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Edinburgh still sparkles page 08

Edinburgh takes the lead on renewables pages 24-25

decEMBER 2010 january 2011

Edinburgh Chamber - UK Chamber of the year 2010

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dec 2010 jan 2011

The Festive Season – a time to pause, reflect and plan.



03 Introduction / contents

04 Chamber Awards 2010

05 Private-public partnership key

07 Capital view

08 Edinburgh sparkles

19 22|23 24|25 26|29 37 38 39 41 44 45 47 49|50

Your Chamber of Commerce has had a very successful 2010 and your membership has been a key part of making it so. Not that it’s been easy or straightforward for any business to succeed of late; sometimes it feels as if the economic downturn has been an insurmountable wall, with little light ahead to guide us. In reality, those who succeed in business have continued to realign their vision, change what they do or how they do it – or both. As we head for the winter break, this got me thinking about one aspect of sustainability that is easy to underrate – the human power to keep going. Athletes have a season and then recuperate; field games have half time and change ends; performers take a break mid-show. Phillips Brooks, the nineteenth century US Episcopalian Bishop who penned O Little Town of Bethlehem, wrote: “The earth has grown old with its burden of care. But at Christmas it always is young.” We need that sense of rejuvenation that we get from passing the Winter Solstice. Another great gift you won’t find under the tree is the gift of time. Everyone seems busier than ever before and sometimes you just wonder how we ever keep up with the many demands of business, but Christmas is a great time to ‘stop doing’ and use the break to plan ahead. It’s not by doing more that we will fine tune our businesses for the recovery, but by doing things better. Christmas is a chance to read about new views and best practice, to chat over interesting ideas with friends and family. It’s a chance to rest and recuperate, then come back in January raring to go and implement the fascinating insights gained from a period of pausing. If your business is in a service sector that looks after the rest of us on our winter break, then thanks for keeping things moving, and I hope you have a successful trading time. Last words to Oren Arnold: “Christmas gift suggestions: To your enemy: forgiveness. To an opponent: tolerance. To a friend: your heart. To a customer: service. To all: charity. To every child: a good example. To yourself: respect.”

Ron Hewitt chief executive

09 Public sector cuts - how will Scotland fare?

12 Gender equality

13 Be the best

15 Going international

16|18 Inspiring connections

60 seconds The interview Cover feature Finance feature In the spotlight City & World – Chamber policy Legal Ask the expert / get with IT Getting started Equality Act / Bribery Act Chamber news Movers & shakers

Business Comment is an Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce publication. All editorial a n d g en eral en qu iries: Edinburgh Chamber Customer Services Team Phone: 0844 736 2992 email: Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce, Capital House, 2 Festival Square, Edinburgh EH3 9SU President: Robert Carr Chief Executive: Ron Hewitt Bu sin ess Com m en t Editor Josef Church-Woods, Marketing & Communications Executive Phone: 0131 221 2973 email: P RO DUCTION & DESIGN Distinctive Publishing, 8th Floor, Aidan House, Sunderland Road, Gateshead NE8 3HU Tel: 0191 4788300 ADVERTISING Distinctive Publishing, 8th Floor, Aidan House, Sunderland Road, Gateshead NE8 3HU Tel: 0191 4788316 FEATURE EDITORS John Dean & Francis Griss DIS CLAIMER

Distinctive Publishing or Business Comment cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies that may occur, individual products or services advertised or late entries. No part of this publication may be reproduced or scanned without prior written permission of the publishers and Business Comment.

Cover p h oto Cover image courtesy of Destination Edinburgh Marketing Alliance




chambernews Four edinburgh chamber members shortlisted for top business awards

The UK’s battered economy hasn’t held back an incredible four award-winning Edinburgh firms – all members of Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce – who have won top business accolades at the 2010 Chamber Awards. Recruitment specialist Bright Purple Resourcing picked up two impressive Scottish titles – one for Business of the Year, sponsored by Westfield Health, while MD Nick Price won the Staples-sponsored Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Green Energy pioneer Locogen scooped the Most Promising New Business Award in Scotland, sponsored by BT, for its innovative rural partnerships to build wind turbine projects across the UK. Global traffic simulation consultants Braidwood Associates won the Scottish regional award for International Business for the second year running, sponsored by RBS and NatWest. And finally, the Jurys Inn Hotel in Jeffrey Street, set to be the biggest hotel in Scotland when improvement work completes in 2012, won the Base-sponsored Green Award.

Edinburgh Chamber Chief Executive Ron Hewitt with Richard Braidwood of Braidwood Associates, regional winner of in the International Business category for the second year running.

our members as well as our city and the fact that no less than four Edinburgh-based companies from our network have been crowned regional winners at the Chamber Awards 2010 is testament to the hard work, innovation, investment and excellence among businesses in Scotland’s capital. Big congratulations to all four of our regional winners – Bright Purple Resourcing, Locogen, Braidwood Associates and Jurys Inn Hotel! Well done also to all our other members who entered the awards; simply by putting yourself forward you have proven that you have the mentality and ambition of true survivors.”

Please note that the final of the Chamber Awards, at which all the national winners were announced, took place London’s Hurlingham Club on November 25 – after this magazine had already gone to print. Our four members who won at regional level went on to battle it out for the UK-wide national trophies in their respective categories – for information on all the Chamber Award winners, go to:

There are eight award categories, backed by high profile sponsors including AXA PPP healthcare, CIPD and Dell.

Are you making the most of your Chamber membership? Call 0844 736 2992

For more details, go to the Chamber Awards website:

Edinburgh Chamber Chief Executive, Ron Hewitt, said: “We’re immensely proud of


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Private-public partnership is key to achieving Scotland’s export potential Scottish Chambers International welcomed the Scottish Parliamentary Committee’s recent call for greater private-public sector collaboration to improve Scotland’s export performance. Responding to the Scottish Parliament’s latest Committee report on the public sector’s support for exporters and international trade, Scottish Chambers International (SCI) Managing Director, Alasdair Kerr, said: “The Committee clearly recognised the need for a more joined-up and better coordinated approach by Scottish Development International (SDI) and Scotland’s leading private sector agency for international trade, SCI. “Strong partnerships between both agencies have already been built through our design and delivery of the Smart Exporter programme, which aims to increase Scotland’s export performance by raising global trading aspirations, performance and skills. This programme in itself will help to achieve one of the Committee’s key recommendations – to bring about a step change to increase the international trade aspirations of Scottish businesses.” Alasdair explained further: “We are already working with SDI to explore options for further collaboration. Both SDI and SCI have strong international connections and representation in overseas markets. Through our global chamber network we are already in a strong position to make quality referrals and connections between businesses and provide


Scottish Chambers International’s Managing Director, Alasdair Kerr

market information and in-market support to Scottish businesses across the globe. “A key recommendation of the Committee was for the public sector to avoid duplication of service provision or the crowding out of the private sector in its ambition to improve Scottish export performance. At a time when public sector spending is under increased scrutiny and there is pressure for greater public sector cuts, it is even more important to maximise resources through greater collaboration with the private sector.” Liz Cameron, Chief Executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, supported the recent call to strengthen and expand further the successful work undertaken by both public and private sector organisations across the globe: “Our partnership with the Scottish Government and SDI is focused on meeting the specific needs of businesses, particularly small and medium-sized businesses, and we are already helping to generate increased export trade for Scotland.” For more information, go to:


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Robertson Technologies reaps hefty harvest Computer support franchise robertson technologies is to double its network of franchisees following success at this year’s National Franchise Exhibition. Held in October at Birmingham’s NEC, the event is the biggest in the franchise calendar and Edinburgh-based robertson technologies attracted a wave of interested parties. Founder Hamish Robertson said: “We had an excellent couple of days and as a direct result expect to award a new franchise before the end of the year. “This will take our total to five, meeting our target for 2010. I am also confident that we will award another two franchises shortly after New Year, putting us well down the road of raising our number of franchises to 15 by the end of 2011.” In total, robertson technologies received 65 enquiries at the exhibition and given the quality of these leads, Mr Robertson said he was confident that 5% of them would go on to join the business. Mr Robertson said people had been very positive about the telemarketing activity that the franchise carries out on behalf of its franchisees, to help them set up appointments and win new business.

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Capitalview Making Scotland ‘fit for purpose’ around the skills of available staff or, even more ill-advisedly, being driven by student demand for ‘fad’ courses. Education institutions should not be looking at the student as the target audience – their real end customer is surely the business consumer who ultimately employs the graduate – and that is where future education strategies ought to be focussed.

By Nora Senior Vice Chair of Scottish Chambers of Commerce and Executive Chair UK Regions & Ireland, PR and Public Affairs consultancy Weber Shandwick

It always makes me smile to see that so many Scots are in prominent positions of responsibility around the globe – in politics; finance; corporate; as well as our entrepreneurs. Undoubtedly part of that success is down to our solid Scottish education – but is this world renowned education system in danger of losing its way? Many of our places of Further and Higher Education seem to be frozen in time, preferring to develop courses

At the very least, a comprehensive audit of skills needs has to be undertaken to ensure that the students that are going through the system are following the right types of courses and acquiring the types of skills that will get them jobs after they graduate. The Chambers network is in an ideal position to facilitate an audit of future vacancies. Internationalism and export skills are key areas to ensure the economic recovery of the country – yet how is education responding to meet these future needs? Developing ICT skills is critical – the reality is that many of the jobs that we are doing now did not exist 10 years ago. The nature of how we work and the products and services we supply now has been hugely driven by the ‘knowledge sector’. That is a trend that will continue. We haven’t even thought about the types of jobs our children and their children will have – but we need a mechanism to track the job market continuously.

Fundamental to employers are not just the qualifications, but employability skills – like attitude, timekeeping, sense of responsibility and, what I would suggest are core skills: working with others, communication skills and basic work ready skills in literacy and numeracy. Our education guardians need to look at how these qualities can be fostered as part of learning. Why are these soft skills important? It is an issue of productivity. Scottish productivity is two per cent behind UK national levels. Increased productivity could have a significant effect on Scotland’s economy – and obviously a company’s profits. An estimated one per cent increase in productivity can generate around £1 billion additional GDP. It is the soft skills such as team working and attitude that can make that essential difference. Getting young people into active employment – not internships – is the only way to drive our economy forward. To make that happen, there needs to be a proper engagement strategy. There is a long way to go here and it has to be driven from the top, with a co-ordinated approach by key stakeholders, business and Government agencies like the Funding Council – some joined up thinking perhaps – to ensure Scotland is ‘fit for purpose’ in the future.

Accolade for Brodies Brodies LLP has been named ‘Best Legal Employer 2010’ by Legal Week, one of the legal industry’s leading magazines. The award comes after the company recorded the highest score in the magazine’s annual Employee Satisfaction Survey, which is conducted independently across Top 100 UK law firms, including those in the US. The firm was singled out as highly rated in several categories including quality of work, quality of clients, collegiality and firmwide culture, career development and equal opportunities, including flexible working arrangements.

Brodies’ Managing Partner Bill Drummond said: “What is particularly pleasing is that the survey highlights what everyone in the firm has worked for many years to build and maintain – the high quality of our client-work, of our people and our strong collegiate culture. “The survey shows Brodies for what it is – a dynamic and ambitious firm, approachable, progressive, and committed in no less part both to its superb clients and its talented work force.” Brodies LLP is the largest law firm headquartered and solely based in Scotland. Bill Drummond




Santa and a festive fairy at the launch of Edinburgh Sparkles

Train fleet strengthened Plans are under way to supplement East Coast’s train fleet with the introduction of a new Class 390 Pendolino train set from May.

