online Business of the Year • Most Promising New Business • Exporter of the Year • Excellence in Innovation • Commitment to People Development • Marketing Campaign of the Year • Outstanding Personal Achievement • The Sustainability Award The Awards are open for entry until 28th June and regional winners will be announced on 30th September. The Chamber Awards anniversary programme will then conclude with the prestigious gala awards dinner on 28th November in Central London, where one business will be awarded the £25,000 prize courtesy of the RBS Group. For full information, and how to enter, visit www.chamberawards.co.uk May Day alert for late tax returns If you haven’t sent in your 2011/12 tax return online, be warned – you’ll be hit with more penalties from May if you still haven’t filed. From 1 May, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will charge a £10 daily penalty for each day your online return is late, up to a maximum of 90 days. This is in addition to the initial £100 late-filing penalty for missing the 31 January filing deadline. For paper returns, daily penalties started on 1 February, as they were due by the earlier deadline of 31 October. So don’t send a paper return now, as it will trigger an amount equal to, or close to, the maximum daily penalty charge of £900. Looking ahead, further penalties of at least £300 (or 5 per cent of the tax due, if that is more) will be issued for returns that are 6 and 12 months late. Anyone who’s received a late-filing penalty, hasn’t yet sent a return, but thinks they don’t need to be in Self Assessment, should call HMRC on 0845 900 0444. If HMRC agrees, the return and any penalty will be cancelled.

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ThinkingBUSINESS June-July 2013

Supporting TIGERs in North Kent

Your Chamber has been busy recently adding to its portfolio of business support contracts. The latest additions to the stable include; • TIGER technical support across Thurrock, Dartford, Gravesham, Medway and Swale • Medway Business Support which includes start up workshops, grants, loans and business planning workshops for the creative industries • Swale Business Support which includes 1:1 advice, start up workshops, business planning for the creative and voluntary sectors. These two year contracts come on top of the Chamber’s existing business support delivery for Expansion East Kent, Ashford, Maidstone and the Start Up Loan scheme for Kent.

Tudor Price, Business Development Manager for the Chamber said; “This is the culmination of a lot of hard work, a clear strategy that responds to the current climate and being good at what we do. It realises the full potential of the Chamber of Commerce in supporting the Kent economy and develops local opportunities that previously went out of the County”. Tudor went on to say; “The key to successful business support programmes is making sure public sector intervention doesn’t disadvantage those private sector businesses involved in business support. The Chamber’s remit is to facilitate trade and commerce and we work hard to ensure that we help and not hinder that objective.” For more details on these developments contact Tudor Price on 01233 503838

Hatten Wyatt and Morlings…. bridging the gap between Gravesend and Maidstone The Partners of Hatten Wyatt have announced that the practice of Morlings has been incorporated into the practice of Hatten Wyatt. Hatten Wyatt, established in 1844, has undergone significant changes over the past nine years, since the acquisition of the firm by Jasvinder Singh Gill in 2003, including the incorporation of Church Bruce in 2008 and the launch of new services and developments. Morlings Solicitors was established in Maidstone more than 60 years ago and operates from the centre of Maidstone. Mr Gill, Senior Partner at Hatten Wyatt, said: “This is an exciting time for both Morlings and Hatten Wyatt and we look forward to further strengthening our relationships with both our colleagues and clients.”

Both firms will continue trading under their respective trading names and will remain in their current locations with Hatten Wyatt’s office located in Windmill Street, Gravesend and Morlings Solicitors in King Street, Maidstone. Nicholas Steele, the current Senior Partner at Morlings, said: “We are looking forward to working with the team at Hatten Wyatt who are as enthusiastic and committed to the service they provide as we are here at Morlings.” Further information can be found at www.hatten-wyatt.com


CHAMBERNEWS

Lydd Airport bosses showcase £25m development in Dubai Lydd Airport is developing new business opportunities following the Government’s decision to approve its £25 million expansion. Managers at the Romney Marsh airport flew to the Middle East to attend the Dubai Airport Show 2013, where they promoted Lydd’s plans for an extended runway and new terminal to more than 200 companies from 32 countries. Following government approval of its planning applications, Lydd Holdings, which owns and operates Lydd Airport (also known as London Ashford Airport), is to invest £25 million in a 294m runway extension plus a 150m starter extension, and a new terminal building capable of handling up to 500,000 passengers a year. The owners have already spent £35 million upgrading the airport over the last decade – including the installation of a state-of-the-art ILS; a

new executive terminal with VIP facilities; improved passenger check-in and security; and a new departure lounge. Executive Manager Hani Mutlaq said: “Our runway extension will enable B737-type aircraft to fly with a full payload of passengers, maximising the availability of routes and aircraft choice to operators and providing much-needed additional airport capacity in the South East of England. “Lydd Airport is the perfect base for airline operators. It has 2.5 million people within its catchment area, is within easy access of the M20 motorway, and is just 14 miles south of Ashford, which offers a high-speed rail link that gets you into London in just 37 minutes.” For further information, visit www.lydd-airport.co.uk

Pledge on Lydd Airport contracts Kent businesses will be in the front of the queue when Lydd Airport starts to award contracts for its £25 million development. That was the message from the airport’s management to guests attending a celebration event at the airport.

He explained that the airport was aiming to start the runway extension work early next year once it had completed a series of pre-commencement conditions.

About 100 supporters representing local businesses, residents and others were invited to mark the success in gaining planning permission for a runway extension and a new terminal building.

Responding to a question about the future of the neighbouring Lydd Golf Club, which is also owned by Lydd Holdings Ltd, Mr Mutlaq pointed out that the airport also had planning consent for a four star hotel on the site.

Executive Manager Hani Mutlaq thanked guests for their support since the airport submitted its planning applications to Shepway District Council in December 2006. He then mapped out how the company planned to develop the airport in the years to come.

Questioned about the possibility of a rail service to the airport, Mr Mutlaq said that it was “an aspiration” to create a rail link from Ashford International Station once future passenger numbers had expanded to make such an investment viable.

New legal structures could be perfect for many charities, says Furley Page A new legal structure tailor-made for charities will ease administrative burdens and provide them with the opportunity to modernise their operations, advises Kent-based law firm Furley Page. Partner Aaron Spencer said Charitable Incorporated Organisations (CIO) will allow charities to become incorporated charities and be able to enter into contracts in their own right. The Charity Commission is accepting applications to register CIOs, which is the first legal structure in England and Wales designed specifically for charities.

Neil Robertson, head of operations at the Charity Commission, said: “We are encouraging charities to consider whether applying to be a CIO is right for them. CIO will be most beneficial for small to medium-sized charities which employ staff or enter into contracts, whose trustees will have limited or no liability. CIOs will provide charities with some of the benefits of being a company without the associated burdens.”

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FOCUSONFINANCE

Research and Development tax relief – It’s worth how much? Very few tax reliefs are as valuable as that available to companies undertaking R&D activities. The tax deduction can be worth up to 225% of the actual costs incurred. R&D tax relief is only available to limited companies, and there are two schemes - The Small or Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) Scheme, and the Large Company Scheme. The definitions on size need to be checked carefully

The SME Scheme The rate of SME R&D Relief increased from 175% to 200% for expenditure on or after 1 April 2011, and the rate increases to 225% from 1 April 2012. What this means is for every £10,000 the company spends on R&D, they save tax on double that amount! There is a minimum spend of at least £10,000 a year, but this limit disappears from 1 April 2012. And there is no upper limit! (The rates under the large company scheme are 130%)

Which costs might qualify? Subject to certain conditions, you can claim tax relief on R&D revenue expenditure - this means running costs of the business (and not capital expenditure on assets) such as: • Employee costs • Materials

Which R&D projects might

• Utilities

qualify?

• Software • Subcontracted R&D expenditure.

The R&D Relief can only be claimed if a project seeks to achieve an advance in overall knowledge or

Wilkins Kennedy’s 12 regional office structure is to be enhanced with the proposed opening of an office in Discovery Park, the former Pfizers location, from early summer of 2013. The partners feel this is an exciting opportunity to facilitate business advice and financial reporting to businesses in East Kent.

capability in a field of science or technology, and is not simply an advance in its own state of knowledge or capability. For professional help and advice on how you can minimise your tax in 2013, please contact your local Wilkins Kennedy office in Ashford or Orpington. 6

ThinkingBUSINESS June-July 2013

Wilkins Kennedy FKC Stourside Place, 35-41 Station Road, Ashford, Kent TN23 1PP Tel: 01233 629255 Email: ashford@wilkinskennedy.com Website: www.wilkinskennedy.com


MEMBERSNEWS

Routine sampling of

ice-cream coming soon Ice-cream producers and sellers could soon be receiving a visit from Ashford Borough Council who will be carrying out routine testing of dairy and non-dairy ice-creams across the borough.

Costumed guides help The Canterbury Tales celebrate anniversary Medieval costumed characters have been recruited to help mark the 25th anniversary of The Canterbury Tales, the award-winning visitor attraction in one of Britain’s most popular cathedral cities. Having welcomed more than two million visitors from all over the world, The Canterbury Tales remains one of Kent’s ‘must see’ attractions. It represents an accurate reconstruction of 14th century England, set inside the former St Margaret’s Church. It gives visitors the opportunity to step back in time and experience the sights, smells and sounds of medieval times.

Similar testing programmes will be rolled out across Kent following an agreement by all Kent councils to sample ice cream this summer. Random samples will be taken for microbiological testing to check that they meet hygiene and safety standards. Shops and ice-cream vans that want to ensure their ice-creams are the best in Kent are offered the following advice: • Keep ice-cream mixtures below 8°C at all times (or once opened for long-life cartons).

The larger-than-life performers are on hand to greet, amuse and entertain visitors and have already earned rave reviews. Marketing manager Sarah Hirsch said: “We are delighted that our costumed characters have been so well received by the public. They are full of enthusiasm and get a real thrill out of giving our visitors a memorable experience. It’s added a fun new dimension to the visit and the feedback we’ve received is excellent.”

For more information visit www.canterburytales.org.uk

• Always wash hands with soap and water and dry them thoroughly on a clean paper towel before assembling equipment or handling any food.

Council increases phone line capacity to meet demand

Frédérique swaps Mauritius for the delights of Ashford

Ashford Borough Council’s recently launched new website has already saved many residents the time of waiting in a telephone queue allowing them to pay, report and apply for council services online.

Frédérique Philogène Harman has joined the team at Ashford PR agency, Quantum Public Relations, swapping the golden beaches of her native Mauritius for the UK.

• Empty, wash and then disinfect soft icecream machines regularly, according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Throw away any remaining mixture. • Use a food-safe sanitiser (approved to BS EN 1276 or 13697), dilute it accurately and leave it on for long enough to work. • Use a disposable paper towel or single use cloth. • Replace any rubber seals regularly and, in particular, when they split. • Use a food-grade lubricant to reassemble the machine. Sheila Davison, Ashford Borough Council’s Health, Parking and Community Safety Manager, said: “We want to ensure that all Ashford’s ice-creams are as good as they look before the summer trade begins. “This sampling programme aims to ensure that everyone meets the hygiene and safety standards required.” For further information or advice, businesses should call the Council’s Environmental Health Commercial Team (Food Safety) on 01233 330470.

However, following the issue of this year’s council tax bills, the introduction of welfare reform and queries about the new garden recycling service, there have still been a high number of calls over the last few weeks. As a result, the council has increased the capacity of telephone lines into its call centre by a further 50% to cope with the higher demand.

Visitors are invited to join Chaucer and his band of pilgrims as they embark on a journey from The Tabard Inn in London to the shrine of St Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral. The attraction offers special children’s commentaries and gives youngsters the chance to dress up in medieval costumes to make their visit even more memorable.

After a career in promoting luxury Mauritian tourist resorts, Frédérique relocated to Kent and has joined Quantum as a Senior Account Executive. Frédérique said: “Although a very different environment for me, both weather-wise and business-wise, I’m confident my previous experiences will add a new dimension to the agency’s offering.” Quantum PR Managing Director, Charlie Vavasour, said: “It’s great to have Frédérique join the team and I’m sure that the different life experiences she brings will have a positive impact.”

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MEMBERSNEWS

BitesizeNews Helicopter display team joins airshow Visitors to this year’s SouthEast Airshow will be treated to an appearance by the Army’s tank destroyer the Apache helicopter. The defender of the skies will be on display for the first time at Manston Airport as the Attack Helicopter Display Team joins the line-up.

Swale Heating wins award for outstanding charity support Swale Heating, the largest independent heating installer in the South East, has won an accolade for its sterling support of Demelza Hospice Care for Children. Swale Heating also helps raise awareness of Demelza by displaying the charity’s logo on each of its 220 service vehicles and on its website.

Organiser Chris Yates said: “Helicopters are an incredible spectacle at airshows so we are delighted to confirm we are one of only five shows the Attack Helicopter display team will be displaying at with the impressive Apache”. The South East Airshow takes place on Saturday 22 June. For more information telephone 08456 526263 or visit www.heritageevents.co.uk

Technical innovation improves quality of life in unique housing project

Last year the company took its support a step further by incorporating the Demelza logo into all of its TV adverts, raising awareness of the charity among millions of viewers across the South East. It’s the first time that Demelza has had any television The Kent-based company, which employs more than

exposure, worth in excess of £250,000 a year.

