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THE DUNBARTONSHIRE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE BUSINESS MAGAZINE

g n i t a r b e l e C

ISSUE 23 • SUMMER 2014

EAST DUNBARTONSHIRE BUSINESS SUCCESS

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MILNGAVIE BID TRIUMPH BUSINESS AWARD WINNERS

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GRADUATE SCHEME CREATES JOBS CHAMBER SUMMER BBQ


Grow your business in West Dunbartonshire

Develop and grow your business with our range of grants, loans and advisory support CONTACT OUR BUSINESS SUPPORT TEAM FOR INFORMATION

Business Support Hotline: 01389 737777 E-mail: business.support@west-dunbarton.gov.uk

www.west-dunbarton.gov.uk Economic Development Section West Dunbartonshire Council, Council Offices, Garshake Road, Dumbarton. G82 3PU


Contents From the Editor.............................. 5 Chamber News.............................. 5 News in Brief...............................6-8 Autism Charity Fund Boost Architect’s Energy Design Certification European Circuits Wins Inaugural Export Award New Law Will Transfer More Power to Communities 10k Prize Prospect for Young Entrepreneurs Revamped Skillsforce Website Unveiled

Milngavie Votes YES to BID......10-11

10-11

BID Milngavie Votes YES to

Business Mentoring Opportunity.... 13 East Dunbartonshire Business Awards......................14-19 Reaping the Rewards of Free Environmental Audit...................... 22 Workers Want Health Care ‘Job Share’.......................... 23 Lennox Partnership Achieves IiP Silver Accreditation................... 24 Pioneering Bluetooth Monitors Erskine Bridge Delays.................... 25 Olympian Champions Cameron House Gym................................. 27

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siness Awards East Dunbartonshire Bu

Scottish Economy Bright as Confidence Rises...................... 27 Tissue Solutions Wins Queen’s Award............................ 28 Countdown to Graduate Recruitment Incentive Deadline...... 29 New Members.............................. 32 John Watson’s Multi-Million Pound Deal.................................. 35 Events Diary............................36-37 Cover photo by, and copyright of, Jamie Forbes Photography shows East Dunbartonshire Councillor Alan Moir, convener of development and regeneration, and council leader Rhondda Geekie, with East Dunbartonshire Business Award winners.

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Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce Whitecrook Business Centre 78 Whitecrook Street, Clydebank G81 1QF.

Incentive Graduate Recruitment

T: 0141 280 0272 F: 01389 750005 E: admin@dunbartonshirechamber.co.uk www.dunbartonshirechamber.co.uk For advertising contact D-Tech: T: 01436 678808/671133 E: sales@incommerce.biz For editorial contact editor: June Hyslop T: 07944 265126 E: editor@incommerce.biz Publisher: D-Tech INCOMMERCE is published by D-Tech, 20 East Argyle Street, Helensburgh G84 7RR Telephone 01436 678808/671133. E-mail: info@dtechuk.com. Edited by June Hyslop, Copywrite Editorial, Dumbarton. Telephone 07944 265126. E-mail: editor@incommerce.biz.

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Chamber Summer BBQ

INCOMMERCE is fully protected by copyright and nothing may be printed nor copied wholly or in part without the written permission of the publishers. The proprietors of this magazine are publishers and not agents, or sub-agents of those who advertise therein. They cannot be held liable for any loss suffered as a result of information contained within this publication. The views expressed by authors of articles published in this magazine are solely those of the author and are not necessarily the views of or shared by the editor, the publisher or the directors, shareholders and/or employees of D-Tech or Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce.


welcome Photo courtesy of Green Highlander Images.

‘WHAT goes around, comes around’ is a mantra that can get you far in business – helping someone or networking to build a relationship may not have immediate payback, but further down the line you may find the favour reciprocated or some business coming from the contact. In my case, what is coming around is the chamber AGM and the first anniversary of me being given the honour of the chamber presidency. I hope many of you will be able to come along on Thursday June 19 – we are combining the AGM with a barbecue and an opportunity to do some informal networking in a social setting as a fun way to end the season. It has been a fantastic and fast-moving year. Starting with our re-launch event at the Titan Crane, and its attendant publicity in the Herald newspaper, we have had a star-studded line up of speakers – at one point it appeared that you needed to at least have an OBE before you could address us! I learned from Dumbarton FC manager, Iain Murray, that football is one of the few areas where someone can be telling you constantly ‘you’re rubbish’ while you’re doing your job, and from entrepreneurs, John and James Pirrie, that going for a walk round George Square in Glasgow can earn you £ ½ million. On your behalf, I have met with MPs, MSPs and councillors, giving me a great opportunity to put the business case for Dunbartonshire. This can confound your expectations – John Swinney was surprisingly charismatic and Willie Rennie turned out to be a proud Fifer. Later this month I may be meeting a senior cabinet minister – find out who at the AGM. So we have great events, great membership benefits and great contacts – the one thing that is missing is more people.

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DUNBARTONSHIRE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE BUSINESS MAGAZINE • SUMMER 2014

Our members are our best ambassadors and I would like YOU to help us build our membership. Please bring a guest to the AGM with our compliments – for every member’s ticket you buy, we will give you one nonmember’s place for free. Use it for networking, for some social time with a client, or even just to enjoy the jazz on the terrace at Virgin Active in Milngavie on what will undoubtedly be a hot summer evening. It will be a great night and I look forward to seeing you there. Stewart Rennie President Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce

www.dunbartonshirechamber.co.uk www.incommerce.biz


EDITOR editor@incommerce.biz

IT’S great to be celebrating business success in Dunbartonshire in this issue of InCommerce and to be able to report that the economic picture continues to improve. European Circuits in Clydebank are no strangers to the pages of this magazine as a result of their achievements both at home and abroad. They have recently added another accolade to their tally winning a ‘New to Exporting’ award at the Subsea UK Expo in Aberdeen. Another company with a great track record is Tissue Solutions which has just been given a prestigious Queen’s Award for International Trade. The chamber earmarked the firm as one to watch when it won Best New Business in West Dunbartonshire at its awards in 2009 and it has not disappointed. Milngavie town centre is set for a huge economic boost now that it has voted in favour of a Business Improvement District at the second attempt. This will see a huge investment in the area which, as Councillor Alan Moir of East Dunbartonshire Council, said will be a ‘fantastic boost for the town’. Congratulations are due to all the winners of East Dunbartonshire Business Awards – especially Exchange Communications which was crowned Business of the Year. The event also benefitted a number of local charities thanks to the fundraising efforts of those present and, of course, chamber director, Robert Wilson, who chaired the awards and acted as auctioneer. Last, but by no means least, The Lennox Partnership is delighted to have Investors in People silver accreditation in its 26th year of trading. This comes hot on the heels of it winning a top award three times in a row last year for its success in finding sustainable employment for unemployed people.