Edinburgh sparkles brighter than the rest of the UK There’s nowhere quite like Edinburgh during Christmas and New Year – and if you don’t believe us, just ask the great British public. 2,500 people throughout the country, including London, Birmingham, Newcastle and Glasgow, were recently questioned, with 70% choosing Scotland’s Capital as the “best place in the UK” to celebrate the season. And now ‘Edinburgh Sparkles’ – back for its second year – will promote the city’s inimitable winter experience to more people than ever before, including huge billboard advertising, new city-centre stunts and exciting competitions on Facebook and Twitter. Planned and led by Destination Edinburgh Marketing Alliance (DEMA), ‘Edinburgh Sparkles’ is funded by a collective of city organisations, who have come together to benefit the city. The City of Edinburgh Council, Essential Edinburgh, Edinburgh’s Trams, Edinburgh Airport and Lothian Buses have invested £170,000 in the campaign, which will also see billboard


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advertising appear across Central Scotland, as well as London, Manchester and Newcastle. Favourites such as the German market, Big Wheel and ice-rink are set to return, whilst new additions include an alternative, Edinburgh College of Art-created Christmas decoration, and a fast-paced diamond hunt. The campaign will also promote a number of easy ways to come into town, with Lothian Buses running regular and affordable routes. Trains and taxis are also plentiful, whilst Park and Ride is a simple way to enjoy the city without bringing your car into the centre. To keep up-to-date with the winter festivities visit the Edinburgh Sparkles website – and for more travel information check out the ‘Plan your trip’ section – at: Why not join the Chamber’s linkedin group ( – search for edinburgh Chamber of Commerce) and follow us on twitter (@edinChamber)?

The additional train will operate in daily service, principally between London and Edinburgh as part of a seven to nine month test period. East Coast has been working with Alstom, which is constructing the new Pendolino at its facility in Savigliano, in Italy. Elaine Holt, Chairman of East Coast, said: “East Coast is delighted to have the opportunity to be the first Train Operating Company to test the new Class 390. It will be fully integrated into our fleet and timetable and will create additional capacity for East Coast which operates with 50% higher average number of passengers per train kilometre than Virgin services on the West Coast. “This will help East Coast further free up the existing fleet for essential maintenance work, while passengers will, of course, also get to enjoy the comfort and facilities of the new train.” The new 11-car Pendolino will be similar to the 52 Pendolino trains, each of nine cars, currently in service on the West Coast Main Line. It forms part of an existing order for four such train-sets, which Alstom started work on in early 2009. For more information, go to:

Economy&business Public sector cuts – how will Scotland fare? By Cliff Lockyer,

The Fraser of Allander Institute, University of Strathclyde Coordinator of the Scottish Chambers’ Business Survey

The consequences of the Government’s Spending Review, published in late October 2010, will have major implications for Scotland for a number of years. Notwithstanding the disagreement as to whether the cuts in year one are £900 million or £1.3 billion, the reductions pose major problems for the Scottish Government, local and other public authorities and the private sector. The real fall in the Scottish spending is likely to be -10.5%, lower than the fall in the overall UK DEL because of the differential pattern of spending cuts across departments and the workings of the Barnett formula. Comparable programmes such as health and education have been significantly protected in the UK, in real terms, rising – for the resource element – by 1.3% in the former and falling by -3.4% in the latter.

Cliff Lockyer

necessary infrastructure improvements which will facilitate growth in the future. Cuts in themselves do not lead to growth; Scotland needs policies to effectively plan and manage the reductions to minimise the impact to the social fabric and infrastructure of Scotland. It is to be hoped our politicians are adequate to the task.

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The impact on jobs and growth of this planned real cut in Scottish expenditure appears likely to be in the range from -95,000 to -48,000 depending on the extent to which wages and prices in the Scottish economy respond flexibly to the cuts and fall in demand. Public sector job losses will range from -67,000 to -58,000. How rapidly the economy will recover is uncertain – much will depend on international events and the possibility of competitive downward movements in exchange rates. Sluggish growth in our export markets raise uncertainties as do the building up of cost pressures in the UK, with rising oil prices,VAT increases in January 2011 and reductions in domestic expenditure. There is widespread agreement that the scale of these cuts will mean a significant reduction in the range and quality of services provided by local authorities. Effectively managing in a climate of reduced funds will mean not only the rationalisation of services, but equally a rationalisation of the number of local authorities. This requires careful management and planning and the benefits are not likely to emerge for several years.

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The significant cuts (estimated at 38%) to the capital budget pose real problems not only for the construction sector but equally for those




Considering today’s economic uncertainty, it will come as no surprise that many small and medium-sized enterprises are looking across their business to find savings. However, one area they often fail to look at is water and waste water efficiency. Over the past two years, Business Stream has helped customers in Scotland implement water and waste water efficiency measures, which have resulted in savings of more than £10 million. In environmental terms, this equates to 5,000 fewer tons of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere; or 1,400 cars being taken off the road. The small things count; basic water efficiency measures often require little or no investment but have the potential to deliver significant

cost and water savings. Even repairing a dripping tap can save up to a bathful of water every day and up to £900 per year. Undetected leaks in pipework can also lead to water and money seeping from a business; Business Stream’s engineers can help find leaks and stop them from flushing money down the drain.

Mark Powles, chief executive at Business Stream, said: “Smaller businesses have enough to do and as a result don’t often have water issues at the forefront of their minds, but a little attention in the right areas can provide substantial cost and water efficiency savings.”

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sPeCiAl FeAture Managers at Dumfries House, a stately home recently set up as a charitable body, only noticed water leaks once they received their water bill. Business Stream mapped the estate’s supply pipelines and educated employees about meters, water supply pipes and leak detection techniques so all remedial works could be carried out by staff. A number of leaks were found but Business Stream continued to work with Dumfries House until their average daily consumption reflected their expected usage. Edinburgh Leisure, which manages the city’s sports venues, wanted to improve its water efficiency and reduce its water bills. It also turned to Business Stream for help. Edinburgh Leisure knew there were leaks and wastage on some sites. To find them, smart meters were installed to provide a precise summary of water consumption – higher-than-normal flow often indicates a leak – and these were put in place gradually at key sites. As a result, Edinburgh Leisure has achieved water reduction worth £41,000.

However, even smaller SMEs based in one office can reduce their water bills by introducing measures such as: n Fitting free water-saving ‘hippos’ in toilet cistern. These clever bags displace water and can save up to three litres per flush. n Making sure taps are always turned off. n Keeping staff informed about water efficiency. n Appointing a water monitor to check where water could be saved. n Washing business vehicles by hand, or a hose with a shut-off valve. n Checking new equipment for water efficiency ratings. n Installing automatic flushes and spray taps to sinks, which can reduce water use by up to 70 per cent. n Considering alternative water sources, eg rainwater use and greywater.

Fitting smart meters. With winter fast approaching, SMEs should now be considering how to avoid burst pipes – last winter 25% of calls to Business Stream’s call centre concerned frozen pipes which had thawed and burst, flooding many businesses. Business Stream has advice for customers to avoid potential problems with pipes over the winter months: n Leave heating on at a low temperature. n Make sure heaters are well-maintained and working properly. n Check loft insulation is in place, is thick and in good condition. n Have any minor leaks at taps or valves repaired. n Fit draught excluders to doors and windows. n Install pipe insulation so pipes don’t burst after a cold spell.

8BUFSBOEDBTI*DBOIFMQZPVS DPNQBOZTBWFCVDLFUMPBET ,M-Q,S[MIJVSQ&YWMRIWW7XVIEQ We’ve already saved businesses £10million – and we can help you start making savings right now with water saving ideas and a range of discounts. It’s all part of our commitment to helping you save money on your water. Saving water is good for the planet and it’s even better for your bottom line. So, whether you’re a local hairdressers or a giant chemical plant, why not challenge us today?





Gender equality

a catalyst for economic growth in Scotland? Wendy Alexander MSP sponsored an event on Thursday 30th September at the Scottish Parliament, which asked government, business and their partners to consider the argument for gender equality as a means of growing Scotland’s economy.

Our Nordic partners have long since made sustained commitments to gender equality and recognise the vital contribution of women’s full participation to economic prosperity. The UK Government’s Women and Work Commission estimate that the under-use of women’s education, skills and experience is costing the UK economy £23 billion each year and cite occupational segregation and lack of female enterprise as contributing factors. Edinburgh Chamber’s role is therefore focusing on providing support and direction

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If you work, you use words. Whether it’s marketing material, customer correspondence, project reports, compliance documents or internal communications, what you say and how you say it matters. Clear writing gets your message across quickly and effectively. But how can you achieve this? For any piece of writing, ask yourself:

n Have I made it clear what I do – and why anyone cares? n Have I purged the draft of every unnecessary word? Have I kept sentences to 20 words or fewer?

The Edinburgh Chamber team at the event: (L to R) Dorothy Taylor, Sharon Ritchie, Hazel Smith (sitting), Susan Harkins and Leslie Morrison

through business and enterprise development, to support wider and better opportunities for women in employment and entrepreneurship. The comparative findings from other European Member States will act as guidance and support to Government and the EU in building fairer and more prosperous societies. For more information, go to:

L to R: Host Wendy Alexander MSP, with Hazel Smith, Winnet8 consultant and meeting chair, and Jim Mather, Minister for Enterprise, Energy and Tourism


By Sara I. James

n Do I know who my audience is?

A line-up of cross-party politicians with Jim Mather as the keynote speaker, alongside some of Scotland’s enlightened, including Lesley Riddoch, focussed on the work of an EU-wide project called Winnet8, in which Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce is the UK lead partner. The event consolidated the Winnet8 Project’s work, led by Sweden across eight EU member states, addressing issues of occupational segregation in the Scottish and UK labour market and women’s underrepresentation in entrepreneurship.

Are your words working?

n Have I used active rather than passive sentences? “Our system will improve your productivity” (active) is crisper than “Your productivity will be improved by our system” (passive). And “Your productivity will be improved” is even worse – you’ve lost a valuable chance to link your product with concrete, desirable results! n Have I checked spelling, grammar, punctuation and formatting? n Have I read it out loud to spot any run-on sentences, clumsy phrases or cut-and-paste casualties? Try these tips on your next piece of writing – you’ll be surprised by the results! Sara I. James is a writing skills trainer and freelance writer. For more information, go to:

You’ll find out more about Sara and her work at:

Bethebest How to get the most from training Improving individual and team performance month-on-month is becoming ever more crucial for organisations of all sizes. The question for most business owners and managers is where to start? Knowing who needs skills development, in what areas they need to develop, and the way each individual would prefer to build their skills and knowledge will help ensure your investment in training delivers the results you are looking for. Gillian (Gil) Steele, Chamber Business Solutions Training Manager, explains: “At Chamber Business Solutions, we manage the design and delivery of all the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s training courses. We work with our clients to make sure they book the right courses for each individual – courses that lead to improved performance and better business results.

“We offer training consultancy to understand each person’s training needs, conduct 360 degree feedback to gauge other people’s views on strengths and development areas, and use a variety of individual learning style questionnaires to match each person to the most effective training course. “You wouldn’t go out and buy a computer without finding out if it will give you the results you are looking for. So why invest in training courses without ensuring they’ll give you the outcomes you want.” To speak to Chamber Business Solutions about training needs analysis, 360 degree feedback and individual questionnaires, please call Gil on 0131 221 2983 or email:

Gil Steele, Chamber Business Solutions Training Manager

You can find out details of the training courses that are available at:

Haymarket to get a makeover Plans for a multi-millionpound redevelopment of Haymarket station are well underway.

What Haymarket might look like inside once the refurbishment is complete

An artist’s impression of what the refurbished Haymarket Station may look like.