400 staff, was voted winner of the Corporate Gift in

Swale Heating’s Chris Riley said: “We have always

Kind category at the 2013 Demelza Business Awards, held to recognise businesses that provide outstanding community investment support for the charity. Swale Heating beat three strong finalists to scoop the award, which was presented to the company’s Operations Director, Chris Riley, by TV celebrity Cheryl Baker.

\

The judges in the Corporate Gift in Kind category

HI-Tech firm ICOM has played a major role in the technology of a unique housing development in Kent for adults with learning disabilities. ICOM provide telecoms, CCTV, security systems, cabling and data centre services and was contracted for their technical expertise for the new sophisticated housing development ‘Holly Lodge’ in Hildenborough, Kent. The project has been developed by charity mcch society ltd in consultation with challenging behaviour specialists, Kent County Council, with innovation at its heart. ICOM provided the development with Assistive Technology which included movement sensors, flood sensors, infra-red beams, water management kits and further telehealthcare enabling.

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ThinkingBUSINESS June-July 2013

been committed to working in partnership with our local community to make a positive contribution to those less fortunate than ourselves. “Demelza is a fantastic charity, and local to our HQ, so it was a natural decision for us to support them. As a Kent-based company, we know how invaluable their care is.

were looking for a company whose donated services

“We realise that the charity receives very little

or products have generated significant cost savings

Government funding and relies on donations and

for Demelza in the past year, allowing the charity to

support from organisations like ours to continue to

spend more directly on the care of the children.

provide help for the families who need it.

Demelza’s Corporate Partnerships Manager, Donna

“It’s wonderful to receive this award but, more

Wells, said: “Their ongoing support is really

importantly, our partnership with Demelza has given

appreciated. Gift in Kind support is such a great way to support Demelza as this helps us cover costs.”

all of our staff a real sense of pride knowing that they are helping the charity to continue its fantastic work.

Swale Heating has been providing free heating and

It’s great that our support is making a tangible

hot water maintenance services at the charity’s two

difference.”

children’s hospices in Sittingbourne and Eltham since 2011. As well as servicing the boilers at no charge, the

The Demelza 2013 Business Awards were held at the Marriott Tudor Park Hotel, Maidstone, on April 19.

company is on call 24/7 and provides free labour for

For more information about Swale Heating visit

repairs. The partnership allows Demelza to save at

www.swaleheating.com. For further details about

least £2,500 on its annual costs.

Demelza, go to www.demelza.org.uk


MEMBERSNEWS

New Studio for Ashford photographer as business develops

Stead & Wilkins offers excellence in Fabrication

and Precision Engineering

Stead & Wilkins operates out of a 15,000 sq. ft. facility which handles Fabrication, Sheet Metalwork, CNC Machining, CNC Punching, Electro-Mechanical, Assembly and Painting.

A purpose-built new studio is the latest business venture for an Ashford photographer whose name has become well known around the world. as well as for his technical journalism in a number of leading magazines. Now he has added to his flexibility – and reduced his carbon footprint – by building a studio behind his office in Sandyhurst Lane, Ashford.

As the author of The Digital Photography Handbook, Doug Harman’s advice has been translated into 19 different languages thanks to sales that have topped 450,000 copies. With a sponsorship deal with a major camera manufacturer due to be announced soon, Doug is confident that 2013 will see a major expansion by the man behind one of Ashford’s

Its clients include Blue-Chip Organisations from Private & Government Sectors; our expertise extends across Heavy Industry, Defence, Transport, Aeronautics, Railways, Pharmaceutical and other specialised areas. IT can also provide On-Site Fitters and Welders, all backed up by a Quality Control department equipped with CNC Co-Ordinate Measuring Machine, Optical Projection and Form Talysurf.

The company welcome visits to its facility or can arrange for one of its Technical Engineers to visit you.

Stead & Wilkins offers a complete service from Concept Design through to, Prototyping and Manufacture.

He said: “The studio will give me more flexibility in my portraiture work and has already allowed me to offer a new line in social media portraits for business people who want to use sites such as Twitter and LinkedIn but still want to project a professional image. “I am hoping to take on an additional photographer later in the year to keep up with demand for my wedding work and I am planning a number of tutorial sessions and group workshops where people will be able to learn how to get the best out of their cameras.”

most successful exports. Closer to home, Doug has built up a reputation for top quality wedding, portrait and architectural photography

Doug has also been asked to host a regular photography feature on a local radio station which is set to air in the near future.

June-July 2013 ThinkingBUSINESS

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ThinkingBUSINESS June-July 2013


MEMBERSNEWS

Offering more choice When it comes to choosing a van few retailers offer more choice and variety of vans in different formats and sizes than Vanwise. The company has been selling, hiring and maintaining light commercial vehicles successfully for the past ten years. Vanwise offers an exceptionally wide and varied selection of vans to match all possible requirements encompassing every aspect of the market. These range from small car-based models and compact vans to short, medium and longwheel based panel vans, minibuses and crew cabs, tippers, fridge/freezer vans, Lutons with or without tail lifts, curtain siders, dropside commercials, light trucks up to a weight of 3.5 tonnes and welfare vehicles. If it’s not in stock, the experienced team at Vanwise Maidstone can source it to order to match specific customer requirements through their many trusted contacts. Vanwise Maidstone is part of the fast-growing Vanwise Group. The company’s competitive pricing policy continues to bring in vast amounts of business along with the fact that every vehicle offered by Vanwise will have been well maintained during their time on the road.

Part exchange deals are welcome and a range of flexible, cost effective finance options can be arranged to match your requirements and the needs of your business, too. The fully equipped service department staffed by Factory trained Technicians offers main dealer service and repair at Kent’s most competitive prices. The company also operates one of Kent’s most modern Hire fleets, available at truly competitive prices from just £12 per day. It has available car derived vans up to 35cwt Lutons and tippers. Whether you need to buy, hire, maintain or repair a van, Vanwise Group is the one-stop-shop for all things relating to light commercial vehicles. Why not drop by to find out more and to see Kents best selection of used and nearly-new vans. You’ll find Vanwise on Parkwood Industrial Estate, Maidstone ME15 9XY Log onto www.vanwisegroup.com or call (01622) 351735 for further information.

Taking the worry out of accounting Accounting Freedom was established specifically to allow clients to run their businesses, leaving the company to provide the daily tax, accounting and payroll support. The founders of Accounting Freedom saw an opening in the market, which would allow small and medium sized businesses to approach their accountant for ongoing advice without worrying about incurring extra fees. By being pioneers of the monthly fixed fee service, it has helped clients exploit new opportunities and improve their performance, which enhances the value of their businesses. Its monthly fixed fee solutions enable clients to know what their tax liabilities are on an ongoing basis. This ensures that clients do not receive any nasty surprises at the last moment. With offices in London, Dartford and Chislehurst, it has a client base nationwide who all benefit from a dedicated one point of contact accountant. So, apart from the fixed fees and providing a nationwide service, what makes the company different to other accountants – how about

Lee Evans Partnership makes the most of High Speed Connectivity!

unlimited help and support as part of our monthly fee? A typical accountancy firm should be able to complete your VAT returns, year-end accounts, company tax return and personal tax return. They may even offer you a payroll service. Not only does Accounting Freedom provide the above, it also provides monthly management accounts, bookkeeping, CIS returns and wealth planning. Its accountants keep a close eye on your accounts throughout the year and with their specialist skills can recommend you to their financial advisor, who can speak to you about planning for the future and possible tax saving opportunities. So if you are looking for fixed monthly fees, unlimited help and support and a proactive service, please call Rumana on 0845 257 6692 for a no obligation quote or email r.aktar@accountingfreedom.co.uk

Lee Evans Partnership (LEP), one of the leading architectural practices in Kent, has opened a new London studio and appointed a new Partner. Founded in 1972 in Canterbury by Frank Lee Evans, the award-winning practice has more than 40 architects, planners and technicians and has consistently been listed as one of the 100 largest practices in the country. The new office on Grays Inn Road, just a ten minute walk from King’s Cross St. Pancras railway station, means the team will benefit from excellent transport connections. Opening a London studio has been planned for some time and, following strong growth over the past six months and an increasingly diverse workload, the practice feels that the additional reach that a London base offers will enable it to continue to grow in strength. Critical in the decision-making process was the return of Mark Nolan to the practice. Mark, who worked at LEP previously and has since strengthened his experience working at various other internationally renowned practices, said: “It is great to be back and I relish the opportunity to develop the London studio with the full support of a well established practice.” The London office will be offering Architecture, Planning, CDM and the services of the Elements division. In particular, the Practice is looking to build upon its award-winning educational and ecclesiastical portfolios across London and the South East.

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MEMBERSNEWS

BitesizeNews Up, up and away Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance is appealing for teams of cyclists from businesses to join its Double 100 cycle challenge this summer. The 100-mile bike ride is to be held on June 23 and will start and finish at the Surrey and Sussex helicopter base at Redhill Aerodrome. Organisers are aiming for more than 100 entries in this year’s event, which has been sponsored by Howard Cundey Chartered Surveyors and Estate Agents, Asda, Warburtons and Wellbeing People. To register go to www.kssairambulance.org.uk/ FundRaising/Double100CycleChallenge

Motorline donates new Peugeot van to Pilgrims Hospices There’s a new addition to Pilgrims Hospices fleet of vehicles delivering goods to its chain of retail shops – a new Peugeot Expert van, given by Canterbury dealer Motorline. Pilgrims Chief Executive Steve Auty was presented with the keys by Motorline’s Peugeot brand manager Robert Hendry when he collected the vehicle from the company’s showrooms at Broadoak. Robert said that donating the van to Pilgrims Hospices was part of the celebrations around its recent addition of Peugeot to the Motorline portfolio. He said: “Motorline is one of the south east’s largest independent motor retail groups and is proud to support Pilgrims Hospices. The work the charity does is unbelievable, which is why Motorline has chosen Pilgrims as its charity partner.” Further information about Pilgrims Hospices shops can be found by visiting its website www.pilgrimshospices.org

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ThinkingBUSINESS June-July 2013

Medway businesses back charity night Medway 100 Club’s first ‘Giving Circle’ gave out more than £4,000 to three local charitable groups, who pitched for funds in an evening of charitable giving at Chatham Historic Dockyard’s Commissioner’s House. The evening was attended by members of the Medway 100 Club - businesses and entrepreneurs from across Medway, who have joined the Club to pool funds to support local people and help communities thrive - and other key bodies from the local community, including the Council for Voluntary Services Medway. The three local charities who ‘pitched’ their case for donations were Strood Community Project, White Road Neighbourhood Panel and Age UK Medway, who each gave a presentation for six minutes, followed by six minutes where members of the audience had the opportunity to ask questions. Members of the Medway 100 Club were then invited to ‘pledge’ donations to the local charities and offer in-kind support. Colin Jarvis, Chairman of Gillingham-based Power Generation firm MEMS, who recently joined the Medway 100 Club as a Gold Member, said: “I would encourage the Medway business community to get involved and see for themselves how they can help make a difference to local people.” Partner at DGB Solicitors, Ian Pentecost, the latest Member to join the Medway 100 Club, said: “It was an excellent evening and a very good opportunity to

meet committed individuals working hard within our community to make positive changes, often in difficult circumstances.” Danielle Amusa, from the White Road Neighbourhood Panel, who was pitching for funds for the Kidz Club Project, a five day a week scheme in an area of high deprivation to reach children most at risk of exclusion from school or getting in trouble with the police, was thrilled with the evening. She said: “I was really nervous to start with, but everyone was so interested in our project and the type of issues we’re facing in White Road, that my six minute presentation and question time flew by.” The three charities each walked away at the end of the night with between £1,000 and £2,000 towards their respective projects. The Medway 100 Club is run by Kent Community Foundation and supported by Transforming Local Infrastructure (TLI). If you are a local Medway business and would like to join the Medway 100 Club to help make positive, lasting changes in your local community, please contact Jane Brown at jane@kentcf.org.uk

Helping companies reduce costs CVMinder helps companies to reduce recruitment costs by managing their own campaigns effortlessly. Simple to use, yet secure and scalable, you can forget overrun email inboxes and complicated tracking spreadsheets. CVMinder keeps everything organised for you automatically so that you can respond to every applicant with ease and track and share their progress instantly. If you manage a College or University Job Shop, CVMinder helps to place Students into full

employment or apprenticeships. It streamlines the application process and reports on outcomes. With nothing to install, you could be making recruitment savings today. Ask about the company’s rates for Chamber members.


MEMBERSNEWS

Give your employees an opportunity to enjoy REAL Socialising REAL Socialising was created after hearing a statistic that 26% of people now ‘sofalise’ instead of socialise. With the growth of home entertainment, and social media; fewer people enjoy real social activity.

