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INSPIRE.42 The business magazine of Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce

January - February 2021

Inside p23

p37 p42

CHAMBER NEWS

Let’s Keep the Heart in Hertfordshire Campaign

INSPIRATIONAL LEADER

Listening can go a long way in business

ECONOMY

Changes to how the UK will trade from January 2021

INCLUSIVE WORKPLACE CULTURE CAN BOOST p4 SOCIAL MOBILITY

Warner Bros. Boosting economic activity in Watford

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WELCOME & CONTENTS

Hopes for a brighter 2021 Briege Leahy Chief Executive Officer Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce A happy new year to all of our readers! Hopefully – and I think I speak for everyone when I say this – 2021 will be a much brighter year than 2020, a year dominated by the fall-out from the COVID-19 crisis. Although Hertfordshire, along with the rest of the Country are in lockdown, the roll-out of vaccines are underway and everyone is looking forward to a post-COVID world that resembles something like normality. Businesses may then be able to transition from survival mode to taking more positive action, such as investing in staff and exploring new markets at home and overseas.

Challenges remain, however. The economy remains fragile and there is still huge uncertainty surrounding the fall-out from the new Brexit deal with the EU, which was announced on Christmas Eve. Whilst it’s good to have a deal in place, its impact on business will only become clearer months, if not years, down the line. Here at the Chamber, we’re continuing to support local companies as they navigate these choppy seas and move into calmer waters. We’re driving forward the Let’s keep the Heart in Hertfordshire campaign, which encourages people to buy local products and services to support businesses and communities in the county (see page 23 for details).

Now more than ever, these businesses need individuals and organisations to unite together, to buy and trade locally so we can strengthen Hertfordshire’s position as a great place in which to live and do business. While networking has largely been done online due to COVID, we’re looking forward to getting back to hosting faceto-face events, including our Inspiring Hertfordshire Awards 2020 Gala Dinner. Scheduled to take place on June 10 at Warner Bros Studios – home of the Harry Potter films – the awards will celebrate the cream of Hertfordshire’s talented businesses and individuals. For more information on sponsorship opportunities this year, see page 30.

Our cover story this edition focuses on the theme of social mobility. We explore how companies are tackling the thorny issues of diversity and inclusion in the workplace - and how this is helping to improve the life chances and career prospects of workers and residents (see pages 4-7). Once again, I’d like to wish you a happy new year and a prosperous 2021.

Briege Leahy Chief Executive Officer Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce

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Contents Social Mobility and Inclusion 4-7

Tourism & Hospitality

38-39

Patron Focus

Membership Benefits

41 42

12 & 14

Spotlight Focus

16-18

Economy

Chamber News

22-23

Entrepreneur Foundation 46-47

Chamber Events

24-26

New Members

48-49

Sector Specific Summits 27-29

Members News

50-54

Inspiring Hertfordshire Awards

Herts Global

55

30-31

Hertfordshire Growth Hub

56

Wellbeing Conference

32-33

Skills & Development

61

Last Word

62

Inspirational Leader

35 & 37

Editorial and General Enquiries Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce MacLaurin Building, 4 Bishops Square, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, AL10 9NE Tel: 01707 502180 Email: enquiries@hertschamber.com Web: www.hertschamber.com

Publisher Ian Fletcher Benham Publishing Limited Aintree Building, Aintree Way, Aintree Business Park, Liverpool L9 5AQ Tel: 0151 236 4141 Email: admin@benhampublishing.com Web: www.benhampublishing.com

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55 Published January 2021 © Benham Publishing and Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce Advertising and Features Karen Hall Tel: 0151 236 4141 Email: karen@benhampublishing.com

Disclaimer Inspire is published for Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce and is distributed without charge to Chamber members. All correspondence should be addressed to Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce. Views expressed in Inspire are not necessarily those of Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce. Reprinting in whole or part is forbidden except by permission. ©2021 Please note that submitting an article does not guarantee publication. 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.

Production Manager Mark Etherington Tel: 0151 236 4141 Email: mark@benhampublishing.com

Media No. 1747

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SOCIAL MOBILITY AND INCLUSION

There’s also the need to maintain staff morale; a happy workforce where everyone feels equal is generally a more productive one, and this can only be good for business. Workforce diversity and inclusion strategies also have to be viewed in the context of the wider debate about social mobility, which is loosely defined as the movement of individuals, families or groups of people through a system of social hierarchy. Do staff feel they’re getting the same opportunities to progress in their career as their colleagues? Do they feel they’re being given a fair chance to be able to buy a bigger house, move to a more affluent area, get a promotion at work or start a successful business?

Herts Inclusive Theatre

Inclusive workplace culture can boost social mobility Recently a court heard that a fire station manager was dismissed by his employer for having an apparently “unacceptable” attendance record. Nothing too unusual in that, except that in this case his time off work was related directly to his disability. The court ruled that the employee was discriminated against and ultimately dismissed for reasons linked to his disability – another reminder, perhaps, of the importance of fair treatment for all in the workplace. Now more than ever, employers are being challenged to tackle unconscious biases that discriminate against staff on the basis of their colour, race, gender, age, disability, religion or sexual orientation.

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The reasons for taking action are numerous. Firstly, there’s the legislative aspect; employers need to be on the right side of the law to avoid hefty fines and costly tribunals.

Employers have a key role to play in this debate. By promoting diversity, equality and inclusion in the workplace, they can make it easier for people to get on in life and climb the social ladder. Financial services firm Standard Chartered has introduced a race and diversity toolkit to help organisations implement best practice in these important areas. Closer to home, Harpenden-based construction services specialist Jarvis Group has taken several practical steps to create a culture of inclusivity and opportunity within its workplace. Aileen Courtney, group HR director at the firm, says: “COVID-19 has negatively impacted young people across the UK, many of whom were already disadvantaged before the pandemic and are now seeking their first career opportunity during the most challenging time in a generation. Signing up to the Social Mobility Pledge – which was founded by former UK cabinet minister, Justine Greening, and UK entrepreneur David Harrison – further highlights our

‘Workforce diversity and inclusion strategies also have to be viewed in the context of the wider debate about social mobility, which is loosely defined as the movement of individuals, families or groups of people through a system of social hierarchy.’


SOCIAL MOBILITY AND INCLUSION

“We want to highlight the message that someone’s background is not a barrier to their progression; the council is committed to providing equal opportunities for everybody to thrive.” commitment to providing opportunity, supporting staff and ensuring we have a positive impact in the communities in which we operate. “Diversity and inclusion (D&I) are an important part of Jarvis Group’s culture and everyone in our business has taken part in D&I and unconscious bias training. Our D&I champion plays a key role in our social mobility programme and she’s helping to further raise awareness and provide support to our colleagues across a range of issues.” Jarvis runs its Future Talent programme to develop young people on their journey up the career ladder. The programme has produced several success stories. One employee, who joined the firm four years ago as a trainee site manager, has been promoted twice and she is now a fully-fledged site manager with a track record of success in the industry. Aileen says: “We want to support and develop our people during their individual career paths as well as help shape the future direction of their development. An organisation’s most valuable resource is its people, who need to be managed in a way that enables them to be fulfilled in their work and to reach their potential for themselves and for the company.

Part of Hertfordshire County Council’s Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2020

“When working with agencies we adopt a name-blind recruitment policy to remove any unconscious bias from our hiring process and ensure opportunities are truly open to everyone. We currently attend career days with local schools and we plan to work further with local schools by providing coaching to people from disadvantaged backgrounds through careers advice and mentoring, as well as providing work experience and apprenticeship opportunities. “On a policy level, there’s no meaningful coordination between departments on the social mobility agenda and no single force championing social mobility across government, although the responsibility for change can’t solely rest on the shoulders of ministers. It would be beneficial for firms to report and publish what they’re doing on government websites as well as their own. Justine Greening is applying significant pressure to raise social mobility up the agenda but employers, local authorities, schools and universities have to act to create the opportunities that are so desperately needed for young people.”

Providing opportunities for people is something that Herts Inclusive Theatre (HIT) has been doing since 2001. The organisation believes that everyone should have opportunities to enhance their lives through creative and educational activities in environments that are positive and welcoming to all, regardless of their background or abilities. Now in its nineteenth year, HIT is established as one of Hertfordshire’s leading inclusive companies and provides a range of arts and wellbeing activities for people, particularly those who are disadvantaged in some way – those who are living with a disability, for example.

Heart of HIT

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SOCIAL MOBILITY AND INCLUSION

across the institution – both in principle and in practice. Mohammed says, “Although meeting the statutory requirements around EDI are important, the main driving factor for the university is the ethical imperative to ensure everyone has an equal opportunity to make the most of their lives and talents, develop, progress and be rewarded and recognised. It is simply the right thing to do!”

HIT - Acting Up in wigs

you can access our support and then go on to achieve good things – this is social mobility in action.”

Caroline Stevens, HIT Director

Caroline Stevens, HIT director, says: “Through these activities we are aiming to break down barriers about disability and encourage people of all backgrounds to work together on an equal level and without prejudice. It’s important that everyone has access to the same opportunities. Everyone learns in a different way so we try, where possible, to tailor activities to the individual. It’s not a case of saying: we’re putting on an event, we’re doing it this way and everyone must fit in with us. We work with individuals to assess their needs.” There have been hundreds of beneficiaries of HIT’s work, numerous examples of people who’ve gone on to better things. Caroline says: “One young man achieved his dream of going to university; another who lacked the confidence to speak to anyone before coming to us is now working on West End and touring productions. Another person who came from an adoption background is now engaged to be married. We see so many people progress in so many ways. Whatever stage of life you’re at,

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HIT has signed up to the government’s Disability Confident scheme, which is designed to encourage employers to recruit and retain people with disabilities and health conditions. Caroline believes ministers could do more to recognise the role that the arts play in promoting diversity and inclusivity. “The arts sector is often thought of as pure entertainment,” she says, “but it also does so much to bring together people of all backgrounds and boost their wellbeing and self-esteem.” You can find out more about HIT by visiting www.hit-theatre.org.uk Mohammed Ilyas has been involved in diversity and inclusion work for the best part of 25 years, mainly in local authorities. Now head of equality, diversity and inclusion at the University of Hertfordshire, he has witnessed firsthand the discrimination and exclusion that has affected so many people from ethnic minority backgrounds. A Muslim born in Pakistan, Mohammed says: “I remember growing up in the north of England, in a very racially segregated town. I experienced some not so very nice racist and hurtful comments from both my own and the host community. At times, I felt lost and I didn’t feel as though I fitted in. This life experience ignited my passion to challenge cultural expectations and barriers, and become a champion for equality, diversity and inclusion.” In his current role, Mohammed supports the university to embed equality, diversity, and inclusion

“COVID has been a huge challenge,” he says. “We set up several strategic groups to discuss how the university could support both staff and students, ensuring Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) considerations were a key part of these discussions and decisions. There was a particular emphasis on helping those who were disproportionally impacted by COVID, including those with a disability, caring responsibilities, women, and individuals from the Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic (BAME) community. Do they have all they need to be able to work from home? What extra provisions would help them to feel more comfortable and do their jobs more effectively? We produced a number of toolkits and guidance documents to support managers that answered some of these questions and provided COVID training for staff and students. “We’re also working with our careers and employment teams to encourage businesses to explore how they can tap into the talents of ethnic minority or disadvantaged groups. We talk to many employers about their recruitment policies and how they could be improved so they’re more accessible to these groups. This is really important as more than 60% of our students are from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds; we want them to have a great chance of getting a job when they graduate”. Mohammed Ilyas, Head of Equality, Dversity and Inclusion at the University of Hertfordshire


SOCIAL MOBILITY AND INCLUSION

Also championing the positive impact of diversity, inclusion and social mobility is Hertfordshire County Council, which is working hard to promote these values within its 8,000-strong workforce and across its organisation. In its Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2020, the council highlights its desire to go well beyond simply complying with current legislation to ensure that its diversity and inclusion practices are embedded in everything it does. The aim is to achieve several positive outcomes, such as getting more BAME employees and females into senior posts, increasing the council’s intake of young employees under 25, and helping staff to feel more comfortable about sharing the fact that they have a disability. Celeste Igolen-Robinson, senior HR manager responsible for employee relations, policy and inclusion at the council, says: “Previously our six directorates were doing great D&I work but this was often done in silos. There was no strong framework to pull all of this activity together as a council – something that has been rectified by our new strategy. Now we have an overarching governance structure in place where each directorate has the autonomy to pursue their own activities but within the framework of the aims and ambitions set out in the strategy. “On a practical level, there’s a greater focus on providing mental health support to all workers and ensuring our recruitment policies are fair and transparent so we have the best chance of attracting workers from a diverse range of backgrounds. We also celebrate diversity and inclusion by supporting community events including Black History Month and International Women’s Day. “We want to highlight the message that someone’s background is not a barrier to their progression; the council is committed to providing equal opportunities for everybody to thrive. We don’t want everyone to be the same; the organisation and its employees will benefit from the shared experiences of people from different backgrounds.

Hertfordshire County Council’s County Hall

We are committed to making an inclusive environment where people can climb the career or social ladder regardless of their race, gender, disability, sexuality, age or background.” Stephen Marsland chairs the council’s disability network group, one of several staff network groups that liaise with the council’s equality action groups and provide feedback to the diversity and inclusion board. Stephen, who has cerebral palsy, has been working on a project to ensure that all staff, including those with a disability, feel COVID-safe in the workplace. He says: “Some of my colleagues are wheelchair users so we’ve had to make special provisions for them with COVID restrictions in mind. For example, we’ve looked at how they can use the lifts safely while maintaining social distancing. “This has always been a good place to be employed – and I should know as I’ve been here for almost 19 years! Whilst we’ve looked extensively at diversity and inclusion within our own organisation, we also look at other organisations to see if we can learn anything from the way they do things. It’s good to share best practice and learn from each other.” Sneha Khilay, managing director of Blue Tulip Consultancy, helps senior managers/ directors to develop a

strategic, operational and insightful approach to ensure their organisation is inclusive. Having built up extensive expertise in the fields of diversity, inclusion and management/leadership development over the past 20 years, she wants to change and improve interactions between people within the business world. Sneha, who offers training in areas such as unconscious bias, diversity and inclusion, bullying and harassment, says: “The last year has been the busiest in terms of companies putting unconscious bias on the corporate agenda. However, there are relatively few companies that can demonstrate what they are actually doing to manage these biases when they occur so that they don’t have a negative impact in the workplace. “Companies need to have a system whereby staff can call out unconscious bias without fear of reprisal. They can also promote diversity and inclusion in practical ways, such as using appropriate language in job adverts. “Unconscious bias can undermine efforts to achieve social mobility, yet there are some organisations, such as local universities, that are doing some great work in this area. They have put in place mentoring schemes and staff networks that provide opportunities for career progression, which is encouraging to see.”

‘Companies need to have a system whereby staff can call out unconscious bias without fear of reprisal. They can also promote diversity and inclusion in practical ways, such as using appropriate language in job adverts.’ INSPIRE

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LOCAL ENTERPRISE PARTNERSHIP

Generation Stevenage a model for the future Around 650 people registered to attend a virtual event to find out how to pursue careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) and other roles with Stevenage’s world-class employers. MBDA, Airbus, GSK, East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult and Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst took part in Generation Stevenage on Tuesday 1 December. Pupils aged 15-18 from over 65 schools and colleges, together with their parents, carers and teachers, registered to hear from Stevenage’s leading organisations about how they can apply for jobs and

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apprenticeships in science, technology, healthcare, defence and space. Bim Afolami, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, encouraged young peopleand their parents/ carers to make the most of the virtual opportunity to find out about the exiting careers on their doorstep with some of the UK’s most innovative employers. Sector champions representing their industries each made a three-minute

‘pitch’ to viewers saying why they should consider applying to work for their business. Dr Stephen Ward, Chief Manufacturing Officer, Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult, talked about some of the fantastic therapeutic advances taking place on site including their pioneering work on a COVID-19 vaccine. He said: “This is real, tangible stuff and it is well within everyone’s grasp on this call. You can be part of it.”


LOCAL ENTERPRISE PARTNERSHIP

“Skills development is central to Stevenage’s Town Investment Plan and its narrative for improving lifelong learning and levelling up in the town. Generation Stevenage, and other events like this, send a very clear message to our young people that they are part of their town’s exciting future.”

George Stephens, who trained as a nurse and is now Deputy Director of People Capability at East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, explained why he loved working for the NHS and his job: “It’s not just doctors and nurses. It takes a massive team of people to deliver healthcare.” In live polls during the event, 61% said they love sciences, technologies and mathematics and talk about it a lot with their family/ household, with 72% saying they were very keen to find out more about STEM events. Stevenage Development Board Chair Adrian Hawkins said this demonstrated the significant interest among young people and that he was very hopeful this event would come back to Stevenage possibly in person, and even bigger next year. He said: “Skills development is central to Stevenage’s Town Investment Plan and its narrative for improving lifelong learning and levelling up in the town. Generation Stevenage, and other events like this, send a very clear message to our young people that they are part of their town’s exciting future.”

Early career leads and apprentices then talked through their experiences and answered questions directly from the audience during a series of breakout sessions. Airbus apprentice Josh shared his experience of working on the Exo Mars project and urged the audience to consider apprenticeships, saying: “You are given opportunities to work on massive projects that you wouldn’t expect to be involved with.” The event was endorsed by Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Gillian Keegan: “It’s never been more important for people to be able to develop the skills they need to succeed. Skills development will play a vital role as we build back better from the pandemic, by ensuring our places and centres of UK excellence can continue to thrive. Generation Stevenage is a brilliant example of a town that has its act together, connecting young people to key sector industries where there is high demand and creating a pipeline for future talent and innovation.” Generation Stevenage is a partnership venture delivered by Hertfordshire Opportunities Portal (HOP), Careers and Enterprise Company, Stevenage Development Board and co-organised by educational charity Stempoint East. It is jointly funded by Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership and Stevenage Borough Council.

This partnership model of delivering careers and apprenticeship advice via Hertfordshire Careers Hub is now being considered across other parts of the county, with Generation Watford expected to take place in March 2021 and possibly a Generation Hertfordshire event later in the year. This will tie in with a year-long countywide campaign to raise awareness of local apprenticeship and traineeship opportunities, both seen as vital to Hertfordshire’s recovery from COVID-19.

A recording of the event is available to view on Hertfordshire Opportunities Portal: www.hopinto.co.uk where you can also find out about apprenticeships and other career opportunities.