They are driven by projected passenger growth, which will see numbers almost double to nine million by 2031. Network Rail has lodged a Listed Building Consent application with the city council and consultations are underway with Historic Scotland and other interested parties. The plans include retaining the existing A Listed building as the station entrance while adding an extension to create a wide concourse area with new ticket office and retail facilities. There will also be new stairs, lifts and escalators, more waiting areas, improved access to platforms – and a new entrance on Haymarket Terrace for a ‘transport

interchange hub’, providing connections with buses and trams. Transport Scotland has funded the study into the Haymarket redevelopment, with train operator ScotRail appointed to project manage the design work in conjunction with Network Rail and the transport agency. Cost estimates and possible construction programmes are expected to be lodged with Transport Scotland soon. If approved, construction could take place in 2012-13.

The Haymarket expansion is part of the Edinburgh-Glasgow Improvements Programme which will revolutionise the rail network in central Scotland, bringing real benefits to rail passengers.




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Michael Moore & Whisky Association

Award recognition for Scotland’s export success Two of Scotland’s export success stories were recently awarded the inaugural Scottish Chambers International (SCI) Awards for Export at the Scottish Chambers of Commerce Annual Dinner. These awards are designed to raise awareness of Scotland’s current export leaders and to recognise the achievement of key sectors that are making an outstanding contribution towards Scotland’s export performance. Michael Moore, Secretary of State for Scotland presented the SCI Sectoral Award for Export to the Scotch Whisky Association in recognition of the outstanding contribution that the whisky industry has made to Scotland’s economy. Despite a global economic downturn, the whisky industry has bucked the trend, exporting over £3.13 billion in 2009 and contributing £99 every second to the UK’s trade balance. Export volumes increased by 4% worldwide, with significant growth in emerging markets such as Venezuela and Taiwan. Exports from this

sector have risen by £977m in shipment value over the last 10 years, representing a 45% increase. The SCI Scottish Exporter of the Year 2010 Award was presented by Scottish Finance Secretary, John Swinney MSP, to Clyde Union Pumps. In presenting the award, Mr Swinney said: “Despite the global downturn, in 2009 this manufacturing engineering supply company increased its sales by 137% to £256 million at a time when its main competitors have seen their orders fall by up to a third. It has recently won major new multi-million pound contracts in Iraq, France and Canada. A market leader with a strong commitment to continuous improvement, this company has also been a role model to many Scottish businesses that are new to international trade and has inspired them to achieve their own global trade ambitions.” Clyde Union Pumps w John Swinney




Inspiringconnections The Sky’s the limit On the 6th of September we were joined by Jeremy Darroch, Chief Executive at Sky, who put to our Premier Series Dinner guests the case for private enterprise and the role of business in helping address long term challenges facing society. The dinner was sponsored by our valued Partner in Enterprise, Spire Edinburgh Hospitals, Murrayfield and Shawfair Park.

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L to R: Sky’s Anna Cook, Nick Green and Clara Eldridge enjoy a mingle


Jeremy Darroch shares a joke with Edinburgh Chamber Chief Executive Ron Hewitt (left) and President Robert Carr (right)


Wally Bourdelov of Spire Edinburgh Hospitals, Murrayfield and Shawfair, (left) with Tom Hay of St. James Place Partnership


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Premier Series dinner with Tesco Bank



Jonathan Riddle (left) and Scott Wardlaw of Novo Design Studios Ltd


Mark Phelan of Tesco Stores (left) with Elspeth Carson and Paul Hanniford, both of Semple Fraser LLP


Benny Higgins, CEO, Tesco Bank Finance, addressing the dinner guests

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The BBC’s Atholl Duncan with Marion Ballantyne of Morton Fraser

Photos by Graham Carnie, Tuskite Photography

At our Premier Series dinner on the 4th of October we were joined by Benny Higgins, Chief Executive of Tesco Bank, who gave us a low-down on how Tesco has diversified from supermarket to super-bank. The event was sponsored by our valued Partner in Enterprise, tie.



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Photos by Graham Carnie, Tuskite Photography

Photos by Graham Carnie, Tuskite Photography


Scottish Low Carbon Investment Conference The first Scottish Low Carbon Investment Conference was held at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre on 28-29 September 2010 and such was its success, the First Minister declared in his conference closing speech, his commitment to making it an annual event. With over 500 delegates and speakers/thought leaders from across the globe, the conference created a promising starting point from which to build on Scotland’s potential as a world-leader in renewables.

Ron Hewitt, Edinburgh Chamber Chief Executive, and First Minister Alex Salmond in action Jose Perdigoto, Director General, Energy, Portugal, speaks during one of the keynote panel sessions


The heaving networking lunches provided delegates with a chance to refuel and make new connections in a busy, informal environment


The First Minister visits Martin McAdam at Aquamarine Power’s exhibition stand to have a look at a model of their wave energy device


A range of regional and national media, press and broadcast, flocked to the event for the insider story


Edinburgh Chamber Managing Director, Graham Birse, with Liz McAreavey, Edinburgh Chamber Director of Development and the Chamber’s Project Manager for the conference




Concern as businesses face cash squeeze Businesses face an additional £150m squeeze by the Scottish Government despite claims it has reduced or frozen rates for the majority of companies, according to the Scottish Chambers of Commerce. SCC has calculated the Government will reap a significant profit from a recent revaluation of business rates even though ministers said 60% of firms had benefited from the changes or seen their costs remain the same.

rates’ were set. Thousands of firms reported rises in their bills at a time when they are still struggling against an uncertain economic climate. In the most extreme cases, some saw bills jump by more than 200%.

Liz Cameron, chief executive of the SCC, said figures showing that 25 out of Scotland’s 32 local authorities will collect more in business rates in 2010-11 compared to 2009-10 “make a mockery” of the Government’s claims. Businesses across the country have been at loggerheads with finance minister John Swinney since April, when new ‘non domestic

Edinburgh Chamber and the SCC have been pressing the Scottish Government to reintroduce a scheme that sets a cap on increases in any one year. SCC claims firms south of the Border, where so-called ‘transitional relief ’ still exists, are being given an unfair advantage over their competitors in Scotland who have had to shoulder rises

in their outgoings. Ms Cameron said: “It has taken the Scottish Government eight months to finally admit that, as a result of its axing of transitional relief, Scottish businesses are this year paying more than £150m in additional business rates into government coffers. Far from making Scottish businesses better off, it is now clear that the Government’s decision to remove transitional relief is damaging the competitiveness of our economy.” Edinburgh Chamber President Robert Carr said: “We have been aware for some time that the burden of the revaluation is adversely affecting a significant number of businesses. These numbers indicate clearly that businesses are paying significantly more than they were last year and to suggest that more businesses are paying less is simply not borne out by this data.” Graham Birse, deputy chief executive of the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce, said: “This figure exposes what we suspected all along that this isn’t about smoothing the way for vulnerable businesses but it’s about increasing the tax take.”

Companies back green campaign Edinburgh Chamber Partner in Enterprise, Edinburgh Airport, and member company, City Cabs, are among those joining the new ‘Green Champions’ scheme. Eco charity, the Edinburgh & Lothians Greenspace Trust (ELGT), launched its Green Champions’ Corporate Supporters Scheme, to encourage companies to adopt greener methods of operation. Green Champions’ corporate membership packages start at £500 and benefits include one free team challenge event in a local greenspace, or a bespoke programme of walks, designed to get staff active, as well as creating opportunities for positive promotion and the fulfilment of CSR obligations. Three local businesses have already come forward and joined the scheme: Edinburgh Airport, Arup and City Cabs have all chosen to help to improve the quality of local greenspaces whilst offering a range of benefits to their staff and business.


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ELGT Fundraising Manager Liz Stewart said “We have only just launched the scheme and our first impressions are that even though budgets are tight and companies are being careful, there is still a keenness to get involved with charitable giving at a local level - where businesses can get involved and see the positive benefits to communities and the environment at first hand.” Kevin Brown, Managing Director, Edinburgh Airport, said: “Edinburgh Airport has a solid track record in supporting and promoting green business in its surrounding communities. We’re therefore delighted to join with Edinburgh & Lothians Greenspace Trust as a Green Business Champion. Their focus on the practical fits well with the airport’s positive approach and we look forward to working with the team to create great green spaces in West Edinburgh .” Wayne Russell, Sales and Marketing Manager at City Cabs ( Edinburgh ) Ltd, whose relationship with the Greenspace Trust began

at an Edinburgh Chamber networking event, said: “We recognise the importance of businesses support in the local community. After meeting with ELGT, we knew straight away that we would be getting involved with a charity that is making a positive difference and we also knew that we were going to get the support we needed in our quest to become as green and environmentally friendly as possible.” The Trust carries out practical environmental projects, such as the creation of community parks, gardens, woodlands, allotments and other greenspaces and works with communities in Edinburgh and the Lothians, getting people active and enjoying the parks and woodlands around the capital. For further information, please contact Liz Stewart on 0131 445 4025, email or visit the Trust’s website:

60seconds Q In five words or less, what do you do? A Market research and idea development. Q How long have you been a Chamber member? A Almost two years. Q Why did you join? A What’s Next operates an associates model, so building quality relationships with local specialists really matters. The Chamber provides that forum. Q What services do you use? A Networking, advertising (Directory and Business Comment), the discount card [Chamber Connect] and we’re in the process of being assigned a business mentor. Q What’s the best business/benefit you have won through the Chamber? A I think the business mentoring will be invaluable, so I’m really excited we’re getting involved in that.

Name: Fay Purves Company Name: What’s Next Business Consultancy Ltd Website:

Q Are there any additional services or information you’d be particularly interested in? A Having a personal involvement in the third sector, in time I’d like to be involved in the Realise Mentoring programme. Q If you were telling another business person about the Chamber, what’s the first thing you would say? A If you are in business you are part of the business community. This is how you connect with it. Q Where do you read your copy of Business Comment? A In the office, at home, on the bus... there’s usually a copy in my laptop bag!

Wind power boosted by Awards Scottish development galore A Scottish windpower project has helped the UK reach the milestone of 5GW of installed wind energy capacity. The landmark, enough to supply almost three million homes with electricity on an annual basis, was achieved by the commissioning of two major windfarm developments in September, one of which was the expansion of Fred.Olsen Renewables’ Crystal Rig 200MW onshore wind farm in the Scottish Borders. The other was Vattenfall’s offshore wind farm of the Kent coast, the world‘s biggest such facility. The news was welcomed by Reneweables UK, the industry’s trade body. Chief Executive Maria McCaffery MBE, said: “Five gigawatts is an important milestone for two reasons: it takes us within reach of our 2010 targets on renewable electricity, while proving that each successive gigawatt takes less

and less time to deploy. Renewable energy generally and wind energy in particular is not alternative energy any longer – it is absolutely mainstream. “These developments are of tremendous significance for meeting our long-term renewable energy targets. In 2002, the UK was generating around 2% of all electricity from renewables. We are now on the threshold of 10%, having increased outputs five fold. This demonstrates that, considering the current pipeline of projects, 2020 targets are realistic and achievable, provided the policies are in place.”

Law firm Fraser Morton picked up four prizes at the 2010 Law Awards of Scotland, held at the Hilton in Glasgow. The firm was awarded Private Client Firm of the Year, Employment Law Firm of the Year and Corporate Law Firm of the Year while Partner Adrian Bell scooped Corporate Lawyer of the Year. This is the second time the firm has won both Corporate Firm of the Year and Corporate Lawyer of the year, having done so in 2008. It’s also the second award for the firm’s Private Client team, which secured the 2010 Legal Award in March.




sPeCiAl FeAture

Remeo launches corporate relocation service in edinburgh Newly launched relocation consultants Remeo, are offering a bespoke moving service for companies looking to transfer senior management seamlessly to the city of Edinburgh and surrounding areas. Based in Scotland’s capital and headed up by corporate highflyer and mother of two, Angela Stewart who previously managed high profile projects for world renowned brands including Audi, Bentley, Coca-Cola, Fiat, Jaguar and Rolls Royce, Remeo offers a 360� service, from finding the perfect home to sourcing elegant interiors and vetting household staff.