It offers a new spin on the old ‘social club’ ethos for companies of any size. The encouragement of social interaction outside working hours is an important contributor in building better teams in the workplace. REAL Socialising can also add support to existing social committees and offers a service to plan or assist planning of your company/corporate events. Contact info@realsocialising.co.uk to register your company and receive a FREE monthly e-newsletter, sharing a range of day trips, short breaks and ticket only events all at great value prices. From Buckingham Palace to Brugge; Harry Potter to Hampton Court the possibilities are endless as members of REAL Socialising are also encouraged to put forward ideas for

Make sure your appraisal process is productive When did you last go through the appraisal process? Love them or hate them failing to have a performance appraisal system in place means that you are probably missing a trick. Appraisals are a useful tool not only for motivating staff, but they also allow you to monitor performance and set targets going forwards to progress your business. It is also relatively easy way of gauging staff (dis)satisfaction and spotting issues before they become major problems. For example, is the employee under stress or are there performance issues? An annual appraisal is a way of entering into dialogue with an employee to enable you to head off any concerns before they become major problems. It is essential that appraisals are conducted honestly. If you are in a situation where performance is an issue, before any performance-related dismissal it will be important to be able to show that enough time was given to the employee to improve. If you already have regular reviews as part of an appraisal system this paperwork will already be in place. Appraisal records directly from the employee and those managing them as opposed to reports put together from say sales reports, records of complaints or a fall-off in trade, will put you in a much stronger position when trying to show that performance was effectively managed.

For this reason, providing flattering feedback which does not reflect reality could cause you problems. First, in the short term because performance is unlikely to improve, and also in the long term because it could later be used by an underperforming employee to undermine your view that they are performing under par and to argue that more time should be given. Finally, the abolition of the default retirement age in 2011 has made it even more important to review future plans and address performance issues through regular appraisals. Employers may be accused of age discrimination if they become too preoccupied with managing the performance of older employees and fail to ask younger employees about their future plans. The best way to show evenhandedness is to incorporate these discussions within an annual appraisal. Gullands Solicitors is offering Gullands Sentinel to help local businesses minimise the potential for employment disputes and their consequences. For details contact Laura Claridge by email at l.claridge@gullands.com or phone 01622 678341.

new events.

REAL Socialising 122 Foord Road Folkestone, Kent CT19 5AB T: 0792 6939002 E: info@realsocialising.co.uk W: www.realsocialising.co.uk

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INTERNATIONALTRADE

It’s not about where you are but more about what you make Tudor Price – Kent Invicta Chamber International Trade Services

The article below is an extract from a recent Forbes magazine article that succinctly demonstrates how perceptions can get in the way of good business. Take some inspiration from the message below

With National Export Week having just come to an end it has been surprising to see how many small businesses don’t see a market for their products or services beyond the UK border. The recent Export Start Up workshops delivered by Kent International Business have shown how many international orders originate from a single website enquiry that gives rise to a whole new market. How much investment would it take develop a simple landing page that was translated into different languages? Just think, for the price of your next utility bill you could be reaching an entire nation. And if you’re lucky enough to get an order, don’t panic, there’s a small army of expertise available at your finger tips to help you through the next stages.

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When you think of Italy’s top exports, you probably think of products like pasta, olive oil, wine, olives, and Parmesan cheese. You might not think of kiwis. Wait, you’re thinking. Doesn’t New Zealand export most of the world’s kiwis? No, actually they don’t. Italy exports almost 410 million tons of kiwis each year, surpassing New Zealand’s total kiwi exports annually of about 360 million tons. That’s just one example of what many of us naturally think of when we consider a country’s top food export. Others include chocolates from Belgium, Chinese silks and Irish ale, but many countries export other foods or products that might surprise you. Canadian Feta Greece is a worldwide leader in exporting feta cheese, but in recent years, the traditional Greek cheese has been imported widely from North America – Canada, in particular. Don’t dismiss the Canadians; with their vast farmland, they have the resources to export tons of feta cheese each year. Frequently less expensive than feta exported from Greece, the popularity of Canadian feta cheese has increased in recent years.

Japanese Whiskey Many people feel that Scotland gets the blue ribbon for whiskey production. However, Japan has a thriving export in high quality, single-malt whiskey. Over the past decade, Japanese whiskeys have competed alongside Scottish whiskeys in numerous blind tastings, and often scored higher than the Scottish whiskeys. American Ginseng Many people think that China has the market cornered on ginseng, mainly because it is an herb commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine. What many people don’t know, however, is that the United States is a major exporter of ginseng, shipping out over 60 tons annually. Most American ginseng is grown in Wisconsin. Ethiopian Bamboo When you think of Ethiopia, you probably think of the desert, but Ethiopia exports a significant amount of bamboo. Currently, Ethiopia has more than one million hectares of land covered with bamboo plantations. The country exports bamboo primarily for building and home products, such as bamboo flooring.


INTERNATIONALTRADE

Chamber FX proving to be a significant benefit to Kent business The recent partnership with Moneycorp and the BCC network has lead to a significant increase in the number of Kent businesses using our services. Feedback from the Members is that the service is excellent, the rates are competitive and the added value in terms of payment advice and processing has been superb. Currency fluctuations can have a significant impact on companies engaged in international trade and hinder ambitions for growth. Chamber FX can

protect your business against adverse rate fluctuations and make the most of any positive movements. Try a trade and see if you can improve your bottom line. http://www.moneycorp.com/chamberfx or call 0800 710 1040

International Events For full event details and to book online visit www.kentinvictachamber.co.uk/events or call 01233 503838 24th June Exporting – Understanding the Paperwork Maidstone A full day training session on export documentation 26th June Air Cargo security Maidstone A full day training session for those involved in air cargo and requiring certification

BCC Quarterly International Trade Outlook

27th June Export Start Up Folkestone

With austerity measures set to continue in the UK until at least 2018, it is clear that a sustainable recovery will have to rely significantly on diversifying and restructuring our economy towards exports and achieving a positive balance in our trade with the rest of the world.

A morning presentation on the key steps, opportunities and pitfalls of exporting for beginners

John Longworth Director General of the British Chamber of Commerce

British companies have massive untapped potential to expand, but they need the right backing to help compete and penetrate into new expanding markets. Not only will British companies find the support they need to export through our Chamber Network, but they will also benefit from the expertise and insight we now offer on potential markets. It is time to

A date for your diary! BCC International Trade Conference London

The BCC’s annual International Trade Conference – Exporting is Good for Britain, is an exclusive event bringing together 400+ high growth exporters, trade associations, British and International Chambers of Commerce and top flight policy makers. It provides advice and insight into today’s export challenges and opportunities, and helps businesses make connections and share experiences in the pursuit of export success. This year’s International Trade Conference will be taking place on 17th October 2013

redirect our international efforts and to revert to our strengths. With Europe losing its lustre and falling behind the economic pace of the outside world, it is high time for British businesses to reassess their priorities. Following the trend towards globalisation, many markets have flourished from trade and foreign investment. Many countries are powering ahead despite the global slowdown, notably India, China and countries within Africa. The UK has been outstripped by the performance of its competitors in these markets, Germany, France and even Italy. We need to see British companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises, focusing on the opportunities in markets outside the EU. It is important for Chamber members to recognise these opportunities; the time for businesses to act on those plans is now. Companies already operating in the key markets should consider expanding. For others still on the sidelines, early entry into emerging economies provides opportunities to: create markets, establish brands, shape industry structures, influence customer preferences and establish long-term relationships. The Full report can be accessed here http://www.kentinvictachamber.co.uk/ international-trade/trade-advice-andinformation

4th July Cross Border Networking Northern France An opportunity for Kent businesses who specialise in I.C.T, Finance, Marketing, Creative Industries, Tourism, Environment and Food services to meet and engage with French businesses who have requested to meet representatives from these sectors 10th July Export Start Up Ashford A morning presentation on the key steps, opportunities and pitfalls of exporting for beginners 15th July Foundation Course in Importing Maidstone A full days training session for those involved in importing goods

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24HOURSWITH

24 HOURSWITH Alex Probyn Owner Blends for Friends

Tea company boss calls for SMEs to receive more support Alex Probyn’s day began when he found himself in the privileged position of being able to press some of the UK’s key decision makers to do more to help SMEs with exports. The owner of Blends for Friends, a speciality tea company based near Sevenoaks, was one of fourteen Chamber of Commerce members who met Prime Minister David Cameron and Business Secretary Vince Cable on May 2 to discuss issues facing UK businesses.

were there because, as a bespoke tea blending company, we are a bit quirky, a bit different. “The businesses had travelled into London the night before and had a meeting to discuss what issues we wanted to bring to their attention the next morning

The visit was organised by the British Chambers of Commerce and Alex represented Kent Invicta Chamber, taking his place alongside SMEs from all over the country, ranging from engineering firms to software houses.

“On the day itself, we arrived at 10 Downing Street for a 8am breakfast and what we were told would be a 45 minute meeting but which ended up taking longer.

He said: “I think we were about the smallest SME there and I think we

“It provided an excellent opportunity to bring to the politicians’ attention

The Chamber members selected to meet David Cameron. Alex is on the far left. some of the concerns that we have about the support offered to SMEs seeking to export. “My take on exporting is that there is not enough financial support for SMEs and I think Mr Cameron and Mr Cable took that point. I certainly felt that I was listened to. “I also feel that, although advice is out there, not enough emphasis is placed on bringing it to the attention of SMEs. “Mr Cameron and Mr Cable made the point that UKTI exists but my point is that there are so many organisations out there supporting SMEs wishing to export, some of which charge, some of which do not, that companies are not sure who to go to. There is a danger that they get so confused that they give it up as a bad job.

It provided an excellent opportunity to bring to the politicians’ attention some of the concerns that we have about the support offered to SMEs seeking to export

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“After the meeting, I received a call offering support from UKTI but that was because the Director of UKTI was in the meeting and the call from one of his team was in response to comments I made. Not everyone is in such a privileged position and that concerns me. “For me, the meeting was useful because, although more than 90 per cent of our teas go into the UK market, we are looking to increase our exports and at Downing Street I had a sense of being in at the start of something.” After the meeting, he returned to Sevenoaks to continue his work. Alex said: “I spent the rest of the working day drinking tea. We are specialist tea blenders and we produce bespoke blends. We take teas from all over the world and blend them into original flavours so my day was taken up with tasting the different teas, testing the flavours and the blends and seeing what worked.”


5

MEMBERSHIPBENEFITS

ways to use membership to get noticed 1.

Update your online profile

2.

Use our website traffic

Via your personal username and password you can log into your directory listing. We strongly recommend logging in, uploading your logo; contact details and with a short biography to ensure you get noticed as part of the Kent business community.

Did you know that we have a new section within our website? Send your press releases to us to upload online, providing sit links back to your website which will help your website rankings as well as extending the reach of your message.

3.

Get Thinking Business

4.

Making personal contact

Thinking Business is distributed to over 1,600 local businesses and wider through our eedition and features at least 2 pages of member news and you’re welcome to submit a news item for this and depending on the theme and availability we’ll do our best to promote your news here. You are also welcome to advertise within Thinking Business through our publishing partner Karen Hall at Benham Publishing on 07801 788880.

Through your personal login for the Chamber website you can access the ‘Members only area’ and download a full list of your fellow members. Here you can hand pick and target potential new customers and suppliers.

New Member Benefit Discount Fuel Cards –Refuelling benefits for Chamber Members

We chose The Fuelcard People as our strategic fuel card partner for the unbeatable combination of benefits they can offer Chamber Members. The Fuelcard People offer a range of cards which include commercial rate fuel cards valid at BP, Shell, Esso, Texaco, Tesco, Morrisons, The Co-operative, Gulf, Pace, Emo, Murco and Moto, as well as the Diesel Direct (Keyfuels) and UK Fuels networks. Savings - Ignore the prices on diesel and petrol pumps. With a fuel card from The Fuelcard People, you enjoy fixed weekly pricing. Anywhere in the country, you pay the same price, which can be up to 5p per litre less than pump prices, and up to 10p per litre savings at motorway pumps. Also, the gap between refuelling and direct debit payment means up to a fortnight’s interestfree credit. Plus, your fuel purchase paperwork all vanishes, replaced by a single weekly invoice, saving untold administration time. Find out more about the range of benefits available to Kent Invicta Chamber Members: • Real savings on diesel and petrol costs • Nationwide coverage

5.

Everyone needs a MOM

Let’s be honest, the best way we can help is to bring you leads that turn into sales. With our ‘Member to Member’ Offers we’d like to invite you to offer an exclave member to member deal. By publishing your offer to your fellow members, you will increase your visibility, brand awareness, web traffic and ultimately increase your sales. To discuss any of these or other ways you can get notice, contact your Chamber on 01233 503838 or email amanda@kentinvictachamber.co.uk

• Motorway and supermarket refuelling included • Fast, easy reclaiming of VAT • Genuine personal service For more information or to apply online, visit www.discountfuelcards.co.uk/ kentinvicta or call 0844 870 9988 and ask for Tim Betts.

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POLICY

Behind the scenes representation As a Chamber, part of our mission is to ‘Build and support an environment that is conducive to business growth and enterprise’. For our Members to realise their potential, grow and prosper, they need to have the right environment to do so, and our mission is probably more relevant in today’s economic climate than it has ever been.