Manufacturing Forum Gets Go-Ahead A SPECIAL event aimed at promoting West Dunbartonshire as a ‘manufacturing centre of excellence’ by setting up a forum was a success. Business Gateway (BG) in conjunction with the Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service (SMAS) set the ball rolling, while chamber member European Circuits Ltd (ECL) hosted the event at its Clydebank premises. More than a dozen directors and senior managers from engineering and manufacturing companies heard from James Simpson and Jonathan Matthews of SMAS and from Ronnie McLaren and Bob Donaldson of BG about the support available from both organisations. Philip Briscoe, ECL’s business development manager, gave some examples of how his company had benefitted from this. President of Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce, Stewart Rennie, introduced the chamber, highlighted ways it could contribute and agreed to facilitate quarterly meetings going forward. The key issue of recruitment of suitable staff in the industry was the subject of a lively discussion and it was agreed to arrange guest speakers for the next meeting with expertise in this area. BG’s Bob Donaldson commented: “This was very encouraging. Our hope was that people would engage with the idea of creating a manufacturing centre of excellence in West Dunbartonshire and I’m glad to say that all agreed.” Photo by Great Scot Photography.

FROM THE

So much success is inspirational and testament to what can be achieved by business even when economic conditions have been far from ideal.

BUSINESS GATEWAY: Bob Donaldson.

DUNBARTONSHIRE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE BUSINESS MAGAZINE • SUMMER 2014

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news in brief… Autism Charity Fund Boost from Chivas Brothers Photo by Ashley Coombes.

CHIVAS Brothers has donated £7,000 to Scottish Autism after employees at its sites in Dumbarton and Clydebank chose it as their charity of the year for 2014. Scottish Autism is the largest provider of autism-specific support and services in Scotland and is a leading authority and advocate for people with the condition. Karen Wilson, fundraising manager for the charity, said: “We are thrilled to be voted Chivas Brothers’ charity of the year and incredibly grateful for this significant and generous donation. “Scottish Autism depends on donations to help us reach as many people as possible affected by autism in Scotland.” Chivas Brothers communication manager, Jennifer Stevenson, added: “This is a cause very close to many of our employees’ hearts, and we hope our donation will help continue their important work on behalf of people with autism.” Chivas Brothers has a total of four regional charities of the year – the others are: Crohn’s and Colitis UK – Paisley, Glasgow and Ayrshire; Movember – London and Plymouth and The Archie Foundation – Northern Scotland.

Photo courtesy of Chivas Brothers

www.scottishautism.org www.chivasbrothers.com

Architect’s Energy Design Certification AN interest in sustainability has led Natasha Houchin of Thomas Robinson Architects to seek additional certification which benefits both the firm and its clients. The project architect now has the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) Energy Design Certification qualification. This means that Natasha can certify that her firm’s designs and those of others comply with the domestic energy section of the Scottish Building Regulations. She can also do energy assessment calculations and provide Energy Performance Certificates. This expertise allows the business to ensure its designs and those of others reduce energy usage and building running costs. It has the added benefit of reducing Building Warrant fees for clients by 10 per cent and reduces the time taken to process warrants. This complements the skills that founding director and architect Tom Robinson has as a Certified Passive House Designer. Passive Houses are designed to be eco-friendly with a high level of thermal comfort and very small energy consumption.

CHEQUE PRESENTATION: Chivas employees Debbie Muir, Lorna McIvor, Dawn Gilles, Lesley Trotter, Lynne Wilson, Lorna Mooney and Sarah Badesha with Scottish Autism’s Karen Wilson (second left) at the company’s Kilmalid site in Dumbarton.

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DUNBARTONSHIRE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE BUSINESS MAGAZINE • SUMMER 2014

www.thomasrobinsonarchitects.co.uk


EUROPEAN Circuits won the inaugural New to Exporting Award at the Subsea UK Expo in Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre. The award, sponsored by UKTI, recognises companies which are enhancing their competitiveness and providing tangible economic benefit to the UK from trade development activity. Collecting the award at the Expo’s Business Awards Dinner, Jim Broom, ECL’s sales director, commented: “We’re absolutely delighted. We’ve been working very hard to develop business both within the UK and abroad and have increased our exports to around 12 per cent of turnover. “We’ve seen orders from throughout Europe, as well as further afield, and were recently contacted with enquiries from companies in Argentina and India.” Philip Briscoe, business development manager at ECL added: “We were really surprised to win the award, especially as we were competing against seven other excellent companies. I think the way we’ve developed our exports impressed the judges as a lot of it has been done via social media.” The Clydebank-based business provides integrated electronic assembly solutions to firms in Europe and beyond. It was represented in Stockholm in April for the Scandinavian Electronics Event, which is the largest and most important meeting place for the professional electronics industry in the Nordic countries.

Photo courtesy of Murdoch Ferguson – Ferguson Imaging.

European Circuits Wins Inaugural Export Award

New Law Will Transfer More Power to Communities A RADICAL new law could see a big change in the community ownership landscape in Scotland, according to chamber director, Nick Allan. He is a representative on the ministerial reference group for the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill which should become law in 2015. More than 400 responses were received during initial consultation on the proposal from a wide range organisations and individuals.

www.european-circuits.co.uk Photo courtesy of Subsea UK.

The aim is to strengthen communities and ensure people can participate and be more involved in what is happening around them. Much of the proposed new law sets out the Scottish Government’s plans to increase opportunities for communities to take ownership, or make more effective use of, public land and buildings and have a greater say in public service delivery. Nick said: “This bill is being viewed as potentially the most radical shift of power to communities in recent years “I understand that the First Minister has announced an ambitious target of one million acres in community land ownership by 2020, double the amount that has already transferred over the past 10 years.” www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/People/engage AWARD WINNERS: Jim Broom, sales director, and Philip Briscoe, business development manager, of European Circuits.

DUNBARTONSHIRE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE BUSINESS MAGAZINE • SUMMER 2014

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Revamped Skillsforce Website Unveiled A REVAMPED and more user-friendly Our Skillsforce website has been launched to make it easier for employers to access information. Skills Development Scotland (SDS) is behind the initiative which enables users to view the site whether they’re on a desktop, mobile or tablet.

KIRKINTILLOCH TESTTOWN: (Front L-R) Chamber president Stewart Rennie with Jim Metcalfe of the Carnegie Trust and EDC council leader Rhondda Geekie. (Back) Councillors John Dempsey and Gillian Renwick with representatives from the council, TestTown and the Regent Centre.