Born in Dundee, Stewart has an outstanding reputation for her meticulous attention to detail. Her years of experience in the hospitality industry, at both The Gleneagles Hotel and The Royal Yacht Britannia, are evident in Stewart’s prized black book of contacts – allowing for an incredibly personal service that is essential to the client’s wellbeing during the upheaval of moving to a new city. From the keenest of cleaners, where to find that knock out dress or the


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Angela Stewart, Managing Director, Remeo Limited

means to host a glittering dinner party, Stewart and her team have the inside track. Offering a warm and personable approach, Stewart’s previous work with discerning private clients and high profile corporate companies from the banking, international oil and automotive industries means she is familiar with the fast-paced nature of these industries. With a host of impressive contacts at their fingertips, Remeo are able to fast track relocations while retaining the highest levels of service. Remeo pride themselves in the level of care and attention to detail and can accommodate any task, no matter how small or large, to make moving that little bit easier. Aside from removals and deliveries, they can arrange car hire, dog walkers, nannies and tutors, provide advice on parking permits, vets, doctors, dentists and tradesmen, find the right gym, golf club and hairdresser and even arrange for the renovation of the clients chosen property. With a busy home life, married with two young boys, Stewart is very much aware of the challenges involved when re-locating and really feeling settled into a new home. This means so much more than just finding the house. With a passion for travel, food and wines, Stewart will personally recommend

“More and more companies are finding that by offering our services at an earlier stage it is helping them to win the best people to join their organisation, as we make the task of relocating enjoyable and exciting.” Angela Stewart, Managing Director, Remeo Limited

restaurants in the City, cottages for country breaks on the coast, the best delis and latest boutiques. When the big moving day arrives, Remeo will prepare the house prior to a family’s arrival - shop for essentials, ensure the property is spotlessly clean, warm or cool dependent on the season, fresh flowers in vases and beds made up with crisp linen. More than a simple relocation service, Remeo go above and beyond to make sure that their clients feel at home instantly and life runs smoothly. Hence the name Remeo - Latin for return home.

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Theinterview sPeCiAl FeAture

Where innovation meets loyalty to form founding principles The retail sector is always hit hard by economic downturns but Edinburgh businessman Michael Apter believes that his company has continued to buck the trend because it stays loyal to its core values. Michael is a Director at the Paper Tiger and Studio One outlets in the city and has always believed that innovation and an attention to customers’ needs in the ever-changing gifts and fashion market are crucial for success. That is why turnover has remained on target despite the recession. However, for all his passion and his 25 years in the sector, retail was not his first career plan. He said: “I had planned to follow my degree with a National Council for the Training of Journalists course, and become a journalist. I was lured away by the glamorous world of retailing.” Having opted for a change of direction, Michael began his full-time retail career with HMV (UK) LTD in 1989 as a Christmas Temp in their Preston store, rapidly becoming Assistant Manager. He then moved to assist with the opening of the Manchester 90 Market Street store as Ground Floor Manager of what was then the largest record store outside London. Finding himself increasingly drawn to retail, his next move was to Liverpool as Assistant Manager at the Liverpool Church Street store, overseeing the complete redevelopment and expansion of the site. Then came Edinburgh. Michael said: “In 1994, I became Store Manager of the Edinburgh St James Store, again overseeing a complete redevelopment and expansion of what was then the most profitable store per square foot in the HMV chain. I then became Store Manager of the Edinburgh Princes Street superstore, working there for two years prior to leaving HMV to set up my own business. “I had moved to Edinburgh to further my management career with HMV but once I had moved I realised what a fortunate young man I was to be living in such a fine city, and began plotting to ensure that I wouldn’t have to move again.” The answer was to go into business for himself and since July 1997, he has held the franchise to operate the Paper Tiger stores, firstly at the Lothian Road store, just as the Exchange district was changing the landscape of that area in Edinburgh.


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“Edinburgh Castle is, iting.”

Paper Tiger was founded by John Johnson in the early 1980s, and has traded successfully in the city ever since then. In 2001, Michael took over the franchise to operate the Paper Tiger store on Stafford Street and in 2007 moved the shop into much larger premises further along the street, a decision that has proved highly successful. In June 2008, he expanded his operations and became joint franchisee of Studio One along with Daniel Johnson. Studio One has traded in Edinburgh since it was founded by John Johnson in 1966, and claims to be one of the most innovative design-led retailers in the country. Michael is also the Chair of the West End Association, a group of local businesses that was formed in 2005, initially in response to the controversial Central Edinburgh Traffic Management Scheme. This was when Michael first realised the strength of the Chamber, when he enlisted the decisive assistance of Ron Hewitt in seeing the scheme swiftly dropped by the Council. The Association has since grown in size and influence, developing the West End Village brand and lobbying for improvements and amenities in the area. The Association is currently working with the Chamber on the Business Rates campaign (an issue that

Michael brought to the attention of the Chamber) and is developing a Business Improvement District proposal for the area with Edinburgh Council and Essential Edinburgh. Although times have been hard on business, Michael said his business had held up. He said: “Overall, we are there or thereabouts in turnover. The effects of Edinburgh Tram project on the city centre has hit us harder than the recession. Our profits have also been hit by increasing costs, of which Business Rates increases have been the most damaging. “We have to continue to work exceptionally hard at every aspect of the business to grow sales and profitability and ensure our stores remain relevant and exciting, and a destination for Edinburgh shoppers.” He has strong beliefs as to why the stores have proved so popular, namely staying loyal to the founding principles of the man who created them. Michael said: “Studio One and Paper Tiger were started by John Johnson in the Sixties and Eighties respectively. The founding principles were based upon good design for fair prices, and that is something that the business continues to strive for in our ranges.

“We’re developing our online offer across both businesses and see this as a key growth area in the coming years. A strong business can grow during a recession and we’re actively looking for those opportunities as they arise, in Edinburgh and beyond.”

“Over the years Edinburgh shoppers have been able to rely on our stores to provide them with a shopping experience that you won’t find on the High Street.” Michael believes that in addition to loyalty to the founding principles, there must be a constant willingness to adapt the business. He said: “Innovation is important to us. It’s innovate or die. The businesses are constantly refreshed through seasonal changes, differing trends in fashion, by the experiences of our buyers and our managers, and by the ideas and vitality that our team and our customers bring in to the stores every day. John retains a Chairman role in our family of companies, which includes Studio One Furniture in Morningside, and ensures that we never forget the roots of the business. “We’re developing our online offer across both businesses and see this as a key growth area in the coming years. A strong business can grow during a recession and we’re actively looking for those opportunities as they arise, in Edinburgh and beyond.”

Michael Apter




Coverfeature Conference highlights the challenges facing the green sector It was an event that defined for many the huge potential of the renewables sector in Scotland – and one that honed in on the obstacles to its continued development. The Scottish Low Carbon Investor Conference, which took place at the end of September in Edinburgh, has been deemed such a success, it will become an annual event. It was organised by Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Development International, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Scottish Futures Trust and Arup. The inaugural SLCI Conference, held at the EICC, was deemed a huge success

Held at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre, the Conference focused on the sector’s viability and First Minister Alex Salmond said in his opening speech: “Once we make that paradigm shift, there will be no going back. It is a pivotal turning-point, like the discovery of the New World or the move from huntergathering to agriculture. We need to bring a new economy into existence to redress the balance of the old.”

Funding Alex Salmond said investing in renewables was an opportunity for financial services to redeem themselves for previous mistakes – and to put an end to the “unsustainable asset bubbles” of the past.

The First Minister opened the Conference.

Angus McCrone of Bloomberg New Energy Finance warned of the dip in global funding for renewables.

However, Angus McCrone of Bloomberg New Energy Finance warned of the dip in global funding for renewables last year, down from $173bn in 2008 to $162bn in 2009. He said: “This is a very capital-hungry sector – at a time when bankers and investors are risk-averse.”

The Conference was set up to support the work of the Scottish Low Carbon Investment Project, a Scottish Government initiative providing a unique forum for Government, international finance, utilities and developers of low carbon projects to engage directly on investment opportunities. A key part of the Project’s job is to gauge the enthusiasm for technologies including offshore wind, marine energy, carbon capture and storage and clean technologies.


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Although the conference discussed the likes of carbon capture, wave and tide power, biofuels and biomass, there was a huge emphasis on offshore wind generation. Michael Weinhold, Chief Technical Officer at Siemens, said: “We believe in a massive future for offshore wind – the numbers are very good. It’s one of the most attractive ways of producing energy.”

Many speakers identified barriers to investment, most of them related to the risk presented by offshore wind, and the timescales of big projects. Niall Stuart, of Scottish Renewables, said there was a very cautionary approach to offshore renewables and major concern about the slow pace of development of marine energy. Andrew McLaughlin, Chief Economist at RBS, said: “The burning issue is whether, politically and economically, the public and private sector can gear up to take the opportunities of renewables. I’m very optimistic.”

export opportunities

Lady Susan Rice CBE spoke about the need to make low carbon projects more affordable.

Susan Rice, of Lloyds Banking Group, made the point that low carbon projects are more expensive than high carbon projects and had to be made more affordable. She said it was important to look at a whole range of options for funding – including venture capital, private finance, private equity, tax reform, subsidies and incentives.

Mr Salmond spoke of our potential to not only satisfy Scotland’s energy needs through renewable sources: “In terms of releasing renewables potential offshore, Scotland has the capacity to generate 60GW of power by 2050, seven times our current electricity consumption. The future of Scotland is not just clean, green and self-sufficient, but as a massive exporter of electricity from renewable sources.”

Charles Hendry MP set out the challenge to make Scotland a leader in renewables.

Scottish Clean Energy

Investment in port infrastructure was a recurring theme. Numerous delegates said high-quality infrastructure had to be available if the supply chain was to develop to serve the offshore wind industry. Scottish Enterprise’s National Renewables Infrastructure Plan, published in February 2010, has identified 11 ports across Scotland that have the capability and market interest to service the renewables industry, although it will cost £223m to do the work.

the supply chain and skills Delegates said it was crucial to ensure that there were enough skilled workers to meet the challenges and an effective supply chain. Charles Hendry reflected on the missed opportunity of the past when he said: “The great frustration has been the failure to secure enough supply chain jobs and opportunities in the UK.”

Ron Hewitt

Charles Hendry summed up the challenges when he said: “This is going to happen and we can either be leaders or followers. We are looking for international investors who are looking for the best global opportunities. We have to offer them the best they can get.”


The Scottish Government has identified port infrastructure as the place to spend the Fossil Fuel Levy windfall if it can come to an agreement with Westminster about the release of the money from Ofgem. Alex Salmond said: “The sooner the funds can be unlocked, the sooner they can be used as a trigger for investment in ports and infrastructure, for use in the renewables revolution.”

The First Minister closed the conference by confirming his intention to support it as an annual event to help shape the future of the industry. Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce will continue to deliver the event as a key partner.

One of the initiatives being developed on the back of the Conference is Scottish Clean Energy, a new company which will be part of the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce Group. It’s being established to drive economic benefit from and investment into the low carbon sector, to maximise the economic benefit to the Scottish economy from our natural resources. Talking about the conference, Liz McAreavey, Director of Development at Edinburgh Chamber and project manager for the event, said: “The conference confirmed that the shift to renewables is a transformational change and that there is no going back. The low-carbon sector is key to Scotland’s whole economic future.” Jamie Hume, Head of Renewable Energy for Scottish Government, said: “For me, top level participation and expertise really marked the conference out from the run-of-the-mill events that pack the conference calendar. The schedule and structure was well put together, with an absolute focus on the issues that matter.”

Edinburgh Chamber Chief Executive, Ron Hewitt, said: “With the success of the inaugural Scottish Low Carbon Investment Conference in placing Scotland firmly at the centre of the renewables debate, we are launching Scottish Clean Energy to further help drive the agenda. We believe there is a window of opportunity for Scotland to harness its huge green energy potential and become a global leader in this sunrise sector – Scottish Clean Energy will work to realise this ambition.” more details about scottish Clean energy to follow.




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Finance sPeCiAl FeAture

Optimism the watchword in the financial sector Whisper it quietly but the signs are there that the economy is starting to recover from recent hard times. Predicted growth is more optimistic than expected and the banks are starting to relax slightly when it comes to lending. For those involved in the world of finance, much of their lead is taken from the noises coming from those bankers and other experts whose job it is to analyse national and international trends. One such person is the economist Dr Andrew Sentance, who said in a recent speech that he is hopeful. His comments underline the growing sense of optimism within the finance sector. Talking to the British American Business Council, Dr Sentance, an external member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee, said he found ’grounds for encouragement.’ In particular, he noted that the “resilience of employment ...should help to sustain consumer confidence. It is also a positive indicator about medium-term economic prospects” and “... should also give us encouragement that the private sector can

generate job growth that will more than offset the public employment cuts that may be in prospect...” He said that a second positive feature of the early stages of this recovery was that “... we have seen some evidence of rebalancing in the UK economy” as manufacturing output growth over the last year has been the strongest rate in over 15 years. He said: “The ability of British manufacturing industry to provide strong impetus to private sector growth will be an important offset to the drag to domestic demand from the rebalancing of public finances over the next few years.” Although saying that his verdict on the recovery was “so far, so good”, he did sound a note of caution, particularly as the public sector cuts start to take effect. He said: “In the years ahead, we will see much tighter restraint of public spending as the large deficit which built up over the recession is reined in. That process of deficit reduction is necessary to ensure longer term confidence in the future stability of the economy in financial markets and more generally. In this environment, it is

the private sector which will be the engine of growth for the UK economy – just as it was in the 1990s recovery and the previous recoveries we have experienced here in the UK. Confidence that inflation is being kept under control is a key factor in sustaining that private sector engine of growth. “My view remains that we should be starting now to make a gradual adjustment of monetary policy. The improvement we have seen in the economy over the last year and the above-target inflation we have experienced point to the need to begin the process of withdrawing the very substantial level of monetary stimulus which was put in place to counter the big financial shocks we experienced in late 2008 and early 2009. “Such a policy should not be a threat to the recovery. In my view it is the key to sustaining the recovery. It is the right response to an economy which is growing but experiencing persistent above-target inflation. It would reduce the risk of a future shock to confidence if current abovetarget inflation does become more deeply embedded and interest rates then need to rise more sharply to combat it. “




Finance sPeCiAl FeAture

as committed as ever to helping small businesses For any small business struggling to survive and thrive in difficult economic times, access to funding is a crucial factor. One of the financial institutions responding to such concerns is RBS, which says that it remains highly committed to helping business. Graham Galloway, Managing Director, Business & Commercial Banking Scotland, said: “SMEs are the lifeblood of the UK economy, and they have faced significant challenges during the last two years or so. Whilst there are a number of different issues for SMEs to deal with, the availability of finance has often been quoted as a major concern. However, when you consider the different funding schemes such the Enterprise Finance Guarantee scheme and European Investment Bank funding, together with strengthened bank balance sheets and wider product groups, there are probably more finance options available to SMEs than ever before.” However, accessing that funding has required companies to think differently in such situations. Graham added: “Today, we see a greater combination of funding lines in support structures than before. For example, clients are mixing asset and invoice finance with debt, ensuring that they are correctly funded and using their capital wisely. “It is very much a case of financial products moulding to the customer, rather than trying to mould a customer to the financial product. We also continue to operate in an environment of historically low interest rates, and this should continue to be a benefit to businesses for the foreseeable future.” The charter includes a combination of a twelve-month overdraft and price promise. indeed, since this introduction at the end of 2008, nine out of ten small businesses have had their overdraft facilities renewed at the same or a lower rate. Graham said: “Most successful businesses can and do adapt, and this includes the approach to financing their business as well. SMEs need to get themselves fit and ready, and a finance review can be part of this activity. “It is likely to be a slow climb out of recession without an immediate return to periods of strong and rapid growth. However, there does need to be caution with optimism. Throughout the recession, a number of businesses have had to make painful decisions, but having gone through this, a great many businesses should now be in a better shape. “From our own perspective, as a bank we are approving 85% of all business applications for credit and nationally providing currently new loans to more than 5,000 businesses per week. As a bank we have the


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“at RBS we have developed a customer charter for our SMe customers. Our aim is to ensure that our dealings will be conducted in an open, focused and transparent way. It is not about changing our approach or philosophy, it is about reinforcing our current policies and taking the opportunity to see what additional support can be provided.” capital to meet the lending commitments we have made, but the right amount of debt for business will be greatly influenced by the pace of economic recovery.” The company recently launched a free Business Hotline available to RBS customers and non-customers. It provides access to a team of experienced bankers who have a broad knowledge of working with all sorts of companies and can help with general banking issues. You can contact them on 0800 092 3087 or alternatively email See for more information.

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Gordon MacAulay of Ness – the fashion and lifestyle label - says that he resolved a major supply problem at a stroke. As the boss of this incredibly successful fast growing Edinburgh-based business, Gordon was faced with a classic SME impasse of more orders coming in than going out, leading to loss of revenue, strain on staff and low customer satisfaction.

But they would be badly wrong – Sykes is a billion dollar specialist multi-media contact and fulfilment centre group providing end-toend lifecycle solutions from simple customer response work to multilingual technical support for a glittering array of multinational combines – not forgetting comprehensive financial reconciliation services, fulfilment services and the dissemination of key management information, which allows Sykes to add real value to their clients. no matter what size they are. Headquartered in Edinburgh, the Sykes European operation has more wthan 20 centres across Europe. This means dealing with the major conglomerates, whilst also supporting small business where the support services are equally important. We handle accounts, where volumes may be low, but the demand for quality is high, and may cover multiple geographies. Whether the client is a large account or not, we recognise that the brand loyalty is paramount, and our colleagues supporting their brand need to be immersed in their culture and “own the brand”,” says Les Torrance. However, Sykes Global Services is intrinsically a very big player. At the beginning of the current year, Sykes markedly expanded by acquiring a US-based company called ICT. Many synergies were apparent and both operations have grown stronger as a result of the merger. The new

The scale of his problem can be measured by the rapid growth of the company, which was operating from its own branded shops throughout Scotland and a retail network of 500 stockists on the UK, Ireland and beyond.

Les Torrance

However salvation was at hand. He says that from the outset, Sykes removed the constraints that had previously been impacting on the business and freed the company up so that it was able to concentrate on developing and growing the brand.

operation has taken Sykes into the very big league with 51,000 service professionals working out of 80+ centres in up to 50 languages.

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In this instance, Ness successfully passed all distributive responsibilities to Sykes’s fulfilment centre in Galashiels, which assumed control of order preparation, bulk orders, delivery, returns, inventory management and stock replenishment planning.




sPeCiAl FeAture

are you prepared for the unexpected? Subject: Business Continuity Business continuity and its critical importance to business survival is not a new concept. While businesses recognise its significance; a substantial number still view development of continuity plans as a desirable, not essential service. It is, however, a vital part of protecting the operational efficiency of any company. Too many businesses take this for granted and as a result side-step the issue. In doing so they risk this decision coming back to haunt them when they are faced with a situation that puts their business at risk - such as power or technology failures, severe weather prohibiting access and fire or theft. Organisations continue to be regulated and monitored, and ever more so across financial and professional services in the wake of the global economic crash. The tightening of standards by regulatory bodies means businesses must now not only acknowledge but implement business continuity properly to ensure their data is secure, properly backed up and available in a crisis, whatever the magnitude. Recent regulatory introductions such as the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) Rule No.5, the civil contingencies (BS25999) standard code of practice for businesses and the much anticipated FSA BASEL 3 for instance, all insist that data is secured appropriately and that in the event of an emergency, plans are in place to ensure the organisation can continue to operate with minimum downtime. With this in mind organisations must prove they have a robust business continuity plan in place to ensure their data is secure, backed up and they can re-establish day-day operations as quickly as possible should they suffer disruption. Despite this, recent surveys have shown that a large number of companies still do not back-up their data or, indeed, have an appropriate continuity plan in place. IBM statistics reveal that 80 per cent of companies without a risk management strategy or plan have closed within 18 months, after being affected by a disaster. It is clear, therefore, that businesses really cannot afford to cut corners when it comes to contingency planning. Business continuity strategies differ from business to business to suit the needs of the individual organisation, however, on a basic level all businesses should look to comprehensively back up and store their company critical data off-site, have a system in place to contact staff


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and customers and dependant on the company needs have provisions in place to relocate their staff to another place of work, should that be from home or a workplace recovery facility enabling companies to continue business as usual. Providing business continuity to a range of businesses in the region, Onyx Group has come across a whole spectrum of crises that companies have faced. Working closely with them on the planning, structure and implementation of a continuity plan to suit their business needs leaves them assured that they have the necessary protocols in place, should the need for a ‘plan b’ arise. Onyx Group is a leading national provider of risk management and business continuity services with three specialist workplace recovery centres based on both Edinburgh and Glasgow. For more information on business continuity and the services, Onyx can offer visit or call 0800 862 03 99 to arrange a tour of one of our sites. Plus we have a very special offer, a FREE business continuity guide for all Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce members, just call 0800 862 03 99 and quote reCoVer-CCe to claim your free guide.

sPeCiAl FeAture

care commission awards care at home provider highest grading An Edinburgh care-at-home provider has been awarded the highest grading in the city by the Care Commission. preparation and is a great boost to the whole team as well as our customers. “We pride ourselves on our attention to detail and this has proved to be vital for our customers. We are passionate about what we do and never underestimate what a privilege it is to care for people in their own homes” “Care Manager, Gail Syratt worked extremely hard throughout the year to ensure we were fully prepared for our inspection.” Bluebird Care Edinburgh, run by Jane Perry was awarded a Grade Six in every category classed as excellent - in the same month she was also runner-up for a national award. The Commission, which spent a whole day in the Bluebird Care office, scrutinised customer and carer records, training files, the compliments and complaints register, staff and customer surveys plus policies and procedures before awarding them the top accolade. Jane said, “This sends out a strong signal to local people that we pride ourselves on providing an excellent service on every level. The inspection involved weeks of

As part of the inspection, surveys were sent to their 90 customers as well as their carers. Every survey returned was made available to the inspector. Jane added, “There is no other provider in Edinburgh with Grade Six across the board. It was achieved by a team of dedicated and professional carers, office and management staff who work extremely hard to ensure our customers get a first-class service every time. Getting straight Grade Fives in our first year was in itself a tremendous achievement, but this caps that.” Jane, who currently employs 70 care workers and office staff at the Castlebrae Business Centre, provides care at home in the South

of Edinburgh and has this year expanded into the city’s northern territory. She is now planning a further recruitment drive in preparation for the busy winter months. Both Jane and her husband John are full time foster carers. Last year she was awarded the “Best Company Newcomer of the Year award 2009” at the Scottish Care at Home awards ceremony and this year was runner-up in the Northern Region for Franchise of the Year Award from the UK’s foremost-care-at home provider Bluebird Care. Bluebird Care has retained its position as the UK’s foremost provider of care at home and recently reported a turnover of £20 million. The company is based in Petersfield, Hampshire, and has 96 offices across the UK, plus the Republic of Ireland. The company specialises in working with people requiring health care and their families, alongside Social Services, GPs and Primary Care Trusts. Bluebird Care also offers live-in support for people who would like, or who need, a greater level of care provision.