To ensure maximum results we operate a structure under which we can feed into processes at all levels, whether they be local, county, regional or national.

Skills. The role of the Portfolio holder is to give a coordinated response to consultations and lobby on behalf of the business community to Countywide issues. Local feedback is sought and assists in shaping a Chamber wide view to County issues. Additional Portfolios are added when the need arises.

Local:

National/Regional:

In each of the areas within the Kent Invicta Chamber’s geographical trading area we have local Economic Development Groups (EDG’s). These groups are made up of representatives from the local business community, across a wide range of business sectors and size. The Chair of each EDG is a main Board Director to ensure that local priorities are at the heart of the Chamber’s focus, and ensures that our representation is from grass roots up. These groups play a key role in ensuring that current and future developments are both sustainable and viable to the benefit of the business community and that the right infrastructure is in place to allow for growth. The EDG’s have a vital role to play in ensuring that the business community is given the best opportunity to develop and prosper.

Kent Invicta is an active participant in the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) lobbying activity. We give a Kent perspective to national consultations and give our strength and support to assist the BCC in its lobbying activities, particularly in areas of legislation which impact on business.

The Chamber has a robust representational structure, which ensures that business is at the heart of any decision making processes that impacts on business.

Each EDG is responsible for ensuring that business is paramount within their locality in all areas of Economic Development and to give a considered and representative view on local authority consultations.

County: In addition to our EDG Chairs, we have main Board Portfolio Holders. Portfolios cover the areas of Education, Transportation, Economy, Planning, and

We are here to support and represent the business community as well as to provide the platform and services to ensue business growth.

EDG Chairs: Ashford:

Richard Lavender

Canterbury:

Carole Barron

Maidstone:

John Taylor

North Kent:

Suzanne Wood

In future editions we will focus on the individual EDG’s and their activities within their locality. If you would like to find out more about the workings of the Chamber’s EDG’s or Board Portfolio Holders, call the Chamber Head Office on 01233 503838. We are here to act on your behalf.

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REGIONALFOCUS

Vibrant West Kent economy

looks to the future Location The area is known for its high quality of life and encompasses vibrant town centres, market towns and villages, historic buildings and beautiful countryside with a population of approximately 330,000. West Kent’s natural and built environment is varied and attractive. West Kent is home to parts of the North Downs and the High Weald Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Often referred to as the Garden of England, the traditional Kentish countryside is characterised by delightful oast houses, orchards and rolling fields with magnificent views. Historic towns include Royal Tunbridge Wells, West Malling and Cranbrook. This area of the South East has one of the country’s highest concentrations of castles, gardens and historic houses open to the public including Hever Castle, Ightham Mote, Sissinghurst Castle, Lullingstone Castle and Roman Villa, Chartwell and Knole Park. West Kent is an outstanding location for business with excellent road and rail transport links and offers immediate access to the leading international financial centre of London which is less than 30 minutes by train from the area.

West Kent Investment Strategy The West Kent Partnership is championing the key economic issues, engaging with industry and business and pursuing external funding to develop and deliver initiatives to support the local economy. The Partnership’s economic strategy seeks to highlight economic issues and outlines actions to ensure future competitiveness and growth is

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maintained. The Strategy provides a comprehensive picture of the local economy, sets a clear agenda for action and seeks to remove misconceptions about West Kent ensuring that it is wins recognition of its particular economic needs.

West Kent Economy West Kent has a thriving business community and the Partnership is committed to supporting local business growth and enterprise. The resident workforce has high skill levels, with a third of the adult population educated to degree level or above. Small and medium sized businesses thrive in West Kent with the vast majority employing less than 100 staff. Entrepreneurship is a strong characteristic of the West Kent economy. In 2009, 76% of businesses employed less than 5 people. West Kent offers immediate access to the leading international financial centre of London – as well as significant savings on overheads including low operating costs and a skilled, competitively priced workforce compared to the City and other parts of London and the South East.

Investment and businesses are attracted to the area because it • Is well connected to European and global gateways • Offers market opportunities locally, in the region and abroad • Has a diverse business community • Offers a skilled workforce • Has a good range of commercial property available • Offers an excellent quality of life • Offers local business support services from a range of partners

Business Support in West Kent The West Kent Partnership works with a number of business support providers and organisations operating across West Kent including the Chambers of Commerce, local FE Colleges, Federation for Small Businesses, Business Support Kent and other training, advice and support organisations.

Kent & Sussex Business Awards The West Kent Partnership supports these Awards which recognise the achievements of our local businesses.


REGIONALFOCUS

Winterdale Cheese secures funding to expand

The West Kent Partnership Business Support Programme Jointly funded by the Partnership and Kent County Council, this programme will be launched in July 2013 and is designed to increase the number of business start ups, improve survival rates and business performance and to bring forward more business to be eligible for High Growth Kent support. The programme will deliver free 1:1 sessions and free or low cost workshops and seminars to start up and micro businesses. Targeted specialist business support will be delivered to support home based businesses, the land based sector and entrepreneurs in the West Kent priority communities where there remain high levels of worklessness.

Escalate – Finance Programme Recently, Kent County Council, together with West Kent Partnership, High Growth Kent and Growth Accelerator and authorities in East Sussex, submitted a proposal to the Government’s Regional Growth

Fund to create Escalate - a new finance programme for businesses with high growth potential. If successful, Escalate will offer interest-free loan support to High Growth Kent and Growth Accelerator client businesses in Maidstone, Sevenoaks, Tonbridge & Malling and Tunbridge Wells, as well as in Rother, Wealden and Hastings. A formal decision on the bid will be made in the early autumn. But in advance, Kent County Council has made available a small amount of loan support available from June to back West Kent businesses with the appetite for rapid growth, but difficulties in accessing finance.

West Kent Leader This programme has provided grant support to farmers, foresters and rural businesses and has been a massive success story for our local economy with over ÂŁ3M invested in business growth. It has offered micro businesses the opportunity to grow their businesses during the recession and is helping to secure a sustainable future for rural West Kent. The programme is currently fully committed and further funds are being sought.

West Kent Partnership The West Kent Partnership is an economic and strategic Partnership operating across Sevenoaks District and the boroughs of Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge & Malling and is jointly funded by the 3 authorities. Further details on business support available in West Kent can be obtained from the West Kent Partnership co-ordinator Wendy Wood Tel: 07970 551598 wendy.wood@sevenoaks.gov.uk www.westkentpartnership.org

Award winning Cheesemaker, Winterdale Cheese, based in Wrotham, secured West Kent Leader funding to expand the business and invest in energy efficiency technology. This April they launched the first ever carbon-neutral cheeses, Winterdale Shaw and Winterdale Oak Smoked.

An innovative combination of milk fresh from the dairy herd, a ground source heat pump, PV (photovoltaic) solar panels and storage in an underground cave has resulted in not only carbon neutral production, but Winterdale Cheesemakers generate enough additional energy to fully charge an electric vehicle to deliver the cheese carbon-neutrally within a 30 mile radius The project demonstrates how Leader funding has helped to support the West Kent economy. As well as increasing opportunities for employment at Winterdale Cheesemakers, it has also helped to support and sustain the family dairy farm, other local businesses who supply services and goods to the enterprise and the local pig farm who benefit through the increased supply of whey.

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EUROPEANPARTNERS

Enterprise Europe South EastUK

helps small businesses grow by providing easy access to European markets, technology partners and researchers For many local businesses expansion into Europe seems daunting. Obstacles from meeting EU guidelines on trade to accessing expertise in a different language mean that many businesses stop at the first hurdle. companies, whose innovation might benefit from testing, intensive research and development or a manufacturing or licensing partner in Europe. The range of sectors supported is as varied as there are businesses in the South-East – from ICT to medical and from environmental technologies to innovations in maritime or engineering.

Enterprise Europe South EastUK is a free service delivered by the University of Greenwich and partners in south-east England to help you grow by saving you time, money and reducing risk. Enterprise Europe South EastUK is the local office of Enterprise Europe Network, a vast conglomerate of 600 business support offices in more than 50 countries. For Kent businesses, the Network can help you find partners in Europe for opportunities in licensing, codevelopment, manufacturing, trade or research and development. Enterprise Europe South EastUK can also help you find partners to join your bid for major European funding (or can introduce you to existing European consortia who may need one extra business to complete their bid). Crucially, the service is aimed at both businesses seeking distributors or trading partners for their existing product, but also for technology-intensive 22

ThinkingBUSINESS June-July 2013

A key part of the service is an online database of 14,000 opportunities. You can use the database to find European partners seeking trading opportunities, research and development collaborations, or funding partners – or you can post your own profile to promote your innovation. Busy businesses may also sign up to The Radar, a system that provides priority notifications when European businesses in your sector are looking for partners.

Of course you may simply wish to ask a few questions, and a dedicated helpline is there to assist. Regular workshops on subjects including intellectual property and accessing funding are also part of making it easier to take the first steps towards accessing new opportunities. Enterprise Europe South EastUK has offices in Rochester, Chatham, Southampton and Oxford, and is a partnership between the University of Greenwich, Business Support Kent CiC, The European Info Services Centre and Oxford Innovation. For more information call 0844 724 2244, e-mail info@enterpriseeurope-se.eu or visit www.enterpriseeurope-se.eu.


MEMBERSHIP

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MEMBERSHIP

East Kent College

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ThinkingBUSINESS June-July 2013


LEGALCLINIC

Helping your business avoid the risks Negotiating a lease for a commercial property? Karen du Rocher, Partner We are often approached by businesses requiring varying elements of advice and guidance with regards to leases of commercial properties. It is essential to take legal advice before concluding negotiations with the landlord as it is considerably more difficult to negotiate terms once all parties have agreed them through the landlord’s agent. There are a number of factors to consider including the following: • Who is to be the tenant: avoid presuming the landlord will not require personal guarantees • The length of the lease: a long lease is not always the best option and you may want to consider a break clause • The level of frequency of payment of rent: consider your cash flow and VAT position • What are your repairing obligations under the lease : the properties current condition may suit your requirements at present but most leases require it to be brought up to a high standard of repair • What are your obligations for contributing to repairs of common areas and insurance

What are the forthcoming changes to the minimum wage? Richard Giles, Partner From 1 October 2013 the national minimum wage will increase - it does not matter how small an employer you are, in most cases you still have to pay the minimum wage. The minimum wage rate depends on a worker’s age and whether they’re an apprentice. Workers can check that they are getting the minimum wage and whether an employer owes them payments from previous jobs. Employers need to be aware that it is a criminal offence not to pay someone the minimum wage that is appropriate to them - if you discover you have made a mistake you need to pay any arrears immediately. From October 1 the adult rate will increase by 12p to £6.31 an hour; the rate for 18-20 year olds will increase by 5p to £5.03 an hour; the rate for 16-17 year olds will increase by 4p to £3.72 an hour; and the apprentice rate will increase by 3p to £2.68 an hour.

Should I seek legal advice for an employment tribunal? Selwan Yousif, Partner There is always a danger of launching or trying to defend an employment tribunal claim without seeking legal advice. A recent case led a leading employment judge to lament the “regrettable waste of money, time and effort” that resulted from the absence of legal advice during an unfair dismissal case. Seeking legal advice at an early stage can help eliminate delays in the proceedings and may enable you to avoid mounting costs. Ensure you choose a solicitor who deals in the area of law in which you need advice as this will mean your case is dealt with as quickly and cost effectively as possible. You should also consider asking upfront what the fees are likely to be as generally the longer and more complex your matter the higher the fee. Ask about funding options. In seeking who is best to represent you there are a number of avenues you should pursue including obtaining references and testimonials, using an online directory service, recommendations from other companies or business associates and using firm websites to find out more about them. To find out more about Hatten Wyatt please contact us: www.hatten-wyatt.com emma.harraden@hatten-wyatt.com 01474 35 11 99 51/54 Windmill Street, Gravesend, Kent, DA12 1BD Hatten Wyatt is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. SRA No. 50875

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COVERFEATURE

Unlocking finance promises thousands of jobs Access to finance is crucial for any business and, particularly in tough economic times, obtaining funding can be a major barrier to growth. Companies that have already received funding under the Expansion East Kent programme include:

Thanet South East Bottling This is a joint venture to start a new contract beer bottling facility in Ramsgate. The new facility will bottle beer for brewers in the South East of the UK. Royal Harbour Hotel The hotel sits within adjoining Grade 2 listed buildings in one of Ramsgate’s premier garden crescents and the aim is to increase the present en-suite bedroom stock of 20 rooms by up to 10 extra rooms and to invest in a new 50seater restaurant on the premises, which will not only cater for hotel residents, but will attract outside customers. Baines, Bigg and Hyman The aim is to open Ramsgate Music Hall, a vibrant and enjoyable music venue. The venue will include a 120 capacity live music venue, a three floor rehearsal space and an attractive bar featuring regular club nights.