£10k Prize Prospect for Young Entrepreneurs YOUNG entrepreneurs are vying for a place in the finals of a UK-wide competition which could see them net a £10,000 prize. The Carnegie UK Trust’s ‘TestTown 2014’ is aimed at individuals and teams of up to four people aged between 16 and 30. It gives them the chance to test out their business ideas for real in town centres all around the UK including in Kirkintilloch in East Dunbartonshire. Participants can sell goods, provide services or demonstrate new products. They can be charitable or for profit. The only rule is that they use physical town centre space as a productive hub to deliver their business – whether that’s a shop, an office, a public park or a market stall! From an initial batch of more than 400 entrants nationwide, five businesses have been invited to trade in Kirkintilloch town centre during a pop-up TestTown Festival in July. They will be given funding for stock or equipment and guidance on how to get their business off the ground. There are seven TestTowns throughout the UK including Kirkintilloch and Perth in Scotland. The winners of the local heats will receive £1,000 and compete in the UK grand final in autumn. www.testtown.org.uk

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DUNBARTONSHIRE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE BUSINESS MAGAZINE • SUMMER 2014

It has been designed to be visually appealing with information grouped under new headings, with local and national funding initiatives in one place, and with details of Modern Apprenticeships (MA) prominently positioned on the homepage. There’s also a new tool which allows employers and training providers to upload MA vacancies on the site. New content has been added which features articles on issues that employers face regularly, such as recruiting new staff and succession planning, in a section called ‘Skills planning and HR support’ The ‘Attracting new talent’ area makes it easier for employers to take on interns, work experience and graduate placements as well as find out about funding. A hub called Energy Skills Scotland gives users access to a range of content specific to the sector. Food and drink, ICT and digital services, financial services, and tourism also feature. www.ourskillsforce.co.uk


Corporate Golf Days Dates of upcoming competitions:

Thursday 22nd May (AM Shotgun start) – £160 (Team of 4) Includes Catering Thursday 24th July (AM Shotgun start) – £200 (Team of 4) Includes Catering Friday 19th September (PM Shotgun start) – £240 (Team of 4) Includes Dinner with Special Guest Speaker – Gordon Sherry Take all 3 Corporate Golf Days and receive a 10% discount Everyone knows that the golf course is a great way to develop existing business relationships and create new ones. So what better way to help your business get a competitive edge than by taking a team at one of Cardross Golf Club’s upcoming Corporate Golf Day Competitions. For more information or to book your Corporate Golf Competition at Cardross Golf Club simply contact Club Professional, Robert Farrell on (01389) 841754 or email golf@cardross.com

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Photos courtesy of East Dunbartonshire Council. Heart collage courtesy of Milngavie My Way.

Milngavie Votes YES to Business Improvement District

AT the second attempt Milngavie traders have overwhelmingly voted in favour of a plan to improve their town centre. Overall, 73 per cent gave the thumbs up to the creation of a Business Improvement District (BID) in a ballot in March. The successful ballot made history with Milngavie the first area in Scotland to go for a second ballot after a disappointing defeat in 2011.

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Ian Lavrie, owner of Allander Flooring, and chair of the Milngavie My Way Steering Group, which drew up the BID’s five year business plan, said: “This is a landmark day in the future of our town and I’m absolutely thrilled that business owners across Milngavie town centre have given the BID their vote of confidence.

This time the BID’s geographic boundary was extended to include large multiple retailer Tesco Stores.

“I would like to personally thank the steering group members, the business community, and Pauline Cameron, the project manager, who have stuck with this proposal through thick and thin.

The news was met with jubilation by those who have campaigned for years to establish the scheme.

“There have been some challenging times along the way, but they never wavered in their conviction that this would be a

DUNBARTONSHIRE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE BUSINESS MAGAZINE • SUMMER 2014


positive move for Milngavie town centre, and I’m delighted that their perseverance and dedication has paid off. “I would also like to pay tribute to East Dunbartonshire Council’s economic development team. “Ploughing at least £500,000 into our trading environment over the next few years is no longer just an aspiration. It’s a reality. That’s something I think the whole town and its residents should be very excited about. “This ballot represented a unique opportunity for Milngavie town centre’s business community to take its future into its own hands. “This BID will make a real and lasting difference to our town.” The scheme officially kicked off on 1 May when the Milngavie Town Centre BID company was set up for a five year period. The BID’s projects include a property facelift, events/festivals, £35,000 towards development of an effective brand and marketing for the town centre, as well as initiatives to develop the future workforce through partnership with schools and a local youth project. The BID will involve every business with a rateable value property of £1,000 or more within its boundary paying a modest but compulsory annual levy towards a range of projects and services designed to boost the local economy and benefit the community. The team is also inviting small businesses, exempted organisations and those operating outside its boundary, to support it by becoming BID Associate members by making a voluntary subscription.

“A Fantastic Boost for the Town” EAST Dunbartonshire Council has agreed to contribute more than £150,000 over the fiveyear period of the BID business plan to improve Milngavie town centre, support businesses and protect jobs. Councillor Alan Moir, convener of the development and regeneration committee, said: “The creation of a BID in Milngavie is a fantastic boost for the town and could pave the way for other town centres to follow suit in East Dunbartonshire. “This is terrific news for the future of the town centre and supports the council and community planning partnership’s aim to achieve sustainable growth. “Members of the economic development team have been working hard with the BID steering group for a considerable length of time and they all deserve great praise. “It’s vital we continue to work together representing businesses from all sectors to help the town centre flourish. “I would like to pay tribute to the project manager and steering group members for the countless hours they have volunteered to put the business plan together.”

www.milngaviemyway.co.uk

DUNBARTONSHIRE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE BUSINESS MAGAZINE • SUMMER 2014

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Business Mentoring Opportunity MENTORING could have a big impact on your business development and growth – and it’s a completely free service. Business Mentoring Scotland (BMS) can help firms with leadership skills, marketing, strategic planning, production issues, customer service, or social media, for example. It can provide someone independent to bounce ideas off and talk things through with if that’s what you need. Renfrewshire chamber manages and delivers the service on behalf of a partnership between Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Chambers of Commerce, which is supported by the European Regional Development Fund. Around 700 mentors from a wide range of sectors are now on the chamber database. They offer their services on a voluntary basis, many have experience of working at senior level, and represent everything from start-ups, to growth businesses, and large corporations. Being part of the programme allows firms to tap into the skills of experienced mentors from a wide range of sectors at absolutely no cost to themselves. To be eligible for any of the BMS programmes, firms should have a minimum £100k annual turnover, or have plans to achieve this within three years. Three types of mentoring are offered: •

One-two-one – for businesses with a minimum annual turnover of £100k, ideally £400k, or plans to achieve this within three years; Group – for up to 10 people from different companies who require support on specific issues like marketing; Take three – working with either three people from different companies or three people within the same business.

Mentoring is a great opportunity for you and your business to harness the experience of someone who knows the score and is willing to share their expertise.

Photo by Murdoch Ferguson – Ferguson Imaging.

New Business Mentoring Contact THERE’S a new face at the helm of the chamber business mentoring service following the retirement of Linda Perry in January. Mark Brown has taken on the role of business mentoring executive with Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce which also covers East Renfrewshire, Inverclyde, Dunbartonshire and Helensburgh chambers. He has been involved in business mentoring both on a one-to-one and group basis for the past year. Mark, who lives in Houston, has an extensive retail management background with companies such as Marks & Spencer, House of Bruar in Perthshire and Tesco. He can be contacted on 0141 847 5458 or 07525 323500 or by email at mbrown@renfrewshirechamber.com.