• Images courtesy of Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult and ExoMars Rover: Courtesy Airbus-Max Alexander.

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LAUNCHING JANUARY 2021

EXCEPTIONAL REHABILITATION CARE BY COMPASSIONATE PEOPLE Signature at Elton House is proud to be launching “Rehabilitation at Elton House, offering exceptional rehabilitation care by compassionate people in partnership with Third Age Living”, in January 2021. This new therapy and wellbeing facility will be the first of its kind in Hertfordshire with superior rehabilitation in a welcoming and comfortable luxury setting. As an award winning provider of exceptional care, Signature Senior Lifestyle is always actively looking at innovative ideas that will further improve its offering. Elton House in Bushey already offers industry-leading accommodation and care with assisted living, nursing and dementia care in luxury apartment style living. Facilities such as kitchenettes and wet rooms allow residents to live with independence. Working in partnership with Third Age Living founded by Daniel Fox, a chartered physiotherapist and rehabilitation specialist

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in Hertfordshire, Signature will be offering a Prehabilitation and Rehabilitation service at Elton House. Third Age Living has 15 years of industry experience and expertise which has transformed hundreds of people’s lives. The provider’s knowledge of senior care and medicine has led to fundamentally changing perceptions of ageing, operating with an ethos of teaching patients that there are no barriers to age and what can be achieved physically. Elton House and Third Age Living’s new partnership will set a new standard in the field of delivering physiotherapy and recovery as a lifestyle option. Located a short distance from Spire Hospital and with the patient’s needs at the very heart of their processes, the primary aim of the new facility will be to allow the patient to return home as soon as possible. Pre or postoperative 24-hour care is available, along with the option for a prehabilitation stay which gives individuals an opportunity to move in prior to surgery and familiarise themselves with their surrounding environment, giving a boost to aid recovery. Signature’s bespoke treatment programme is also available to increase strength and restore mobility after illness or surgery. Guests will be cared for in a home away from home environment with a friendly care team, in a fully air conditioned luxury rehabilitation suite with therapy rooms, spa baths and nutritionally-balanced food, as well as growth mindset and motivational talks, beauty treatments and more.

Emma Franklin, General Manager at Elton House for Signature Senior Lifestyle, comments: “This pioneering new offering at Elton House provides a new wellbeing offering for the region, forming a comfortable environment in which to recover from hospital treatments or indeed spend time in prior to proceedures. We understand that each individual’s needs vary hugely and we will continue to treat guests with the respect, dignity and individuality they deserve, all while delivering total peace of mind.”

To find out more, please call 01923 709309 or email enquiries.elton@signaturesl.co.uk


ENVIRONMENT TOP TIPS

the process, you can limit their chance of the buyer making valid claims for breach of warranty postcompletion. Getting involved means dealing with the points discussed below.

Q

Why sellers should get involved in the business sales process Michael Budd, Partner and Head of Company Commercial, explains why sellers should get involved in the transaction process and that you cannot leave it all to the lawyers.

Q

How can sellers influence the company sale process?

As a seller you will need to be as prepared as you can for the sale and appreciate how much effort you are going to need to expend on certain parts of the transaction process. If you get those preparations correct and fully engage in

A

I’ve heard about the buyer doing due diligence. What does this involve?

Whilst sellers will leave their lawyers to amend the terms of the acquisition agreement and draft associated documents, sellers are often not aware of the extent of work they must undertake as part of the sale process. Much work is involved in answering due diligence enquiries from the buyer and going through the disclosure process.

A

Q

If you have time, a presale review will alert you to any issues that might be perceived as problematic for buyers. This will enable you to either address these issues in advance or it will give you advance warning so you can establish the best way to address these issues with the buyer. In any event, you are going to need to answer potentially hundreds of questions from the buyer and collate documents relating to the company to be included in a data room to be accessed by the buyer. This is a hugely time-consuming exercise for you and can often be a source of frustration during the sale process.

Q

Do I need to prepare for the sale?

You should make proper preparations for the sale. You should ensure that the relevant information and documentation is in place so that it can be compiled and made available to the buyer. This will speed up the sale process.

A

I’ve heard the terms “warranties” and “disclosure”, what do they mean?

The other timeconsuming area is one in which you can be most involved in limiting your liability and that is in relation to disclosure. It is the single most significant aspect of the sales transaction over which you have the most direct

A

influence. The buyer will demand warranties from you. A warranty is a contractual statement concerning various aspects of the target’s company’s business, assets and liabilities. If a warranty is untrue the buyer will have a claim for breach of warranty against you if you do not say how and why the warranty is untrue. However, if you know a warranty is untrue it can avoid liability by telling the buyer. For example, if the buyer wants a warranty that there is no current or threatened litigation but in there may in fact be claims in litigation. Instead of amending the warranties in order to make exceptions for matters known to you which would make them untrue, it is usual that the agreement provides that warranties will apply “except as disclosed” in a disclosure letter. This is a letter from you to the buyer detailing matters which would amount to a breach of warranty. Contact Michael Budd to discuss selling your business. 01992 305234 michael.budd@longmores.law

Please note the contents of this article are given for information only and must not be relied upon. Legal advice should always be sought in relation to specific circumstances.

www.longmores.law

01992 300333 enquiries@longmores.law 24 Castle Street Hertford SG14 1HP

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The family-run, independent insurance broker provides business, car, home, travel and cyber insurance with a first-class personal and professional service before, during and after the life of the policy. Rather than operating call centres and forcing customers to trade online, Ashbourne has a team of trained professionals who are on hand on the phone or in person to discuss any insurance requirement. Peter Smits heads up the family firm as managing director and the third generation has already started to take root; Peter’s son, Jack, works at the firm as a commercial account handler. Peter believes that the secret of the firm’s success to date has been its ability to build a personal rapport with each and every customer. He says: “Over the last 40 years we’ve been very good at evolving. In that time, we’ve survived many economic downturns and recessions and we’re confident we’ll

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come through the current challenging period. When the country went into lockdown in the spring, we redoubled our efforts to communicate with our customers, to show them that we’re here to help them get through these tough times. Many other companies went into their shell but we’ve always put the needs of our customers at the forefront of our minds.” Ashbourne Insurance has been a Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce patron for the last five years – a move that has proved highly beneficial to the firm. Peter says: “Back then, we didn’t know about the patron system. We discovered that the Chamber’s community ethos sat well with ours so we decided to sign up.

“I’m glad we did as it has allowed us to raise our profile, increase our collaboration with other Chamber members and cross-refer work to each other. It has also enabled us to introduce the Chamber to companies that potentially could become members. That’s one of the best things about doing business in Hertfordshire; there’s a strong community feel here and companies are willing to create and retain work within the county.” While the immediate future is uncertain for everybody due to COVID-19, Peter is optimistic that Ashbourne can weather the storm and prosper in the years ahead. “We’re well placed”, he says. “We have a good customer base and we’ve invested in

“We have a good customer base and we’ve invested in digital technology to enhance our services. We’re a progressive firm that remains at the cutting edge of digital innovation – I’d like to think we’re 40 years young rather than 40 years old!”

digital technology to enhance our Sharp-aX is based services. We’re a progressive Employing firm that remains at the cutting local peo development marke edge of digital innovation – I’d to B2B SME like to think we’re 40 support years young rather than 40 years old!”

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HOW CAN WE HELP YOU TODAY? HOW CAN WE HELP YOU TODAY? HOW TODAY? HOWCAN CANWE WEHELP HELP YOU YOU TODAY?

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HOW WE YOU TODAY?CAN HELP HOW CAN CAN WE HELP HELP YOU TODAY? THIS IS HOW SHARP-AX COMPUTER SYSTEMS THIS IS HOW SHARP-AX COMPUTER SYSTEM HOW CAN WE HELP YOU TODAY? HOW CAN WE HELP YOU TODAY?

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PATRON FOCUS

A year in the life of a patron Croft Communications became a patron of Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce just over a year ago. In that relatively short timeframe, the business telecoms specialist has witnessed phenomenal levels of change. The first major milestone was the completion of a management buy-out which saw Mark Bramley take over as CEO and the company rebrand from Mobile Account Solutions to its current name. Then followed a period of exponential growth based on a strategy of building a national presence and taking a more proactive lead generation approach to sales. The results have been staggering. In the space of just 12 months, Croft has increased its business customer base almost five-fold, from 850 to 4,000, and more than doubled staff numbers from 18 to 45. The sales team has swelled from two to ten people, while the size of the support team has trebled. All of this has come on the back of swift organic growth and a hat-trick of acquisitions, as Croft tries to create a niche for itself as one of the country’s premier business telecommunications providers. The company has built its reputation on its innovative solutions, which help big corporates, SMEs and public

14

INSPIRE

sector organisations across the UK save money, work flexibly and increase mobility and productivity. Essentially, they’re a one-stop-shop for a wide range of business connectivity needs, including super-fast broadband, mobile phones, hosted telephony and productivity tools. Mark Bramley, CEO of Croft Communications, says: “It has certainly been an interesting year! We’ve pursued an ambitious growth strategy that has resulted in new staff hires and the integration of other businesses within the Croft brand. We haven’t had to furlough anyone and we’ve won a lot of new work. “Many companies have sought to adapt and improve their

business telecommunications to cater for increased homeworking in the pandemic – a trend that’s likely to continue long after COVID has gone away. They’re realising that they don’t need to spend lots of money on fixed office space. Instead they can take the money they’ve saved on rents and business rates and invest it to improve their business telecoms. Staff who work remotely are going to need fast broadband and reliable connectivity in their homes if they’re going to remain productive.” Croft became a patron of Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce just before the MBO last year – a move that Mark describes as “fantastic for our business”.

“Being part of the Chamber network has allowed us to support more local businesses,” he says. “Our philosophy is that we’ll offer work to local companies where possible. By working together and cross-referring work to each other, these businesses can have a positive impact on the local economy.”

“Being part of the Chamber network has allowed us to support more local businesses,” he says. “Our philosophy is that we’ll offer work to local companies where possible. By working together and cross-referring work to each other, these businesses can have a positive impact on the local economy.” So, what will the next year bring for Croft? Further expansion is on the agenda but Mark is keen to ensure that growth is controlled so that customer service levels remain high. “It’s an obvious thing to say but if you keep clients happy, they will keep coming back to you,” he says. “Realistically we could increase headcount to around 150 within two years. Ideally, we’d like to recruit more leaders who can grow the business further and there may be other acquisitions in the pipeline. “We’re happy with where we are. We’ve had an exciting year and we’re optimistic about the future.”


THE LOCAL INSURANCE BROKER, TO TRUST ACCORDING TO OUR CLIENTS...

"Their communication is excellent and they have always taken the time to highlight some of the conditions in our Contractors Policy in particular, which if not adhered to, have the potential to effect claims. We appreciate their direct, straightforward yet professional approach"

“The market has obviously tightened with some insurers leaving the market and others hardening their positions. Tysers were able to source a variety of options for us and confirm the terms we needed, many thanks”

“With Tysers we quickly came to understand that long term relationships and a deep understanding of our business will ensure that we will have the best possible cover and at the most competitive rates. This became clearer over several occasions where we had significant claims which were handled efficiently and to our satisfaction”

“Their professionalism and customer service skills are impeccable. Whenever I make any requests their reaction speed is fantastic. Nothing is too difficult, nothing is too much to ask, they are there all the time, even out of hours should the going gets tough. The dedication to their role is truly commendable”

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 3-4 Park Street, Hitchin, Hertfordshire, SG4 9AH R.78.12.20.V.1.0 Tysers Insurance Brokers Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered office: 71 Fenchurch Street, London EC3M 4BS. Registered Company No. 2957627 England.


SPOTLIGHT FOCUS: WATFORD

With a thriving town centre with fantastic shopping, nightclubs and restaurants, a football team plying its trade in the top echelons of the Championship, theatres, award-winning parks (including Cassiobury, one of the nation’s top parks), there is something for everyone in this Hertfordshire town. The £180 million extension to Watford’s Intu shopping centre has helped to cement the town’s position as a bustling retail hub, while the area is well populated with bars, pubs, nightclubs and comedy venues. Watford has achieved the prestigious Purple Flag status for its evening and night-time economy (ENTE). Areas awarded the Purple Flag are recognised for providing a vibrant and diverse mix of dining, entertainment and culture while promoting the safety and wellbeing of visitors and local residents. All of these ingredients ensure that Watford is a great place in which to live and do business, as many local companies testify. Law specialist Veale Wasbrough Vizards (VWV), which also has offices in London, Birmingham and Bristol, says the high level of interaction between business in the area is a real plus point.

The town that punches above its weight Covering an area of just eight miles squared, Watford is a town which appears to punch above its weight.

Richard Phillips, partner at VWV, says: “A strong CSR ethos permeates into the business community and the tie-in between charities, companies and business organisations such as the Chamber. We have just run a successful conference online in the pharma and life sciences sector through the Pharmaceutical Industry Network Group (PING) and the stars of the whole day were Electric Umbrella, a UK based charity challenging perceptions of individuals with learning disabilities. We asked them to participate as part of our mission to create a varied day for delegates and it helped foster a great atmosphere for what was many hours of online engagement. “We’re well connected by local transport routes and we’re only 18 minutes from Central London. Another advantage we have is that we have ready access to a pipeline of talent that can underpin our workforce for years to come. The combination of people living and working in Watford and those who come in every day, from London or the areas around to the west, north and east, creates a vibrancy and an energy which rubs off on business generation and performance.

“A strong CSR ethos permeates into the business community and the tie-in between charities, companies and business organisations such as the Chamber. We have just run a successful conference online in the pharma and life sciences sector through the Pharmaceutical Industry Network Group (PING) and the stars of the whole day were Electric Umbrella.” 16

INSPIRE


SPOTLIGHT FOCUS: WATFORD

“All of the above have given Watford a DNA of being a place which rolls its sleeves up and gets on with life and that is a cracking place in which to base a business!” As with many businesses, VWV has had to adapt to life in the coronavirus pandemic. The company has switched the majority of its 500-strong team to remote working, regularly communicated with staff and looked critically at ways in which costs can be better managed. Now some staff are back in the offices, which are COVID-19 compliant, new partner Chris Knight has been recruited to spearhead growth in VWV’s national sector specialism, charities, in the region from the Watford office. While the fall-out from Brexit will remain a challenge, VWV believes it has a solid base from which to identify and grow on future opportunities. Richard says: “There will be merger and acquisition (M&A) opportunities to consolidate existing work lines and sector specialisms. We have a forward-thinking attitude to providing services and building on some of the initiatives we’ve already successfully implemented. We’re working on other tech ideas as a way of offering our services to clients and using tech solutions to provide efficiencies.” www.vwv.co.uk Another company that’s boosting economic activity in Watford is Warner Bros. Since 1994, it has hosted a number of high-profile productions, including James Bond: Goldeneye, Mortal Combat: Annihilation, Star Wars Episode One: The Phantom Menace, Longitude, An Ideal Husband and Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow. After the turn of the millennium it became home to the most successful film series of all time, with all eight Harry Potter films being shot at the studio. The studio is now the first choice for filmmakers worldwide, and the go-to studio for world-class movies, TV shows, commercials, pop promos, virals and gaming industry shoots.

Diagon Alley, Warner Bros. Studio Tour Sarah Roots, executive vice-president, Warner Bros studio tours and retail, says: “We are fortunate in that we are in a great location. We are well connected by a great rail and road network and we have fantastic support from Three Rivers District and Watford councils. “We’re located within the M25 in Watford and benefit from excellent local and national transport links. The studio is located 20 miles from central London, just two miles from Watford train station and 23 miles from Heathrow airport. “Hertfordshire is the perfect base for visiting London and also has everything you need for a great getaway. The city of St Albans combines historic charm with top-notch shopping and dining, as do the towns of Hertford, Watford and Tring. You can explore famous attractions such as St Albans Cathedral, Hatfield House, Knebworth House, test your skills on the real snow slopes of The Snow Centre or play a few rounds at one of the county’s many world-class golf courses. Alternatively, you can simply enjoy the county’s outstanding countryside at Ashridge Estate, Tring Park and Wendover Woods.

The Hogwarts Express at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter Watford Borough Council has also hailed the area’s good transport connectivity as a major plus point. Jane Mason, economic development officer at the council, says: “Watford is a fantastic place to do business for a whole host of reasons, starting with its ideal location. It is incredibly well connected to the rest of the country by road, rail, bus and London Underground – in fact, Watford businesses can reach over half the UK economy within one hour. Cont. >>>

“There’s a huge range of accommodation to choose from, including five-star estates, boutique B&Bs and excellent mid-range hotels for large groups and corporate events. With the M25, M1 and A1(M) close by, Hertfordshire is within easy reach Stansted and Luton airports.”

“We’re located within the M25 in Watford and benefit from excellent local and national transport links.” Warner Bros.

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TRUS T US TO MOVE YOU R PROJ EC T FORWARD

SPOTLIGHT FOCUS: WATFORD

in grants to more than 1,400 small businesses and over £36 million in business rates credits to businesses in the local retail, hospitality and leisure sector. In November the council paid a further £641,820 in grants to 381 businesses and further support will continue into 2021. Jane says: “Recently, we have funded and kick-started the Watford Business Recovery and Growth Programme, offering existing and start-up businesses access to free, inclusive and impartial business advice, skills training, drop-in co-working space and digital support services over and above what is already on offer in Hertfordshire. Our aim is to help businesses overcome the current challenges and thrive in the future. The programme is being run on behalf of the council by Wenta and in just the first few weeks more than 100 small businesses have accessed the services.”

and beauty store on the site of Debenhams. The town has also recently welcomed Joules, Tag Heuer and a new Taco Bell. Plus, a fun indoor golf facility called Puttshack and escape room adventure Escape Hunt are soon to be opening their doors. Outside of our retail and leisure hub, businesses are continuing to choose Watford as their home including PwC which has taken new offices on Clarendon Road and three new companies that joined Watford’s Croxley Park business community in the second half of 2020: medical supplies company Clinisupplies, alarm tech company CSL Dualcom and plant-based snack food manufacturer, Vibrant Foods. “Our major upgrades to the high street, which were completed in 2019, focused on attracting restaurants and leisure facilities alongside retail so we could diversify the town centre offering and ensure that the town remained vibrant. As the town begins its journey towards renewal, we will truly realise the benefits of this investment.

“The town also has a proven track record as a successful business centre and is Jane acknowledges the tough a place where business investment is challenges faced by retailers on the welcomed and supported. Today, it is home high street, with Debenhams and Arcadia to global, UK and regional headquarters of Group the latest high-profile firms to fall industry leaders including KPMG, Wickes, “Watford has a proven track record as a into administration, yet she believes JD Wetherspoon, Majestic Wine and successful business centre and is a place there are reasons to be optimistic. Camelot. It is also is home UK and EasyBuild anto the end to end bespoke construction software solution. Built investment to address the where business is welcomed European headquarters of significant foreign “We still have a lot to celebrate and as With strengths in financial, operational, financial and commercial management of all types and of supported. construction proects. It businesses such as TJX Europe, Beko, we move towards 2021 we are now in a professional and business services, HCL, Hilton, Ralph Lauren and Costco.” much more positive position,” she says. provides real-time data and information to enable key business decisions and mitigate pharmaceutical and life risks. sciences, creative, digital and information technology, and Watford Council has been helping many “News of the intu’s successful takeover as a centre for corporate headquarters businesses to navigate their way through by Global Mutual in October restored will with1 EasyBuild is an end to endyou bespoke software solution. Built to address the and functions, Watford is the location theEasyBuild COVID crisis. software Between April andprovide August stability and construction we’ve gained aT number of RUS T US TO MOVE YOU R PROJ EC T FORWARD new financial businesses, including software a of Next home 2020, the council paid out over million choice for businesses of all sizes.” EasyBuild is an end to bespoke construction software address EasyBuild an £17 end toend end bespoke construction Built toBuilt address the The ability tois see in real-time the position your proects through ourtoCVR module operational, financial and commercial management of all solution. typessolution. ofof construction proects. It the

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operational, financial andcommercial commercial management all of construction proects. It operational, financial and management of types all decisions types ofour construction proects. It provides real-time data and information enable keyof business and mitigate risks. Provide you with financial snapshotsto across your business through Dashboard provides real-time data and information to enable key business decisions and mitigate risks. provides real-time data and information to enable key business decisions and mitigate risks. Integrate site and the back office through our mobile Requisition, Good Received Notes and EasyBuild software will provide you with1 Timesheet EasyBuild application software will provide you with1 The ability to will see in real-time the financial position of yourCloud proects through our CVR module EasyBuild software provide you Secure, anytime, anywhere working through EasyBuild The ability to see in real-time thewith1 financial position of your proects through our CVR module Our services: We reduce risk, save money and add Provide you with snapshots across your business through our Dashboard Theintegrated ability to see in financial real-time the financial position of your proects through CVRmore module Provide you with financial snapshots across your business through our Dashboard An platform managing Financials, Procurement, Commercial andour much Integrate site and the back officethrough through our mobile Requisition, Good Received Notes and Integrate site and the back office our mobile Requisition, Good Received Notes and Geotechnical Provide you with financial snapshots across your business through our Dashboard All within a user friendly solution,your built for Construction. value. Whatever environmental Timesheet application Timesheet application Contaminated site save and the backand office through ReceivedLand Notes and We Integrate reduce risk, money add value. our mobile Requisition, Good Secure, anytime, anywhere working through EasyBuild Cloud Secure, anytime, anywhereof working through EasyBuild Cloud needs, our team specialists is here Timesheet application SuDS &more Flood Risk Whatever your environmental needs, our Procurement, An integrated platform managing managing Financials, Commercial and much AnWE integrated platform Financials, Procurement, Commercial and much more WHO HELP Secure, anytime, working through EasyBuild tospecialists guide you through every stage ofCloud Land Drilling team of isanywhere here to guide All within a userfriendly friendly solution, built for Construction. All within a user solution, builtyou for Construction. An integrated platform managing and much more through everyproject. stage of your project.Financials, Procurement, Commercial Japanese Knotweed your All within a user friendly solution, built for Construction. Project Management WHO WE HELP

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Newly Launched!

The all new Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce website

Benefits Include: Thoroughly wash hands soap and water before Enjoy a fresh new look with with better navigation touching the mask Take advantage of an booking process for events Check the mask for easier any tears or holes Update your company profile (members only) Upload your own news and offers (members only) Let us know what you think!

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CHAMBER NEWS

Herts Chamber Launch NEW 2021 “Let’s Keep the Heart in Hertfordshire” Campaign The New Year sees Herts Chamber of Commerce, named the fastest growing Chamber across the 53 accredited Chambers in the UK for 2019, championing a brand new “Let’s Keep the Heart in Hertfordshire” campaign to help support the economic recovery and stability for the county. The campaign will aim to achieve a number of objectives in 2021, namely: 1. Promoting ‘Buy Local’ 2. Organising Supply Chain and Meet the Buyer events 3. Showcasing Hertfordshire Professional Services 4. Launching a Platform via the NEW Herts Chamber website to facilitate introductions to companies who have county-based contracts requiring suppliers, talent and services. 5. Focusing attention on the talent pool of Hertfordshire residents by helping promote apprenticeships and other recruitment opportunities “Let’s Keep the Heart in Hertfordshire” will create new connections and support for Hertfordshire businesses, at exactly the time they need it the most. Briege Leahy, Chief Executive of Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce said, “Herts Chamber has been working to help support local businesses for over ninety-seven years and the past year has been one of the most challenging so far. Over the past ten months the Chamber team and I have spoken to hundreds of businesses from across a range of industries including: Construction, Engineering, Life Sciences, IT, Creative, Professional Services, Logistics, Food and Leisure to understand their challenges and where there might be opportunities. We decided to create a campaign to help support all those who have an appetite to further strengthen our local economy and workforce. Coronavirus changed the way we worked last year and this year we are on a mission to help re-build Hertfordshire and highlight business opportunities for Herts based businesses thus the launch of our

“Let’s Keep the Heart in Hertfordshire“ campaign. We invite all Herts enterprises to get involved and spread the news that the county is open for new business and we will share contract opportunities for those seeking suppliers from within Herts.” The first event of 2021 to help achieve the campaign objectives will take place on Thursday 11th February from 10 to 11:30am entitled: Supply Chain Summit. Delegates will hear two keynote presentations, for whom supply chains play a vital role. First Mike Butler, Senior Project Manager, Inland Homes will discuss the current development of Cheshunt Lakeside (the site of the previous Tesco Head Office) and offer opportunities for local suppliers. The second presentation will be from Cherie Norris, Enterprise Zone Manager, Hertfordshire Innovation Quarter The County’s Enterprise Zone which is leading the development of 3 million sqft of new commercial space over 10 years in Hemel Hempstead, alongside the creation of 11,000 new homes in Hemel Garden Communities. Not only will this ambitious and game changing development transform the area and create 10,000 new jobs, but it will also provide space for Hertfordshire growth companies in the construction supply chain.

Dean Russell, MP for Watford offers his support by stating, “Without a shadow of a doubt Hertfordshire is blessed with many outstanding companies and talented residents who collectively keep the blood pumping through the heart and veins of Hertfordshire. This new, fresh campaign will help support many of the over 60,000 registered businesses in the county find new opportunities to fulfil contracts, raise their profile and help the unemployed back into employment throughout the county. As one of the Conservative Party’s Small Business Ambassadors, I would encourage companies West, East, North & South to follow and engage with the campaign over the next twelve months and beyond. Also, should any small business in Hertfordshire need assistance, then please do contact me at dean.russell.mp@parliament.co.uk”

Companies and organisations interested in accessing and taking part in the “Let’s Keep the Heart in Hertfordshire” campaign should contact editorial@hertschamber.com, call 01707 502180 #LetsKeeptheHeartinHerts INSPIRE

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CHAMBER EVENTS

Upcoming Webinars The Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce have organised a series of Webinar Events in these challenging times in order to continue supporting our members and non-members, and to provide vital information that businesses may need. With our members in mind we have designed the programme to cover a variety of topics:

Trading with India through a pandemic and beyond India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world and the UK is the third largest investor in India.

Date: 12/01/21 Time: 10:00 – 11:00 Price: FREE

This webinar will provide you with information on where India stands in terms of recovery from the pandemic together with guidelines and UKIBC’s pragmatic support to help you to engage with and expand into this market. Siddharth Mukne, Associate Director at UK India Business

Council will offer insight and advice on key sectors and support together with information on the Indian government’s policies to attract foreign direct investment. Siddharth is responsible for engaging with companies across UK with an interest in the Indian market.

& operations, having worked with multinational engineering, advance manufacturing and life science companies across Europe & India. Recently, Siddharth has been nominated for the Director of the year International award 2020 by Institute of Directors UK.

He has a strong background in business development, project management, account management

New Export Forms Clinic An important update and guidance on completion of new Export Forms Date: 14/01/21 Time: 11:00 – 11:45 Price: FREE

As you are all no doubt aware, the end of the EU Transition period is 1st January. From then on, all our current export certificates will alter to some degree. The Herts Chamber Export team invites you to join us for this webinar, at which we will highlight all the changes to these forms and also give advice on how to correctly complete them. This will be followed by a Q and A session to allow for further discussion of specific queries regarding this documentation that you may have. If you are currently involved in the process of exporting, this is a must attend webinar and we do strongly urge you to participate in this clinic session.

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CHAMBER EVENTS

For more information on any event:

01707 502180

bookings@hertschamber.com or www.hertschamber.com

Meet the Neighbours Virtual Networking Opportunity Date: 27/01/21 Time: 11:00 – 12:00 Price: Members FREE Non-Members £18.00 Join us with Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce, for an hour of virtual networking on Wednesday 27th January.

Each participant will be given the opportunity to introduce themselves and their business. This event is free of charge for all members and a small charge of £15.00 plus VAT is applicable for non-members.

We have joined forces to provide the chance to meet members of a neighbouring Chamber and make the most of this great networking opportunity.

N.B. Any non-member attending this meeting who subsequently signs up for Chamber membership within one week (i.e. CoB 03.02.21) will receive a full refund of the cost of attending this webinar.

Google Analytics 4: Smarter Marketing Decisions Date: 02/02/21 Time: 10:00 – 11:00 Price: Members FREE Non-Members £18.00 Google Analytics has had a major upgrade! The new GA4 includes some powerful features so you can make smarter marketing decisions. GA4 includes some significant new features that give you even greater insight into what’s going on under the bonnet of your website. Find out more about your website traffic and make better informed marketing choices. Being hosted by Dan Jenkins, Senior Digital Marketing Manager at Wagada, this course is a great starting point for anyone that wants to get familiar with the latest update of Google Analytics and navigate around the features for better internal reporting and superior insights.

The course consists of: • An intro to Google Analytics • The GA4 update and what changes were introduced • Insight into the changes across the update and what they mean for you • Training on building custom audiences and reports, learn to configure audiences and other GA4 elements • Key areas you should be utilising on a regular basis

Course agenda: 1. Fundamentals of Google Analytics and GA4 •

A brief intro to Google Analytics

How app+web tracking works

GA4 account structure and key metrics

2. Objective planning •

Website objectives

Creating a measurement strategy

3. Complete GA4 run through •

Interface overview

Real-time reporting

Technology reports

Event reporting

Advanced analysis

4. Reporting •

Overview of different report types

Exporting and sharing reports

On-going analysis

This workshop is ideal for marketing managers and directors, or business owners wanting to take more control of their marketing budget and the return on investment.

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CHAMBER EVENTS

Upcoming Webinars A Practical Guide to Documentary Letters of Credit This on-line seminar provides a step-by-step guide on how to deal with Documentary Letters of Credit – from receipt of order to successful presentation. The course tutor, Alan Bracken, has over 30 years practical experience working with Letters of Credit. Focus on a real case history of a Letter of Credit gives delegates the opportunity to increase their awareness and skills

of the requirements involved with using letters of credit. Topics Covered: • Requesting a workable Letter of Credit • Selecting the correct Letter of Credit • Preparing Bills of Exchange (Draft) • Examination of supporting documentation • Cost of trading under a Letter of Credit

Date: 05/02/2021 Time: 10:00-16:00 Cost: Members £300.00

• UCP 600 • Examining and understanding the role of the UCP 600 in the Letter of Credit transaction and its impact upon documents to be presented for payment • Examination of a Letter of Credit in conjunction with UCP 600 Delegates will be involved in a practical exercise, examining and correcting

Non-Members £420.00 Documents before payment is made. Delegates are encouraged to use their own Letter(s) of Credit during the course as a learning tool. On completion of the course, all delegates receive a certificate of attendance and a free helpline number they may contact for advice regarding future Letters of Credit. Also includes a free copy of UCP 600, a certificate of attendance, all written materials.

Virtual Networking Opportunity Date: 17/02/21 Time: 11:00 – 12:00 Price: Members FREE Non-Members £18.00 The next Webinar Event of the series that Herts Chamber have organised, is a pure networking event in order to continue supporting our members and non-members in these challenging times.

Join us for an hour of networking on Wednesday 17th February at 11am and enjoy the powers of networking, providing the chance to meet with a variety of different business people in an informal atmosphere, to listen and share experiences whilst working remotely. Each participant will be given the opportunity to introduce themselves and their business.

N.B. Any non-member attending this meeting who subsequently signs up for Chamber membership within one week (i.e. by 24/02/2021) will receive a full refund of the cost of attending this webinar.

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SECTOR SPECIFIC SUMMITS

Sector Summits Throughout 2020 the Herts Chamber held many virtual events in order to keep on supporting the County however they could. Heading into 2021, this is still their number one goal, and so Herts Chamber are continuing the Sector Specific Summits programme with the following topics:

Supply Chain Summit This is the fifth event in a series of new online Summits that Herts Chamber have created, designed to focus on key industries within Hertfordshire and provide a platform for sharing information, ideas and latest thinking. Supply Chains are critical to the success of an organisation and both manufacturing and service industries are heavily reliant on their supply chains to ensure their businesses function smoothly and remain profitable. At this Summit we will hear two keynote presentations from our partners for the event, for whom supply chains play a vital role:

Cheshunt Lakeside: Inland Homes Flagship Development and opportunities for local suppliers Mike Butler, Senior Project Manager, Inland Homes
 This presentation will provide an overview of Inland Homes’ Cheshunt Lakeside scheme and the opportunities available to local businesses to be involved in the supply chain for the first phase of construction.

Hertfordshire Innovation Quarter The County’s Enterprise Zone Cherie Norris, Enterprise Zone Manager, Herts IQ Hertfordshire IQ is leading the development of 3 million sqft of new commercial space over 10 years in Hemel Hempstead, alongside the creation of 11,000 new homes in Hemel Garden Communities. Not only will this ambitious and game changing development transform the area and create 10,000 new jobs, it will also provide space for Hertfordshire growth companies in the construction supply chain to cluster around market leaders and built environment experts BRE Group.

Date: 11/02/2021 Time: 10:00-11:30 Price: Members £25.00 Non Members £35.00 These presentations will be followed by an interactive panel session, in which these subjects and the broader topic of Supply Chains will be discussed in more depth. In addition to the above keynote speakers, panellists include: • Matt Clark, Partnership Co-Ordinator, Serco • Katrina Dougherty, Vice Principal Enterprise and Innovation, Hertford Regional College • Cllr Lewis Cocking, Leader, Broxbourne Borough Council • Khaled Dewan, Head of Sales and Services, My Energy Consultants • Ana Duta, Customer Services Manager, Bowman Ingredients

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SECTOR SPECIFIC SUMMITS

Sector Summits Diversity and Inclusion Summit The impact of Diversity and Inclusion to your bottom line Date: 25/02/2021 Time: 10:00 – 11:30 Price: Members £25.20 Non Members £35.40 This is the sixth event in a series of online Summits that the Herts Chamber have created, designed to focus on key industries and strategies within Hertfordshire and provide a platform for sharing information, ideas and latest thinking. We are delighted to have René Carayol, World Leading Executive Coach, carayol.com as our keynote speaker for this Summit on Diversity and Inclusion. Inclusive Leadership: Everybody In - Nobody Out Our world has changed and we need a different and more inclusive and empathetic form of leadership for these extraordinary times. Many businesses have made meaningful statements and declarations of intent about Black Lives Matter. But now comes the real challenge – the actual changes. We all need someone to believe in and something to belong to. We must try and create an environment where difference is both respected and valued, and encourage different approaches that when all added together can create vibrant and innovative teams.

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He speaks with the authority and confidence of the expert practitioner who has seen and experienced it all before. René draws much from his own unique experiences as managing director at IPC Magazines and serving on a variety of boards including Pepsi, IPC Media and the Inland Revenue. René has acquired a reputation for providing first hand advice and support for a series of successful CEOs in the Fortune 500, FTSE 100 and all around the world. René will demonstrate through a series of unforgettable stories how some of the world’s most progressive companies and leaders have adapted to this volatile world.

No one who attends will leave without their approach to leadership having been enhanced forever. The presentation will be followed by an interactive panel session, in which the subject will be discussed in more depth. The panellists for this event include: • Celeste Igolen-Robinson, Senior HR Manager, Policy & Inclusion, Human Resources, Hertfordshire County Council • Mohammed Ilyas, Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Equality Office, University of Hertfordshire.


SECTOR SPECIFIC SUMMITS

Coming Up

ICT and AI Summit This is the seventh event in a series of new online Summits that Herts Chamber have created, designed to focus on key industries within Hertfordshire and provide a platform for sharing information, ideas and latest thinking. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is poised to fundamentally shift the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry as technologies such as Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing, Deep Learning, and others dramatically enhance the performance of communications, apps, content, and digital commerce. At this Summit we will hear from two keynote speakers on the development of AI and how this is effecting the ICT industry. These presentations will be followed by a choice of two interactive panel sessions for you to select from, in which these and further topics will be discussed.

Speakers Backgrounds: David Sharp leads Ocado’s “Technology 10x” multidisciplinary innovation team that works on devising and developing disruptive technologies that can make transformational improvements to Ocado. The “10x” is about seeking to make a “ten times” difference to something rather than a 10% incremental improvement. The team works on creating new automation, interaction, robotic and machine learning systems that push the state of the art in e-commerce and logistics. The team is home to specialists in artificial intelligence,

Date: 18/03/21 Time: 10:00-11:30 Price: Members £25.20 Non Members £35.40

We are delighted to announce our first keynote speaker for this Summit will be David Sharp, Head of Technology 10x, Ocado Technology. David will take you on a journey that explores the increasingly sophisticated combination of innovative artificial intelligence, e-commerce, internet-of-things, robotic, telecommunication, transportation, cloud, logistics and warehouse technologies that are enabling the Ocado Smart Platform to transform international grocery e-commerce. Our second keynote presentation is being delivered by Taylor Deakyne, Head of Enterprise Solutions Group (ESG), Boston and Andrew Addison, Senior Technologist, ESG, Boston on the Fundamentals of AI – what is AI and how does it work in SMEs? machine learning, software, electronics, mechanics and robotics. David joined Ocado in 2013 to help innovate the development of Ocado’s robotic warehouses and then went on to create and grow the 10x innovation team. Prior to joining Ocado, David worked as a technology consultant in Cambridge and London, creating new technologies and advising businesses, investors and lawyers on technology-related strategies, projects and ventures. Taylor Deakyne has a wealth of IT Industry experience; he has headed up the development of centres of excellence across a plethora of technology

David Sharp competencies including data analytics, data science, data storage, private cloud, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and security. Under his lead, the Boston Enterprise Solutions Group delivers enterprise software, hardware and managed services across a broad spectrum of solution areas. Andrew Addison is a senior software engineer with nearly 30 years experience in the financial services industry. He graduated in Computational Science at St. Andrews University in 1990 and spent several years working in core development for a 4GL company specialising in compiler writing.

Members! Don’t forget you can use an Event Voucher to attend any of these Summits. To check if you have any remaining please contact bookings@hertschamber.com

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Be a part of the 2021 celebrations by taking up one of these excellent sponsorship opportunities! Showcase your business to over 400 people in attendance from a variety of Hertfordshire based businesses

2021 SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Branded Bars

£3,000 +VAT

Included in the bar sponsorship package: Your company logo printed on the bar staff's aprons/t-shirts Your logo placed in a large banner at each bar Provide a small amount of collateral to place on the bars Featured in the awards programme

Dinner Tables

£1,500 +VAT

Included in the table setting sponsorship package: Your company logo on the name place cards Hang a tag on the candelabra A small branded gift or item of your choice to place amongst the table setting Featured in the awards programme

Audio Visual

£2,000 +VAT

Included in the AV sponsorship package: The audio visual aspect will be 'Brought to you by' your company for the evening Your company branding will appear intermittently on the screens throughout the event Option to provide a short introductory video Featured in the awards programme

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INSPIRING HERTFORDSHIRE AWARDS

In our second letter as the CHAMBER’S CHARITY OF THE YEAR 2020/21, we are delighted to update you on the progress we have made this year. To start with, we are celebrating: our amazing Children’s team marked its 20th year by winning the Herts Community Award 2020. This award is given to the organisation which has made a dramatic impact on the community. So this award is a wonderful reflection of the hard work and commitment of all the staff and volunteers within the team.

Covid-19 continues to have a huge impact on all our lives. For us, it meant making rapid changes, adapting our services so we could continue to meet the urgent needs of our patients and their families managing life-limiting conditions. Technology has been vital. The monitors, tablets, mobile specialist equipment and Zoom licences donated over the summer have been invaluable in maintaining contact between our patients, their loved ones and care staff. For example, many of our support services – like our regular Tots ‘n’ Toys play sessions - were delivered virtually via Zoom. In July, as soon as it was safe to do so, we welcomed more families back to the hospice for day visits and as in-patients. For those who couldn’t leave their homes, our team organised visits to patients in their own gardens.

Family zoom session Our fundraising activities have obviously been severely affected. Our shops are closed once more and events have had to be rescheduled or reinvented. You can still get involved: we have a very 2020 Santa Run planned for December www.keech.org.uk/santarun and The Big Trunk Trail – an inspirational outdoor public art event – in summer 2021. Find out more about this at www.bigtrunktrail.co.uk and contact lrogers@keech.co.uk if you would like to be part of it. We are having to restructure some areas of the organisation to reflect these financial constraints and to better position ourselves for these new times. But we are determined this will not impact our work. We are still here and we are still caring. Our commitment is unwavering because our work now is more important than ever: for our patients, life cannot be put on hold.

We look forward with hope for a better 2021 and remain ever grateful to all our supporters. Deon virtual play with Jennie

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The Hertfordshire Chamber

Wellbeing Conference 22.04.2021

Rothamsted Enterprises, Harpenden The Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce are excited to be holding our very first Wellbeing Conference and Exhibition. The aim of this event is to explore health, wellbeing and performance in the workplace and to provide you with exciting new ideas and the information necessary to create positive change in physical and mental wellbeing. We are delighted to announce that Hertfordshire County Council are our Headline Sponsor for this Conference, and Director of Public Health, Professor Jim McManus, will be giving the keynote presentation!

This event will be taking place at Rothamsted Enterprises, Harpenden on Thursday 22nd April 2021. The Conference and Exhibition will provide you with exciting new ideas and the information necessary to create positive change in physical and mental wellbeing.

The programme includes: Keynote presentations Breakout sessions A Panel discussion An Exhibition including companies focussed on the supply of wellbeing-related products and services Significant opportunities to network

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Prices: Members Only Early-Bird Rate (ending 28th February) - £112.50 +VAT Regular Member Rate - £125.00 +VAT Non-Member Rate - £175.00 +VAT

Me m Bir bers Av d D Ea ail i s ab cou rlyle No nt w!

Exhibition Stand - £299.00 + VAT

Exhibitor Stands

Breakout Session Sponsorship

The exhibitor package includes:

The Sponsorship package includes:

One free place at the event

Two free places at the event (Equivalent to £250 + VAT) The opportunity to deliver a 50 minute breakout session (topic to be agreed with HCoC) Your session featured on the event webpage Your session featured in an edition of Inspire Magazine The opportunity to have an Exhibition Stand and display your own collateral and banner at the event Inclusion in the social media campaign and marketing regarding the event Inclusion in the event programme – logo and company profile

(Equivalent to £125 + VAT) Your logo and short description featured on the conference programme The opportunity to display your own collateral and banner at the event Inclusion in the social media and marketing campaign regarding the event Your details and company logo included in an edition of Inspire magazine

Cost per stand: £299.00 + VAT

Breakout Session Cost: £1,500.00 + VAT For the opportunity to host an exhibition stand or Breakout Session at this event, please contact the Events Team at: bookings@hertschamber.com or call 01707 502180 INSPIRE

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Creating a Wellness Culture Ensures Best Performance considerations for 2021

It is an old adage if you look after your staff, they will look after your business.

Hopefully we are starting to leave the challenges of 2020 behind. However, as we continue to meet the demands of COVID there are likely to be a few more months of difficulties ahead, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. What is perhaps certain is that things will never be quite the same again. Wellness and Well-being are Essential

Many businesses have had to close or restructure. Those that have continued to trade have had to adopt new ways of remote operating and adjust communication and performance systems. Many of us have suffered personal loss through the pandemic, taken on additional carer responsibilities or be on a longer than expected rehabilitation through long COVID. As we emerge from the tunnel to leave the immediate impact of COVID behind there will be new challenges to overcome. In the next few editions of Inspire Magazine, Christine and Andrew Parsons are drawing on their expertise in Counselling, Coaching, Wellness and Business Psychology to share ideas and advice about how to think through and navigate business and other challenges to create a resilient, adaptive and successful enterprise. One that is able to grow from the trauma of the last year.

In the broadest sense of the word, wellness or well-being is the property that allows people to function fully, achieve goals and create positive impact. Time and again research shows that when people have a high sense of well-being, they are able to adapt to challenges and support not only their own high performance, but also of the teams and organisations they work in. The National Wellness Institute (USA) outlines 6 key determinants that include social, occupational, spiritual, emotional, intellectual and physical. All these elements are interconnected and work together to support individuals make positive contributions to their environment, community and occupation or business. It supports us to live in a balanced way with healthy nutrition, exercise and our worldview including shared values, attitudes and beliefs. Having our own sense of well-being supports us to reach our full potential in our personal and professional lives.

Growth from Diversity and Inclusion Different ways of thinking are often essential to address thorny persistent problems. Creating diversity has been a focus in the business world for many years but there is still a long way to go to achieve equality between genders, ethnicity and other socio-demographic groups. To get the benefits from diversity people need to feel they belong. A culture where everyone feels their opinions are wanted and valued is an essential part our sense of well-being. People need to feel safe to take informed risks and innovate new solutions to business challenges.

Developing a culture of wellness is a dynamic process that will continually develop. It is a large task but there are several steps and we suggest 5 tips for leaders and managers for immediate action. 1: Create alignment on the company purpose (vision) and values with individual/team goals and development. 2: Actively seek out different views and opinions, challenge your own assumptions and biases to seek an agreed way forward 3: Have regular conversations about things that really matter. This can help identify what gets your team excited and their frustrations. Perhaps more importantly, when done correctly it creates trust and an opportunity to speak freely. 4: Care about your team and employees. Be curious and empathetic to their worldview and situation. Life goes on outside work and particularly in recent times, it is about finding ways to adapt and adjust work demands to all aspects of an employees life. 5: Celebrate and Recover. Recognise and reward achievements. Make a point of building in recovery time. For many, it feels like the last 12 months have taken considerably energy. Recovery is important, that is what top athletes focus on. Further Reading

Leading with Presence: What it is, why it matters and how to get it. (2016). Parsons, AA & Mariposa, B. Endless Bookcase, St Albans Empowerment in Health and Wellness (Published Feb 2021). Parsons, AA, Jackson, S and Arnold, J (eds). Panoma Press. St Albans Salutogenic Leadership Webinars and Events http://personal_leadership.eventbrite.com

If you wish to get in touch please email connect@reciprocalminds.com, call 01797 909 032 or visit www.reciprocalminds.com 34

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At Reciprocal Minds we support people develop the skills and confidence to master change. Personal, Executive and Corporate Wellness.


INSPIRATIONAL LEADER

Leading by example Danny Wicks, Infusion Group In today’s challenging climate, businesses need all the help they can get. They will be particularly grateful for the support of companies such as Infusion Group, a dedicated coaching, mentoring and business transformation consultancy that helps dozens of SMEs to develop and grow.

Co-founder and joint managing director, Danny Wicks, explains: “We started the business in 2018 with the aim of developing a practical support service for the SME marketplace. SMEs are the lifeblood of the economy so it’s vital that they get the right assistance so they can scale up and grow. “Our clients have a toolkit of options, including training, coaching and consultancy services, which they can tap into on their growth journey. Every business is different so we take time to understand the individual needs of each one, to understand their vision and strategy and then put in place a roadmap to achieve those goals.” Danny runs the company with co-MD Graham Hardy. Previously the duo enjoyed a successful career in the financial services and corporate restructuring industries – they were part of the leadership team that led the restructure of RBS in 2008 – but were looking for a change of career that allowed them to achieve a better work-life balance.

Danny says: “Both of us were a bit sick of the highly pressurised corporate environment. I was travelling the world with RBS and I hardly saw my two young children. The lightbulb moment came when I was on a flight to Chicago and had a panic attack. I knew then that something had to change. “I’ve always had a passion for seeing individuals and businesses grow and be successful, so I trained and qualified as an executive leadership coach. Graham and I then decided to use our knowledge, skills and passion to help businesses by building the tools they need to grow.” Now leading a small but highly skilled team, Danny tries to avoid making the same mistakes that his previous managers made.

“I’d like to think I communicate effectively and create a set of values that everyone in the business feels associated with and wants to be a part of,” he says. “Having passion, purpose, honesty and integrity, and demonstrating these values when we’re doing business, allows us to deliver what we say we’re going to deliver. This builds trust with clients and you can’t put a price on that. “It’s also important to give people responsibility and accept that, occasionally, mistakes will be made. Some of my previous managers were reluctant to give their staff autonomy and this approach meant that they never got the best out of their team. I’d like to think I’ve learned from that and adopted a different approach at Infusion Group.”

“Having passion, purpose, honesty and integrity, and demonstrating these values when we’re doing business, allows us to deliver what we say we’re going to deliver. This builds trust with clients and you can’t put a price on that.” INSPIRE

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The best part of working in Home Care is meeting all the amazing people that cross our paths. Normally we get to meet them after they have had long and eventful lives with so many stories and experiences. Others are still on life’s journey and we are fortunate to be part of it. For me personally there isn’t a better career, we never stop learning, developing and trying to improve the ways that we work. Being able to visit so many people over the years and work with them on a daily basis to make sure that living with their condition was made more bearable.

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Morning, Noon and Night we support people at home.

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There is no snow days or storm days. Every hour of every day and night there is one of us somewhere helping and assisting someone to stay living independently at home.

For further information about our Managed IT Services, get in touch with the team or head over to our website. For further information about our Managed IT Services, get in touch with the team or head over to our website.

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01992 470060

SPREADING SEASONAL CHEER TO TENANTS

Hemel Hempstead based housing association West Herts Homes has been helping to spread some seasonal cheer to its tenants, by providing them with mugs as an end of year gift. In what has a been a challenging year, West Herts Homes has continued to record very high levels of customer satisfaction with its services. West Herts Homes operates in St. Albans, Dacorum, Hertsmere, Watford, and the London Borough of Barnet, and delivers excellent services that has seen the association listed as one of the Top 50 Landlords In the UK. Paul Eastwood, Chief Executive at West Herts Homes, responded - “Covid19 has forced us to do some things differently this year, but our commitment to delivering excellent services has continued, and with the support of our tenants and partners our good work has continued with few interruptions.”

admin@whh.org.uk

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https://whh.org.uk


INSPIRATIONAL LEADER

Listening can go a long way in business Dean McGarry Team Factors

Many years ago, Dean McGarry cut his teeth in industry by selling telecommunications solutions to businesses using the Yellow Pages. Today, he still uses the invaluable listening skills gleaned from those early days to thoroughly understand a client’s needs before offering an opinion or solution. Dean is now the commercial director at Team Factors, which provides agile and customer-led factoring solutions that enable businesses to better manage their cashflow. The idea is to bridge the cashflow gap between the date that the invoice was raised and the date when payment of it reaches the company bank account. So far, these solutions have financed more than £400 million worth of invoices for businesses of all sizes across the UK. Team Factors also offers back-office support, including payroll, debt collection and credit control services, to help companies deal with the logistics of managing their finances.

Dean says: “We help businesses achieve a reliable cashflow throughout the peaks and troughs of everyday trading. This is particularly useful for companies that have to pay their staff weekly but might not get their invoices paid by customers for 30 days or more.”

“I wouldn’t ask anyone to do what I wouldn’t do,” he says. “As a manager you need to lead by example, be accessible and give clear instructions so that people feel confident about what’s expected of them.

Paying staff on a weekly basis is common practice in the recruitment industry, in which Dean plied his trade for several years. This has proved more than useful in his current role, which he took up in 2012. He is part of a team of 12 staff, most of whom operate out of the company’s Hertfordshire office with others based in field sales roles across the country.

“You also need to listen to their concerns, especially in the current uncertain climate. In the last few months, I’ve had many non-workrelated conversations with my staff to give them the chance to unload about personal issues or concerns. That didn’t happen so much preCOVID. I guess I’ve been trying to be their dad as much as their boss!

With his vast experience of leading and managing staff, Dean describes his management style as “proactive and fair”.

“Perhaps the pandemic has taught me to be more empathetic; it’s important to listen to your staff as well as your clients.”

“As a manager you need to lead by example, be accessible and give clear instructions so that people feel confident about what’s expected of them.” INSPIRE

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TOURISM & HOSPITALITY

WARE PRIORY: the perfect getaway for business customers Ware Priory is one of Hertfordshire’s premier conference and wedding venues where the past and present unite. Steeped in the atmosphere with period architecture dating back to medieval times, the venue is also a modern and spacious facility kitted out with the latest hi-tech facilities.

Set in seven acres of picturesque riverside gardens, it’s the perfect getaway place for a romantic wedding or an equally inspirational conference, business dinner or staff teambuilding event. Naturally, the COVID-19 crisis has had an impact on Ware Priory, as it has onmany tourism and leisure businesses. With the country recently out of a second lockdown, however, the company is planning for a much brighter 2021. Kerry Mavris, Sales and Marketing Manager at Ware Priory, says: “We’re currently doing our forecasting for 2021 and the second half of the year looks much better, particularly if there’s a major roll-out of a COVID-19 vaccine and current restrictions are lifted. All we need is a return to some semblance of normality. “We’re well placed to prosper in a post-COVID world. Ware Priory is set in a beautiful location that’s well connected to main travel routes and we have free parking for up to 65 vehicles. We also have excellent facilities for business meetings and conferences; we can provide space for one or two hours or offer a full-scale conference and catering package. Our largest space has capacity for up to 200 people and we also have spaces to cater for smaller meetings.

“With the current restrictions, we’ve been running business events for up to 30 people and this has been really well received. At the end of the second Lockdown, we will be able to serve up to 60 people safely.” Kerry, who has been working at Ware Priory for thirteen and a half years, says the company has benefited from making significant investments in technology during this period. “We now have Clevertouch screens and we’re aiming to offer blended meetings, where people can either be physically present or dial in from another location,” she says. “We continue to move with the times and adapt, and this approach has stood us in good stead during my time here.”

www.warepriory.co.uk

Unique hotel oozes style and charm

Inspire magazine speaks to Dean Thompson, general manager of Hotel Cromwell in Stevenage, to discover the secret of its success… three-course meal in our Brasserie, Rump & Wade. Our bedroom sizes are flexible on size and cost and, most importantly, we provide a friendly, home-from-home environment with a car park that’s free to use if you’re staying with us or using our facilities.

Q How does the hotel Q What does Hotel

Cromwell offer business customers?

We offer absolute flexibility for any business in the heart of Stevenage Old Town. We aren’t shackled by corporate rules, we’re a private family-run hotel that flexes the rules to suit our clients. We have three meeting rooms that seat 2-170 people and we can produce menus to suit the occasion, whether it’s a snack for a working lunch or a

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stand out in a crowded marketplace?

Décor, quality and our team. These are the three things we have invested in since the Distinct Group took over the hotel in 2016. The hotel had a £3 million refurbishment in 2017 and is well looked after by its in-house maintenance team. We source quality ingredients for our kitchen and quality products for our bedrooms, from the bed linen to the bathroom products we purchase from Noble Isle.

Our team is something I’m most proud of. We employ people that love what they do. We train them and develop them to better themselves within the company and in life. We give them the autonomy to make decisions that will make our guests’ stay a memorable one. We also go the extra mile – offering our function room free of charge for charities to host quiz nights, for example. We also recently donated £1,000 of vouchers to NHS staff via a Facebook giveaway to thank them for their hard work during the pandemic.

Q How are you adapting

the business to cope with the current pandemic?

We’ve installed screens at reception and a contactless selfcheck-in machine. We’re cleaning rooms the day after check-out

whilst the occupancies are lower, and the room is then left with a notice on the door to explain that the room has been cleaned and not entered again until the guests have walked through the door. We’ve removed all soft furnishings and paper and moved to disposable cups for tea and coffee. Our cleaning schedules were always thorough and still are.

Q How optimistic are you

about prospects for the business post-COVID?

We are very optimistic for the second half of 2021. We realise that the tier structure will continue to be a challenge for us in January and February, but moving forward we’re sure that with the product and reputation we have, we’ll see our corporate clients return to stay with us whilst visiting their offices in the brilliant town of Stevenage.


Magical tours offer escape from pandemic In what has been a miserable year dominated by the coronavirus pandemic, it’s good to know there are places that offer a few hours of temporary respite.

TOURISM & HOSPITALITY

Sarah Roots Executive Vice-President

Sarah Roots, executive vice-president, Warner Bros studio tours and retail, says: “We support a range of local businesses including taxi firms, hotels, pubs, shops and restaurants. A significant number of our visitors stay overnight so they spend more money in these businesses while they’re here, which helps the local economy.”

Warner Bros Studio Tour London provides an escape route into the mystical world of wizards, witches and magic – a place where visitors can learn how magical creatures in the Harry Potter films were brought to life, see up close the intricate detail hidden in every costume and even discover how the special and visual effects teams made Harry and his friends fly. Situated near the working film studios where all eight Harry Potter films were made, the studio tour also offers visitors the unique opportunity to explore two soundstages and a backlot filled with original sets, animatronic creatures and breath-taking special effects.

The Studio Tour also has a thriving events business: “We hold corporate events for prestigious companies and charities who hire our facilities on a regular basis,” says Sarah. “We use local companies where possible such as cleaning and transport providers.” The adjacent TV and Film studios are equally busy and have gained a reputation for hosting major productions including Wonder Woman, Mission Impossible and Fantastic Beasts. “There are around 3,000 people at the production studios comprising WB staff and production cast and crew. More when the site is at its busiest.”

the world. While trade at the shop has been understandably modest in recent months, Warner Bros’ online trading platform means that customers can buy merchandise from the comfort of their homes. “In normal circumstances, the shop in King’s Cross is extremely busy but it had to close in the two lockdowns,” says Sarah. “Our e-commerce platform, however, has been busier than ever. “There is still a place for physical retailers, despite what has happened in the UK in recent weeks. We have plans to open another shop in New York and we’re confident it will be popular with local residents and tourists. If you have a point of difference – a unique offer that includes a quality product – you can do well. I’m confident that once the coronavirus is under control, the retail and tourism sectors will pick up again.”

Warner Bros also owns Platform 9 ¾ in London’s busy King’s Cross station – the first ever Harry Potter shop to open anywhere in

Following the end of lockdown mark two on December 2, the Leavesden-based studio tour has reopened its doors to customers, albeit with a reduced capacity to comply with COVID-19 restrictions. The importance of the reopening cannot be overstated as the visitor attraction not only provides an income stream for Warner Bros, it underpins local jobs and provides a major boost to the businesses that operate in the local economy.

Gringotts Wizarding Bank

Dumbledore’s Office

Great Hall

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Get out of the house, ditch the distractions and increase your networking opportunities! HatTech, Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council’s spacious, modern business centre is the Covid-secure alternative to the home office. Designed to accommodate freelancers, entrepreneurs and small businesses, HatTech’s co-working suite offers a professional, clean, safe environment. The bright, airy working space is laid out to ensure social distancing can be comfortably observed, with enhanced cleaning, hand-sanitiser stations throughout and clear visual reminders of the safety guidelines. Find inspiration alongside like-minded professionals and improve your work-life balance. HatTech’s high-end work stations and secure storage lockers mean your dining table, spare room

or lounge floor can, once again, become a paper-free zone. A fast, reliable internet connection, printing and scanning facilities and the option of our virtual office services allow you to truly focus on your business. Take advantage of HatTech’s contemporary amenities - safely meet and greet clients in the business lounge, enjoy a coffee from the collaboration bar or take a break from your screen in the wellbeing garden, HatTech’s tranquil, outside courtyard. There’s also a large meeting room for hire. Six membership tiers are available to suit your budget and your business needs,

ranging from a drop-in day rate to unlimited 24/7 access. HatTech’s exceptional facilities, flexible membership, and excellent location, just two minutes from Hatfield station, provide a convenient and creative environment for your business to thrive and grow.

A range of cost-effective private offices are ideal for start-ups and small businesses looking to make the next step. This purpose-designed creative business hub in Beaconsfield Road, Hatfield has been built with help from a £751k Local Growth Fund grant from Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

Find out how HatTech can support your business and book your viewing by calling our friendly team on 01707 623623 or emailing enquiries@hattech.org.uk For further information see www.hattech.org.uk

YOUR SAFE ALTERNATIVE TO THE HOME OFFICE Spacious co-working suite Business lounge High-speed WiFi Wellbeing garden Flexible membership tiers

COVID SECURE

A MODERN, CREATIVE ENVIRONMENT. RIGHT ON YOUR DOORSTEP.

Find inspiration alongside like-minded professionals in HatTech’s bright, modern, Covid-secure co-working suite. Our flexible membership tiers give you the freedom to adapt as your business requirements change.

Supporting you to work safely.

CONTACT US TODAY: 01707 623 623 | enquiries@hattech.org.uk

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MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS

Brussels scale-up TIAO launches CONNECTS V2, the new version of its global B2B platform

There is an African proverb that says it takes a whole village to raise a child. Likewise, it takes a community to build a successful business. This is the motto of Brussels scale-up TIAO SA/NV that will be launching the 2nd version of its global B2B platform CONNECTS in January 2021. In the COVID-19 world, digital transformation has become more vital than ever for companies, and especially SMEs, to survive and thrive. CONNECTS enables businesses and entrepreneurs to discover new opportunities, connect and collaborate with other businesses through their local chambers of commerce and other trusted business networks throughout the world. In the words of Olivier Willocx, CEO of Beci, the Brussels Chamber of Commerce and Industry, ‘The post-COVID-19 economy will be largely digital. To continue to support their local business communities, chambers of commerce need to adapt. CONNECTS is a very useful platform that allows Beci to support its members in a world of business that will be increasingly done online.’

As Pierre Hermant, CEO of finance & invest.brussels, said, ‘there is a strong correlation between SMEs that are active internationally and SMEs that grow and innovate. Our investment in CONNECTS is also an investment in the Brussels economy at large, making Brussels companies more pandemic-resilient and helping them internationalise. We believe CONNECTS has the potential to set the standard for B2B (international) business development in the post-pandemic world.’ During the last 12 months, TIAO has raised a total of 1.1M Euros to invest in the development and roll-out of CONNECTS V2. It will have a new design and user interface as well as a series of new community management features.

It will also use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help users obtain better search results and predict ‘matches’. The AI has been developed in partnership with SIRRIS, the research and innovation organisation of the Belgian technology sector. This was made possible by a €270.000 grant from Innoviris, the Brussels regional institute for research and innovation. The Brussels Regional Investment Company, finance&invest.brussels, also invested €500.000 towards the development of CONNECTS V2. Joost Visser, CEO of TIAO, stated “We are very grateful to our Brussels partners and other investors for their support in the development of CONNECTS. It is a perfect example of our motto ‘It takes a Community to build a business! ”’

CONNECTS Platform

CONNECTS is an online Business Matchmaking Platform that allows entrepreneurs to initiate trustworthy business opportunities worldwide. Digital transformation and innovation have never been more essential for businesses. We believe strong business relationships can only be developed through trusted networks. Working with Chambers of Commerce, we provide access to online leads, suppliers, partnerships, skills and business communities you can trust. The fast-growing platform is unique, simple, and effective for business development and growth. CONNECTS has been developed to support Chambers of Commerce, SMEs and Start-ups. Our services are completely free for members of participating Chambers of Commerce.

NEW FEATURE: Communities! Communities on CONNECTS enables users to invite other users to join online business communities of common interest. There, they can share information, have 1:1 chats, share business information, and organise meetings and events. Users will also be able to broadcast their Teams, Zoom, and Webinar sessions to wide audiences, Monetise their communities by providing exclusive access and information to paying members and manage events such as trade missions. Are you an entrepreneur wanting to develop your business? If you are a member of a participating Chamber of Commerce, you can join our Business Matchmaking Platform for free! If not, take advantage of your free trial. You can then make the most of the CONNECTS online community feature.

Want to learn more about CONNECTS? Find us on Google maps: g.page/connectsworld

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ECONOMY

BCC’s initial response to the announcement of a UK-EU  trade agreement  Providing an initial response to the announcement that the UK and EU have reached a trade agreement, BCC Director General Adam Marshall said:  “After four long years of uncertainty and upheaval, and just days before the end of transition, businesses will be able to muster little more than a muted and weary cheer. “While firms will welcome the agreement of a new foundation for UK-EU trade, they are now faced with the gargantuan task of adapting to new arrangements with scarcely a week before they take effect. “Businesses will need to digest the contents of the deal and consider what its provisions mean for the movement of goods, people and data across borders, as well as for their supply chains and partners. “We repeat that it is the responsibility of Government to give firms clear, precise and detailed guidance so that they can make the required changes quickly. Far too many details and procedures have been left, literally, to the last minute. “Let’s not forget that many businesses are already on their knees from the impact of the Coronavirus crisis, and most will have fewer resources available to implement the necessary changes with furloughed staff and Christmas holidays. “Governments on both sides must recognise the impossible task they have set businesses and give businesses time and breathing space to adjust to new realities. It is normal for free trade agreements to come with phasing-in measures, and this one should be no different. “Now that the two sides have reached agreement, we call on them to proceed speedily to ratification to give certainty to our economies and trade, and to allow businesses to look to the future.  “It is now time to bring the political drama  of the last four years to an end, and to replace it with pragmatism and determination to make the new UK-EU relationship work. The agreement can and must be a starting point for deeper cooperation as we restart, rebuild and renew our economies. “With greater clarity on the terms of trade, businesses can plan, invest, and look once again toward new opportunities.”

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Changes to how the UK will trade from January 2021 The UK left the EU, including the single market and customs union, on 31 January 2020, and then entered a ‘stand still’ transition period. During that time, most aspects of the UK’s relationship with the EU, and with other countries which were unaffected by our EU rights and responsibilities, remained the same. While there are areas where the BCC is calling for more information, there is information available for businesses who need to prepare for changes which will happen at the end of 2020. The BCC’s End of Transition Checklist sets out many of the areas you should look at and plan for, including links to helpful guidance. On 24 December 2020, the UK and EU negotiators reached an “agreement in principle” on the text of a new trade and cooperation agreement to govern their relations now that the UK has left the EU. Available resources on the British Chambers of Commerce website: • UK Government summary of UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement • EU Commission summary of UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement • EU Commission UK-EU Trade and Cooperation agreement Q&A

Both UK and EU are now advancing with the ratification of this agreement in line with their own respective rules and procedures, with a view to its provisional application as from 1 January 2021. At 11pm on 31 December 2020 that formal 11 month ‘transition period’ will end. In many ways, this is the first time that the practical effects of leaving the EU will be felt by businesses and consumers. All businesses should be thinking very carefully about their own state of readiness, including assessing the stability of supply chain and preparedness of partners.

The key areas to think about are: • Workforce • Cross-border trade • Supply chain disruption • Trade between GB and NI • Taxation and insurance • Data • Currency, intellectual property and contractual issues Your business is not alone at this time of change. For more than 160 years, the Chambers of Commerce network has supported UK businesses, and remains expert in trade matters.


ENVIRONMENT TOP TIPS

Extended Producer The carbon Responsibility

benefit hidden in our clothing

ENVIRONMENT TOP TIPS

If you are a business with a £2m turnover handling over 50 tonnes of wood, paper, glass, plastic, aluminium or steel, you may well be ‘obligated’ under existing regulations. But did you know the scheme will soon be changing with new requirements for businesses? • Joining one of several UK ‘compliance schemes’, setup to discharge the collective requirements of members Why is this legal relevant to your business? paying an annual fee reflecting the type Weand might be familiar with greener products weight of packaging handled. and – but looking The services current regulations use inwards a systemto ofthe resources used is another angle to (PRNs) consider. tradable Packaging Recovery Notes Changing to more environmentally-friendly which are designed to achieve Government business save you money and targets forpractices individualwill packaging streams at the lowest cost, allowing market forces provide a stronger selling proposition when determine prices. pitching your goods and services to your

g) Alternative models for the organisation and governance of the new EPR regime. h) Measures to strengthen There are lots of wayscompliance you can monitoring and enforcement including reduce your organisation’s waste. for exported packaging waste. Our top tips are: Government’s proposals are ultimately intended to drive innovation in the packaging chain to 1. For events, consider packaging a magneticmodes, stimulate new reusable / pin badge or lanyard rather than and to eliminate hard-to-recycle multi-material brandedaltogether. goods, as these are packaging easier to replace if a name/ logo More packaging will need to be recycled to meet changes. higher recycling targets. Obligated businesses between them will need to fund full net 2. Buy work related apparel fromthe ethical / costs of recovery with the currently sustainable brands. TheGovernment premium favouring a ‘single point ofbetter compliance’. paid often also means quality, they last longer and need to Thissomeans obligations onyou relevant business less. Ethical Consumer has a is that all will buy change. Ultimately the intention list of howusing suppliers measure up. businesses packaging or selling packaged products will at some point pay into the system. Reuse:

The UKaway throws awa The UKThe throws UK throws away 2.5 billion disposab Theaway UK throws away The UK throws 2.5 billion disposable 2.5 billion disposable The UK throws away coffee cups every ye 2.5 billion disposable coffee cups every year. 2.5 billion disposable coffee cups every year yea 2.5 billion disposable Stop coffee cups single-use. every year. Stop single-use. coffee cups every year. Stop single-use. coffee cups every year. Stop single-use. Stop single-use. Stop single-use. r

For a business wanting to reduce their carbon footprint, textiles may seem an odd place to focus. We generally hear about the three big areas that affect climate change – energy, transport and food. However, the textiles industry For several years’ producers of packaging is responsible for 10% of materials, vehicles, batteries andglobal electrical carbon emissions. This and electronic equipment havemeans been the required to takewe financial responsibility for clothes that buy contributes to managingchange these items at the end of climate more than airtheir andlife. sea travel combined. The Government is consulting on proposals to establish ‘Extended Producer Responsibility’

(EPR)growing which will require all producers From and harvesting the rawnot just to fund the netthey’re costs of managing end-ofmaterial, tofull how made, to crossing life world items but alsofrom to contribute developing the to get factory totostore, to the more sustainable impact of washing/ less themenvironmentally and how they’re harmful products in the first place. Recognised disposed of, each item of clothing produced Extended Producer Responsibility schemes has a lifecycle carbon impact the will help producers improve theacross sustainability whole of a product’s life (the ‘cradle to grave’ of their products directly incentivising those impact). This measured using kilograms which can be is reused, repurposed or recycled of CO2 eq (or carbon equivalent), a while penalising those dioxide that cannot. standard carbon footprints. This is notunit justfor formeasuring big firms: “All producers

target audience. A new EPR scheme

However, the regulations have long been

Why become more sustainable? Research criticised for failing to support the development shows that once consumers want to of packaging recycling infrastructure in be the UK; associated withtoenvironmental orinethical and in contrast similar schemes Europe products. recent survey conducted by and NorthA America, for failing to help local AYTM found thatthe 71% of of millennials authorities meet costs collectingare andmore sorting waste. likely tohousehold support anpackaging environmentally-friendly business. Likewise, 86% customers sayin These shortcomings have of been recognised they prefer to shopResources at businesses thatStrategy, recycle, the Government’s & Waste whichprefer foresees a new regime requiring the of 74% companies that limit the use packaging and chain (producers, fillers, retailers pollutants unnecessary chemicals andetc) to meet the full netprefer costs of dealing with 67% of shoppers companies that post-consumer packaging through the new support renewable energy.

e r b e m b e m m r e Rm e em e b Rem ! s e ! l r s e b e e l R a b s b r m u a e ! e s e s b r u e m l r m e r e b r u e e R a r o b s m u y u e ! o m e s y R e r e l r m b ! u e su!or reusa R eusab e y l b s e l o r a y s r u u e r yyo r ou

Consultation 3. For businesses, reducing the clothing footprint

be as simple as round washing reusing Thecould Government’s first of and consultations someone left.ofDid tookuniforms place inafter early 2019. Ahas copy theyou know that extending the average lifespan of Hertfordshire Waste Partnership’s response clothes byonjust 3 months of second active use is available request. The and final would lead to a 5-10% reduction round of consultations were due toinhave been carbon, waste and water footprints! completed in early 2020 but were delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. 4. Consider hosting a clothes swap for staff (or clients). It is atake fun way to extend life of clothing These will now place in earlythe 2021 swapping with others.toThe person only andbyshould be of interest all average businesses wears two thirds of what’s in their manufacturing, using or selling packaged goods. wardrobe. WasteAware can offer you For more information contact the rails and hangers for free to get you HWP’s Partnership Development started. Fashion Revolution Week is Manager, Duncan Jones at it the 20-26 April 2020. Join in to make largest swap in history. For details contact duncan.jones@hertfordshire.gov.uk WasteAware@hertfordshire.gov.uk

Extended Producer Responsibility system. Key parts of the Government’s proposals There is also evidence that many consumers include: want guidance on how their individual are expected to pay into the system” and a) Definition of full net acost recovery actions can help make difference. What has been is a to shocking the system will befound regulated ensure amount and approaches to recovering net Businesses are well-placed to help raise of emissions and waste from both the transparency and fairness. costs from producers. consumer awareness and understanding production and disposal stage. Fast fashion more disposable, with b) Incentivising producers to create and, more importantly, change the way they isBackground making clothing packaging to reuse, repurpose Producer Responsibility fordurable managing consume. For easier example, did you know that cheaper prices and less garments, or recycle. waste materials is not The rather Packaging every year, Hertfordshire residents throw meant to last out the new. season than Regulations 1997 (revisedcarbon in 2007)emissions, established c) Which will beinto obligated over 7000 businesses tonnes of textiles their rubbish years. This accelerates the principle that producers of packaging under bins, whenEPR. they could have been reused, causes increased global warming and sees materials should contribute to the costs of repaired or recycled. d) How producer funding will finance more textile waste in landfi disposing of packaging waste.lls. local authorities for the collection 5. Use a guppy bag when washing Howfashion much companies on and household Here at management WasteAware,ofkeeping textiles The industry ispay nowdepends taking steps to catch microfibers shed during and the • move the amount of packaging placed on out packaging the bin is awaste campaign werecycling are actively to towards a more ethical and the process and stop them of similar packaging arising from the market each year; championing. It is a three-pronged environmentally friendly supply chain entering the watercourse. commercial wastes. approach which you can easily adopt in • the Government’s prevailing and production methods, but it won’t e) Mandatory on all packaging Recycle: packaging target.We need to play our your business labelling and at home: change overnight. to indicate whether it is recyclable or 6. When you are ready to part with a garment, part in changing the use and consumption Companies obligated under the Packaging not (to workthe in conjunction • Preventing purchase ofwith newthe clothes see if you can donate it to a Waste regulations typically by of clothing too. WRAP (the respond Waste and Government’s consistency requirements (reduce) charity rather than send it to Resources Action Programme) estimates • Re-engineering their packaging to for a core set of dry recyclables to be landfill. For those that can’t be that‘lightweight’ in the UK alone, we consume around • Keeping inlocal active use for longer and improve recyclability; collectedclothing by all UK authorities). used again by you, look into 1.7m tonnes of textiles annually, and of (reuse) • Implementing their own packaging f) New packaging waste targets for http://www.uniformreuse.co.uk/ thisrecovery more than 600,000 tonnes are sent to services to meet their tonnage 2025 and 2030 and interim targets • Recycling unwearable textiles (recycle) landfi ll or incinerated. #RememberYourReusables: for 2021 and 2022. obligations under the regulations; Remember, any small effort against the fast #RememberYourReusables: fashion trends makes a positive impact on the https://www.rapidformations.co.uk/blog/how-can-your-business-reduce-its-carbon-footprint/ wasteaware.org.uk/reusables #RememberYourReusables: environment! For more see wasteaware.org.uk/reusables https://www.ecotricity.co.uk/news/news-archive/2018/the-carbon-footprint-of-getting-dressed www.wasteaware.org.uk/textiles https://www.trustedclothes.com/blog/2016/02/23/fast-fashion-and-your-carbon-footprin/ wasteaware.org.uk/reusables WasteAwarePartnership #RememberYourReusables:

Keep in touch

Sign up to our monthly e-bulletin https://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/updateme/ WasteAwarePartnership #RememberYourReusables: wasteaware.org.uk/reusables HertsWasteAware #HertsWasteAware: #RememberYourReusables: HertsWasteAware WasteAwarePartnership wasteaware.org.uk/reusables WasteAwarePartnership @HertsWasteAware www.wasteaware.org.uk HertsWasteAware wasteaware.org.uk/reusables HertsWasteAware HertsWasteAware WasteAwarePartnership HertsWasteAware HertsWasteAware WasteAwarePartnership

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5 Risks

of emerging from COVID Compounding the tragic loss of life and the impact on our physical and mental health, the coronavirus has exacted a painful toll on livelihoods and the economy.

The business community is counting the cost of lost sales opportunities, reversals in formerly healthy cashflow positions and disrupted supply chains. Of course, most of us recognise that this cannot be a return to business as usual. The Government has said that it won’t hesitate to tighten restrictions if there is an increase in the transmission rate. However, it is also important to be mindful of predictable trading risks that are within your control. Here are five pitfalls to guard against during the months ahead:

1. Over-trading In Coface’s experience, a common danger after any downturn is the temptation to make-up for lost time by taking on more orders than your business can deliver. A bulging order book may be comforting but if your cash reserves are already low, it will be difficult to ramp-up production quickly without heavy borrowing. And bear in mind that you might not receive payment for many weeks, leaving your business with a serious liquidity problem.

While it is frustrating to turn down opportunities, it is better to ensure that your business is sustainable. Before accepting an order, consider issuing a pro-forma invoice so that you receive payment in advance or mitigate the risk by obtaining a letter of credit or credit insurance so it is easier to secure the necessary funding from lenders.

2. Timidity

On the other hand, an over-cautious approach towards prospective customers is equally damaging. Although there is currently a higher risk of customer insolvency and bad debt, it is important to balance this against the significant opportunity costs of hibernating until the situation improves. Bear in mind that some established customers may not have survived the lockdown, while others will have been forced to cut back their spending. You have to be proactive about new business if you are to replace these lost sales and build for the future but your choices should not be a matter of guesswork if you are to trade with confidence. Instead, your new business strategy should be informed by accurate and up-to-date business intelligence about the weaknesses and

strengths in your target markets: from levels of corporate debt and insolvency risk, to the size of the potential customer base and the level of political stability.

3. Fraud

It’s sad but predictable that the coronavirus emergency has created bumper opportunities for fraudsters. In response, National Trading Standards have launched Business Against Scams which provides free training resources on the most common types of business frauds, while the Government has published new guidance for businesses on coronavirus fraud and cybercrime. One of the most effective ways to protect your business is by conducting thorough due diligence on prospective customers and suppliers. This includes followingup trade references, verifying the names and addresses of company directors and checking trading history.

4. Late payment

Most of your time and energy will be focused on getting your business up and running again but if you allow credit control to drift, you will imperil your own cashflow position at a critical time.

For more information and advice during the coronavirus crisis visit www.cofaceitfirst.com, email enquiries@cofaceuk.com or call us on 020 7325 7506 www.linkedin.com/company/coface/

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https://twitter.com/coface

To prevent this, it’s important to watch your DSO (days sales outstanding) for worrying trends and monitor customers’ payment behaviour, particularly requests for more generous credit terms. In challenging economic times, businesses are more likely to pay their priority creditors first. You therefore need to take prompt and firm action on outstanding invoices to recover the money and show that you are serious about late payment.

5. Supply chain shocks One of the lessons of the last few years has been the severe impact that a shock or disruption to the supply chain can have on every business, whether it is the failure of a major customer such as Carillion or a shutdown in production, as we have just seen in China. Supply chain risk is a fact of life in a global economy but you can limit your exposure by being alert and responding to developments within your sector rather than being dependent on a single source. Coface’s economic reports and resources provide a free insight into country and sector risks so you can evaluate the threat to your suppliers and find possible alternatives to your existing trading routes.


ENTREPRENEUR FOUNDATION

Meet the Entrepreneurs! We would like to introduce our 2020 Entrepreneur Foundation Members! These companies and/or individuals have been taking part in webinars and meetings with our Founders and Supporters, gaining valuable insight, information and feedback in order to grow and flourish in their endeavours.

COMPANY PROFILES Aerende_________________________

Aerende is an innovative, purpose-driven business, selling timeless, sustainable homewares, handmade in the UK by people facing social challenges. We partner with charities and social enterprises to create a stylish and exclusive range of interior and gift products that showcase and support the creative work of marginalised makers. Our unique business model challenges stigma and creates a compassionate and reliable source of revenue for our partner organisations while inspiring the general public to think more deeply about the origins of the items we put in our homes.

Amy York Official__________________

Amy York Official is a unisex fashion accessories brand currently specialising in high quality, reusable facemasks. Our facemasks are designed for a wide range of consumers of all shapes and sizes and are fully designed and manufactured within Hertfordshire, selling via our ecommerce website.

Aries VR_______________________

At Aries VR we envision a universe where every being has access to affordable, engaging and personalized education. Instead of one where, for example, where students pay thousands of pounds for engineering degrees and come out not even able to use a spanner. Right now we are accelerating learning in aviation using the power of Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality.

Avacare_________________________

AvaCare was founded when three passionate dads combined their expertise as pharmacists and nutritionists with their love for their families. The resulting vitamins and mineral products are designed with our family, and yours, in mind. Best-in-market competitive vegan food supplement company based in Stevenage.

Design Abled Ltd (HelloFace)______

Transparent, recyclable, reusable, certified antimicrobial Helloface coverings, manufactured in Britain for communicating with people with hearing, learning or developmental disabilities.

Ezidrops Ltd_________________

EziDrops Ltd. has developed innovative, [patent pending] products that allow you to put Eye and Ear drops in easily. The Applicators are designed not just to be simple, but highly effective, whilst being universal and catering for almost any eye or ear drop bottle.

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Firefly Ventures__________________ Firefly Ventures provides future generations with the toolkit to survive and thrive in the future of work. We build career roadmaps for 11 to 18-year-olds by helping them identify their inherent strengths and passions. Our experiential learning projects teach resilience, agility and entrepreneurial skills based on solving real-life social issues.

Games to Get_______________ We’re a family business with a mission to make conversation the best part of people’s day. Our story began in 2011 with our first few Sussed conversation card games. Today we’ve got a whole range. We believe social health is a crucial part of people’s wellbeing - now, more than ever!

Generosity Bank____________ Generosity Bank is an online platform that connects small business owners with local professionals in their area who are willing to use their workplace skills to help small businesses in their community. The platform aims to create meaningful connections between people that live and work in communities, with a view to create a national positive social and economical impact at a local level.

GeoSmart Pro______________ GeoSmartPro Ltd. is a UK-based startup manufacturing smart home products, like their latest product, the AirGo Smart Fan is the UK’s 1st smart pedestal fan. All products can be controlled via the GeoSmartPro App, allowing you to connect to your home seamlessly.

HOWND______________________ Established in 2015, HOWND has evolved into a multi award-winning ethical lifestyle brand for dogs offering 100% plant-based health, wellness and hygiene products under one roof. Offering innovative products for both consumers and professional groomers, HOWND is a trusted brand to thousands of #HappyHownders worldwide. We believe the world would be a better place if more people embraced the power of plants. Our products are kind to our precious planet and the animals that inhabit it. That’s why dogs and their humans love HOWND.

hyperr________________________ hyperr is an on-demand hyperlocal delivery platform that helps customers get faster access to convenience items, local goods and businesses using our enhanced network of local couriers. We are presently transforming the way consumers access local goods enabling them to get nearly any product be delivered at the same hour.


ENTREPRENEUR FOUNDATION

“I am absolutely delighted with the quality of the applications we received for our first year of the Entrepreneur Foundation. The Chamber looks forward to working with our selected group of talented new entrepreneurs, offering them training, support and mentoring to help ensure their companies thrive and grow in this challenging environment.” Briege Leahy, Herts Chamber CEO

Insect BioTech__________________

Pocket PA_______________________

JHP Electrical___________________

Poppy Field______________

Clients range from sports clubs, schools and colleges, to major residential and commercial property developers as well as hospitals and clinics. Technical knowledge, workmanship, value for money and above all, customer satisfaction are the cornerstones on which the company is built.

Prolongevity_______________

Insect Biotech Solutions CIC is a non-profit company working in applied scientific research. It offers biotechnological solutions for precision management of insects with zero environmental impact. Insect Biotech Solutions has research projects exploitable industrially, and humanitarian research projects comprising the use of insects to tackle major human and environmental issues.

JHP Electrical Services is a family run business owned by directors, Jonathan and Helen Patterson. Focusing on commercial projects, JHP has established an enviable reputation for specialist knowledge when it comes to lighting installations.

MagnoGym Ltd____________________

Creating modern, digitised and networked strength-training equipment for the home gym, ergonomically designed to optimise the use of space and using modern technologies to do away with heavy weights to deliver a versatile range of exercises. Giving people the freedom to exercise effectively at home and still stay connected with the fitness community

My Language Hub Ltd______

My Language Hub Ltd. (MLH) is a Language Services Company based in Letchworth Garden City that provides a wide range of language solutions. Our Translation Department deals with translations, localisation, and interpreting services and our Education Department offers language training and exam preparation. MLH is a member of the American Translators Association (ATA), the Association of Translation Companies (ATC), and the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce.

Numerous Technology_____________

Numerous is establishing a new data sharing economy and creating a world where the power and value of data benefits all. Numerous gives consumers control of their personal data and helps them to share in its value, and helps brands find new, more loyal and valuable customers and deeper insight.

NxSteps_____________________

Pocket PA is the one stop ‘business in a box’ tool for any selfemployed micro business earning under £85k non VAT registered to help them run their business on the go from any device. It manages all clients, appointments, services, sales and income & expenses in one place so you can understand the financial health of your business in a simple way that doesn’t require a maths degree!

Poppy set up her studio at Warren Park Heritage & Craft Centre (Much Hadham) following the sale of her first life-size sculpture through an auction at the V&A organised by the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust. She graduated from the Courtauld with a BA Hons in the History of Art and trained in figurative sculpture at The Florence Academy of Art.

Our 8-week ProLongevity programme helps people who want to lose weight, improve wellbeing and avoid/reverse diabetes, by using new technology to monitor real-time blood sugar levels. We provide personalised advice based on your data to help you make changes to your diet and lifestyle. We avoid traditional approaches that treat symptoms after the damage has been done. Prevention is better than cure.

Ronenko (GoConnect)___________

Go Connect is a video centric iPaaS (Integration Platform as a Service) solution that enables ‘codeless’ integration between multiple cloud and enterprise video content processing applications.

Sirius Jewellers____________

Sirius Jewellers is an up and coming jewellery company specialising in using the most advanced technology to cost effectively create Gold, Silver and Platinum bespoke pieces with any precious rocks our customers ask for. Currently we only do rings and pendants but we will be expanding this when it’s possible.

Suzero______________________

Suzero was launched in 2016 with a clear mission to create the tastiest and healthiest rang of low sugar food and drink products. Our multi-award winning keto, vegan and gluten-free snack bars are produced in the UK using the highest quality ingredients.

Nxsteps are on a mission to be at the forefront of human physical evolution, by creating sensing ecosystems attuned to the intricate way our body’s work. We want to improve the quality of life for every human by sensing the unseen and providing understandable, repeatable, and actionable steps to prevent and overcome disease and injuries.

The Alcohol Free Brewing Co.____

Oliiki________________________

Unpckd____________________

Oliiki is an app for parents from pregnancy to two to help them spark their baby’s adventures in learning and build their parenting confidence one play activity at time. Grounded in research, written by teachers and education researchers, the Oliiki programme supports parents on the most important journey of all.

The Alcohol Free Brewing Co. produce and sell UNLTD., the alcohol free beer brand. UNLTD. is an alcohol free craft beer, with all the flavour of a full strength beer. We empower beer lovers to make a positive change and enjoy a healthier lifestyle.

Tackling the problem of disposable and single-use packaging, unpckd delivers refills of dry goods, toiletries and cleaning products in reusable returnable containers: you order on-line, we deliver to your doorstep, when you need more refills, we swap full for empties milkman-style and together we create less everyday waste.

INSPIRE

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NEW MEMBERS

Welcome to new members Abacus Care & Support

Home Care and Supported Living. Web: www.abacuscaresupport.co.uk uuu

ALLNET Law Limited

Internet Law Specialists: Providing Training and Consultancy Services on Data Protection and Related Laws. Email: info@allnetlaw.com Web: www.allnetlaw.com Tel: 033 0113 8846 Address: Kemp House 160 City Road London EC1V 2NX uuu

ANITA MARIE LTD

Solutions Focused Business Coach. Email: anita@anitamarie.com Web: www.anitamarie.com Tel: 07508 955583 Address: Crofton Suite Hamels Mansion Knights Hill Buntingford Hertfordshire SG9 9NA uuu

Atlas Commodities Ltd

Trading. Twitter: ltd_commodities Email: enquiries@atlascommodities.co.uk Web: www.atlascommodities.co.uk Tel: 020 3997 4815 Address: 14 Bull Street Holt Norfolk NR25 6HP

Business Connexion Ltd

IT Consulting Services and Solutions. Email: andrew.plum@bcx.uk.com Web: www.bcx.co.za/our-offices/uk Tel: 0845 6781 122 Address: Connexion House 4 Arlington Court Whittle Way Stevenage Hertfordshire SG1 2FS uu u

Connected Together

Mental Health and Wellbeing Training. Web: www.connected-together.com

Crème Brew Lait

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Caterer. Email: julia@cremebrewlait.co.uk Web: www.cremebrewlait.co.uk Tel: 07808 398778 Address: 64 Heronscroft Bedford Bedfordshire MK41 9NB uu u

CSD Engineering & Automation (CAD SERVICES DIRECT LTD)

Marketing. Web: www.bcmagency.co.uk

Manufacturers of Automation Equipment and Special Purpose Machinery. Email: chris@csdautomation.co.uk Web: www.csdautomation.co.uk Tel: 01462 627626 Address: Units 14-15, Business Centre West Avenue One Letchworth Garden City Hertfordshire SG6 2HB

Blackbird Communications

French & Day Delicatessen

BCM Agency

uuu

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PR and Content Marketing. Twitter: BlackbirdComms Email: stuartb@blackbirdcommunications.co.uk Web: www.blackbirdcommunications.co.uk Tel: 07803 153329 Address: 22 Cairns Close St Albans Hertfordshire AL4 0EB 48

INSPIRE

uu u

Delicatessen. Web: www.frenchandday.co.uk uu u

Hertfordshire RFU Ltd

Governing Body of Hertfordshire Rugby Union. Web: www.hertsrugby.co.uk


NEW MEMBERS

Inspiring Reward

Inspiring Reward can work with you on your Reward principles and design a Reward Strategy which supports your business objectives. Email: andrea@inspiringreward.co.uk Web: www.inspiringreward.co.uk Tel: 07770 861405 Address: 6 Coombe Hill Road Rickmansworth Hertfordshire WD3 8ND

Invenics Ltd

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We help our clients throughout the Innovation Lifecycle by helping them secure funding for innovation, through Technology Advisory Services and assistance in product development. Twitter: Invenics1 Email: info@invenics.com Web: www.invenics.com Tel: 01707 800730 Address: Orion House Bessemer Road Welwyn Garden City Hertfordshire AL7 1HH

Keeto Life

uuu

Health Food. Twitter: SeriouslyLoCarb Email: andy.welch@keeto.life Web: www.seriouslylowcarb.com Tel: 033 0043 7197 Address: Maylands Business Centre Unit 11, Redbourn Road Hemel Hempstead Hertfordshire HP2 7ES

KM4Talent Limited

uuu

Recruitment Company specialising in Commercial, Finance and Technology. Email: jessieedwards@km4talent.co.uk Web: www.km4talent.co.uk Tel: 01438 579137 Address: U15 Hive Bell Lane Old Stevenage Stevenage Hertfordshire SG1 3HW uuu

Lual Consulting Limited

Virtual Finance Director. Email: kirsty@lualconsulting.co.uk Web: www.lualconsulting.co.uk Tel: 07434 649277 Address: 41 The Avenue Hitchin Hertfordshire SG4 9RQ uuu

Masters Speciality Pharma

Leading specialty Pharma Company in the emerging market. Twitter: masters_sp Email: suzad.masters@masters-sp.com Web: www.mastersglobal.com Tel: 020 8327 0900 Address: 380 Centennial Avenue Centennial Park Elstree Hertfordshire WD6 3TJ

Melissa Electrical

Electrical Wholesale. Email: matthew@melissaelectrical.org.uk Web: www.melissaelectrical.co.uk Tel: 01992 469973 Address: 58 Stanstead Road Hoddesdon Hertfordshire EN11 0RL uuu

Purple Tech Solutions Limited Technology Consulting and Services Web: www.purpletech.solutions uuu

Reciprocal Minds Limited

Health and Wellness Practice and Consultancy. Twitter: reciprocalminds Email: connect@reciprocalminds.com Web: www.reciprocalminds.com Tel: 01707 909032 Address: 2 Falcon Gate Shire Park Welwyn Garden City Hertfordshire AL7 1TW

SOPHER + CO

uuu

Sopher + Co is a leading Accounting, Business Advisory and Tax Consultancy firm in Hertfordshire and London. Email: enquiries@sopherco.com Web: www.sopherco.com Tel: 020 8207 0602 Address: 5 Elstree GateElstree Way Borehamwood Hertfordshire WD6 1JD uuu

Stowe Family Law

Law. Email: tom.suttill@stowefamilylaw.co.uk Web: www.stowefamilylaw.co.uk Tel: 07719 422580 Address: Berkhamsted House 121 High Street Berkhamsted Hertfordshire HP4 2DJ uuu

Subnetic Solutions Ltd

IT, Managed Print, Hosted Voice, Business Connectivity. Email: philip@subnetic.com Web: www.subnetic.com Tel: 07946 708899 Address: 7 Devonshire Business Centre Works Road Letchworth SG6 1GJ INSPIRE

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NEWS

OnBrand Marketing agency supporting local businesses in 2020

The last few months have been hard for a lot of businesses, but here at OnBrand we are constantly looking for creative solutions to help our customers through the challenges, and navigating many into a new online world by developing cost efficient digital services. We wanted to share some fantastic work the OnBrand team have been up to in the last 6 months, supporting the community. We are working with Waterers Menswear on their brand positioning and social media, and have just launched their new website last week. www.waterers-menswear.co.uk Adam Nathan Catering, a Radlett based caterer were taking orders via WhatsApp and text message and were in great need of a better platform. Our challenge was to create e-commerce services for his business, Adam Nathan Catering, www.adamnathancatering.com. In the first month, over 800 orders were taken online and the second month is looking to hit the same target.

For local eco nappy manufacturer based in St Albans, Mama Bamboo, we have updated their Shopify payment portal, homepage design and digital advertising campaigns making it easier for customers to buy and for Mama Bamboo to manage orders www.www.mamabamboo.com. Since these changes were made, they have seen a significant increase of sales. Not ignoring B2B professional services, we have updated branding, new business materials and website design for Harpenden based HR experts www.practicalchangepartners.com We are in the process of creating a brand new tiling website for the owner of Verulam and Ebberns Tiles – all to be revealed shortly to give them a new e-commerce

channel, as they currently miss out during lockdown scenarios with the showrooms having to close down We have also supported numerous local walk-ins and enquiries, totalling around 30 different proposals in the last 3 months! I thought this might give you a real life flavour of how OnBrand have been steadily helping out and invite local businesses to get in touch to see how we can support you and your business moving forward.

Contact: Daniel@onbrand.co.uk 03333 220022 Facebook: @onbrandgroup Insta: @onbrandgroup Twitter: @onbrandgroup LinkedIn: OnBrand Group

Could you spare some time to help a charity in making welfare phone calls to unpaid carers? “It’s a rewarding role and it makes me happy knowing with my little effort I can help others. Carers are grateful for the call and say how it is comforting to know someone cares and has taken the time to ring them. Because there is no fixed time to contact carers, I can easily fit the calls in with other things I do during the day too.” George D’Souza, who has been making calls as a volunteer whilst furloughed from his part-time front of house job in a theatre. Find out more about the role at www.carersinherts.org.uk/help-us-helpcarers/volunteer/volunteer-vacancies

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The coronavirus pandemic meant that many of us have had to face challenges and adapt how we work or live. For Carers in Hertfordshire, a charity that offers guidance, information and services to unpaid family and friend carers in the county, it meant providing more support over the phone and online. One way the charity has reached out to carers, particularly those who are elderly, have their own health conditions or haven’t been in contact for a while, has been by making keep in touch calls.

These welfare calls have brought comfort to carers, connected them to support and provided reassurance and a confidence boost. The charity wants to continue making welfare calls to carers but needs volunteers to help with this. Whatever time you can give can make a difference! If you’re interested in this or other volunteer roles with the charity or you’d like support with your caring role call 01992 58 69 69. Learn more at www.carersinherts.org.uk


Profile: Peter Taylor

Peter Taylor was Elected Mayor of Watford in May 2018. Formally a teacher, he lives locally with his wife and three children. Peter represents the council and borough at a local, national and international level. Before becoming Mayor, Peter served as Deputy Mayor, Portfolio Holder for Parks and Leisure Centres and as a Borough Councillor for Oxhey Ward.

A popular, energetic and ‘cando’ leader, Peter understands that resident and business communities in the town are inextricably interconnected and support each other to flourish. Since taking office, improving the town’s transport infrastructure, forging stronger connections with the business community and increasing support for local rough sleepers have been some of his key priorities. With the aim of giving residents and commuters sustainable travel options, this year he introduced a new Beryl bikehire scheme and an on-demand bus service. He also launched a custom built facility for housing rough sleepers in Watford with One YMCA. Peter embodies the Watford motto to ‘Be bold’: during the pandemic he pushed through

initiatives in support of both the business community and the voluntary sector in the town. In April he launched a Covid appeal to raise money for Watford’s charities whose fundraising activities were curtailed by the virus. To date the appeal has raised over £160,000 and the funds have been shared with over 50 local organisations enabling them to continue their vital work. In November, Peter introduced a new support programme for local SMEs and start-ups which over 100 companies have accessed to date. More recently he launched a Shop Local campaign (with Watford’s Business Improvement District) which is raising awareness amongst residents of the great retailers on their doorstep and the many benefits there are in supporting them.

Mayor’s charity Christmas card raises over £8,700 for local charities

A group of local artists have created the Mayor’s Christmas card to raise money for a local hospice and a vital helpline that supports victims of domestic abuse. Peace Hospice Care and Herts Domestic Abuse Helpline have received a fantastic donation of £8,700 courtesy of the Mayor’s charity Christmas card. The card has been created by artists from the local arts charity, Cathartic CIC, who provide sensory, stimulating and creative experiences for young people who face challenges that others don’t. Every year the Elected Mayor of Watford, Peter Taylor, sponsored by local firms sends out a card to charities, voluntary groups and businesses across the town. This year’s card shows a touching tribute of all the amazing key workers that have been on the frontline of the pandemic. Maria Todesco and Nicky Day, Directors at Cathartic CIC said “We hope that the ‘Thank You to Key Workers’ design will bring so many smiles to all that see it, every time we look at it, we see something new! The design has been collated by some extraordinary young people who make us feel so amazingly proud. The two charities that the card will benefit are very clos e to our hearts and it is a superb achievement for all. “Our bespoke creative programmes for vulnerable people aim to enrich the lives

Christine Roach, Chair of Herts Domestic Abuse Helpline said “We are very grateful to Peter Taylor, the artists of Cathartic CIC and all the local firms which have contributed to this initiative. Victims-survivors of domestic abuse have been particularly impacted by lockdown this year and our call numbers have soared.

Contemplating retirement and wondering how you’re ever going to sell? What if you could step back and have your business run without you? What if you could sell your business for the maximum value?

of those in need, enabling them to experience the joys of achieving, to feel a sense of worth and a ignite a newfound purpose. Designing the Mayor’s Christmas card has encompassed all of this and has been a highlight of this momentous year.” Gemma Norris, Head of Fundraising at Peace Hospice Care said “We are extremely proud of our staff and key workers, for not only delivering the excellent care that we always deliver, but for being a friend and a beacon of light for our patients and families during these challenging times. We are so grateful to the Mayor Peter Taylor, the local artists and the local businesses who sponsored this year’s Christmas card for their generous support. You have lifted our spirits and it’s because of you, and the kindness of the local community, that we have been able to continue providing care and comfort to those who need us now more than ever.”

Are you ‘locked in’ your business and unable to step back?

At the same time, fundraising opportunities have been severely reduced by the need to socially isolate. This donation will make a big difference to us continuing to maintain our valuable countywide service.” Elected Mayor of Watford, Peter Taylor said “I’m really touched by the generosity of the firms who support my Christmas card – Camelot, Wenta, Watford Football Club, Murrill Construction, Everyone Active, Warner Bros, West Herts Golf Club, Veolia, Sigma, GS8 and Borras Construction. I am so pleased that their generous donations will have a positive impact for my chosen charities this year, Herts Domestic Abuse Helpline and Peace Hospice Care, so that they can continue helping people in Watford and Hertfordshire. I am also so grateful to Cathartic for the brilliant card design. They are a fantastic local charity who do so much to help people in Watford.”

If you would like to donate or find out more about the services, please visit hertsdomesticabusehelpline.org and peacehospicecare.org.uk

We work with ambitious owner managers and entrepreneurs who are growing high value businesses and know what it takes to grow a successful business from the ground up.

How can we help you? Book a 15 minute discovery call to find out how to unlock the profit and value in your business

Call us on 01992 364740 www.effectiveaccountants.co.uk

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MEMBERS NEWS

Happy 1st Birthday, Liquid Corporate Finance! So, 12 months ago today, I decided to realise a long-time ambition and start my own Credit Brokerage.

Ashbourne Insurance WIN SME News UK Finance Award 2020 ‘Best Independent General Insurance Broker - Hertfordshire’ SME News has announced Hoddesdon based, family-run Ashbourne Insurance as this year’s winner of the UK Finance Award’s ‘Best Independent General Insurance Broker – Hertfordshire’.

Ashbourne were able to demonstrate expertise, dedication to client service and satisfaction, and commitment to excellence and quality. And this all happened during the Covid pandemic, lock down one and two.

past ten months with much pride. Our third generation, family-run business has been offering a full range of insurance options to the business community for almost 40 years and the pandemic has only increased the demand for our personal service to help residents and companies alike. Our team have been exemplary by working throughout supporting and advising customers about their options to best suit their individual needs. I would also like to extend our thanks to the local community for working together and helping one another. From Ashbourne Insurance, we want to wish everyone a safe festive period and a peaceful 2021.”

Peter Smits, Managing Director of Ashbourne Insurance commented, “We are very grateful to win this award and it has come at a time when we are reflecting upon the

SME News launched the inaugural Finance Awards last year and now looks to celebrate those that have seen extraordinary success despite extraordinary challenges.

I had worked in Asset Finance for 18 years and had always tried to listen and learn as much as I could at every opportunity. I became the why? guy. Always asking questions and wanting to know the outcome of what I was being asked to do and boy am I glad I did that. The advice and lessons I learned from my colleagues, bosses and business partners have been invaluable in running my own business. Like many others, I have had to steer the ship through the most unprecedented period in our lifetime, relying on only determination and sheer will not to be beaten. From the disruption to the business to being unwell for the best part of two to three months, there have been huge challenges to overcome. The fact that I am sitting here able to write this article is great testament to that determination and I feel very proud to be able to do so. I must thank every single client for believing that Liquid Corporate Finance continues to be the brokerage to entrust their financial affairs and livelihoods with. I am more appreciative than you will ever know. I have also received the most amazing support from my lending panel; many of whom I have had a great relationship with over the last 18 years and many new ones too. Without lenders, I would simply not have a business. The last 12 months has been an amazing ride so far and much has been achieved. The business is on a very sound footing and 2021 and beyond represents a huge opportunity for growth. We have an extensive, supportive and ever-growing lending panel, robust and secure systems, an everexpanding base of clients and introducers and a core mission to keep offering the very best service we possibly can to our clients. If I had to describe our first 12 months journey, I would say that 2020 has been about navigating a long and winding road. In 2021, we join the motorway and we look forward to sharing our continuing journey with you all. Joe Barbera Managing Director at Liquid Corporate Finance

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Awards Coordinator Kaven Cooper discussed the success of this year’s programme: “Congratulations to all of the businesses who have been recognised. It has been a year of challenge and uncertainty in all corners of British business. Yet, it is important to recognise those that are seeing success – no matter how small it may seem in the grander sense of the landscape. Here’s to a wonderful new year and a better year ahead.” Multi award-winning, third generation, family-run Ashbourne Insurance offers a wide range of business and personal insurance along with a claims advisory service. It is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Ashbourne employ an experienced team of insurance professionals, many of whom have been with the company for over ten years.

For more information visit www.ashbourneinsurance.co.uk Follow on twitter @AshInsServices and LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/company/ashbourne-insurance-services-ltd.

Renovation of historic

Hemel Hempstead landmark completed

Dacorum Borough Council has completed a renovation project to restore the Grade II-listed cast iron bridge in Gadebridge Park. The White Bridge has been restored back to its former glory after a three-month project which involved addressing safety issues and restoring and repainting the historic iron work. The bridge dates back to around 1840 when the area was part of the Gadebridge House estate. The carriageway to the house passed through a ford, so owner of the house Sir Astley Paston Cooper

commissioned local iron founder, Joseph Cranstone, to build the bridge. With its design resembling bamboo, it echoes the Chinese style popular at that time.

The house was demolished and Kodak built a Marketing Education Centre on the site. This was demolished in 1995 to make way for housing at Sovereign Heights.

Gadebridge House, which was on the west side of the park, became a school in 1914. The school moved out in 1963, as part of the New Town development plan and is now Westbook Hay School, at Boxmoor.

Cllr Alan Anderson, Dacorum Borough Council Portfolio Holder for Environmental Services, said: “The White Bridge is a historic and well-loved feature in Gadebridge Park and it is fantastic to see it fully restored to its former glory.”


OPPORTUNITY HERTFORDSHIRE offers boost to construction industry’s net zero future Leading Hertfordshire organisations have come together to outline how the region is supporting the growth of smart, sustainable construction, at a virtual conference attended by over 100 delegates from the industry. Led by Hertfordshire LEP, with partners BRE Group and Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce, alongside its flagship initiative Herts IQ, Opportunity Hertfordshire: Building a Sustainable Future discussed how organisations are bringing together new investment, commercial space and skills provision as a unique opportunity for the construction industry. Speakers at the 90-minute virtual conference, which was free to attend, included Gillian Charlesworth, Chief Executive Officer of BRE Group, Nadhim Zahawi MP, Minister for Business & Industry, Richard Whitehead, Chair of Herts IQ & Managing Director, Building & Places, UK and Ireland AECOM and representatives from Hertfordshire’s leading

construction companies including Willmott Dixon, EasyBuild and Morgan Sindall. Nadhim Zahawi MP, told delegates: “Delivering the net zero target must be a joint endeavour encompassing all sectors of the economy and all parts of the society. And with buildings making up around one fifth of UK greenhouse gas emissions, construction has a big part to play in reaching that goal, something I know the sector recognises and is acting on.” He praised Hertfordshire for its commitment to sustainability, adding Hertfordshire was playing a “commendable role” in meeting the net zero challenge and added: “I’m impressed that leading organisations here have come together to establish Herts Innovation Quarter, which is building a cluster of smart construction companies and supply chains.”

“Delivering the net zero target must be a joint endeavour encompassing all sectors of the economy and all parts of the society.” Catch up on Opportunity Hertfordshire at the Herts IQ website. www.herts-iq.co.uk/2020/11/09/net-zero-future/

Legal Property Experts in association with Penman Sedgwick LLP

Stephen Carew - Partner, Head of Residential Property, Penman Sedgwick LLP

Residential Property Boom - but not for all! The recent boom in residential property sales caused by pent up demand from the Covid 19 lockdown and the stamp duty land tax reduction has been a real boon for many in the property industry and home owners across the country. However, not everyone has been able to benefit. It is thought that almost half a million flat owners and professional landlords are trapped with flats which either cannot be sold or remortgaged causing heartache and misery to many. Safety advice issued in response to the Grenfell Tower disaster has meant that lenders have not been willing to lend on flats where there is the potential for combustible cladding to be present. Lenders have been insisting that a building of 6 floors or more has an external wall system safety certificate (EWS1). Many buildings do not have such a certificate and in that event most lenders will not lend monies to a purchaser or

someone wishing to remortgage. It has become increasingly difficult to obtain an EWS1 given the shortage of qualified inspectors. In November the Government agreed that an EWS1 will not be required for buildings where there is no cladding. It was thought that this would unlock the nightmare for many owners but it seems lenders’ associations have doubted whether this agreement will be an effective resolution to the problem given that some buildings have solid brick on the outside and cladding behind such material. The well intentioned announcement might seem to offer relief to the cladding nightmares of some but in practice this is unlikely to be so given lenders will probably still require checks to be carried out. If you own a flat in such a building then it makes sense to seek appropriate advice at an early stage.

Problem Solved

e: scarew@penmansedgwick.com t: 01923 225212 www.penmansedgwick.com

5 George Street, Watford, Herts WD18 0SQ

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MEMBERS NEWS

Learning Through Crisis Donna Nolan, Managing Director of Watford Borough Council since February 2020, shares her thoughts on local leadership in the most challenging of years. COVID-19 created a perfect storm. One that forced us to change how we live, and work. But it’s also offered us a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for learning and reflection. When the crisis hit, I was in a brandnew role. We found ourselves facing the biggest crisis in a generation, and I was asking people with whom I had ‘no credit in the bank’ to have faith in me, and to go the extra mile. There was no blueprint, and it quickly became clear that our business continuity plans were not geared to manage a pandemic on this scale. Working together with my leadership team, we established six new operating principles to guide us through the crisis, and beyond.

Cutting through the red tape One of the most important changes was our Flexible Operating Model. Our existing management model involved too much red tape and we needed to completely rewrite the council’s operating structure. The first step was to organise the council into new ‘cells’, to focus on critical

areas. Multi-disciplinary teams were created, overnight, with autonomous leads appointed from across the organisation.

Getting to the heart of local community

We’re a diverse town, with a high number of independently owned businesses. In the early days of the crisis our Public Protect team decided not to work from home, but to get out where they were needed most, in the heart of our community, to support businesses with signage, messaging and advice to help them trade. As the community prepared to reopen, we had to scale up our approach. Inclusivity was key; from our regional shopping centre (intu), Watford BID, the county council, the chamber of commerce, to the police, the local market and taxi trade, everybody was at the table. As a result, we are reinvigorating the local economy, whilst ensuring safety along the way.

Coming together

There has been a tremendous outpouring from people keen to volunteer. One initiative I am most proud of is Watford Helps. Set up to coordinate new volunteers

and triage those needing support, Watford Helps brings our volunteers together, and includes the foodbank, Salvation Army, faith groups, charities and residents’ groups, to make sure those most in need get help. Lockdown also presented particular challenges for the arts and entertainment sector. But we recognised that our cultural and heritage partners could work with us to boost community spirit, and a new initiative, Watford Together, was created to do just that. The activities included One Town, One Book: virtual book-club sessions and a writing workshop, aimed at bringing the borough together through a love of reading.

Our people, our priority There is no doubt that our staff have been the defining success of Watford’s response. Our priority was to take care of them, so the leadership team opted out of ‘command and control’, in favour of a more compassionate approach. I put a web of systems in place to help us listen, understand and support our people. The response has been extraordinary.

I’m so impressed, and grateful, for their resolve and sheer hard work. COVID-19 has radically strengthened the psychological contract between leadership and staff, a key foundation for our post-COVID-19 reset.

To go boldly The motto for the borough of Watford is ‘to go boldly’, and it has been tested as never before. Taking time to reflect and learn from this crisis has shown us just how powerful empowerment can be. We have developed a new council plan, focused on what matters most to our community. It’s underpinned by a recast budget, focused on renewal, and a new organisational development strategy to embed agility, resilience, new competencies and behaviours. If you had told me in early March that I would be grateful for the opportunities that the crisis presented, I wouldn’t have believed it. But looking back, this has been a defining moment in my career. Our learning from COVID-19 is our legacy – at Watford we are using it to write the next chapter, and to go forward, boldly.

Letchworth based CSD Automation and Engineering win Best Automation and Engineering Solutions Manufacturer 2020 Award - South East England CSD Engineering & Automation, a Herts Chamber member, have proven themselves worthy winners of the SME News award for Best Automation & Engineering Solutions Manufacturer 2020 - South East England. The company provide bespoke automation and engineering solutions that allow manufacturers to cut down on their costs and improve their efficiency. Chris Pykerman, Managing Director of CSD, said “Gaining this award not only reflects our policy of getting to know clients and their processes so that we can design a system with the simplifications that help reduce the initial outlay, training, running and maintenance costs of that system but also the continuous quality improvements we seek to make by having our

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engineers regularly assembling and testing equipment they have designed to create an essential feedback loop to improve future designs.” Chris both lives and runs his business in Letchworth which, whilst it is his hometown, he believes is geographically well placed to reach manufacturers in London, the SouthEast and the manufacturing heartland of the Midlands. He believes this is particularly important as CSD designers are ‘hands-on’ and travel to client sites to engage with end-users who will be operating the machines.

He is also particularly proud of using the covid pandemic ‘down-times’ to enhance and upgrade processes and IT systems ready for the growth they are expecting in 2021 and beyond. Adding, “An award such as this reinforces my belief that CSD’s bespoke solution approach well places us to be on the leading edge of the UK’s productivity investment cycle”. In order to fulfil these expectations CSD have just taken on additional design and client services personnel. CSD can be contacted via chris@csdautomation.co.uk or 01462 627626.


HERTS GLOBAL

End of EU transition period By John Woodruffe

Business Support Manager, Herts Chamber I sincerely hope you all had a good Christmas, if somewhat necessarily constrained in the circumstances, but hopefully warmed with the news that the UK Government has reached a trade agreement with the EU, following months of ongoing discussions which had, understandably, given rise to considerable uncertainty. That combined with the gradual roll out of the Covid vaccine, does give rise to optimism that we can really start moving forward again in the New Year In a nutshell, from 11pm on 31st December 2020, Britain will change its relationship with the EU from law to friendly cooperation and free trade. At the time of writing there is still some

clarity to be sought and here at the Chamber we are working hard to ascertain your needs as exporters. We are sure you will have lots of questions and we will endeavour to answer them in the coming days. What is clear is that with the end of the transition period, the way we trade with the EU will change forever. Both the importation and export of goods processes will alter and all businesses will be affected.

mentioning the EU will not be valid after this date. This applies to both Certificates of Origin and EUR1’s. We will keep our website up to date with changes and procedures as we hear, so do please keep referring to this.

Here in the Export Department at Herts Chamber, we have been busy preparing for the change-over. We now have all the new export forms and are ready to exchange these for any current stock held by companies. Do please contact Frances (details below) regarding returning your old stock and requesting new forms.

For those companies still working through any needs for 1st January, the UK Governments Border Operating Model is an excellent 200 plus page guide and a link has been posted on our website. I encourage you to take a look at this. Also on the website is the excellent presentation given by Paul Samrah, Partner Moore Kingston Smith, at our well attended Preparing Hertfordshire for the end of EU transition on 4th December, we held in conjunction with Herts Growth Hub.

It is important to note that the new forms may only be used after 1st January and forms

May we stress again, that the Export Department at Herts Chamber is here to help.

In what will be a busy January we are preparing two webinars:

Trading with India through a pandemic and beyond

New Export Forms Clinic

12.01.2021

11:00 – 11:45

10:00 – 11:00

On 14th January, we will be covering what you need to know in order to correctly complete the new export forms, with information on both the changes, including our understanding of the trade deal and implications for exporters, along with what we will need to see included on future forms. I do encourage anyone involved in completing the export forms to attend if possible.

We are pleased to be linking with the UKIndia Business Council for a webinar covering trading with India and how the Business Council can offer support. A huge country and one which UK companies should be considering as they look for new markets.

14.01.2021

CONNECTS

The Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce has been a member of CONNECTS for some time and this is a free service available for Silver and above members of the Chamber. CONNECTS is an online B2B matching service designed to help member companies to grow their businesses through easy access to contacts in both new markets overseas and here in the UK. The new version of CONNECTS is due to launch in January. In this current age where international travel is difficult, if not impossible, and events such as trade fairs are not operating, using an online platform with trusted members could provide an effective alternative to help your business grow. I would recommend you take a look at the link on our website and consider joining up. The concept is simple, multi-language and can provide growth with a trustworthy network. Any questions do please ask John.

In what has been a tumultuous and unprecedented year, may I take this opportunity on behalf of Frances and I to wish you all best wishes for 2021 and a smooth transition period. Do please contact us for any assistance on export@hertschamber.com INSPIRE

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HERTFORDSHIRE GROWTH HUB

EU Transition: Support for Businesses to Prepare and Act Hertfordshire Growth Hub is providing EU transition readiness support to businesses through a new programme. A team of specialist advisers will work closely with businesses to identify the implications and actions that businesses need to take in order to adapt, grow and take advantage of opportunities that the changes might bring. Now that the transition period has ended, we have entered into a new relationship with the EU. There are significant changes to the way businesses trade and operate in the UK, for which businesses need to act. All businesses, irrespective of whether they are exporters or importers, need to take appropriate action to ensure that they are still able to trade effectively. There are eight primary areas of business activity that will be affected post-transition.

These include: export, import, supply chain, workforce/HR, information/data, legal, public procurement and regulatory/IP. In a Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce EU transition webinar held in early December, delegates were polled and 45% of those attending were either unprepared or required assistance. Whilst many would have been preparing for the end of the transition period last year, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has meant that businesses have had little time to prepare. As the central point of access to business support in the county, powered by Hertfordshire LEP, we are working closely with other local and national organisations to provide access to EU transition advice.

The EU transition programme provides one to one support to help businesses understand exactly what they need to put in place to move forward. Our EU Transition Advisers can refer businesses when appropriate to additional specialist support from the Department of International Trade and Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce for guidance on export and import. We also work closely with Hertfordshire Trading Standards and Environmental Health teams who can provide guidance in areas such as labelling, CE/UKCA marking, product safety standards and food products. In addition, we can signpost businesses to a host of private sector specialists. For example supply chain support, as the end of the transition period

might also impact suppliers, intermediaries, and transporters. Hertfordshire Growth Hub and our EU Transition Advisers can support you by: • Keeping you up-to-date with transition news and updates • Providing guidance that is tailored specifically for your business sector • Working with you to understand exactly what EU transition means for your business • Helping you to access a host of fully-funded support programmes delivered by us and our partners

Grow your business www.hertsgrowthub.com

PEER NETWORKS The Peer Networks programme is a Hertfordshire Growth Hub service delivered by Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce, one of the three Hertfordshire Growth Hub Consortium Partners. The cohorts began taking place in September and with over 100 companies signed up. “We are thrilled to launch this initiative in Hertfordshire, powered by Herts LEP, which has already achieved significant success with 10 cohorts launched at pace, and with fantastic feedback already being received” Sian Ryan, Hertfordshire Growth Hub “This initiative, funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, is well-structured, skilfully facilitated, and is valued by participants for the community

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spirit it engenders. There are elements of curriculum, by which I mean the use of standard business tools and analytics, but there are also opportunities for personal development through engagement with peers in what can be otherwise be isolated and challenging roles. Irrespective of the scale of a business, this is a thoroughly positive business support programme that connects a diverse set of relatively local business leaders for the mutual benefit and support of one another.” David Allman, Hoddesdon School Trust

Due to the success of the current Peer Networks scheme, we now have space for a new cohort starting in January! Businesses with two to four staff, and a turnover of £100k+ can also now access the programme. The Peer Networks scheme is fully-funded scheme, therefore with no charge to participants, and a national peer-to-peer networking programme for SME leaders that want to grow and develop their organisation for future success The deadline to apply is 8th January, so act fast!

Please contact amyrich@hertschamber.com for more information.


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Have you considered making changes to your payroll during the pandemic? You are not alone. Did you know that 48% of businesses introduced changes to their payroll management due to COVID-19? Robert Bradman Partner at Wilder Coe Chartered Accountants ______________________________ A recent YouGov study, conducted by IRIS Software Group, has looked at the impact the pandemic has had on small businesses and how they have managed their payroll. According to the survey, 29% of business owners agreed that managing payroll takes up too much time. A quarter of leaders are unable to keep up with staff demands due to the time constraints of payroll, whilst 25% acknowledge that it has an impact on how their business performs.

Are payroll obstacles getting in the way of growing your business? Managing payroll is also preventing 25% of business owners from carrying out business development activities. These figures vary across the UK, with over half of business leaders (54%) in London and 33% in Scotland struggling to dedicate time to both payroll processes and finding new opportunities.

Two in five business owners have stated that they have found payroll more stressful now than before the pandemic. Therefore, over the past 10 months, many businesses are making changes to their payroll management to free up time so that they can focus on business growth. One in five business owners have changed their entire payroll systems and, 17% are now outsourcing payroll. Surprisingly, only 17% are using cloudbased or digital software to streamline their payroll processes.

Are you aware that payroll is a key driver for employee happiness? Payroll professionals (81%) acknowledge the correlation between accurate payroll and a content workforce. With payroll becoming increasingly complex, there are solutions available for leaders that do not result in a stressed or unhappy workforce. Moving forward, business owners need to consider using automation and cloud-based software to take the pain out of payroll. Robert Bradman, Head of Accounting Support at Wilder Coe, acknowledges the challenges business owners are facing.

“From the start of the pandemic, we supported our clients with their various business needs, and none more so than with their payroll requirements. Our SME clients outsource their payroll work to our specialist team to free up internal resources so they can develop and grow their businesses. Particularly over the past 10 months for clients, it is all about survival and resilience, and in that respect, helping employers access the right Government support through the furlough scheme has been significant. The team continue to manage all aspects of payroll on behalf of our employer clients. Including, dealing directly with HM Revenue & Customs in respect of the furlough scheme process and where required, also providing any related HR support services.”

Looking forward to the year ahead, perhaps now is the perfect time to consider the changes you can make to streamline your payroll process?

If you have any questions or would like to speak with a member of our team to find out the steps you can take, then email payroll@wildercoe.co.uk or call on 01438 758 100. Don’t forget you can also listen to our podcast episode on how payroll can benefit your business! www.wildercoe.co.uk/payroll-what-does-it-mean-for-your-business/ All figures within this article are from YouGov plc, unless otherwise stated. The survey was conducted online (4 – 12 November 2020), with 101 business owners (10-49 employees)

INSPIRE

59


Adults to gain new skills on 400 free courses

SKILLS & DEVELOPMENT

Tens of thousands of adults will be able to benefit from almost 400 free courses this year, in the first major development in the Lifetime Skills Guarantee announced by the government in September. The fully-funded courses, ranging from engineering to healthcare and conservation, will be available to adults without a full qualification at level three (A-level equivalent) from April 2021 to help them gain in-demand skills and open up further job opportunities. Designed to help the country repair its economy after the pandemic, the qualifications have been carefully chosen to help adults improve their career prospects and meet the needs of the economy. They will be reviewed regularly so the courses offered can be updated as the economy changes. The announcement marks an important step in the development of the government’s landmark Lifetime Skills Guarantee,

which aims to transform the skills system to ensure more people, regardless of their age or background, can get the skills they need to progress in employment. The offer is backed by £95 million from the £2.5 billion National Skills Fund, which is financing programmes that support the immediate economic recovery and help meet future skills needs. This funding will enable thousands of adults to gain new qualifications and access better job opportunities. A proportion of the cash will also be used to support education and training providers as they scale up their provision to deliver the courses and meet the needs of learners.

Stephen Phipson CBE, Chief Executive of manufacturers’ organisation Make UK, said: “Industry will be pleased to see manufacturing and engineeringrelated level three qualifications as part of this new offer. Protecting existing vital skills and providing people with an opportunity to learn much-needed new skills is crucial. “It is also an important first step in supporting individuals on the pathway towards higher-level qualifications as we transition to a digital economy. These new opportunities will be critical in the months ahead for the manufacturing sector as we build a workforce fit for the future.”

Education secretary Gavin Williamson said: “As we recover from the pandemic, we are focused on making sure that individuals and businesses can build back better than before. Throughout our lives we may all need to boost our skills or gain new ones. These free qualifications will help open doors to better employment opportunities for thousands of adults and support businesses to access the workforce they need to grow. “Our new Lifetime Skills Guarantee promises to help you get the skills you need at every stage of your life. I’d urge all those eligible to see what course they can take from spring next year and start thinking about their next steps.”

For further information: www.gov.uk/government/publications/qualifications-in-new-funded-offers

HIRE AN APPRENTICE IN

2021

Looking to recruit apprentices in 2021? It’s time to start your search. Receive a grant of £2,000 for every new apprentice aged 16-24 hired by 31 January 2021. There is no limit to the number of new apprentices the government will fund. Discover, build, create. Hiring an apprentice is a proven way to grow a talented workforce. 9 in 10 apprentices stay in the place of work after completing their apprenticeship.

Contact us to find out more – 01923 812345 or admissions@westherts.ac.uk INSPIRE

61


THE LAST WORD - Promotional Content

The Last Word Gordon Craft

Director and Founder Chasebridge Wealth Management Q

What do you do?

We are leading experts in identifying current and future financial needs and objectives. We help our clients to pinpoint where they are on the money map and navigate their way to financial freedom in the future. Chasebridge has always been ahead of the game, because we understood very early on that the client must come first, no matter what. We put a lot of time and energy into understanding our clients’ needs and then deliver what’s best for them. I’ve learnt over the years that our work is far more about understanding the client and working to their timescales and agendas, than it is about the products and efficiencies most wealth management organisations promote. “It’s more personal than finance.”

Q

Who do you work for?

For almost two decades, Chasebridge Wealth Management has been helping individuals, families and business clients to determine and plan for their brighter financial futures. Business owners come to us as they very often require help to ensure their organisation is adequately protected and prepared for growth in the years ahead. We work closely with families too, who want to secure retirement plans and ensure inheritance is taken care of for future generations.

Q

Why did you join the Chamber?

Through our role as a Chamber Patron we wanted to be part of a community of Hertfordshire business voices. We wanted to help individuals and business clients plan for a brighter financial future. Whether you need assistance in creating your financial roadmap and destination, have family and life aspirations to achieve,

Patrons

62

INSPIRE

or wish to become the master of your own wealth and investment destiny, our dedicated advisers are here to offer financial clarity, confidence and direction.

“Whether you need assistance in creating your financial roadmap and destination, have family and life aspirations to achieve, or wish to become the master of your own wealth and investment destiny, our dedicated advisers are here to offer financial clarity, confidence and direction.”

Q

How has it helped your business network?

It has helped us to establish new opportunities and grow our connections – two very important components of our business. In the financial world, a lot of new business is created through word of mouth and being part of the Chamber has really helped to build our brand and reputation.

Q

What advice would you give someone starting out?

Make the most of every opportunity that comes your way. Be motivated by success, not money, and get clued up in technology. The current financial adviser population is ageing so there’s opportunity for the next generation of tech-savvy advisers. You could really make a difference to people’s lives.

Q

What do you think is the biggest challenge affecting running and growing a business?

Navigating the ever-changing working landscape that COVID-19 has presented us with. But it’s not going to be forever, and I have an excellent team working for me so all challenges have been overcome. Whatever is going on we still have plans which we will continue to execute.

Q

How confident are you your business will grow in the future?

We did not furlough any staff and have welcomed three new recruits in November. I am confident that, as we continue to engage and deliver for our clients, Chasebridge will continue to go from strength to strength. We are also delighted that Pippa Judson has successfully completed the Adviser Academy and is now a qualified financial adviser. I think there’ll be more client interaction as the industry progresses and technology is going to play an even bigger part than it already does with the introduction of improved investment portfolios to match client needs. •••• Chasebridge Wealth Management Ltd is an Appointed Representative of and represents only St. James’s Place Wealth Management plc (which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority) for the purpose of advising solely on the group’s wealth management products and services, more details of which are set out on the group’s website www.sjp.co.uk/products. The value of an investment with St. James’s Place will be directly linked to the performance of the funds selected and may fall as well as rise. You may get back less than the amount invested.


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Inspire Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce January 2021  

Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce Magazine, Latest Local Business Issues, National Business News, Accountancy and Fiscal Management, Busines...

Inspire Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce January 2021  

Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce Magazine, Latest Local Business Issues, National Business News, Accountancy and Fiscal Management, Busines...

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