Shepway However, two schemes in Kent are changing that. One began when Kent County Council, with the support of the Sandwich Task Force and the East Kent Districts, was successful in applying to the Government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF) for £40million. A total of £5 million is being used for enhancements to the Ashford to Ramsgate rail line to provide speed improvements but the bulk, £35m, is being spent by Expansion East Kent, a programme of financial support to business in East Kent for investments that will lead to job creation. The programme aims to unlock private sector finance, stimulating more than £300million in associated investment over the course of the next three years and creating a major boost for the East Kent economy. It aims to create over 4,000 jobs and safeguard 1,000 existing jobs in Thanet, Dover, Shepway and Canterbury. Jacqui Ward, Regional Growth Fund Programme Manager for Expansion East Kent and the new Tiger Fund in Kent, said: “We are extremely pleased with the level of interest and applications received for the programmes. “With the help of our partners including the private sector representatives on our Investment Advisory Board KCC will achieve the ambitious target set for the RGF programmes.” 26

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Cuisine Frozen Foods The aim is to establish a manufacturing unit to produce ready meals for multiple retail customers.

Canterbury UK Mobile Bars Formed in 2009 and now in its second full trading year, UK Mobile Bars is a mobile-bar hire service for weddings, parties and events that is expanding into corporate work.

Dover Algaecytes Algaecytes is a private company founded in 2010, commercialising 25 years of algae research by world leading bio-scientists. It is seeking to raise finance to build 2 demonstration units in Sandwich to produce high purity Omega-3 oils from freshwater algae. Flying Fish Hovercraft The company is aiming to modernise and expand business, develop overseas markets, research and develop new products, treble the workforce and achieve a £2.5m turnover within 3 years.


COVERFEATURE

Now there is a second programme aiming to bring new jobs and investment to North Kent, Medway and Thurrock. TIGER – Thames Gateway Innovation, Growth and Enterprise – is also financed through the Government’s £2.4bn Regional Growth Fund. It will offer £20 million of 0% interest loans to businesses investing in new products and services, and creating long-term job opportunities, with the aim of attracting further investment from the private sector. Initially the fund will be aimed at media, ICT, manufacturing, tech development, environmental and low carbon businesses. The new scheme is operated by Kent County Council and was a partnership bid submitted by the Thames Gateway Kent Partnership with council partners Gravesham, Swale, Dartford, Thurrock, Medway and Kent County Council. Paul Carter, the Leader of Kent County Council, said: “Investing in businesses in North Kent will mean jobs, it will bring growth and it will deliver real opportunities in an area that will benefit enormously.” Rob Bennett, Chairman of Thames Gateway Kent Partnership, said: “Successfully unlocking £20m of government funding for TIGER to support the growth of local businesses, shows the power of the local authorities and private sector working in partnership. “TIGER is another important step towards unlocking the potential of the Thames Gateway by creating new highvalue jobs and growth in our key industry sectors.” To apply for investment support from Expansion East Kent or the Tiger programme please access the following websites for full application details. www.kent.gov.uk/expansion or www.Tiger20million.co.uk

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BIGINTERVIEW

BIGINTERVIEW

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Very few things in the finance news generate as much debate or attract as much attention as access to finance for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). The situation with HSBC is that the bank is committed to support viable local businesses, that have experienced management teams and realistic business plans, grow both in the UK and overseas. To unlock access to commercial finance little has changed in the last few years. To determine whether an application for funds is successful companies need to show a good understanding of their business, demonstrating an ability to run it and generate profits. They need to prove business and financial acumen, experience and management ability to help deliver their plans by showing knowledge of the business environment and their marketplace. Other factors that banks look at include information about the management team, their business skills, experience and commitment to achieving plans. For established businesses showing security, assets owned, management accounts, historic accounts and evidence of past financial performance helps greatly in loan applications. Cash flow forecast and business plans, showing the potential profitability are important. A good business plan helps business to think logically about its strategy and business model and will demonstrate this. Finally a detailed explanation of the purpose and amount of the loan allows banks to understand where it fits with plans. This information also helps banks discuss finance options to determine if it is appropriate and structure the borrowing in the most suitable way. The domestic business market in the UK is tough at the moment and the South East region is not exempt from feeling the strain. But whereas today’s business world is one characterised by change and uncertainty, we see a trend in Kent with organisations taking this challenge head on looking at the opportunities of international expansion. Businesses in the South East have a great opportunity to capitalise on international trade, thanks to the regions strong reputation for innovation and change. Overall the South East remains a leading business development and growth area within the UK and Internationally.

Looking for funding to move into international markets the same things apply as for the domestic market but businesses need to show they have conducted some research, strengthening their knowledge about the markets they plan to trade with. This would include the projected economic outlook, relevant legislation and specific industry restrictions or regulations.

We see a trend in Kent with organisations taking this challenge head on looking at the opportunities of international expansion With the right advice and preparation, what may initially seem to be a daunting prospect can result in a diverse business, leading to exciting new opportunities for growth. As well as the obvious business potential, broadening a company’s horizons and improving the skills and knowledge of its staff are additional benefits to overseas trading.


BIGINTERVIEW

Businesses in the South East have a great opportunity to capitalise on international trade HSBC is well placed to help companies who are trading, or aspire to trade, internationally, with our UK export related business growing by a third last year compared to 13% for the UK economy as a whole. Our strategy is based around international connectivity, with our joined-up structure and global footprint giving UK businesses access to global expertise and support. HSBC’s ‘Global Connections’ trade forecast predicted that over the next 15 years, the UK is set to increase its international business activity by around 60%. We believe that 19 of the 30 largest economies by 2050 will be from what we today describe as emerging markets, and therefore businesses need to consider the growth opportunities available through trading with those countries which are experiencing considerable growth such as, China, Brazil and India. The bank has increased its number of International Commercial Managers in the South East region by a third and HSBC’s International SME Fund is also proving attractive to businesses. HSBC recently launched a multi-billion pound fund to help small and medium-sized enterprises and entrepreneurs to access or grow in markets across the world and fulfill their international ambitions. With international trade being key to future UK growth, HSBC’s International SME Fund will make at least £5billion of lending available to businesses with a turnover of up to £25million. For all viable local companies with the right management teams and solid business plans whether trading internationally or domestically there is finance available. HSBC provided over £861 million of gross new lending to small and mediumsized businesses in the South East (excluding London), helping more than 21,200 customers to expand and develop their business in 2012.

Barry Spicer Area Commercial Director at HSBC

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COMMERCIALFINANCE

Prospering in the New Financial World In 2008 the UK Financial Services Industry changed forever in the wake of the major crisis in the Banking sector. What followed has been well documented including HBOS being ‘rescued’ by Lloyds TSB and the subsequent bail out of the RBS banking group. Lloyds themselves were then salvaged by the Government and UK tax payers. Away from the high street names, there were significant numbers of Bank failures mainly associated with Icelandic and US based institutions.

Get the Complete ‘Whole of Market’ view on your Borrowing Requirement White Rose Finance – Rochester is part of the UK’s most established independent network of Commercial Finance specialists. We provide our clients across Kent and the South East region with access to over 200 sources of Commercial Finance encompassing a wide range of highly competitive products and services. We have developed senior level relationships with each lender – purely designed to ensure our clients secure the best lending relationship for their requirement. Key areas currently include:

Kirk Smith

T: M: D: E: W:

0845 643 5226 07876 564 591 01634 40 20 64 kirk.smith@whiteroserochester.co.uk www.whiteroserochester.co.uk

Five years on you may be forgiven for thinking things had settled down and it’s ‘business as usual’. The reality is, however, much different and, despite government cajoling, all the major Banks are still operating a restricted lending policy. Pressure from the government to lend more against a backdrop of achieving greater solvency leaves many of these institutions ‘stuck between a rock and a hard place’. Things are highly unlikely to ever be the same again and the net outcome? Sadly, many SME businesses fail to get the support they need.

A New Breed of Commercial Lenders – Keen to Lend to SMEs With such market disruption and demand ever present, the industry ‘dynamic’ has promoted the emergence of a new breed of Commercial lender. These new commercial banks and specialist lenders, who demonstrate an entrepreneurial and innovative approach, are all fully authorised and regulated by the powers that be. 30

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• Commercial Property, Business Acquisition and Owner Occupiers Support to purchase or re-finance a broad range of commercial property assets and acquire a trading business. We support Retail, Fast Food, Offices, Workshops, Pubs, Restaurants, Hotels and many other ‘lifestyle’ businesses with advances up to 75% of value and often higher for sitting tenants seeking to secure the property freehold. • General Business and Trading Loans Unsecured business loans up to £100,000. For clients looking to raise cash and expand established businesses, we provide these facilities quickly and

at competitive rates. If you have a new start or early stage business with funding needs then we can often provide support to more modest levels. • Property Developers and Investors Businesses involved in the new build or refurbishing of property (residential or commercial) are only too aware funding has been very difficult to secure in this sector. We have significant funds to facilitate such projects and will structure the loan to ensure lowest overall finance costs and maximum ‘developer profit’ retained from the project. • Funding Business Assets and Improving Cash Flow Leasing essential business assets is recognised as a highly effective and tax efficient means of acquisition. Minimum deposit requirements ensures preservation of essential working capital and our Leasing Partners will support capital advances from as low as £1K up to multi-million £ asset values. A major asset that most businesses hold is their Sales Ledger. Leveraging capital against invoices issued can be a highly effective and competitive alternative to smoothing business cash flow when compared to a traditional (and increasingly expensive) bank overdraft or other form of secured loan. We support businesses of any size and age (including new start clients) to acquire and make the most of their business assets.

Unbiased and Uncomplicated Advice If you would like to learn more about how these alternative and competitive sources of business finance can make a real difference to your business then get in touch with Kirk Smith our local Business Partner and member of the Kent Invicta Chamber. Kirk offers a complimentary business finance meeting and will provide a comprehensive review and appropriate recommendations entirely without cost or obligation.


THEECONOMY

The Economy & Us:

Instead of Entitlements This year, we’ve heard blame against “a culture of entitlement” levelled at benefit claimants (two-thirds of whom are in work), not just bankers – and other spin against, for example, overloaded nurses, teachers. This comes on the back of half a century of propaganda from both politicians and advertisers extolling our supposed entitlements. Today, economic circumstances confront us with a failing social contract; and the new realism is at once painful, and liberating. See if you agree. Gross Domestic Product, invented in the 1930s to measure economic recovery, tracks only financial transactions: not unpaid care, nor any DIY produce for the family or community, nor indeed anybody’s wellbeing. Politicians, however, promote spending as an individual and public Good, e.g. Macmillan’s “You’ve never had it so good”, and Bush after 9/11 urging Americans to keep spending. Now, our government wants to jack up house prices so we’ll feel rich enough to buy more stuff. (NB Higher GDP yields higher tax revenues. Our thrift hurts the Treasury.)

to exercise. Fact 1: No other health strategy will so effectively promote our wellbeing. Fact 2: No other strategy will free the cash-strapped NHS to treat properly those (fewer) who continue to need care. I want to add something more. In my experience every worthwhile achievement, including individual creativity, flows from some energising relationship(s) – in which either someone else, or I myself, have been inspired to give much more than others expected. When the “chemistry” is right and is allowed to work, that’s when you get really fruitful outcomes. So, yes, a failed social contract makes self-reliance all the more essential, alongside opportunities for “chemistry” to play its part in transforming us from legitimised consumers into human beings who give and live. Some will stay stuck in their “entitlement” mindset. They will create their own just deserts. And so, please God, will we.

Nick Rowell Director of Policy Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce Direct line: 01622 753568 Email: nick@tpbs.co.uk

Meanwhile, since the start of mass TV, consumer advertising flatters us to buy whatever we fancy (think: “the customer is always right” and “…You deserve it”). In this way, politicians and brand marketers combine to spin that greater consumption is both key to our wellbeing, and also our entitlement. This is unhelpful: not only is it unsustainable, leaving us apt to sulk at others when inevitably disappointed – it is actually harmful. Consider, for example, our twin entitlements (a) to self-harm by consuming advertised brands that contain excessive sugar, fat, salt or alcohol and (b) to depend on the NHS to click the “undo” button and make us right as rain again. After two generations of this harmful propaganda, ours is the first in modern times with falling life-expectancy for some sectors of society. Realism tells us, however, that with inflation and an ageing population, even a “ring-fenced” NHS can offer only diminishing service. Sustainable solution: that we and our families take responsibility for our health, avoiding noxious substances and delighting

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Kent Science Park - Marketing Management LLP

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CORPORATETRAVEL

Make the most of Manston Two months after the launch of twice daily flights from Manston Airport to Amsterdam, the service is proving popular with both business and leisure travellers. contend with, you can see why the Manston experience is far more favourable than that which you would get at the London airports.” Passengers seeking an even easier start to their journey can make use of the Executive Lounge which includes comfortable seating areas, WiFi, a television and complimentary newspapers and magazines. KLM’s Skyteam Elite, Elite Plus and business customers can access the lounge free of charge while all other passengers can purchase a £15 ticket at the airport. Regular travellers can enjoy the benefits of Flying Blue, the joint frequent flyer loyalty programme of Air France and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. KLM has recently announced that Gold members of any airline alliance programme can enjoy the benefits of the KLM Flying Blue Gold scheme when flying from Manston. The 50 minute KLM flight to award-winning hub airport Schiphol allows passengers to connect with 130 destinations across the Dutch airline’s worldwide network. Charles Buchanan, chief executive of Manston Airport, said: “Forward bookings for flights from Manston are very encouraging. However, we have the capacity to welcome many more passengers, so we need people to continue to use this very valuable link to the continent.”