www.renfrewshirechamber.com/BusinessMentoring.asp

DUNBARTONSHIRE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE BUSINESS MAGAZINE • SUMMER 2014

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g n i t a r b e l Ce

East Dunbartonshire’s Business Success

THE inaugural East Dunbartonshire Business Awards saw ten firms winning top prizes with Kirkintilloch’s Exchange Communications Ltd crowned as Business of the Year and taking the chamber sponsored People Development award. The awards - held at The Eagle Lodge in Bishopbriggs – shone a spotlight on the work being carried out by firms and enterprises across a variety of sectors in the area. Paying tribute to the winning businesses, which provide employment and prosperity locally, Councillor Alan Moir, convener of development and regeneration at East Dunbartonshire Council (EDC), said: “The honours were all richly deserved and I wish them all the best for the future. “But it wasn’t all about who received the awards – everyone nominated was a winner. I know it was an incredibly tough task to narrow down such a strong field of nominees – all who entered deserve praise for their excellent work. “I have every confidence going forward that local businesses and enterprises – supported by East Dunbartonshire Council and our partners in both the public and private sectors – will continue to thrive.” It wasn’t just businesses who were winners on the night – as the awards incorporated the annual East Dunbartonshire Charity Dinner previously hosted by council leader Rhondda Geekie. More than £7000 was raised for a variety of charities and good causes via a raffle and auction with chamber director, Robert Wilson, chairing the awards and acting as auctioneer. Councillor Geekie thanked everyone for their generous contributions saying: “I’m delighted that the annual charity dinner was able to form a special part of the business awards final. “Rest assured every penny raised at the auction and raffle will be used to support good causes at the heart of communities across East Dunbartonshire.” Chamber president, Stewart Rennie, added: “It was a great turnout for what we hope will become an iconic event in the East Dunbartonshire business calendar. “I was particularly pleased to see Exchange Communications win. “They have been enthusiastic participants in the chamber’s Graduate Recruitment Incentive scheme which has helped them

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DUNBARTONSHIRE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE BUSINESS MAGAZINE • SUMMER 2014

employ 15 graduates in the last year, bringing high quality jobs to the area.” Prizes and auction lots were kindly donated by Alarmfast, Caulders Garden Centres, Celtic FC, Chivas Bros, T Clarke Scotland, CMS Windows, East Dunbartonshire Leisure and Culture Trust, Edmundson Electrical, Ferryhill Motors, GKL Heating, Glasgow Warriors, Glazert Country House Hotel, Jim Gilmour, the Indian Cottage, George Leslie, Willie Paterson, Police Scotland, P and R Randev, Rangers FC, J Watson and Wilson Decorators, among others.

The Winners Business of the Year

Exchange Communications Ltd Large Employer of the Year

Dieselec Thistle Generators Ltd Start-up Business of the Year

Events Ecosse People Development Award

Exchange Communications Ltd Best Use of e-Commerce by a Business

Able 2 Wear Ltd Independent Retailer of the Year

Caulders Garden Centres Hospitality, Leisure and Tourism Business of the Year

P and R Randev Social Enterprise of the Year

Silver Birch (Scotland) Ltd Young Business Person of the Year

Laura Grant, TAG Digital Growth Business of the Year

Golden Charter Ltd


Award photos by, and copyright of, Jamie Forbes Photography.

Business of the Year Award Sponsored by East Dunbartonshire Council Michael McMillan and Tom Sime Exchange Communications

(L-R) Council leader Rhondda Geekie, Michael McMillan and Tom Sime with Councillor Alan Moir, EDC convener of development and regeneration.

Large Employer of the Year Award Sponsored by East Dunbartonshire Council Brian Muirie Dieselec Thistle Generators

(L-R) EDC chief executive Gerry Cornes, and Brian Muirie with Councillor Moir.

DUNBARTONSHIRE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE BUSINESS MAGAZINE • SUMMER 2014

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Start-up Business of the Year Award Sponsored by Business Gateway Anne MacDonald Events Ecosse

(L-R) Chris Filby, of Business Gateway, and Anne MacDonald with Councillor Moir.

People Development Award Sponsored by Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce Tom Sime Exchange Communications

(L-R) Stewart Rennie, president of Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce, and Tom Sime with Councillor Moir.

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DUNBARTONSHIRE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE BUSINESS MAGAZINE • SUMMER 2014


Best Use of e-Commerce by a Business Award Sponsored by Business Gateway Patricia Watson Able 2 Wear

(L-R) David Chisholm, of Business Gateway, accepting the award from Councillor Moir on behalf of Patricia Watson, who was unable to attend.

Independent Retailer of the Year Award Sponsored by P and R Randev Colin Barrie Caulders Garden Centres

(L-R) Rahul Randev, of P and R Randev, and Colin Barrie with Councillor Moir.

DUNBARTONSHIRE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE BUSINESS MAGAZINE • SUMMER 2014

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Hospitality, Leisure and Tourism Business of the Year Award Sponsored by the Kirkintilloch Herald Series Pravesh and Rahul Randev P and R Randev

(L-R) Jim Holland, editor of the Kirkintilloch Herald Series, Pravesh and Rahul Randev with Councillor Moir.

Social Enterprise of the Year Award Sponsored by East Dunbartonshire Voluntary Action Silver Birch (Scotland) Ltd Mark McCrorie

(L-R) Gilbert Grieve, of East Dunbartonshire Voluntary Action, and Mark McCrorie with Councillor Moir.

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DUNBARTONSHIRE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE BUSINESS MAGAZINE • SUMMER 2014


Young Business Person of the Year Award Sponsored by Exchange Communications Laura Grant TAG Digital

(L-R) Michael McMillan, of Exchange Communications, accepting the award from Councillor Moir on behalf of Laura, who was unable to attend.

Growth Business of the Year Award Sponsored by Aldermore Michael Corish Golden Charter

(L-R) Jim Gilmour, of Aldermore, and Michael Corish with Councillor Moir.

DUNBARTONSHIRE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE BUSINESS MAGAZINE • SUMMER 2014

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Supporting West Dunbartonshire Businesses to Grow

YOUTHOYMENT EMPL T GRAN 50%

WHETHER you have a business idea, have just started up or are considering ways to improve the productivity and profitability of your existing business, West Dunbartonshire Council Business Support of wage Team works closely with Business Gateway coststofooffer r up a comprehensive range of funding and to support 26 weeks ! initiatives to assist in the creation, development and growth of local businesses. West Dunbartonshire Council offers a wide range of business support programmes which have been developed to provide financial investment to new and existing businesses with growth potential including businesses looking to relocate within the area.

Are you 16 - 24 years old and looking for a The funding package include financial support job? Ifcan so, we may bein relation to capital investment, property improvements, to offerpractices, your new training,able sustainable improvement exporting, innovation and product development, to employer a grant! create employment opportunities for local residents. In addition to the current range of loan, grant and support initiatives available through the Business The aim this programme is to provide a Support Team, theofCouncil has pledged on-going financial incentivethrough to businesses to create commitment and funding its Jobs Investment new Framework youth employment opportunities for West and Growth to assist local businesses to create, grow and sustainresidents employment opportunities Dunbartonshire who would otherwisein West Dunbartonshire. be unemployed/economically inactive.

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ruce McKenzie and Louise Stone established Constructive Catering Ltd in 2005 and now trade as ‘Tartan Rocket’. They are both chefs with almost 30 years’ experience in fine dining, hotels, restaurants and large scale event catering and had both left well paid jobs in order to start out on their own. They are working closely with Business Gateway in order to build on the success of their business. Bruce said: “Tartan Rocket has been growing steadily and working with our Business Gateway Growth Adviser has allowed us to plan for our future growth. So far we have received a grant from West Dunbartonshire Council for staff training and received expert advice on intellectual property protection on trademarks and product development, in addition to referral for valuable assistance from the Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service. We will continue to work with Business Gateway and its partners to access further employment support.”