“This sends out a strong signal to local people that we pride ourselves on providing an excellent service on every level. The inspection involved weeks of preparation and is a great boost to the whole team jane Perry as well as our customers.” Bluebird Care


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Care at home…

...a realistic alternative to residential care • Visits from 15mins to 3 hours or more

• Trained, police-checked caring staff

• Individually tailored care visits

• Live-in care also available

Bluebird Care (Edinburgh), Unit 4, Castlebrae Business Centre, 40 Peffer Place, Edinburgh EH16 4BB

Tel: 0131 258 5005 E-mail: Web:

Local council Direct Payments information You might have the option to arrange your own care with cash provided by the local council, instead of receiving services from them. This system is called Direct Payments. Direct Payments allow you to decide who cares for you and how the money is spent. You can employ your own care workers; or if you prefer you can buy services from a voluntary or private Company like Bluebird Care. You may also be able to use Direct Payments to buy equipment or to pay for adaptations to your home. However, you usually can’t use Direct Payments to pay a spouse or close relative if they live with you, although there are exceptions to this. You cannot use Direct Payments to buy services from your local council unless you live in Scotland. It may be possible to have a combination of Direct Payments and services provided by social services. For example, your local council may provide grab rails for your bathroom; but you choose to use Direct Payments to employ a carer to help you get up in the mornings.

If you employ your own carer, you will need to deal with tax and national insurance for them. You will also need to make sure that you are insured in case your carer has an accident whilst caring for you. You should be able to get support from your local council to help you manage your own care. A relative or friend may also be able to help.

Who can get Direct Payments? The rules about who can get Direct Payments are different in each country. But all local councils now have a duty to offer the option of Direct Payments to: n Disabled people; and n An older person who has been assessed as needing community care services. They also have to offer Direct Payments to carers (except in Scotland where this duty extends only to carers of disabled children).

Payments alone or with assistance. It will expect you to provide detailed accounts of how you are spending the money. To find out more about what is involved with Direct Payments and employing your own carer, talk to the person doing your care assessment. The National Centre for Independent Living (NCIL) publishes a book called Everything You Need to Know about Getting and Using Direct Payments. Remember, you don’t have to take a Direct Payment just because your local council offers it to you. If you prefer you can have your care arranged for you by your local council. If you would like to discuss the possibility of buying services from Bluebird Care, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Find our number on our main ad.

Your local council will have to be satisfied that you are capable of handling Direct




sPeCiAl FeAture

Our vision for online marketing & advertising Helping you reach your customers in all the noise. Dr Nazish Aslam

Search engines like Google have revolutionised the way people find information, and provide a great way for businesses and organisations to advertise their products and services. However, search engines have also become a victim of their own success: there is too much information out there for people to wade through in order to get to the very specific information they want. Similarly, businesses have to face so many other competitors that their message is lost in the noise. Or, when competing via sponsored links, they find themselves priced out of the market by their bigger competitors. What both people and businesses want is a way to be able to find each other, without the noise of irrelevant information: People want more refined search results, and businesses want prominence. This is where location-aware advertising comes in. Modern web technology makes it possible to match your mobile phone, laptop, iPad etc. to your location at any given time – a process called geo-location – so adverts can be filtered by proximity to the advertiser. This is starting to gain momentum, but has yet to reach its full potential. Another point is that advertising has thus far had (by necessity) a significant lead time - requiring that the advertiser commit to those terms over a fairly long period. Extra competitive advantage can be obtained through real-time advertising, being able to place discounts to clear stock as the need arises, without having to commit to them long-term.

What web search engines and Twitter have in common is a significant trend away from blanket marketing – people actively search for offers, products and services as-and-when they have the need, rather than having to passively wait for the news to reach them. Jevot aims to take this trend to the next level. is a website designed specifically for people to find businesses, services, products and organisations around them, catering to their immediate needs, as and when they occur. Jevot has been designed to help smaller businesses gain the prominence they deserve online, reaching the market which really matters to them – a local market – and at a budget which reflects their audience size.

If your business or organisation is based in Edinburgh or surrounding regions, we would like you to participate in trials of this new website, and want to hear your feedback. In return for early participation, you get free online marketing and advertising for up to a year*. Visit for full details. We will report on the progress of the trials in the next issue. Until then, embrace the latest technology and take your marketing to the next level.

“With the ability to refine a search to a small or localised area, there is no wading through irrelevant information. We think this is the way that advertising is going, and we want to lead the way.”


* Your company profile will be displayed in search results for free until 30th November 2011, and in addition, you can make unlimited announcements for free until 31st January 2011.

Dr Mark Muir


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Inthespotlight Company name: Kall Kwik, edinburgh Who? mark mcCluskey, Director Website:

1. What were you doing between 10 and 12 this morning? Working with our consultants to develop our systems and processes to achieve the environmental FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) accreditation. We’re very excited about the possibility of offering the FSC standard to our clients in future. 2. What do you see as your job’s biggest challenge? Surviving this recession. We have some tremendous Edinburgh financial services clients all of whom who have suffered greatly. This market will not be the same again and we therefore need to continue to successfully develop other market sectors. 3. What do you consider your biggest business triumph? We’ve been fortunate to have won a number of industry awards including a 3rd place for digital print at the recent International Print Exhibition (IPEX). However winning the Top Franchisee of the Year Award from the British Franchise Association in 2005 was definitely our greatest achievement. 4. Do you have any money-saving business tips? Our philosophy has always been to develop close working relationships with our major suppliers. This has helped to achieve cost savings whilst also ensuring that service levels are maintained, which is so important to the smooth operation of our business. 5. What do you believe are the 3 key stages on your career ladder? First step as a Trainee Accountant and second step in sales and marketing in the pharmaceutical industry helped me gain many of the skills required to run our own business which we have now done successfully for over twenty years. 6. Where do you stand on work/life balance? To be honest I’m pretty poor in this regard – probably like most self-employed people. It really helps that my wife is a fellow director and as a result we probably see and enjoy more time together than most couples. 7. What do you like to do in your spare time? We work together and work out together! Jemima and I are really into keeping fit just now and often visit the gym at the Drumsheugh baths at the end of a working day.

8. What qualities do you need to see in your employees? Loyalty and dependability. We’ve always encouraged people to work with us rather than for us with an open and honest working relationship being key. 9. in business, is it more important to be liked or successful? If your clients like dealing with you and your staff like working with you then you’re already well on your way to achieving a successful business. 10. What is the one piece of advice you would give to others trying to reach the top? Never limit your hopes or dreams based on your own background or experience. I genuinely believe we restrict ourselves by imposing our own limitations. There are no limits. 11. Who is your hero? I don’t have a hero figure but have the utmost admiration for those people who are selfless and who genuinely put others before themselves. These people are few and far between. 12. Any business (or other) projects you would like to plug? We are working on our current marketing strategy with fellow chamber member David Reid of Because Brands Matter. Creative thing personified! 13. other than your current position, what would be your dream job? The new Stig working for Top Gear. 14. Who (living or dead) would you invite to a fantasy dinner party? Just one person – my mum. She died far too young and I would have so much to tell her. 15. outside of business, what is the most important thing in your life? The easiest question: my wife, Jemima, and my two sons, Ross, 30, and Scott, 25, are clear winners by far.




City&World Edinburgh Chamber policy update

The Comprehensive Spending Review was broadly in line with expectations, at least as far as Scotland as a whole is concerned. After months of speculation we now know for sure that the Scottish Government must find significant savings between now and 2015, if not quite the deep cuts that were predicted. The debate about the Scottish Government’s resulting draft budget was ongoing as this magazine went to print. At the UK level there was an emphasis on protecting healthcare and education, with a larger proportion of savings coming from the welfare budget. Since more than half of devolved spending is devoted to the NHS and schools, while benefits are a reserved matter, the Scottish Government’s allocation was somewhat better than expected, though the capital budget took a hit. But the essential challenge remains that the Scottish Government needs to reform the public sector so that productivity improves. The temptation is going to be strong for government at all levels to soften the blow by increasing ‘revenue’ – nudging charges and fees up here, unfreezing council tax there, frontloading business rate increases and so on. Then there are the easy targets – infrastructure projects and the economic development agencies. Such an approach would be wrong. Instead, as we have been calling for consistently since the recession began, the key to recovery lies


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in reforming public services so that spending reductions can be made while leaving room for business to grow. This should include a rethink of pay and pension provision in the public sector. From a business perspective, the implied reduction in costs over four and a half years seems eminently achievable and rebalancing the economy in favour of wealth creation could actually leave Scotland better off a few years from now. So it is time to refocus the agenda onto promoting economic growth. We already have a tentative recovery. The latest GDP data, released in late October, shows that while the Scottish economy actually contracted in the first quarter (by 0.2% revised from 0%), it bounced back strongly in Q2 to 1.3% growth. Encouragingly, exports and investment seem to be leading the way.

market and attracts skilled workers.Yet the latest figures are not encouraging. They show that the proportion of pupils at Edinburgh state schools getting five good grades (Standard 1-3 and equivalent) at the end of compulsory schooling fell from 49% to 44% in 2009/10. We must hope that this is a statistical blip. But for Edinburgh to thrive as a high skill economy, we really need three quarters of pupils reaching this basic standard at least. As we approach the New Year the Scottish Parliament must agree its budget and the political parties are finalising their manifestos in preparation for May’s Scottish election. They would do well to remember that winning aphorism from the days of Bill Clinton – “it’s the economy, stupid!”

At the forefront of the reforming agenda must be education. A top class education system improves the quality of the labour

sPeCiAl FeAture

The effect of the equality act carrie Mitchell

Employment Law Senior Associate Morton Fraser LLP

Anyone listening to the radio or watching the news on 1st October will have picked up on the fact that new discrimination legislation took effect at the beginning of the month. But will the Equality Act have as much effect on most people’s lives as the journalists might have suggested? The Act brings together a lot of existing legislation and uses slightly different terminology - the grounds for discrimination such as race, sex, age or marital status are now known as “protected characteristics” - but it is the practical effect rather than the legal detail of the Act that will be of interest to the general public. So what do you need to know about? For one thing, employers are now prevented from asking job applicants about health (including any disability) before making a job offer, except in limited specified circumstances, such as to establish whether reasonable adjustments need to be made to allow the job applicant to undertake the role. The Act also puts in statutory form the right to claim “associative discrimination” and “perceptive discrimination”. The first of these makes clear that employees can claim that they have been discriminated against as a consequence of their association with someone else who has a protected characteristic, perhaps giving protection to the parent of a disabled child. The latter means employees will be able to claim they have been discriminated against as a consequence of the incorrect perception that they have a particular characteristic, for example where it is assumed a heterosexual employee is actually gay and is harassed as a consequence of that. Protection from “third party harassment” - in other words employees claiming they have been harassed at work, but by a member of the public or a client rather than a colleague - is also significantly extended by the Equality Act. There were already rules in place protecting employees from sexual harassment of this kind, but the Act extends this to include age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief and sexual orientation. Employers must take reasonable steps to prevent this sort of harassment from occurring.

The Government is still considering whether or when to implement some of the other provisions of the Act, including positive action on recruitment and promotion. This would mean applicants with protected characteristics could be selected for jobs before other candidates who are equally qualified. So has the press got it right? Partially. The Act is likely to affect people’s lives, but perhaps not in the areas that have been focussed on, such as pay secrecy clauses. There is likely to be a more direct effect as a result of the extension of harassment protection referred to above, and the fact that disability discrimination claims will arguably be made easier as a result of some of the changes. If you have any questions about how the Equality Act 2010 may affect you or your business, or any other employment law query, please contact me to arrange a free consultation on 0131 247 3193 or at




Do you worry about what people do with your personal data? Current research shows that 92% of UK adults are concerned about protecting personal information: these are your clients. Data Protection legislation is aimed at addressing these concerns while allowing you to carry out your business. As a rough guide, if you consider what you would like people to do (or not to do) with your data, you should be able to comply with most of the legislation. However, a few things are not obvious, and if you decide to push your luck lots of things are not obvious. For example, most businesses need to notify the Information Commissioner that they are handling personal data; failure to this is a criminal offence. Probably the most important factor is to tell people what you intend to do with their data and, unless it is necessary in order to do what they want you to do, get their agreement. If they say they don’t want you to do it, then … don’t! If you collect personal information through your website then a privacy policy should tell users about your intentions. The Information Commissioner now has greatly increased powers (fines up to £500,000). If you deliberately abuse data, causing substantial levels of stress to individuals, you could be on the receiving end of this. Alternatively the Information Commissioner can issue an “enforcement notice”, which appears on his website and is very visible via Google. If you want to avoid this (and you do) don’t sell lists of personal data without permission!

Computer Law Training Ltd Telephone 0773 0937 357 Email

NB This item does not constitute legal advice.

Quality period offices in Forth Street and budget-conscious offices in Leith. Perfect if you want to cut costs by having just what you need with no worries about Rates and Energy Costs. All services provided so you can focus on running your business.  Internet & phones provided   no long contracts   change office size quickly & easily 

We have been impressed by the services on offer, the building and the staff. The support that we needed in starting up our business was all in the one place. We definitely made the right choice in locating here and we would highly recommend their services to anyone! Cazden Recruitment (September 2010)

“ “

We have had a few offices and this one has by far been the nicest. Sheena and Katherine are very welcoming to all our staff when they arrive at reception. Nothing is too much trouble and Joyce Bodkin, The Richmond Fellowship Scotland (October 2010) any requests are swiftly dealt with.

T +44 (0) 131 550 3700 E

16 Forth Street, Edinburgh. EH1 3LH

Asktheexpert Q: I attend a lot of networking events and I struggle to answer the question ‘what do you do?’ without becoming tongue-tied, waffling or sounding quite boring. What is the best way to answer this type of question and strike up a conversation? A: The ability to answer the ‘what do you

do’ question is crucial for everyone attending networking events, whether they are formal, informal or everyday conversations. How to do this lies in a balance of confidence and skill. People are always looking for solutions to their problems, so start by thinking about the problems that your current clients have, that your product or service solves for them. Then put the solutions in a statement that encourages the people you talk with to ask questions about how you do it. For example, which of these statements is more likely to prompt a conversation? 1) “I’m an Accountant.” Or:

Bryan Leslie

In most cases, the second statement is more likely to result in someone asking a follow-up question to learn more. Chamber Business Solutions offers a range of ways for you to develop your networking skills, including personal confidence workshops, presentation and networking skills courses, and one-to-one coaching on how to craft and deliver a perfect answer to the question ‘what do you do?’ For more details, please email Bryan Leslie, Chamber Business Solutions Manager, on email: Alternatively, call our Customer Services Team on: 0844 800 4246

2) “I help business owners massively reduce the amount of tax they pay.”

GetwithIT By Bill Magee

Scottish Business Technology Writer of the Year and Vice-chair, Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce Technology Policy Group

Get ready for the big tech survey! The Chamber’s new Technology Policy Group is busy looking at ways to help your organisation survive the uncertain economic period ahead by significantly improving your productivity – not to mention boosting that vital return-on-investment along with your bottom line. The intention is to bring together a band of bellweather outfits like BT Scotland, Digital IP, Sysnet, TechnetScotland, Kiltr and Microsoft and survey a joint network of businesses. Collectively we will ask several key questions about your needs, both here at home but also how to tap into vital export markets more effectively. Onyx is also deeply involved in the survey process.

It’s all about formulating best practice for SMEs in this tech world and creating a benchmark on performance, challenges and opportunities for the sector.

A particular focus will be on the provision of strong support networks for start-ups and growing businesses, as well as highlighting opportunities to improve inward investment.

Already it is becoming clear that the more traditional methods of winning new business are no longer necessarily enough – most forward-thinking business are embracing web-based social networking tools to reach new markets.

Technology can prove a real competitive differentiator and firms that get it right experience real rewards in terms of success through efficiency gains and, in some cases, new revenue streams.

Group Chair Dr. Lindsay Fielding of Aptia Ltd. reports that the group’s job is to consider how SMEs can improve their profitability through creative use of technology, as well as seeking to support businesses in Edinburgh’s technology sector.

Find out more at the Policy & campaigns/ Policy Groups section of the Chamber website:




The new force combining

Would you like to join us as a corporate partner? If you are interested in: • Choosing us as your Charity of the Year • Volunteering opportunities for your staff • Taking part in events • Cause related marketing • Sponsorship opportunities • Donating goods, skills and expertise

Please contact Joyce Sperber by phone 0845 833 9328 or email Age Scotland, part of the Age UK family, is an independent charity dedicated to improving the lives of older people in Scotland, within a charitable company limited by guarantee and registered in Scotland. Reg No: 153343 Charity No: SC010100. Registered Office: Causewayside House, 160 Causewayside, Edinburgh EH9 1PR.

Qualifications in Management SQA - Scotland’s national awarding body – has developed a wide range of management and leadership qualifications, and if you are looking to develop your management skills and knowledge, or your team’s, we are sure we have qualifications to suit your needs. There are management qualifications for different purposes – Higher National qualifications (HN); Professional Development Awards (PDAs); and Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs). Some are designed for people with no management experience; others can be used by existing managers for development purposes or CPD; others are designed to recognise competence in the workplace.

Awards in Management At SCQF Level 5 and 6 (Intermediate 2 and Higher level), we have Awards in Leadership. These awards are designed for school pupils in S5 and S6 or trainees participating in preparation for entering or returning to employment.

HNs in Management Our HN suite of qualifications consists of an Higher National Certificate (HNC) in Management and Higher National Diploma (HND) in Management. These are normally offered part-time in colleges and are designed for existing managers or people aspiring to management positions. Many students completing the HNC or Diploma in Management progress to relevant degree programmes.

PDAs in Management SQA has two suites of Management Professional Development Awards (PDAs). These are short, focused awards.

The other suite of Management PDAs is made up of SVQ Units. These are designed for managers who wish to develop particular skills or gain recognition for their existing skills. They are designed to be assessed in the workplace, which reduces time spent away from work. They are intended for those who only need development in a specific area or who do not wish to commit to a full SVQ. This suite of PDAs ranges from SCQF level 8 (HND level) to SCQF level 10 (Honours Degree level).

SVQs in Management The SVQs in Management are available at four levels: Team Leading at SVQ level 2 and Management at SVQ levels 3, 4 and 5; an Leadership and Management for the Care Services at SVQ level 4. These SVQs are designed for those currently employed in management positions. Achieving an SVQ shows that you not only know how to do something, but you have proved that you can do it. SVQs levels 2 to 5 equate to SCQF levels 5 to 11. Whatever your business, good managers and leaders are an essential part of ensuring that your business remains successful in today’s competitive and global economy. Managers make things happen, and the skills to make things happen are a must.

To find out more about SQA qualifications in management and leadership visit our website: or contact our Business Development Team on: 0303 333 0330 or email:

One suite is based on HN Units. These will normally be delivered by colleges and are designed to develop knowledge and understanding of the principles of management. They are not just relevant to employees already in management but also those aspiring to a managerial role. They can also support people who are not currently in employment to develop management skills to help them return to the workplace. These PDAs are available from SCQF level 6 (Higher level) to SCQF level 11 (Masters level).




Gettingstarted Q1: Tell us a bit about your business? Alan Grant Associates is a firm of Chartered Building Surveyors set up to realise a vision of meeting clients’ needs through one simple ideal: the delivery of focused property solutions through the provision of high quality professional advice and service.

Name: Alan Grant FRICS Business name: Alan Grant Associates Start up date: 21 September 2009 Website:

Q5: What has been your greatest business success to date? Securing a number of good instructions immediately after I set the firm up. This gave me a huge boost and demonstrated the support and encouragement of those who gave me the opportunities.

Q2: What gives your business ‘the x-factor’?

Q6: What has been your lowest moment?

The ‘x-factor’ is the knowledge behind the advice you receive as it is from an experienced and qualified individual who understands the whole picture. Rather than just providing the information clients think they need, clients are questioned to ensure that what they are asking for is what they really need.

When things quietened off after the initial rush of enquiries in the first quarter of business; it’s just all a bit more personal when it is your business and not someone else’s.

Q3: What motivated you to set up in business for yourself? Opportunity. In the current challenging economic climate, I think that the time is right for smaller firms to prove themselves by providing a higher quality of service at a more personal level. Q4: What do you like most about working for yourself?

Q7: In terms of business achievements, where do you want to be within the next 5 years? Running an established business but still doing things that little bit differently from everyone else so as to maintain the ‘x-factor’ for the benefit of clients. Q8: What would be your top tip to someone thinking of starting up their own business? Think about what makes you different and keep your eye on the cash flow as cash in the bank allows the business to grow.

I have ownership of the decisions and direction of the firm. I also find it easier to manage my time around work, home, family and personal life that much more effectively.

Walkers raise charity money Staff from Hotel du Vin and Malmaison took part in a walk for the Elizabeth Montgomerie Foundation (EMF), a charity set up by golfer Colin Montgomerie in memory of his late mother. The Elizabeth Montgomerie Foundation is Hotel du Vin and Malmaison Group’s official charity in Scotland and the hotel group aims to double the amount raised to date, taking the total to £200,000, with funds going towards the creation of two new Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres in Lanarkshire and Aberdeen . Terry Butcher, manager of Inverness Caledonian Thistle, joined the Hotel du Vin and Malmaison team, which was made up of General Managers, Regional Directors and CEO Robert Cook, amongst other staff.  The walkers spent eight days walking the 73 miles of the Great Glen Way, from Inverness to Fort William, followed by the 93 mile West Highland Way from Fort William. 


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Colin Montgomerie said: “Leading the European team to victory in the 2010 Ryder Cup was undoubtedly the proudest moment of my professional career but the success of the Elizabeth Montgomerie Foundation over the past year has also given me great pride. We simply could not have achieved what we have without the support and commitment of Robert Cook and the staff of Hotel du Vin and Malmaison.”

Legislationnews Be fair or beware A quick guide to the Equality Act 2010

The Bribery Act 2010 – are you prepared?

The Corporate Offence

By Charlotte Johns,

Associate, Employment Group, Semple Fraser The Equality Act 2010 consolidates UK equality law. The Act sets out protected characteristics of age, marital and civil partnership status, maternity, race and ethnicity, gender reassignment, sex, disability, sexual orientation, and religion or belief. Direct discrimination (treating somebody less favourably because of a protected characteristic) and indirect discrimination (applying the same rule to everybody in a way that has an unfair impact on persons with a particular protected characteristic) remains unlawful. It is also clear that, excepting marriage or civil partnership, it is unlawful to discriminate against a person because of their association with someone who has a protected characteristic. The Act introduces a prohibition on preemployment health questionnaires other than in specific circumstances. Asking healthrelated questions pre interview will however be acceptable where the employer needs the information in order to determine whether an applicant can carry out an essential function of the job, or where the question arises from a need to consider reasonable adjustments or to monitor diversity. It is also now the case that if an employee considers that they may have been paid less than a colleague on discriminatory grounds, they will be entitled to ask their colleague about pay without fear of reprisal from the employer. Employers may be able to defend claims, if they have taken all reasonable steps to prevent discrimination in the workplace. Employers should ensure however, that they have offered all employees appropriate and up to date training. www.semplefraser. Charlotte Johns

By Alan Masson, Head of Employment, Anderson Strathern

The Bribery Act 2010 comes into force in April 2011, making it unlawful to offer, promise, give or receive a ‘financial or other advantage’ where it is intended to bring about ‘improper performance’ of a ‘relevant function or activity.’ It will have a wide impact. Both UK and foreign businesses must be aware of its broad and far reaching provisions as the penalties are unforgiving. It is particularly important that businesses are aware of the following: n ‘Financial or other advantage’ is undefined and will cover much more than the traditional bribe. It will be up to the courts to determine what this covers. n ‘Relevant function or activity’ includes anything of a public nature and any activity connected with a business. Offences committed overseas by a UK person or a body incorporated under UK law will be covered. n ‘Improper performance’ is that which will breach a relevant expectation determined by the reasonable man in the UK. Local customs, expectations or traditions of foreign countries will not be considered. n Indirect bribes will be covered. Ignorance will be no defence. n Facilitation payments of any size will be unlawful. These are commonplace in some jurisdictions and allowed under equivalent US legislation, provided they are not unlawful in the relevant jurisdictions. n Excessive corporate hospitality and gifts should be avoided and limits set in antibribery policies. While a gift to a client may be acceptable on one occasion, it may constitute bribery on another, e.g. at the time of a crucial deal.

There is a new offence for ‘Commercial Organisations’ of failing to prevent bribery, where anyone associated with the organisation offers, promises or gives a bribe with the intention of obtaining (or retaining) business or a business advantage. ‘Commercial Organisation’ includes any body incorporated under UK law or carrying out any part of its business in the UK. A foreign company with a UK office could commit an offence if someone associated with the organisation in, for example, the US, offers a bribe in Egypt. To avoid liability, an organisation must be able to show that it had ‘adequate procedures’ in place to prevent it. What adequate procedures will entail will be of the utmost importance. Full guidance will be issued early next year. At present there are only the following rough principles: n Risk assessment. n Top level commitment. n Due diligence. n Clear, practical and accessible policies and procedures. n Effective implementation, including training. n Monitoring and review. The Consequences The penalties are severe: 10 years imprisonment and/or unlimited fines for individuals and businesses. Fines may run to tens of millions of pounds. If convicted, businesses will be prevented from carrying out public contracts abroad under the EU Public Procurement Directive. Much litigation will inevitably follow the Act coming into force, to firmly establish its parameters. Organisations falling foul of the corporate offence could be crippled financially. Emphasis now should be on implementing adequate procedures to protect organisations from this new risk.




The Thistle Foundation is a company limited by guarantee and registered in Scotland, number SC24409. Our registered Scottish charity number is SC016816. Our registered address is Niddrie Mains Road, Edinburgh, EH16 4EA.

news Conference centre celebrates fifteenth anniversary Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC) has celebrated its fifteenth birthday. Starting with the Kwik-Fit Silver Jubilee Awards Ceremony, the centre’s inaugural event in 1995, more than 907,000 delegates have attended the centre, bringing in £280 million for the city.

Celebrating the conference centre’s 15th birthday with major expansion work underway, (left to right) first customer Sir Tom Farmer, Edinburgh University’s Professor Nick Read, City of Edinburgh Council Leader, Jenny Dawe and EICC Chief Executive, Hans H Rissmann.

The Centre has been undergoing expansion work and Kwik-Fit founder Sir Tom Farmer was one of the guests of honour to celebrate the anniversary, meeting City of Edinburgh Council leader Jenny Dawe, EICC chief executive Hans H Rissmann OBE and ninth International Mycological Congress (IMC9) Organising Committee Chairman, Professor Nick Read of Edinburgh University, whose organisation was staging a conference at the venue.

Hans H Rissmann said: “Our fifteen year track record of success is based on the technologically superior events space we have created for Edinburgh, but more importantly, on the customer focus and unrivalled dedication that our people apply to everything they do.” EICC’s £85 million Expansion Space and separate Grade A Offices will open for business in 2013, adding a 2,000 square metre Multi Purpose Hall to the centre and delivering 200,000 square feet of office space in the city centre. For more details, go to:

Business data at your finger tips From businesses seeking dried sea horses to enquiries about ski slopes in Egypt, the team members at SCOTBIS enjoy a 100% success rate in satisfying users – and they are up for a challenge! Based at the National Library of Scotland, SCOTBIS is the largest holder of business information in the UK, and its extensive resources can be accessed remotely from anywhere in Scotland. The requests range from the mundane to the distinctly off-the-wall, including: • An enquirer looking for dry ski slopes in Egypt and finding there was a distributor in Cairo who acted as an agent and importer of sports equipment including slopes.

• Another enquiry seeking a list of distributors of dried sea horses. SCOTBIS sourced them in Dubai and Singapore. • A writer hoping to get his work made into a film, who approached SCOTBIS for a list of screenwriters in Hollywood. • A request from Scottish Enterprise, who contacted SCOTBIS looking for chair lift operators worldwide.

SCOTBIS found 238 chairlift and ski lift operators worldwide, 225 of these in Europe and 139 in Western Europe. John Coll, who manages the service, said: “Every query that comes to SCOTBIS, no matter how big, small or quirky, is given our full professional attention. We would like to encourage more businesses to make use of our colossal collection of commercial and corporate data.” For more information, go to:




An artist’s impression of the revamped Grand Hall.

The Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce welcomes its latest member companies:

Revamped National Museum set to generate millions for capital After nearly three years, the eagerly-awaited £46.4 million transformation of the National Museum of Scotland is nearing completion. Opening in summer 2011, the revamped Museum will generate an estimated £58 million annually in the Scottish economy, supporting over 1,500 jobs in Edinburgh. It will attract over 1.1 million visitors per year and offer superb new facilities for conferences, corporate hospitality, learning, exhibitions and events. There will be 16 new galleries, 50% more public space and thousands of items on display for the first time. One major change immediately apparent to visitors will be a new entrance and public space at street level on Chambers Street. The new entrance hall covers over 1000 square metres and will include an information point, restaurant, shop and cloakroom facilities. The ever-popular animals will return, with hundreds of new specimens ranging from a mouse to a great white shark. There will also be enhanced spaces for hosting international touring exhibitions, events and dinners accommodating up to 850 guests. When the renewed National Museum of Scotland fully re-opens, it will be the largest UK museum outside of London, displaying 20,000 items across 36 galleries.


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What the new Arrivals Hall will look like when the museum re-opens.

The project remains on time and budget, with construction work nearing completion and about £1 million to go to meet the £12m fundraising target. Dr Gordon Rintoul, Director of National Museums Scotland, said: “The renewed National Museum of Scotland is really taking shape now: It will be a major new cultural landmark for Scotland, and a significant addition to the capital’s leisure and business tourism offer. We are all hugely excited, and I am sure that the people and businesses of Edinburgh are too – we look forward to welcoming everyone in summer 2011.” For more information, go to The National Museums Scotland website: You can also follow developments and news on Twitter (@ntlmuseumsscot) and Facebook.

3 X 1 Public Relations Aqua21 Limited Barneys Beer Berg Blackford Analysis Limited Broughtonknowe Limited Business Advisory Support Limited CAMCO Centre for Middle Eastern Plants Crom Consulting Limited DLM Property Consultants Limited Edinburgh Community Food Ekol Packaging UK Finopsys Fiona Savage fr8 Management Solutions Limited Gala Maybury Casino Global Voice Limited High Business Services Limited Home Improvement Solutions (Scotland) Limited Interim Workforce Limited Ionna Innovations Limited Janice Anderson CA John McGillivray Funeral Directors Ltd JSL Services Limited Kube Networks LFT Promotions Limited Linda Bain Communications Limited Mail Marketing (Scotland) Limited Miascape Limited Montpeliers (Edinburgh) Limited MovePlan Murrayfield Experience O2 Glasgow Odgers Photography Originel Limited QED Naval Limited Quinn-Allen Consultancy Limited Rebecca Inspires Remeo Limited RW Plumbing SACRO Source Developments (Scotland) Limited Specialized Sign Tartan Talk Media Limited Thinktastic VIALEX Limited Virgin Home Developments Limited Wyoming Interactive

chamberappointments edinburgh chamber of commerce new starts to the team: Bryan leslie

maureen munro

Our Chamber Business Solutions Manager Bryan has recently taken on additional managerial responsibilities and has joined the Senior Management Team that covers Edinburgh Business Development, Chamber Developments Limited and Scottish Chambers International.

Maureen has recently been promoted to the role of Director for Edinburgh Business Development, Chamber Developments Ltd and Scottish Chambers International. Previously a Business Manager, her new role is to support the Managing Director for these areas to achieve the Chamber Group’s growth strategy.

edinburgh chamber’s Partners in enterprise

stay one step Ahead with free branding & marketing advice; call 0844 736 2992




Moversandshakers new Managing director for edinburgh airport Kevin Brown, the former Managing Director of Aberdeen and Southampton Airports, has taken over from Gordon Dewar in a similar post at Edinburgh Airport. Stephen Peat, Managing Director, BAA, Airports Division, said: “Whilst Gordon leaves Edinburgh Airport in a strong position, Kevin takes the reins at a time of huge challenges for our industry. I am confident that he will lead this vital part of Scotland’s economy into its next stage of development and success.” Kevin joined BAA in October 2002 and held positions at Heathrow and Aberdeen Airport. He was appointed Managing Director, Aberdeen Airport in 2007 and in 2008 was made Managing

Director of both Aberdeen and Southampton Airports. A Chartered Electrical Engineer, Kevin had held a number of senior management positions in operations, customer service, IT and engineering projects both in the UK and overseas. He said: “There can be no doubt that there is a lot to get my teeth into in this new position, not least helping make sure Edinburgh Airport remains productive and competitive. Despite significant growth in recent months, and while other airports have suffered during the recession, we cannot become complacent and everyone is aware that staying at the top of our game will involve a great deal of work.”

Quality Time - bringing employment to Scotland michael Boulter, formerly with Kodak Ltd, is a qualified trainer and innovator of distance management systems with 20 years of business ownership experience. He is leading a Quality Time revolution with a unique idea, bringing high-quality Finnish products to the UK, providing local employment opportunities.

Quality Time is part of a Finnish based company, first registered 12 years ago. Michael said: “We are at the start of an exciting company expansion programme with trading partners now located in Edinburgh and the North of England. A nationwide network is planned for the next 12-18 months.”

nick joins deloitte team Deloitte in Scotland has announced a new addition to its Financial Services practice. Nick Jacques has joined from the firm’s London offices to be the lead director of Deloitte’s banking audit practice in Scotland. With 14 years’ experience and specialising in the banking sector, Nick brings extensive audit, regulatory and transaction services experience to the Scottish team. David Claxton, Head of the Financial Services practice in Scotland and Northern Ireland, said:


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“Nick’s experience in financial services is vast; he understands firsthand how the sector operates. Nick brings with him an expertise and knowledge in fields which are becoming increasingly topical, such as living wills, which will help to further strengthen Deloitte’s growing advisory business.” Nick said: “It is important we continue to build on Deloitte’s reputation as a key financial services player in Scotland and demonstrate the breadth of capabilities that we have to serve our clients.”

Imagine a world where you enjoy first class service with all the comforts of home. A luxurious and relaxing sanctuary where you can unwind after taking advantage of our state of the art fitness suite, in-house restaurant and complimentary city centre shuttle service. Choose from plush classic and executive rooms or one of our well appointed sumptuous suites. Why not indulge by ordering room service during your stay, enjoying a tasty home cooked meal or full Scottish breakfast in the comfort of your room. We also offer an Express Check out for those of us who are always on the move. Experience the finest local hospitality in the majestic setting of the Old Town of Edinburgh, just a stones throw away from the capitals Business district. Welcome home to Frasers.

Skills mean more with SQA.

SQA offers a range of qualifications and services to develop the skills people need to work more effectively and more productively. Meaning happier employers, happier staff, happier results.


Log onto Contact SQA’s Business Development Team on 0303 333 0330 or email

Business Comment #8 dec/jan 10/11  

Business Comment is the official magazine of Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce specifically designed for Edinburgh Chamber members, but relevant...

Business Comment #8 dec/jan 10/11  

Business Comment is the official magazine of Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce specifically designed for Edinburgh Chamber members, but relevant...