Charles Buchanan added: “There has been a lot of positive feedback from passengers who find the hassle free experience a refreshing change from their usual travel arrangements. We already have many regular flyers who are enjoying the fact that they can leave home and be on the aircraft within an hour. “Our check-in system is quick and efficient, thanks to our new staff who receive numerous compliments, with a check-in time of up to 30 minutes before departure. As there are no congested motorways to

KLM also rewards business passengers with BlueBiz, the joint loyalty programme from AIR FRANCE, KLM, ALITALIA, DELTA and partner airlines. Sign up at www.bluebiz.com and earn Blue Credits which can be converted into free flights and upgrades for anyone within a company. To book flights visit www.klm.com. Select your final destination and the lowest fares available will be displayed.

Flights, which have been optimised to enable connections to both Europe and the rest of the world, leave Manston at 6:20am and 10:40am daily. With a return flight at 8:45pm, as well as 10:05am, it is possible to spend the day in Amsterdam, whether it be for a business meeting or to experience the sights of the city which is just a 15 minute journey from Schiphol. “We are finding that people are travelling to exotic destinations, as well as to mainland Europe, so the message seems to be spreading that you can reach the world from your local airport,” continued Charles Buchanan. “After you check your luggage in at Manston, you won’t see it again until your final destination. As Schiphol only has one terminal – which some have described as a destination in itself – the transfer couldn’t be easier.” Manston Airport, which is accessed via the A299 and is just 14 miles from Canterbury and 28 miles from Ashford, is a 10 minute taxi ride from Ramsgate train station and can also be reached by a regular bus service. The onsite car park is adjacent to the terminal and is extremely low cost with prices ranging from free to £38 for nine days.

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MEMBERSNEWS

Travelpack, making corporate travel easier

New arrival in Whitehead Monckton’s Canterbury Family Law team Whitehead Monckton has welcomed a new addition to its Family Law team.

One of the UK’s largest independent travel companies specialising in tours, holidays and flights to destinations around the world, Travelpack has been providing a first-class service to the UK travel trade, corporate clients and the consumer for over 30 years. An independent travel company, it offers clients unbiased recommendations, whilst its buying power ensures that it offers competitive rates on more than 90 airlines, more than 100,000 hotels and thousands of holidays and tours worldwide. With its corporate team available 365 days a year, 24-hours a day, let Travelpack take the work out of corporate travel planning. More information from Graeme Evans Global Marketing Manager Tel: 0208 585 4135 graeme.evans@travelpack.com

Wish you were here…. knee deep in mud? Staff at an Aylesford holiday firm swapped their brochures for a mudbath as they took part in an Army obstacle race to raise almost £2,000 for Kent Air Ambulance. The team at James Villa Holidays battled a 10km course including deep stench trenches, balance beams, blockade walls, wobbly bridges and a freezing ice crawl. They successfully completed The Major Series, designed by British Armed Forces personnel, at Eridge Park set in 3,000 acres of hills, lakes, open parkland and mud. The team were Rebecca Hinks, Donna Brincat, Gary Horsford, Dave Woollcott, Andrew Waters, John Campbell, Karl Greenslade, Malcolm Hoad, Mark Murphy, Jamie Whitebread, Shelley Kingsnorth and Judy Collins. James Villa Holidays, based in Aylesford, has chosen Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance as its Charity of the Year. In total, they raised £1,826 for the life-saving helicopter which relies almost entirely on donations and receives no statutory Government or National Lottery funding. 34

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Senior solicitor Emma Palmer joins the legal practice’s specialist Family team having gained significant experience in financial and children proceedings while working with a law firm in North Kent. The married mother-of-three has been a Resolution Accredited Specialist for nearly ten years and has expertise in divorce, the breakdown of unmarried relationships and complex financial situations following divorce, especially cases involving pensions. She has also been a member of the Law Society’s Family Law Panel for over 10 years. Emma is based at Whitehead Monckton’s new Canterbury office in Watling Street, which opened in April. The branch also features legal specialists in fields including commercial and property law, private client work and rural business.

The 41-year-old, from Canterbury, said: “I have long admired the company’s approachability, professionalism, ethos and the emphasis they place on providing a friendly, client-focused service. “The Family Law team very much continues this central theme and always looks for solutions other than litigation, such as mediation, and only views litigation as a last resort.” Robert Coombe, Partner at Whitehead Monckton and head of the Canterbury office, said: “We are very pleased to have added Emma to our Family Law team as she not only has a wealth of experience in the field but also employs a tailored, case-by-case approach that matches our company focus – to really listen to our clients, understand their issues and deliver the legal services they need.”

Devotion to tradition pays off for Kristina Kristina Boulden, of Romney Marsh, was winner of the Entrepreneur of the Year at the recent Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce Awards She said: “Our family have farmed for over six generations on the Romney Marsh in Kent with about 1,000 pedigree ewes. “We carefully hand-pick the highest quality Romney and Merino fleeces from our own flock each year after shearing our sheep, which are then used to create our special recipe of wool. “Our fleeces are hand-processed and woven in the UK by experienced weavers working in the traditional way creating our unique premium range of British home furnishings. We also use the valuable lanolin in our toiletries range.”

For further information please contact Kristina on 01233 721800 or visit www.romneymarshwools.co.uk


MEMBERSNEWS

Furley Page celebrates outstanding year of fundraising A marathon run marked the end of a hugely successful year of fundraising by Kent law firm Furley Page and its staff in support of Pilgrims Hospices, which has sites in Thanet, Ashford and Canterbury. Keen runner Rebecca Newbury, a legal accounting assistant at the firm’s Canterbury office, has raised £900 in sponsorship for the charity after completing the Brighton Marathon in 4hrs 46mins. Since pledging to sponsor Pilgrims Hospices during its 30th anniversary year in 2012, Furley Page and staff have raised almost £6,000 through a series of events and challenges. The firm has also given the charity £2,000 in sponsorship. More than £3,200 was raised by the firm’s 14strong cycling team, who battled against foul weather and several punctures to complete the Pilgrims Hospices 45-mile Cycle Challenge. A series of lunches, monthly prize draws, a mince pie and Christmas drinks event and an Easter raffle, all organised by Furley Page staff, boosted the total by another £2,166. The firm was also the main sponsor for the charity’s Light up the City event, and a team of 25 Furley Page staff raised another £119 after rallying friends, family and clients to don fluorescent costumes for the Olympics-inspired walk and run through Canterbury.

MP explores ways to boost visitor economy Gareth Johnson, MP for Dartford, has been meeting the county’s tourism champions at Visit Kent to find out more about their plans for promoting Kent and his constituency. The latest research by Visit Kent shows that Dartford is leading the county in attracting day visitors as exploring major shopping, leisure and events centres, such as Bluewater, are increasingly popular choices for a great day out. Dartford welcomed 9.4 million visitors in 2011 contributing more than £411 million to the district economy. Their expenditure included £171 million on retail, £113 million on catering and almost £37 million on visiting district attractions. The total economic impact of visitors to Dartford is calculated as being in excess of £517 million and the visitor economy supports 9,000 jobs outstripping Canterbury at £428.5 million and 8,359 jobs. Sandra Matthews-Marsh, chief executive at Visit Kent, said: “The importance of Bluewater and the visitor economy for Dartford is growing year on year and will become even more so with the development of Paramount Park. “The area has also been greatly boosted by easy access via HS1 from London and other areas of the county. “We were able to talk to Mr Johnson about our plans for the coming year, our new website and the next phase of our award-winning Kent Contemporary poster campaign – which is bringing in visitors from across London to explore the many faces of the 21st century Garden of England.”

Crowds flock in for beautiful bluebell walk Supporters, friends, volunteers and staff of the Heart of Kent Hospice pulled on their walking boots to take part in the 26th Bluebell Walk. Nearly 1,200 walkers flocked to take part on this particularly attractive circular route across the North Downs and through the privately owned bluebell woods within the Torry Hill Estate. As usual, the Hospice’s Patron, Lady Monckton, attended to meet and encourage walkers as they returned from their challenging six-mile walk. On the walkers return they enjoyed a ploughman’s lunch provided courtesy of Sainsbury’s Larkfield. It is estimated The Bluebell Walk, organised to raise funds for the Hospice, which provides quality care and support locally to patients with life limiting conditions and their families will collectively raised more than £30,000.

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COMMERCIALPROPERTY

Conflicting Signs… Working as part of the Business Space Agency team at Glenny LLP, in the south east London and Kent office, we provide advice to client’s across a wide geographical region that stretches from Bermondsey to Ashford. Typically dealing with industrial and office property, we are often asked; ‘what is happening in the market’? I will attempt to break down this answer as concisely as possible. Focusing on the industrial market, there is a distinct lack of new build stock available. New build stock accounts for approximately 5% of standing accommodation in Kent. There have been no significant, speculative new build schemes in the region, since Frogmore’s Schooner Park, Crossways, Dartford that completed in 2009. While there is still some availability remaining, it provides the only brand new build stock in the market. Under normal market conditions, you would expect this lack of good quality/ grade A stock to encourage developers to take advantage of an amount of latent demand. We are aware of a number of sites with granted consents for industrial development; however, development funding is restricted. This is further compounded by the fact

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that achievable freehold values are lower than the peak of the market; as such there is not a business case to develop. This situation has led to an effective increase in demand for desirable existing stock. As such landlords can afford to be more bullish when making proposals. We have seen headline rents being successfully maintained, albeit, rent free periods continue to be pronounced for longer term deals. Demand and the level of enquiries that we receive fluctuate on a weekly basis. Since the start of the year, we have seen an entrepreneurial spirit from the smaller end of the market, with a number of deals being agreed in the leasehold and (where possible) freehold market. The larger end of the market is now severely restricted by a lack of standing stock available. Over the past twelve months we are aware

of three design and build agreements within the south east M25 corridor, with the Tesco.com facility at Erith currently under construction. This underlines the fact that there is not enough standing stock. In summary, the market is showing signs of a more positive trend, albeit, it continues to be restricted by a limited amount of available buildings, loan finance for development and an inconsistent level of confidence. The market will draw confidence from; the wider economy staving off a triple dip recession, reasonable access to owner occupier funding and incentive packages that are available to tenants taking longer leases. Richard Turnill BSc (Hons) MRICS | Associate Business Space Agency For and on behalf of Glenny LLP


CHAMBERCHATTER

Join over 4000 followers on @invictachamber Join 800 members in our Linkedin Group or Like Us on Facebook Twitter Andy Snook

Facebook Willow Tree Designs

@PerformEvaluate

@WillowTreeD

Great networking at @InvictaChamber in Maidstone last night!

@InvictaChamber thanks, good resource site. Sometimes the most important thing is just knowing that there is support out there. :-)

Big Society Coop

@bigsocietycoop Great idea RT @InvictaChamber: Free KICC resource website launched for Kent business start ups http://www.kiccstart.co.uk

Andy Snook

Glenn Cooper

@Glenn_CSATS On my way to @InvictaChamber Out of Hours #networking meeting @DockyardChatham. Hope to meet some new interesting people

TheJobFather

@PerformEvaluate

@TheJobFather2

Great @InvictaChamber networking last night at @DockyardChatham Thanks Louise @facilitatorkent :)

If Your’re 18-30 and want a loan to start your business it’s time we talked. @InvictaChamber is working with the Let’s Do Business Group.

LinkedIn

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FUNDRAISING

Fabulous “Dinner, Dance and Donate” evening raises over £8,000 for Norton Knatchbull School On Saturday 23rd March the Norton Knatchbull School hosted a high-profile fundraising event in aid of raising a total of £500,000 to significantly develop and enhance the school’s facilities.