The subsidy can provide a grant to your new employer for a maximum of 26 weeks, covering

For further information on our loan 50% of the national minimum wage. Employers and grant support, contact West outwith the West Dunbartonshire area may Dunbartonshire Business Support Team also be eligible for this grant. on: 01389 737777 or email: business.support@west-dunbarton.gov.uk

For more information on the full range of services available, give the local


local businesses advice has helped hundreds of businesses across West Dunbartonshire to grow. In addition to one to one advice, Business Gateway offers online support through the website www.bgateway.com and a programme of free workshops that focus on the issues that matter to the West Dunbartonshire business community.

YOUTHOYMENT EMPL T GRAN 50% of wage costs for u p to 26 wee ks!

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lydebank company Ashton Building Systems (Scotland) Ltd, is currently working closely with our Growth Advisory Service after the directors decided to add to the supply and fitting of roofing systems for the domestic market and introduce the manufacture and installation of commercial roofing systems. The business has fitted out its new premises, taken on key staff, invested in new machinery, and expanded its geographical reach, looking at major projects in England. Garry Easton, Director, Ashton Building Systems said: “We have a close working relationship with the Growth team at Business Gateway and we’ve received support in a number of areas. We have had a market analysis prepared in order to create a marketing plan and we attended a Strategy Workshop which was a massive help, as it allowed us to carry out a detailed strategic assessment which addressed financial and resource planning. We have also received welcome grant funding from West Dunbartonshire Council for purchases relating to property, equipment and staff.”

team a call on 0141 530 2408 or e-mail info@bgwestdun.co.uk

Are you 16 - 24 years old and looking for a job? If so, we may be able to offer your new employer a grant! The aim of this programme is to provide a financial incentive to businesses to create new youth employment opportunities for West Dunbartonshire residents who would otherwise be unemployed/economically inactive. The subsidy can provide a grant to your new employer for a maximum of 26 weeks, covering 50% of the national minimum wage. Employers outwith the West Dunbartonshire area may also be eligible for this grant.


Reaping the Rewards of Free Environmental Audit

Few businesses would argue with the need to get a handle on energy costs and waste management in the face of soaring bills and increasing legislation.

The programme is delivered by the Crichton Carbon Centre in partnership with West Dunbartonshire Council and also allows firms which take part to differentiate themselves from their competitors in a positive way.

The Sustainable Process Improvement (SPI) resource efficiency package involves an audit of the resources a business uses such as energy, transport, water and raw materials and waste outputs. Photo by Great Scot Photography.

WEST Dunbartonshire businesses can benefit from a free environmental performance audit which helps reduce their costs and optimise waste management.

It then makes recommendations to reduce these and also includes longer term support way to maximise implementation and ongoing benefits. Three local companies – caterers Tartan Rocket of Clydebank, the Lomond Park Hotel, Balloch and Dumbarton-based drinks packaging producers Drampac – recently took part and are now reaping the rewards. Tartan Rocket is paving its way towards zero waste by using completely biodegradable corn starch packaging for its produce and is now a step ahead of forthcoming legislation. The Lomond Park Hotel used its recent refurbishment as an opportunity to implement energy efficiency changes from a low cost draught-excluding curtain between its kitchen and cellar to quick payback LED lighting. Drampac installed energy efficient lighting with sensors, an energy monitor on its air compressor and waterless urinals. Operations manager, Bob Duffy, said: “We’ve picked up and run with all the recommendations made to us and, if the projected savings are achieved, we will have reduced our costs drastically. Add to that the carbon saving which is both sought by our customers and lessening our impact on the environment – we feel it’s a win win.” The SPI allows businesses to focus on environmental performance and improve their bottom line. Recent research has indicated that this approach is good both for financial performance and for the business as a whole.

TARTAN ROCKET: Directors Louise Stone and Bruce McKenzie of the Clydebank-based catering firm.

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DUNBARTONSHIRE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE BUSINESS MAGAZINE • SUMMER 2014

www.sustainableprocessimprovement.co.uk


Workers Want Health Care ‘Job Share’ with Employers ALMOST 80 per cent of UK workers believe responsibility for staff health and wellbeing should be shared between employer and employee, according to new research. The ‘Employee View – Health and Wellbeing in the Workplace’ survey was carried out by Westfield Health – the official health cash plan provider for Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce. It found that the majority of respondents felt there should be an even balance between themselves and their employer when it came to taking care of their wellbeing. Nearly three-quarters (74 per cent) also said that knowing their employer cares about their health would make them more likely to be satisfied, loyal and motivated at work. And almost a third (30 per cent) asked for better communication in the workplace about the wellbeing programmes on offer to them. Commenting on the results of the survey of 1,500 working adults across the country, Westfield Health executive director Paul Shires, said: “The research we’ve conducted provides an interesting snapshot of the views, beliefs and hopes of the modern employee when it comes to their health and wellbeing.

“Three quarters of employees recognise unhealthy lifestyles reduce productivity and performance at work. But workers are equally keen to see their employer accept some responsibility in what could be described as a health ‘job share’.” The plan is an affordable way for employers to reward and retain staff, as well as to manage risk and absence levels. It is designed to improve motivation and productivity, making staff feel valued and encouraging them to think more proactively about their health. The basic health cover plan provision can be enhanced by combining it with Westfield Health’s hospital treatment insurance, which offers employees prompt access to private surgical and medical procedures at an affordable price. The benefits of Westfield Health’s Chamber Primary Health Plan are available for a corporate premium starting at £1.10 per employee a week – this provides cash towards dental, optical and a range of therapy treatments plus an amount towards consultation fees. Dependent children can be added to the plan for an extra 15 pence per employee, less if the whole workforce is covered. To join email admin@dunbartonshirechamber.co.uk or call 0141 280 0272. www.westfieldhealth.com/chamber

DUNBARTONSHIRE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE BUSINESS MAGAZINE • SUMMER 2014

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Lennox Partnership Achieves Investors in People Silver Accreditation THE Lennox Partnership has achieved the prestigious Investors in People (IiP) silver accreditation.

congratulate the organisation and its people on their commitment to continuous improvement.

The West Dunbartonshire-headquartered social enterprise joins an exclusive group of UK employers eligible to use and display the sought after IiP logo and plaque.

“Investors in People offers a flexible, practical and easy-to-use business improvement tool designed to help organisations and their people achieve their objectives.

It now also enjoys the benefits of being part of the most successful framework for business improvement through people in the UK.

“I hope that more organisations in the area will be encouraged sharpen their competitive edge by choosing to work with us.”

Commenting on the award, Blyth Deans, chief executive at The Lennox Partnership, said, “We are delighted to have achieved IiP silver accreditation, having previously been recognised at bronze level, and to have an external endorsement of the effective way we run our business. “It is all the more satisfying that the process involved the IiP assessor interviewing our staff to determine from their comments and views if we met the standard.”

The award in the partnership’s 26th year of trading recognises the working practices across its three main offices in Clydebank, Kirkintilloch and Paisley as well as in its outreach locations in Barrhead and Ardrossan. It provides it with a framework to deliver the range of employability services which sees it support over 1300 customers into sustainable employment each year. www.thelennoxpartnership.org www.iipscotland.co.uk

Photo courtesy of The Lennox Partnership.

Peter Russian, IiP chief executive, added: “This is a fantastic achievement for The Lennox Partnership. I would like to

ACCREDITED: The Lennox Partnership team (from L-R) Sandy Barr, chairman; John Donnelly, director of operations, Seonaidh MacDonald, vice chairman; Alastair Clyne, board member; Blyth Deans, chief executive and Nancy Spreckley, board member.

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DUNBARTONSHIRE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE BUSINESS MAGAZINE • SUMMER 2014


Photo by Flint Neill Limited.

Pioneering Bluetooth Monitors Erskine Bridge Delays BLUETOOTH technology was used in the UK for the first time to keep drivers updated on potential delays at the Erskine Bridge. Works being carried out to replace vehicle safety barriers meant bridge lane closures and lengthy delays for drivers at peak times. This led to calls from MSP Jackie Baillie and Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce for action to speed up the work and minimise disruption. As a result the northbound works were completed ahead of schedule and the remainder are on target for the end of May. Working on behalf of Transport Scotland, the contractors introduced a system to establish how long it took drivers to get to the bridge from the four main artery approaches. They used the Bluetooth codes found in modern cars and mobile phones – and because they are encrypted, the system couldn’t identify individuals. These enabled them to monitor journey times and keep drivers updated on potential delays via the Traffic Scotland team based

in a new state-of-the-art control centre in South Queensferry in Edinburgh. The data was then displayed on the overhead sign gantries and relayed to local radio stations. Colin Anderson, Scotland TranServ’s project manager for the Erskine Bridge programme, said: “Developing Bluetooth technology in this way as part of our temporary traffic management solution has been one of the innovative practices implemented during this significant project “Our project teams and our contractors are continually looking for ground-breaking new methods to protect Scotland’s natural environment, make our programme of work more efficient and to reduce disruption to our customers, the motoring public.” The delay information was calculated against normal journey times during free flow conditions. This helped drivers plan their journeys and kept congestion to a minimum. The Bluetooth system will be dismantled at the end of the project. www.transportscotland.gov.uk/road/projects

DUNBARTONSHIRE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE BUSINESS MAGAZINE • SUMMER 2014

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CHAMPION: Olympian Katherine Grainger,CBE, opens the new gym with Devere and Village Hotels health and fitness director, Chris Southall (left), and Andy Roger (right), operations director for Cameron House.

The 2012 gold medallist – Britain’s most successful female rower – visited the five-star Loch Lomondside luxury hotel and resort to check it out in May. Katherine won her gold at London 2012, has silver medals from Bejing, Athens and Sydney, and is six times world champion. She told guests about her Olympic win and how training was a vital part of her fitness regime. Experts from Technogym were on hand to demonstrate the equipment, give fitness advice and show off the internet connectivity and apps which help motivate users and enable them to track their progress

Olympian Champions Cameron House Gym OLYMPIAN Katherine Grainger, CBE, is well equipped to test the new state-of-the-art gym at Cameron House Hotel – the first in Scotland to offer Technogym ARTis Connectivity equipment.

Cameron House Hotel has won numerous awards, including a Trip Advisor Travellers’ Choice Award in 2012, an Acorn Award for executive chef Ryan Neil, was voted one of the Top UK Spa Days in 2012, and is a member of Virtuoso®, a network of the world’s finest travel agencies. www.devere-hotels.co.uk/hotel-lodges/locations/cameronhouse.html

Scottish Economy Bright as Confidence Rises ALMOST all key performance measures have returned to 2007 pre-recession levels, according to a Scottish Chambers of Commerce (SCC) business survey. The results of the broad-based survey, now in its 30th year, conducted in conjunction with the University of Strathclyde’s Fraser of Allander Institute, also recognises that some fragilities remain. Liz Cameron, SCC chief executive, said: “The hard work and determination of Scottish businesses is yielding positive outcomes for the growth of Scotland’s economy. “All the indicators in this survey point to sustained economic growth as key sectors increase investment to expand activity, boosted by higher levels of business optimism. “Investment intentions of Scottish businesses are encouraging with the manufacturing industry showing superb results with higher levels of investment than at any time in the past six years and robust growth in export orders shown by a consistent increase over five consecutive quarters. “Whilst investment levels in the construction sector remain low, for only the second time in five years, investment has not declined, and over 70 per cent of businesses in the sector have either maintained or increased commercial and domestic orders compared with the last quarter.

Promisingly, almost 90 per cent of construction businesses surveyed expect employee numbers to remain the same or increase in the next three months and less than 14 per cent reduced employment in the previous quarter. “Higher levels of business optimism in construction, wholesale, retail and tourism is a positive signal for continued growth, as all sectors reported higher levels of confidence compared with the same quarter last year. “However, despite these positive indicators, challenges still remain. The retail industry is expecting a decrease in profitability in 2014 which may point to stalled consumer confidence and seasonal patterns, but benefit may be drawn from positive growth in the tourism sector as confidence levels among hotels remained high and a rise in the use of conference facilities was also reported. Ms Cameron highlighted skills shortages as a serious issue for business, particularly in manufacturing and in tourism, adding these had to be addressed. She also said businesses needed access to affordable finance and more encouragement to take advantage of global trade opportunities. www.scottishchambers.org.uk

DUNBARTONSHIRE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE BUSINESS MAGAZINE • SUMMER 2014

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Tissue Solutions Wins Queen’s Award for International Trade Photos courtesy of Tissue Solutions Ltd.

TISSUE Solutions, one of the UK’s leading providers of human biomaterials, has just received the prestigious Queen’s Award for International Trade.

“This highlights how essential human biomaterials are in advancing medical research and we are extremely proud to be part of this.

From a two person start-up only seven years ago, the company has had a meteoric rise by meeting worldwide demand for ethically sourced human biomaterials for preclinical research and development.

“We understand that the best research comes from the best samples. Our senior management are all PhD scientists with first-hand experience of working with tissue samples and can provide professional expertise and support in this area.

The company, which is a chamber member, has prospered despite the UK’s longest and deepest recession for more than 50 years. It supplies and services 200 global clients, including all the major pharmaceutical companies.

“We are committed to providing the very highest quality samples for our clients to help advancements in biomedical research.”

More than 60 per cent of its export sales come from Europe and the USA and it has clients as far afield as Japan and Australia. During the last three years it has seen overseas growth of 179 per cent and has a more than 80 per cent repeat order success rate. Founding directors, Dr Ann Cooreman (56) and Dr Morag McFarlane (46), pictured above, set up the business in 2007 to offer clients a service they needed themselves as scientists and were unable to find.

DR Morag McFarlane has been appointed chief executive officer of Tissue Solutions in recognition of her exceptional performance in building the business.

The company now employs 11 staff and is based at the West of Scotland Science Park in Glasgow having outgrown two sets of premises.

Morag has been the company ’s chief scientific officer for seven years and is a founding director with Dr Ann Cooreman, the chief operating officer.

Tissue Solutions acts as a virtual biobank sourcing and ensuring delivery of fresh, frozen and paraffin embedded fully consented samples from more than 20 countries across four continents for its clients.

In her new role, Morag will focus on further developing and implementing the business vision and strategy and lead the senior team.

Human biomaterials are used as the best model available in preclinical research and development for a wide range of applications including discovering new therapies and predicting how drugs will behave in patients. Dr Morag McFarlane, chief executive officer, said: “We are delighted to receive the Queen’s Award in recognition of our contribution to international trade.

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CEO Appointment for Morag

DUNBARTONSHIRE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE BUSINESS MAGAZINE • SUMMER 2014

She said: “I am really pleased and excited to accept this position. Tissue Solutions has continued to grow beyond expectations since we set it up in 2007. “It is a privilege for me to be able to lead the company as it moves into the next exciting phase of its development. I am really looking forward to the challenges ahead and to continuing to help our clients source biomaterials for their research projects.” www.tissue-solutions.com


Countdown to Graduate Recruitment Incentive Deadline BUSINESSES are being urged to take advantage of a £1500 graduate recruitment incentive before it’s too late. The clock is counting down to an end of May deadline for the scheme which already has a 60 per cent success rate in Dunbartonshire since its launch. The initiative aims to remove employment barriers for small to medium-sized businesses by providing essential recruitment support and a financial incentive to take on a graduate as an employee.

The programme was officially launched last year by First Minister, Alex Salmond, and SCC chief executive, Liz Cameron, with a view to creating 270 new, permanent, graduate positions in small/medium sized businesses. It is being delivered throughout Scotland by designated chambers of commerce. To find out more, contact DCC at admin@dunbartonshirechamber.co.uk or on 0141 280 0272. www.dunbartonshirechamber.co.uk

Managed by Scottish Chambers of Commerce (SCC) on behalf of the Scottish Government, the project is designed to tackle the issue of graduate employment and is being implemented locally by Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce (DCC). DCC president Stewart Rennie commented: “We are delighted to be involved in this project which helps graduates and employers - the incentive could be just what small and mediumsized businesses need to provide an opportunity for someone who is either unemployed or under-employed. “We only have 40 per cent of our allocation left to fill, so I urge employers who might have a graduate vacancy to get in touch as soon as possible.” To qualify for help a business, which can be in any sector, must have less than 150 employees and offer a new permanent post with a minimum salary of £14,000 a year, pro rata for parttime. The graduate can be up to 30 years of age. There is no qualifying period of unemployment and they don’t necessarily have to be recent graduates or live in the Dunbartonshire area. The scheme is flexible and the application process straightforward with a four page form to complete. If necessary, employers can be given help, via a network of chamber business support partners, to draw up a job advert, with templates, short-listing, interviews and offers of employment. DUNBARTONSHIRE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE BUSINESS MAGAZINE • SUMMER 2014

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Need help with your business? We can help East Dunbartonshire Council work to support the local economy through delivering support and services which aim to attract businesses to the area, help new businesses develop and existing businesses grow within East Dunbartonshire.


We offer a broad range of assistance to businesses including business planning, grants, training, and direct one on one business support. East Dunbartonshire Council have a number of small grants to support business. These include support towards the:

• Development of an e-commerce enabled website costs of taking on your first employer or someone who has been • Non-employment a long term unemployed • The costs of establishing your new business We partner with a number of organisations to deliver a broader range of services to local businesses. Some of the key partners that we work with to help local businesses are Supplier Development Programme Scotland that runs workshops to assist • The businesses understand and be more successful in winning contracts with public sector organisations West of Scotland Loan Fund which offers loans of up to £100,000 at a low • The interest and with some flexible terms (such as capital holidays). This fund aims to support businesses that are unable to access credit through traditional means but does require matched funding for the investment project from the business We also are available to assist businesses that are looking to relocate or expand into East Dunbartonshire. We have a number of locations which are which could suit a range of business needs. If you are looking for new locations then please contact us and we will work with you to develop a solution to meet your business requirements.

For more information on any of the activities of the East Dunbartonshire Council to support businesses go to www.eastdunbarton.gov.uk/business, or call Economic Development at East Dunbartonshire Council on

0141 578 8530


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FAMILY matters at Casa Italia in Clydebank – a finalist in the Scottish Italian Awards 2013 best newcomer category. Hailing from Southern Italy, owner and head chef, Domenico prides himself on using family recipes from his Mamma and Nona.

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Put simply his aim is to make diners feel like they are eating at a warm and friendly Italian home. The menu includes traditional classic pasta dishes, stone baked pizzas, as well as a selection of meats and fish, all freshly cooked to order. Domenico is also happy to accommodate customers’ dietary requests or taste preferences.

DID you know that a busy phone signal puts off 80 per cent of first time callers – often permanently?

Photo courtesy of Virtual VIP.

Virtual VIP is an experienced, UK-based team of professionals which provides a customerfocussed telephone answering service to small and large businesses. Based in Strathleven House in Dumbarton, it provides clients with their very own PA to answer calls in their company name when they can’t pick up. With its reliable and flexible virtual phone answering service, every single call will be answered within three rings – so you never miss an opportunity.

The spacious restaurant has been converted from an old church with high wooden ceiling beams and a mezzanine floor balcony dining area which offers larger groups a designated location in the restaurant and can also be set up for a buffet Casa Italia, 1 Montrose Street, Clydebank, G81 2JF. T: 0141 952 2554 E: casaitaliaglw@aol.com W: www.casa-italia.co.uks

And virtual doesn’t mean a robot – your calls are answered by a real, qualified person who gets to know your business and takes your messages in a professional and friendly manner when you’re not available. It’s like a dedicated employee, but without the cost. Steven Cairns, Virtual VIP, Strathleven House, by Lomond Gate, Dumbarton, G82 3PD. T: 0330 223 0044 E: steven@virtualvip.co.uk W: www.virtualvip.co.uk

JOIN NOW TO ACCESS A RANGE OF BENEFITS INCLUDING:

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Human resource service including ACAS compliant policies plus health and safety advice and updates

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FREE business mentoring opportunities

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Can you afford not to join? Entry level membership at less than 40p a day is cost effective and excellent value for money. Download your application NOW at www.dunbartonshirechamber.co.uk or call our admin team on 0141 280 0272.

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DUNBARTONSHIRE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE BUSINESS MAGAZINE • SUMMER 2014


Mast & Rigging Services Ltd We are a small family run delicatessen and cafe, Daughter (Julie) and Mother (Lin). Been trading for five years, serving home cooked food, including full breakfast, tasty soups and made to order sandwiches and panini. All baking is home made including scones, carrot cake and thick caramel slice.

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Event Report John Watson’s Multi-Million Pound Deal FIFTH generation printer, John Watson, OBE, negotiated a multi-million pound sale deal for his 189-year-old family business to the giant US Multi-Color Corporation. The group chairman of John Watson and Company Ltd of Glasgow wasn’t looking to sell, admitted he didn’t have an exit strategy, and had only recently walked away from a deal with the largest global printing firm in the world. He told members of Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce that he was first approached ‘out of the blue’ at an annual charity dinner in Glasgow in 2012 – and when the proposed sale to CCL of Toronto fell through after many months of work, he did wonder if he had done the right thing. “I thought I’d missed the biggest opportunity of my life,” he admitted. What he didn’t know was that there would soon be a much better offer on the table – one which would see him wave goodbye to the oldest printing company in Scotland after a career lasting 48 years.

They wanted the company that had built a successful niche market supplying labels to the drinks industry, in particular Scotch whisky producers, used the best equipment money could buy, and was at the very top of its game. The business had come a long way from its original home in a condemned Glasgow tenement in Townhead thanks to his strategic vision and a firm emphasis on quality which built on and developed from the success of his forebears. No stranger to the business pages throughout his career, John hit the headlines in 2010 when he very publicly took his business away from the Royal Bank of Scotland after 185 years when it refused to fund investment in state-of-the-art presses. “We never made a loss, always paid money back. I was furious at the way I was treated,” he said. He was awarded an OBE for services to printing and charity in 2006.

Photo by Green Highlander Images.

At the same dinner the next year, the second biggest printing company in the world approached him and pulled out all

the stops to complete due diligence in a week to secure the business.

DUNBARTONSHIRE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE BUSINESS MAGAZINE • SUMMER 2014

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Events Diary... May

August

Thursday 22 May 12pm – 2pm

Friday 15 August

Networking Lunch with Blair Jenkins, OBE, Chief Executive of YES Scotland

Chamber Annual Golf Outing Buchanan Castle Golf Club, Drymen G63 0HY.

Beardmore Hotel and Conference Centre, Clydebank G81 4SA. Cost: TBC

Photo by Bill Fleming.

Cost: £20 chamber members/£30 non members (+ VAT). Includes lunch. Blair Jenkins is leading the YES Scotland Referendum campaign. He is one of the most experienced figures in Scottish broadcast media. He was director of broadcasting at STV and formerly head of news and current affairs at both STV and BBC Scotland. He chaired the Scottish Broadcasting Commission in 2007-8 and the Scottish Digital Network Panel. He also chaired the independent Scottish Broadcasting Commission set up by the Scottish Government to make recommendations on the future of the industry. Blair received an OBE for services to broadcasting in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2010.

June Tuesday 10 June 12pm – 2pm

Rolls and tea/coffee served from 12pm. First tee off at 1pm. Two course high tea and prize-giving circa 5.30/6pm. This is a great golf day with an opportunity to network with members and guests in a spectacular setting. The event is scheduled for a Friday afternoon to ease you into the weekend and is open to all golfers. Teams of three - members who want to bring and golf with guests please advise the organiser. Format - Stableford Prizes for best individual and team performances plus the booby prize - Pedro the Parrot awaits those whose game isn’t up to scratch! There are sponsorship opportunities both in the programme and on the course for the longest drive and nearest the pin (2). Individual hole sponsorship for the remaining holes. All sponsors will be mentioned in the event programme. To book and find out more about sponsorship call John Corcoran on 07801 981471.

Business Lunch Club Casa Italia 1 Montrose Street, Clydebank G81 2JF.

Business Lunch Club Diary Dates Tuesday 9 September 12- 2pm

Members and guests £10 – payable direct to venue. No speaker, no agenda, just networking!

Tuesday 11 November 12- 2pm

Meet chamber members, guests and directors for a two course lunch. Hosted alternately in East and West Dunbartonshire.

Tuesday 12 August 12 – 2pm

Please note that you must still register for this event by e-mailing admin@dunbartonshirechamber.co.uk.

Members and guests £10 – payable direct to venue.

Casa Italia 1 Montrose Street, Clydebank G81 2JF Tuesday 14 October 12 – 2pm East Dunbartonshire – venue TBC

Thursday 19 June 5pm – 8pm

AGM and Summer Barbecue Virgin Active Milngavie, Strathblane Road, Milngavie G62 8HJ. £20 (+VAT) for BBQ – special offer – buy one get one free! Join the board of directors for the chamber AGM, which is free to attend, then network and socialise at our summer barbecue. Buy one place and bring a guest for free with our compliments.

36

DUNBARTONSHIRE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE BUSINESS MAGAZINE • SUMMER 2014

to book chamber events Call our events team on 0141 280 0272 or e-mail admin@dunbartonshirechamber.co.uk


Business Gateway East Dunbartonshire

Business Gateway West Dunbartonshire

Thursday 22 May 9.30am – 12.30pm

Business Planning

Milngavie Enterprise Centre

Wednesday & Thursday 21 & 22 May

Mastering Selling Skills

All 6pm – 9pm

Improve your selling skills and increase sales.

Business Plan Workshop

Wednesday 28 May 9.30am – 12.30pm

Write a business plan with our help. Essential for funders and to drive business development.

McGregor House, Kirkintilloch

Social Media

Marketing Your Business

Increase your understanding of social media and how it can be used to benefit your business.

Tuesday 20 May 6pm – 9pm

Wednesday 11 June 9.30am – 12.30pm

Generate sales and leads using the internet.

Milngavie Enterprise Centre

Online Marketing (Part 2) Tuesday 27 May 6pm – 9pm

Marketing Your Business

Improve Sales Effectiveness (Part 3)

Create a realistic marketing plan, improve how you market your business and increase sales.

More selling strategies.

Thursday 12 June 9.30am – 12.30pm

Tax

McGregor House, Kirkintilloch

Friday 20 June 1pm – 2pm

Mastering Selling Skills Improve your selling skills and increase sales.

Tax Webinar Log on and find out what you need to know about tax.

Wednesday 18 June May 9.30am – 12.30pm

Business on the Web

Milngavie Enterprise Centre

Monday 19 May 1pm – 4pm

Social Media Increase your understanding of social media and how it can be used to benefit your business.

Improve Your Search Engine Ranking Find out how to make SEO work for your business. Friday 23 May 9.30am – 4.30pm

Wednesday 25 June 9.30am – 12.30pm

Understanding Your Online Audience

Milngavie Enterprise Centre

Knowing who your audience is and why is key to marketing success.

Bookkeeping Workshop Equip yourself with the knowledge and skills necessary to manage your finances and comply with regulatory and legal requirements using a relevant bookkeeping system. Wednesday 16 July 9.30am – 12.30pm McGregor House, Kirkintilloch

Bookkeeping Workshop Equip yourself with the knowledge and skills necessary to manage your finances and comply with regulatory and legal requirements using a relevant bookkeeping system.

To book call 0141 578 8530 or visit www.edbusiness.net.

Social Media Friday 30 May 9.30am – 12.30pm

Linked In Masterclass Making the most of THE professional network. All workshops are held at the Titan Enterprise Centre, 1 Aurora Avenue, Clydebank G81 1BF, except the tax webinar, where you log on using your own computer to participate .

To book your free place call 0141 435 7560 or email info@bgwestdun.co.uk.

DUNBARTONSHIRE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE BUSINESS MAGAZINE • SUMMER 2014

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Incommerce Dunbartonshire Issue 23  

Business to business magazine for Dumbarton Chamber of Commerce