Guests included parents, governors, students and sponsors from the local business community and were treated to a lavish black tie “Dinner, Dance and Donate” evening held at the school. The School Hall was transformed into a glittering ballroom courtesy of Jubilee Hire and The Red Balloon; a four-course sit-down meal was presented by Independent Catering and sponsored by a whole host of local producers and suppliers, who provided mouth-watering ingredients. High-class entertainment was enjoyed during the dinner as guests were enthralled by the musical talent of the school’s students including one of the renowned NKS Jazz bands and some stunning solo performances. Another thrill of the evening was provided by auctioneer Mark Cleverdon from Hobbs Parker, who whipped the crowd into a bidding frenzy on a magnificent selection of lots, days out, personal flights, dining and beauty experiences and much

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more. All auction items were very generously donated by a large number of local sponsors and the auction alone raised nearly £3,000. A high class raffle followed, and the evening was finished off with some serious dancing and animated conversation in the relaxed atmosphere of the professionally run bar area. Headteacher Susanne Staab commented: “We have been overwhelmed with the generosity of the huge number of local sponsors who have made this evening possible. It is clear that the school enjoys enormous support in the local community and that they share our vision to make the school go from strength to strength. Extending and improving our facilities is a key element in that ambition. I would also like to thank everyone who has helped with the planning and organisation of the evening, which has been absolutely professional. It has been a wonderful occasion and our guests were unanimous in their praise. In

fact, we have been overwhelmed with requests to make this a regular event in our annual calendar.” Deputy Headteacher Tracey Savage explained: “The NK5 Appeal was launched in July 2012 and its aim is to raise £500,000 to significantly improve and develop the facilities of the school. We have already implemented a range of projects including a football and basketball area for the lower school and a sixth form study facility with computers and quiet work spaces. Next, we are keen to equip an additional science laboratory. Our students have been fantastic in their support, particularly our head boy Tom Snare who has recently raised £1,000 through his head boy event.” Business Manager Paula Bunnell added: “In this time of financial austerity and considerable budget cuts being faced year on year by all schools including NKS, we have to look at private fundraising initiatives and sponsorship to allow us as a school to continue to implement our vision to allow our students to reach their full potential, with every possible resource available to them. We are just at the beginning of this journey and welcome the support of local businesses and private sponsors. We have been truly humbled by the support and generosity we have received so far, but have a long way to go before we realise our target.” With donations still flowing in, the “Dinner, Dance and Donate” evening is anticipated to raise approximately £10,000. this will be the first of a selection of events being held at the school over the next year. Regular updates and all details relating to the school and the NK5 appeal can be found at www.nks.kent.sch.uk/37/nk5. In the light of the overwhelming support and the enthusiastic comments received, the school is now planning to make the “Dinner, Dance and Donate” evening an annual event in the school’s calendar.

Susanne Staab Headteacher, Norton Knatchbull School We would like to thank all of the following sponsors who have supported us so generously. A full list is available on our website at www.nks.kent.sch.uk/112/nk5supporters Thank you all so very much – all of your money, time and support will help secure a better education and learning environment for NKS students. If you would like to get involved please contact appeal@nks.kent.sch.uk. For more information on the aims of our NK5 Appeal and how we have progressed to date, please go to www.nks.kent.sch.uk/111/nk5-theappeal-so-far.


CHAMBEREVENTS

Chamber Events Breakfast Networking with Business An opportunity to put your business in the spotlight to highlight its products/services and how these can help other businesses. You will make new contacts and generate business leads, whilst sharing ideas, and experiences with like-minded business people. Details (unless otherwise stated): Time: 08:00 - 09:30 Non-Members: £20.00 + VAT Members: £15.00 + VAT Join us for a delicious full English breakfast and lots of networking. Maidstone 13th June 2013 The Best Western Russell Hotel 136 Boxley Road, Maidstone, Kent ME14 2AE Hosted by: Colin Davies Ashford 27th June 2013 HMS Abbey Restaurant and Cookery School Selling Road, Faversham, Kent ME13 8XF Hosted by: Sezen Zeki Tunbridge Wells 4th July 2013 The Royal Wells Hotel Mount Ephraim, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN4 8BE Hosted by: Colin Davies Dartford 5th July 2013 Cote Restaurants Ltd - Bluewater The Village, Bluewater, Greenhithe, Kent DA9 9SE Hosted by: Louisa Felstead Ashford 11th July 2013 Boys Hall Boys Hall Road, Willesborough, Ashford, Kent TN24 0LA Hosted by: Sezen Zeki

Lunch Networking with Business This lunch time event slots neatly into the business day and provides the ideal opportunity for you to meet fellow professionals, grow the profile of your brand and to build new business relationships. Details (unless otherwise stated): Time: 12:00 - 14:00 Non-Members: £25.00 + VAT Members: £20.00 + VAT Join us for a delicious two course lunch and lots of networking. Whitstable 6th June 2013 The Marine Hotel Marine Parade, Tankerton, Whitstable, Kent CT5 2BE Hosted by: Sezen Zeki Tunbridge Wells 27th June 2013 Salomons David Salomons Estate, Broomhill Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN3 0TG Hosted by: Colin Davies Ashford 4th July 2013 Everest Inn Ashford 113 Station Road, Ashford, Kent TN23 1PJ Hosted by: Sezen Zeki Chatham 17th July 2013 Bridgewood Manor Hotel Walderslade Woods, Chatham, Kent ME5 9AX Hosted by: Louisa Felstead Maidstone 19th July 2013 Hilton Maidstone Bearsted Road, Weavering, Maidstone, Kent ME14 5AA Hosted by: Colin Davies

After Hours

Ladies Networking Lunch

This Ladies Lunch time event slots neatly into the business day and provides the ideal opportunity for you to meet fellow professionals, grow the profile of your brand and to build new business relationships. Details (unless otherwise stated): Time: 12:00 - 14:00 Non-Members: £25.00 + VAT Members: £20.00 + VAT Join us for a delicious two course lunch and lots of networking. Gravesend 27th June 2013 Gravesend Old Town Hall High Street, Gravesend, Kent DA11 0AZ Hosted by: Louisa Felstead

Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce Annual Summer BBQ

Located within a beautiful and inspirational environment, in the grounds of Canterbury Cathedral Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce shall be hosting a networking Summer BBQ. Details: Canterbury Cathedral Lodge, The Precincts, Canterbury, Kent, CT1 2EH Date: 15th August 2013 Time: 12:00 pm till 4:00 pm Two Course Barbeque with soft drink on arrival. Menu: Homemade Beef Burger, Sausages and Vegetable Kebabs served with a selection of Chef’s salads. Mixed fruit platter. Tea and coffee. Cost: £20.00 + VAT for Chamber Members £25.00 + VAT for Non-members

No booking required. Just turn up! The After Hours Club is a popular and highly successful ‘casual’ networking event. The informal astrosphere and relaxed environment is the ideal place to relax and chat to fellow business people. This event is open to Members and non-members. Come and join us for an evening of networking. Details (unless otherwise stated): Time: 18:00 - 19:30 Free to Members and Non-members. Complimentary Tea and Coffee will be served. A Cash Bar is often available. Tonbridge 11th June 2013 The River Centre Canterbury 18th June 2013 The Abbots Barton Maidstone 25th June 2013 The Russell Hotel Ashford 2nd July 2013 The Conningbrook Hotel Dartford 2nd July 2013 Nucleus Business & Innovation Centre Tonbridge 9th July 2013 The River Centre Canterbury 16th July 2013 The Abbots Barton Maidstone 23rd July 2013 The Russell Hotel Chatham 30th July 2013 Chatham Historic Dockyard

To book either visit www.kentinvictachamber.co.uk/events or email events@kentinvictachamber.co.uk or call 01233 503838

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REGIONALNEWS

Delivering Growth in the South East:

Kent & Medway in Focus The South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) is a business-led group bringing together civic and private sector leaders in Kent, Medway, East Sussex, Essex, Southend and Thurrock. Its aim is to create the most enterprising economy in England, stimulating growth and encouraging the private sector to create jobs that benefit our area and UK plc more broadly. Your Chamber is an active member the SELEP Board ensuring that your business interests are at the heart of the decision making process. Our whole ethos is to make the South East the best

We are also tackling the key barriers that you tell us

possible place where businesses of all sizes can

are blocking your growth, i.e. tackling congestion at

develop, grow and fulfil their potential. While our private sector firms explore opportunities, take risks, and provide much valued entrepreneurial

the Dartford River Crossing by pressing the case for a relaxation in the threshold for suspending the

spirit, we seek to ensure that we have the right

charge and lifting the barrier at times of peak

infrastructure in place to support you; that the

congestion; the unacceptable issues faced by

workforce is equipped with the skills you need now

businesses from little or no mobile phone

and in the future; and that we are agile and

coverage; and ensuring that maximum use is made

innovative in securing investment from national, European and international sources.

of the South East’s current airport capacity to prevent business being lost now.

And while this is not an easy task, we are making

Susan Priest Director, South East Local Enterprise Partnership

significant strides in achieving our goal - areas in

These are just some of the areas of our work.

Kent and Medway are already benefiting from

Key to our effectiveness is the depth and extent of

investments made by the SELEP. For example, an

engagement with the business community which

additional £28.5 million of Growing Places Funding

is why we are delighted that Kent Invicta Chamber

has been secured for eight projects across Medway and Kent that stalled because of the financial climate. These projects, in most cases co-funded

businesses. This gives us a strong business mandate

sector to create thousands of new jobs and homes.

and allows us to have a clear business voice.

Part of this funding is helping support the

Our website www.southeastlep.com contains

Discovery Park Enterprise Zone in Sandwich, which

information on all our activities and work we are

secured in 2011. We are seeking to support local partners in ensuring its success and cementing its

ThinkingBUSINESS June-July 2013

representing the interests of Kent & Medway

with the local authorities, will help the private

is one of two nationally designated zones we

46

of Commerce is one of our Board Members

undertaking and I would urge you to also sign up for our bi-weekly briefing by filling in the details in

reputation as Europe’s leading science and

the contact us section. You can also follow us on

technology park.

twitter @southeastlep


NEWMEMBERS

Welcome to new members Accounting Freedom Ltd Dartford 08452 576692 www.accountingfreedom.co.uk Tax and Accountancy Services

DAPT Agrochemicals Limited Croydon 02086 544481 Pesticide Exports

Allen Architecture Ltd Canterbury 07929 602895 www.allenarchitecture.co.uk Architectural Services

Dartford Football Club 1992 Limited Dartford 01322 299990 www.dartfordfc.co.uk Leisure Industry

Amber Ascent Ltd Ashford 01233 730881 www.salesactivator.com Sales Training & Coaching

Eastwell Events Ashford 01233 332602 www.eastwellevents.com Events Management

Andrew Olsen Zine Limited Gillingham 01634 362283 www.zineuk.co.uk Website Design, Digitac Media Marketing, Graphic Design

Ecosan Services Ltd Ashford 01233 646229 www.ecosan.co.uk Eco friendly washroom services & recycling

Arena Pursuits Ltd Flimwell 01580 879614 www.arenapursuits.com Team Building Outdoor Pursuits Ashford Catering Company Ashford 01233 635332 www.ashfordcatering.co.uk Catering Company Assured Asset Finance Rochester 07811 106060 www.assuredassetfinance.com Commercial Asset Finance Provider Audley Mote Management Ltd Maidstone 01622 633219 www.audleyretirement.co.uk Retirement Village/Health & Leisure/Bar & Restaurant Baldwins Travel Agency Group Ltd Tunbridge Wells 01892 511999 www.baldwins-travel.co.uk Business Travel Management, Leisure, Tourism & Holidays BPK & Associates Rochester 01634 298238 Accountancy Canterbury HR Limited Canterbury 01227 728547 www.canterburyhr.com HR Consultancy

Feature Design Ltd Herne Bay 01227 743730 www.featuredesign.co.uk Graphic Design & Print Gravesham & Medway Life Maidstone 01622 682667 www.gmlife.co.uk Local Magaizine Publishing and Networking GTCI Building Interiors Rochester 01634 296748 www.gtci.co.uk Partitioning, Suspended Ceilings, Fit Out, Refurbishments, Contractors Horizon International Cargo Ltd Snodland 08452 303954 www.hicargo.com Freight Forwarding, Warehousing, Logistics J B Landscape & Property Maintenance Sittingbourne 01795 427060 www.jblandscape.co.uk Landscape & Grounds Maintenance John Lary Rochester 01634 314067 Import/Export Logistics Consultant

CityLocal - Dover Deal 01304 374786 www.citylocal.co.uk/Dover Marketing Consultancy

KSE Ashford 01233 750042 www.kse.uk.com Building Services Consultancy & Engineering Services

Cleantec Innovation Broadstairs 08001 577332 www.cleantecinnovation.com Cleaning Products

Le Rendez Vous - Limited Canterbury 01227 787511 www.lerendezvouswine.com Wine Import Company

Leigh Technology Academy 01322 620589 Dartford www.leighacademy.org.uk Secondary Education Leonard Curtis Ltd London 07860 400079 www.lcbsg.co.uk Business Solutions Group Lock And Leave (Canterbury) Ltd Canterbury 01227 470700 www.lockandleave.co.uk Self Storage, Serviced Offices, Mailboxes Loughlin Limited Chatham 01634 820791 www.loughlinltd.co.uk Independent Financial Advice M P Flooring (South East) Ltd Maidstone 01622 880596 www.mpflooring.com Carpet, Vinyl, Wood, Flooring Supply and Fitted Martello Building Consultancy Folkestone 01303 856469 www.martellobc.co.uk Architectural Services, Building Services McCabe Ford Williams Sittingbourne 01795 479111 www.mfw.co.uk Chartered Accountants, Audit, Tax, Insolvency NIC Instruments Ltd Folkestone 01303 851022 www.nicltd.co.uk Manufacturing Search/Security/Bomb Disposal Equipment Nick Building Contractors Ltd Northfleet 01474 335655 www.nbcltd.co.uk Civil Engineering Services, Groundworks Norton Knatchbull School Ashford 01233 620045 www.nks.kent.sch.uk Grammar School Office Angels (Dartford) Dartford 01322 286712 www.office-angels.com Recruitment, Training, Executive Search

Phoenix UK Renovations Ltd Folkestone 08081 412060 www.phoenixukrenovations.com Construction, Renovations, Maintenance PURA Design Ltd Hythe 01303 268618 www.puradesignltd.co.uk Environmental Services, Consulting Engineers R C Brown Investment Management PLC Caterham 07702 942690 www.rcbim.co.uk Discretionary Investment Portfolio Management Robert Greshoff Photography Canterbury 01227 733668 www.greshoff.co.uk Architectural Photography Securestyle Windows Trade Ltd Whitstable 01227 779372 www.secure-style.co.uk Double Glazing Instalation & Sales Security and Electronic Solutions Ltd Maidstone 01622 765366 www.saesltd.co.uk CCTV, Access Control, Entrance Automation, Time & Attendance Technology Means Business Chatham 08451 300922 www.tmb.co.uk IT Solutions & Consultancy Vanwise Maidstone 01622 351735 www.vanwisegroup.com Van Rental, Van Sales, Vehicle service and repair Watkins Mechanical Ltd Ramsgate 01843 852277 www.watkins-group.co.uk Installation of Mechanical and Renewable Services Xperisoft Limited Rochester 01634 202101 www.cvminder.com Development, Sales & Support of Cvminder Recruitment Management System

June-July 2013 ThinkingBUSINESS

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MEMBERSNEWS

BitesizeNews Transformed Whitstable Hotel signals boost for local tourism The Marine Hotel, Tankerton has received a £1.6m transformation by Britain’s oldest brewer, Shepherd Neame. The hotel, which has been transformed inside and out, enjoys impressive sea views from its prime location above Tankerton slopes.

Avante Partnership Annual Stars Awards Avante Partnership held its Annual Stars Awards at Gillingham Football Club‘s Priestfield Stadium.

The winners were: Avante Care and Support Care Worker of the Year 1. Christine Parsons, Barton Court 2. Tamsin Dixon, Honeyfield 3. Wendy Ford, Pilgrims View Avante Partnership Colleague of the Year 1. Susan Price, Perrygrove 2. Elaine Cox, Payroll at HO 3. Nick Bennett, IT at HO

All 30 bedrooms and bathrooms, plus the function rooms, restaurant, and bar area have been transformed to create a destination hotel with period detail, modern comfort and contemporary interior style. There is the addition of a light and airy orangery, an attractive complement to the coffee shop.

Avante Community Support Care Worker of the Year 1. Petra Foster 2. Jeanette Baker 3. Dawn Phipps Avante care and Support Hotel Services Worker of the Year 1. Suzy Payne, Court Regis 2. Elaine Harris, Amherst Court 3. Maureen Smith, Honeyfield Stepahead Support Keyworker of the Year Joint 1st: Kelly Coombes, Steve Page, Phil Jordan

Helping to deliver the best results Zine is a national digital media company with local reach. It operates through an extensive network of design agencies throughout the UK. Zine Design websites are easy to manage and, as they’re fully editable, you have complete control assisted by the creative and support teams. Zine SEO offers bespoke campaigns that deliver results for our customers. Zine Branding: cost effective, creative services helps turn your company into a recognisable brand that talks your language. Zine S-Commerce: Through social media, Zine helps your business stay in touch with current clients, reach potential new customers, generate sales leads and improve communications.

Avante Partnership Manager of the Year 1. Dawn Dwyer, Community Support 2. Lesley Edwards, Amherst Court 3. Andrew Holden, Finance at HO The Stars Awards are held for Avante Partnership staff that have been recognised for going that ‘extra mile’ within their work and are looked at as being an Avante Star for 2013. This year’s host was Heart FM DJ James Heming.

Avante Partnership Supporter of the Year 1. Tim Harris, Practice Development at HO 2. Jeanette Spooner, Willows Day Centre at Court Regis 3. Rachel Miles, HR at HO

Avante Partnership is a registered charity and leading provider of specialist dementia care for the elderly.

The Mountbatten Award 2012 Winner: Court Regis

RARK Solutions, IT Recruitment, Partnering People in Kent and beyond As a specialist IT recruitment consultancy, RARK Solutions is passionate about ensuring consistency and excellence. Formed in Kent by four diverse IT Recruitment Industry experts who between them have over five decades of technology recruitment experience, the founding members quickly agreed their core values which still stand true today: “Care, Individuality, Partnership and Delivery” (CIPD). RARK delivers IT recruitment solutions across a number of industry sectors including: Consultancy and Accounting; Legal and Law; Logistics and FMCG; eCommerce; Banking and Financial; Software Houses; Public Sector and Education. The company can provide expertise in development and design desktop support; testing; service delivery; help desk and infrastructure. From project and programme managers to IT Directors and CTOs,

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ThinkingBUSINESS June-July 2013

RARK Solutions will communicate with a wide range of industry professionals to provide the right fit for both the client and the candidate. For more information visit www.rarksolutions.com or contact Rob Rowland, Operations Director, Rob@rarksolutions.com, RARK Solutions, East Malling Research, Kent, ME19 6BJ. Tel: 01732 875338.


MEMBERSNEWS

New sponsor gives a huge boost to National Juniorchef Competition The prestigious annual National Juniorchef Competition has received a major boost with the news that one of the UK’s top country house hotels is to sponsor the event. The decision by the exclusive Eastwell Manor Hotel, Spa & Golf near Ashford to become principal sponsor of the successful Juniorchef contest, organised by East Kent College, promises to provide far-reaching career benefits for catering students. Eastwell Manor – which has had its much-coveted 4 Red Star rating renewed by the AA, one of only a handful of hotels to reach this level in the South East – will work with East Kent College to help aspiring

Neil Wiggins, Head Chef of the hotel’s Manor Restaurant, which holds 2 AA Rosettes, was one of two new judges at the Juniorchef final held at East Kent College on Friday 17 May. The other was two Michelin-starred TV chef and former EKC student, Nathan Outlaw.

The first phase of Ashford’s new garden recycling collection service is under way, with brown bins being delivered. As part of the new recycling and refuse contract, Ashford Borough Council is now offering an optional paid-for garden recycling collection to all residents.

special pre-order of the 240 litre brown bins was made available to anyone who signed up and paid for the service before Friday 26th April.

New collections of recycling, household refuse and food waste are set to begin in July, but with spring in the air, the council decided to give a limited number of homes the chance to start recycling their green clippings and cuttings every fortnight from May.

A total of 2,100 bins were quickly snapped up by keen gardeners, and are being delivered to registered properties this month, with fortnightly collections starting two weeks after delivery. Residents can continue to sign up for the service online at www.ashford.gov.uk/gardenrecycling and will receive their bin in July, with collections starting two weeks later.

Ashford Food and Drink Festival 2013 Ashford will be hosting a spectacular food and drink festival to tantalise shoppers’ taste buds. The Ashford Food and Drink Festival will take place in North Street on 21st and 22nd June, with dozens of stalls from local producers and international traders, and plenty of family-friendly entertainment. Shoppers can expect to see Kentish root beer, Italian biscuits and sweets, Mediterranean delicacies, German sausages, gourmet burgers, French crepes, artisan breads, Peruvian cuisine, and lashings of local lemonade – and more! The event will be run by Amber Markets in partnership with Ashford Borough Council (ABC), and ABC has committed Portas Pilot funding towards the event. Ashford’s town team manager Jo Wynn-Carter said: “This is a very exciting event for Ashford, and we

A major event in Kent will help people recall the days of rationing.

young catering and hospitality students to create successful careers in the industry.

Early roll out for garden recycling service begins

Since the optional paid-for service was first announced, the council has been inundated with requests to register. To accommodate demand, a

War and Peace Revival – Home Front Marquee

hope as many people as possible will come down and see what the town has to offer. “We are delighted by the number of stalls secured already, but we would still like to hear from more local producers and restaurants interested in taking part. While we have some excellent outside traders come down, we also want to show off Kentish produce and give our independent food retailers a chance to shine.” Any local traders or food businesses interested in applying for a stall on the market, including local restaurants, can contact steve.miller@ambermarkets.co.uk

The War and Peace Revival’s Home Front area will transport visitors back to those difficult days of the Second World War when ordinary British people had to deal with the huge changes that were impacting on their everyday lives. Inside the Home Front Marquee at the event in July, re-enactors will demonstrate how to make the most of those precious clothing coupons and how to make new from old. For full details on the War and Peace Revival 2013, a five-day military and vintage festival, visit www.thewarandpeacerevival.co.uk or call the box office on 0845 652 62 62 63.

Speakers excel at competition Invicta Grammar School hosted the Kent Schools Speaking Competition when speakers from ten schools in Kent participated. The winners were Oliver Brake, from the Sir Roger Manwoods School, for the “Best Open Topic”, Finlay Howard, from Mascalls School, for the “Best Given Topic”, Maidstone Grammar School for “Best School” and the overall “Best Speaker” was awarded to Mathew Kemp, from Maidstone Grammar School. The judges were Victoria Wallace, CEO of Leeds Castle, Olga D’Silva, Director of Zen Languages, Richard Lavender, Young Chamber and Director of Kent Chamber of Commerce, Professor Tim Luckhurst, Professor of Journalism at University of Kent and John Taylor, Director of Kent Chamber of Commerce and Director of Page & Wells.

June-July 2013 ThinkingBUSINESS

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LASTWORD

MOVERS&SHAKERS

The Last Word Name: Selwan Yousif Company: Hatten Wyatt

Joanna joined Brachers in 1991 as a trainee solicitor and became a Partner in 1999. She has been a member of the management board since 2006.

Job title: Company Commercial Partner

Several more promotions have been made within the firm. Three new Partners are Sarah Webster (Property), Nick Smith (Property) and Colin Smith (Employment).

I joined Hatten Wyatt’s Company Commercial team in 2012 during a period where the level of local activity to drive businesses forward is stronger than ever. Having studied Law at University I went on to gain my experience within the field of corporate law working for one of the UK’s largest telecommunication companies and via a number of notable law firms. The move has been a perfect opportunity to apply my experience in employment law, dispute resolution/litigation and general commercial matters to businesses within the London, Kent and surrounding areas

Q.What was your first job and what was the pay packet? My first job was working as a shop assistant for a fashion shop in Oxford A. Street. It was a Saturday job whilst I was at school and my first pay packet was £15 (I think) Q.What do you always carry with you to work? My daughter, who I drop off at school on the way to work, she helps me A.keep my feet firmly on the ground and remind me what’s important Q.What is the biggest challenge facing your business? Delivering a quality service whilst adding value to a business at competitive A.prices you were the Prime Minister, what one thing would you Q.Ifchange to help business? Cut red tape, regulation and legislation to allow UK businesses to be A.competitive the world over Q.What can you see from your office window? The main road, council offices and a couple of very old large oak trees A.which have probably been there since c1900 Q.If you could do another job what would it be? A.A professional cricketer Q.As a business person, what are your three main qualities? A.Common sense, determination and ability to solve problems Q.What was your biggest mistake in business? my first investment property at 21! As a result I then did not buy A.myI bought second property until much later. Q.What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs? A.Stop waiting for the perfect time and take that first step Q.Who do you most admire in business? People with a passion and drive to make things happen and move their A.businesses forward 50

Kent law firm announces new Managing Partner Kent law firm Brachers has appointed Employment Partner Joanna Worby as its new Managing Partner.

ThinkingBUSINESS June-July 2013

There are seven new Associates; Kelly Duke (Private Client), Lee May (Property), Sara Smith (Property), Eleanora Newbery (Family), Richard Thompson (Employment), Dana Ellis (Personal Injury/Healthcare) and Kelly Ratcliffe (Personal Injury/Healthcare). Wilkins Kennedy LLP appoints Paul Nixon as partner Top 20 UK chartered accountancy and business advisory firm Wilkins Kennedy LLP has appointed Paul Nixon as partner. He is based at the Ashford offices and provides a complete range of accounting services to his clients, including board reporting, business valuations, acquisitions and disposals, forensic accounting services and audit and assurance services. Paul has a diverse portfolio of clients from the law, construction and engineering, retail distribution, industrial, printing and art and design industries. Instrumental in the WK Law group for solicitors in the South region, Paul is a Lexcel accredited consultant and is a key speaker at regional WK Law events. Paul’s expertise to enhance McBrides’ business development Former banker and leading figure in Kent’s business community Paul Saunders has joined the team at Chartered Accountants McBrides as a Consultant. Paul, formerly senior partner with Clydesdale Bank in charge of Tunbridge Wells and Maidstone, has 30 years’ experience working with SMEs to raise finance. Nigel Kimber, corporate finance partner at McBrides who lives in East Malling, said: “We are delighted to welcome Paul to our team. He will be a valuable asset in supporting our corporate finance team. His wealth of business contacts will be invaluable, as will his experience and knowledge of the banking world.” MidKent College has appointed a female principal for the first time in its more than 100year history Sue McLeod, who joined the College as a Travel & Tourism lecturer in 1993 before climbing the ranks to her current position of deputy principal, will start her new job on 1 September. The Scottish-born Medway resident said she was proud to make history as the first woman to reach the top job. She said: “It means a great deal to me and I hope it demonstrates to all our students that gender is no barrier to them achieving their goals in life.”


Thinking Business  
Thinking Business  

June July 2013 Official magazine for Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce