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is y n a p m o Pest c NY A P M O C BEST d Star Awalr specia

• Impressive results in Business Mentoring • Feeding the world - exporting food from Perthshire • Winter working - tips for employers

ISSUE 20 • WINTER 2013


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Chamber Services.................... 4-5 Business Star Awards............. 6-11 Members' News................... 13-18 Air passenger duty flies in the face of Business growth...... 24 Employment......................... 26-27 VAT for small businesses.......... 28 A trip to the golf – is it criminal?............................ 29

Stephen Leckie


verything that the Chamber does is underpinned by a direct business benefit and never more so than at our Annual Dinner and Business Star Awards held at the end of November. It is a fantastic and enjoyable night to be a part of, but the main point is the promotion and recognition of excellence within the Perthshire business community. There is such a lot to be gained by those associated with the awards: from sponsors and supporters to finalists and winners. The publicity and promotion for these companies is extensive and the event continues to be the highligtht of the local business calendar. I would like to take this opportunity to again thank our valued partners and sponsors who make not only this night possible, but support us throughout the year. As we look forward to the next business year we hope to see you at our new sectorspecific and size-specific events which we have added to our busy calendar in response to members’ requests. Please keep the ideas and opinions coming – it’s vital to ensure we meet our members’ needs and that is the sole purpose of the Chamber. Wishing you a successful 2014. Stephen Leckie President Perthshire Chamber of Commerce

Vicki Unite


e continue to work hard and one of our core activities inc ludes being actively involved in assisting with employment opportunities. We are currently involved, as communicated previously, with Career Academies UK and the Chamber network has recently been tasked with delivering two additional projects. The first is the Readiness for Work programme with Skills Development Scotland which involves securing “agreements in principle” from Perthshire businesses to accommodate a student on a more realistic work placement. The second is the Graduate Placement Programme, which is a Scottish Government initiative where there is a financial incentive to businesses taking a graduate. If you are interested in helping the workforce of tomorrow please do not hesitate to contact us directly – whether or not you are a Chamber member – and we can furnish you with more information on both of these hugely beneficial projects. In addition to this we continue to work closely with PKC to promote their Employment Initiatives. This is another example of how we grow and develop to ensure we serve our members and contribute to business critical issues affecting businesses today. We will be contacting you with our annual survey and would appreciate your input to identify the issues you would like us to focus our energies on in the coming year. I look forward to working with you over the next year and wish you all the very best in business. Vicki Unite Editor of InCommerce and Chief Executive of Perthshire Chamber of Commerce

Discrimination and recruitment................................ 34 New Member Profiles........... 36-37 From Perthshire to the World............................. 40-41 Winter working ........................ 42 Events....................................... 44 Membership Benefits................. 46

Front Cover Photo: Award winning Graham Environmental Services team from left to right; Mark Sherriffs (Service Director), Ross Graham (Managing Director), Stuart Graham (Sales Director), Phil McKenna (Director) Picture by Graeme Hart. Copyright Perthshire Picture Agency

Victoria Unite Chief Executive Perthshire Chamber of Commerce Saltire House 3 Whitefriars Crescent Perth PH2 0PA T: 01738 448325 E: W: For advertising contact DTech on T: 01436 678808 E: For editorial enquiries contact the Editor, Vicki Unite on T: 01738 448325 E: Publisher: DTech InCommerce is published by DTech, 20 East Argyle Street, Helensburgh G84 7RR. Telephone 01436 678808. E-mail: Edited by Perthshire Chamber of Commerce, Saltire House, 3 Whitefriars Crescent, Perth PH2 0PA Tel: 01738 448325. E-mail: InCommerce is fully protected by copyright and nothing may be printed 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 gained from this publication.

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Chamber Sponsors............... 30-31


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, nor the publisher or the directors, shareholders and/or employees of InCommerce Ltd or DTech Publishing Ltd.



BUSINESS MENTORING SCOTLAND Delivered by Perthshire Chamber of Commerce for Perthshire, Dundee and Angus.

Help us grow something brilliant. Do you feel that you need a bit of support when growing your business? Would your business benefit from the input of an experienced mentor who is there to support and challenge you? If so, this fully funded mentoring service might be for you... Whether you are a relatively new business, or have ambitious plans to grow your existing business, working with a mentor can kick-start or re-invigorate your plans, giving you immediate access to impartial advice, relevant experience, and a great network of contacts. Business mentors understand how difficult it can be to run a business, and how lonely you can sometimes feel. Mentors can help business leaders stand back from their business and look at the "big picture". They can offer the benefit of their experience, caution against potential pitfalls and build your confidence in your own abilities. Learning alongside an experienced business person, developing your skills and expanding your network of contacts are all tangible benefits of this mentoring programme. Business Mentoring Scotland is a Scottish Chambers of Commerce programme, delivered through regional Chambers and locally through Perthshire Chamber. The mentoring programme supports around 900 mentoring matches per year within Scotland’s business community and, to date, has delivered over 8,000 mentoring matches in total. ARE YOU ELIGIBLE? Criteria to be eligible for a business mentor through this fully funded programme: • in business for 1 year with plans to grow • turnover of £100K or plan to achieve that level • not involved in the programme in the previous 12 months The objective of Business Mentoring is to support growing businesses and it is available to senior individuals within businesses that have been trading for a minimum of one year and have clear plans for growth. HOW IT WORKS One of our Business Mentoring Executives, based at a local Chamber of Commerce, will talk you through your business development ambitions, determine what you want from a mentor and then carefully match you to a mentor who has the perfect skills and experience to meet your needs.



There are 3 different types of mentoring available: • One-to-One mentoring Business leaders can benefit from One-to-One mentoring for up to 12 months. The process is typically a 2 to 4 hour session once a month with telephone and email contact in between, however the programme is flexible and the level of contact is agreed between the Mentor and the individual. The service really is tailored to the needs of the business leader being mentored. Primarily, businesses which envisage a growth in turnover of at least £400k over a 3 year period will be eligible for Oneto-One mentoring. • Group mentoring This model is for senior individuals within growing businesses who are seeking support across a number of topics for example finance HR or marketing.  Groups of up to 8 companies meet for a minimum of 3 times over the course of 12 months and benefit from the input of an experienced mentor on a specific subject. Group mentoring is available for businesses who envisage a growth in turnover of at least £100k over a 3 year period. • Take3 mentoring Take3 accommodates 3 individuals from different companies or indeed 3 individuals from the same company. Take3 mentoring is available for businesses who envisage a growth in turnover of at least £250k over a 3 year period. Again the model is dependent on the needs of the group as to how often and why the group and the mentor meet over the course of 12 months. OUR MENTORS There is a pool of 800 mentors throughout Scotland, which consists of highly experienced business people from a wide range of sectors and industries with their own unique blend of business and life experience. Crucially, each has a desire to 'give something back' and support businesses and the economic growth of Scotland. Mentors provide their time on a voluntary basis and the service is provided free to businesses that meet the criteria. Typically, mentors have experience of working at senior level such as CEO or Director level. They have a wide range of skills, for example strategic development, growth, sales, marketing, finance, or operations and are willing to share their experience and their expertise. Mentors will work with you in a non-judgemental relationship. They will respect your views, and although they may put forward suggestions, every decision you take will be your own.

CHAMBER SERVICES MENTOR PROFILE EXAMPLE Colin Neill was a Director at the drinks company Diageo in Shieldhall and has been a mentor since 2005. Over this period Colin has successfully mentored 9 companies in a variety of sectors, sizes and geographical areas within Scotland, from SME's to large Blue Chip organizations.  Colin’s strengths lie in business development, people development and business strategy.  He is a keen supporter of the business mentoring programme and would recommend it as a valuable support to all growing companies especially in today’s economic climate.

website The website also gives contact details for the local Chambers who are delivering the programme nationally. You can contact these Chambers directly should you wish to discuss the programme further at this stage. Business Mentoring is a service that is provided through the partnership of Scottish Chambers of Commerce (SCC) Scottish Enterprise (SE) and the European Social Fund (ESF). The strategic aims of the service are to contribute to the improved performance of Scottish businesses and the economy by assisting and encouraging more businesses that are seeking to develop and grow, both domestically and internationally.

FURTHER INFORMATION Find further details on the programme, including some excellent case studies and advice on registering, on our



BMS Performance since 2000 As Scotland’s premier business mentoring service, Business Mentoring Scotland has directly supported almost 8,000 of the nation’s business community since its inception in 2000.

BMS Targets for 2013 / 2014 Overall Target for 2013/2014 Business Plan equates to 800 matches





8000 7000



6000 5000 4000








67 51







1000 0


2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013



The yearly contribution of the BMS mentors to Scotland’s business community directly supports the impact to businesses:











IMPACT 960 JOBS per annum £29.8 MILLION GVA per annum

£62,180 average net value per business

Of the subset of businesses surveyed:  TURNOVER



Average increase of 1.2 staff per business




£30 £20

£10 £0 Original Turn Over

Forecast Turn Over

Turn Over at Completion






700 600 500 400 300 200 100 0



 Original Staffing Forecast Staffing Staffing Level at Level Level Completion

94% of businesses increased turnover during the course of the mentoring match. 62% attributed the Business Mentoring Scotland match as a contributing factor The businesses saw a collective increase of 26% in turnover value, from £29.86 million to £37.61 million. This turnover increase was 53% more than was originally estimated at the outset of the matches. 54% of business increased staff during the course of the match equating to an overall increase in staffing of 11% 38% attributed BMS as a contributing factor to this increase in staffing






leading pest control company has proved there are no flies on them by being crowned Perthshire’s top business.

Popular winner, Blairgowrie-based Graham Environmental Service Ltd lifted the Perthshire Chamber of Commerce 2013 Business of the Year title at a glittering Star Awards ceremony in Crieff on Friday. Managing director Ross Graham and delighted staff from the 10-year-old business celebrated after securing the Business Growth category trophy before going on to claim the overall trophy and title. Over 300 guests heard how Graham Environmental Services, which employs nearly 50 people, captured the judges’ vote for its “focus, ambition, delivery and results”. Impressive and sustainable growth has seen the Welton Road company diversify and build on the success of their core pest control service, now offering extensive hygiene and fire equipment checking services - predominantly to the food industry. Chamber President Stephen Leckie said: “Graham Environmental Services has a clear strategy and very impressive results.



“They have grown turnover and profit in the past 12 months, continued to invest in both premises and training, have a good sense of their market and customers, and have drilled out a niche between the big national players and the sole trader operations. From their base in Blairgowrie they are now reaching the Central Belt and other parts of Scotland. “Their ambition is to be a leading player in environmental services to the food and drinks industry in Scotland from their base in Blairgowrie and they have proved themselves true Business Stars.” A thrilled Ross Graham said the accolade rewarded years of hard work by the family and all their staff. “This is a team award and I couldn’t be more proud of everyone that made this Business Of The Year title possible,” he said. “To come out top among so many strong contenders is just amazing. We work hard at building the right team with similar values and work ethos to deliver the best possible product and service to our clients. “I could never have imagined when the company was first set up that we would ever be named Perthshire’s top business - everyone’s hard work has really paid off and I couldn’t be more proud and pleased.”

CHAMBER NEWS Stephen Leckie also presented an “Outstanding Achievement Award” to the founding trustees of the recently-launched Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance, based at Perth Airport.

`It’s a privilege to be able to showcase them at Perthshire’s leading business awards ceremony and witness their success and genuine support from the local business community.” George Stubbs of GS Group said:

Chairman John Bullough, Chief Executive Gavin Davey, Alan Bell, Mike Beale and the late Roddy Young were all recognised for their “vision, hard work, commitment, grit and determination” over a period of four years to bring the country’s first charity-funded life-saving helicopter air ambulance to fruition. Launched in May, SCAA has already responded to over 170 emergency callouts – flying to those most in need right across Scotland. “SCAA is now a recognised part of the emergency service network in Scotland and we are very fortunate to have it based in Perthshire,” said Mr Leckie, “but it didn’t happen overnight. “The vital service is the result of astonishing commitment from a small body of businesspeople who worked tirelessly to make it happen for the benefit of all – they deserve our thanks and recognition for what they have achieved.” Chamber Chief Executive Vicki Unite reflected on “an amazing evening”. “It was a fantastic event,” she said, “and so great to see the very best in local business being applauded by their peers and rewarded by the business sector for their outstanding work.

“We were delighted to have secured the sponsorship of this year’s awards dinner, the most prestigious evening in the Perth and Kinross business calendar. It provided an excellent opportunity to promote our new brand but it’s also a great opportunity to put something back in to the business community “The number of awards and entrants illustrated how important both the Chamber and the business community see this event. As well as being an opportunity for businesses to showpiece themselves it’s a wonderful opportunity for businesses to get together and do some networking in a wonderful setting. “Our team had a fantastic evening, meeting with some old friends and some new contacts. The venue was superb and level of hospitality outstanding, making for an extremely memorable occasion.” This year’s premier business awards event was held at Crieff Hydro Hotel and was hosted by journalist Maureen Young and presenter Gary Robinson. Entertainment was provided by local band Lost In Music.

“We know from experience that there can be a real business benefit for winners – and finalists – and that is the underlying purpose of the Star Awards.

In addition to the overall Business Of The Year title, 12 category Star Awards and two Highly Commended certificates were presented.

The Award Categories 1. Perthshire Advertiser Employee of the Year Award Kara Scott - Mcleod Glaziers 2. Graham Environmental Services Apprentice of the Year Award Kayleigh McQueen - Baby Scan Studio Perth 3. Enterprise & Business Gateway Most Promising New Business Award Soaper Stars 4. RBS Excellence in Customer Service Award Cafe Tabou Highly Commended Finalist Miller Hendry 5. Stagecoach Group Excellence in Business Innovation Award Merlin ERD

7. Bank of Scotland Excellence in Tourism & Leisure Award (Large Business) Crieff Hydro Bank of Scotland Excellence in Tourism & Leisure Award (Small Business) Craigatin House and Courtyard 8. Perth & Kinross Council Excellence in Export Award Mackie’s at Taypack 9. Johnston Carmichael Chartered Accountants Business Growth Award Graham Environmental Services 10. Perth College UHI Excellence in E-Commerce Award Bertie Browns 11. Denvir Marketing Independent Retailer of the Year Award Loch Leven’s Larder

6. Binnwaste Management Commitment to the Community Award GrowBiz

12. The James Hutton Institute Excellence in Food & Drink Produce Award The Wee Pie Company

Highly Commended Finalist Ad-Lib Theatre Arts

13. Outstanding Achievement Award Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance




Perthshire Advertiser Employee of the Year Award Kara Scott—Mcleod Glaziers

Kara Scott of McLeod Galziers presented by Grant Agar.


Stagecoach Group Excellence in Business Innovation Award


Graham Environmental Services Apprentice of the Year Award Kayleigh McQueen—Baby Scan Studio Perth

Kayleigh McQueen of Baby Scan Studio Perth who received her award from Stuart Graham.


Merlin ERD

Binnwaste Management Commitment to the Community Award GrowBiz

David Rowe of GrowBiz presented by Louise MacGregor. Paul Kyle of Merlin ERD presented by Lindsay Reid.

Highly Commended Finalist Ad-Lib Theatre Arts



Johnston Carmichael Chartered Accountants Business Growth Award Graham Environmental Services

Ross Graham of Graham Environmental Services presented by Steven Menziesl.


Perth College UHI Excellence in E-Commerce Award Bertie Browns

Jane Atkinson of Bertie Browns presented by Pam Wilson.


Enterprise & Business Gateway Most Promising New Business Award Soaper Stars


RBS Excellence in Customer Service Award Cafe Tabou

Marek & Magdalena Michalak of Cafe Tabou presented by Vic Bicocchi.

Derek Petterson and Ian Routledge from Soaper Stars, presented by Gary McEwan.

Highly Commended Finalist Miller Hendry

Bank of Scotland Excellence in Tourism & Leisure Award (Large Business)


Crieff Hydro Bank of Scotland Excellence in Tourism & Leisure Award (Small Business)


Perth & Kinross Council Excellence in Export Award Mackie's at Taypack

Craigatin House and Courtyard

Andrea Anderson (left) of Craigatin House & Courtyard (small business) and Sarah Nicolson of Crieff Hydro (large business) presented by Alistair Connolly.


Denvir Marketing Independent Retailer of the Year Award

George Taylor snr and George Taylor jnr of Mackie’s at Taypack presented by Cll John Kellas.


The James Hutton Institute Excellence in Food & Drink Produce Award The Wee Pie Company

Loch Leven's Larder

Emma Niven of Loch Levens Larder presented by Jane Maher.

Rose Martin of The Wee Pie Company presented by Davina Wyper.




Outstanding Achievement Award

Overall Business of the Year winner

Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance

Graham Environmental Services

SCAA Chief Exec Gavin Davey and John Bullough SCAA Chairman presented by Stephen Leckie.

Support sponsorship for the glamorous event came from GS Group and media sponsor was The Perthshire Advertiser.

Sound and light production and expertise for the show was provided by Catalyst EPS.

The specially dedicated website was provided by Momentum Design.

Johnston Media handled all video work before and during the event while Daybreak studios recorded the voiceovers used in films of the shortlisted entries.

Trophies were designed, crafted and donated by Sarah Peterson of Caithness Glass. Guests enjoyed a sumptuous dinner with wine and once again Highland Spring provided the water for the evening and Inveralmond Brewery provided their Homecoming Scotland Beer. The stunning flower decorations were provided by Something Special Flowers in Blairgowrie. The event was hosted by journalist Maureen Young and presenter Gary Robinson.


Ross Graham of Graham Environmental Services presented by George Stubbs.


A charity prize draw of a midweek overnight stay for two on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis, along with a voucher for the new Aloft! Turret Trail Treetop Adventure for two came courtesy of Crieff Hydro Hotel. Coach transport to and from the event was provided by Stagecoach Group. Photographer Graeme Hart of Perthshire Picture Agency was on duty throughout the evening to catch all the drama and excitement.

CHAMBER NEWS ie welcomed guests President Stephen Leck of the Chamber. k wor the of ed talk and

ress Gordon Banks MP add

ed the business audienc


The winners' lineup just before the overall winn er is announced

Guests danced into the wee small hours to Lost in Music's fabulous set.

charity the two finalists in the and Gary Robinson with Hendry who er Mill Hosts Maureen Young of z Fren a and ond right) Am and fund-raiser including (sec Hotel with dinner, bed for two at Crieff Hydro won an amazing break s course at the Hydro). rope high new (the t! for Alof breakfast plus passes

ed through Lost in Music entertain

out the evening.

Chamber President Step hen Leckie (centre) ram ps up the tension befo announcing the overall re winner with host Maureen Young and sponsor George Stubbs of GS Gro up.



ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES “protecting your business”


FREEPHONE 0800 14 65 44

MEMBERS’ NEWS The Perthshire Chamber of Commerce and Dunkeld Opening Day Gathering Committee have the pleasure of inviting you to a Opening Day Business Breakfast at Hilton Dunkeld House Hotel Wednesday 15th January 2014 at 8.15am Opening of River 9.30am Speakers: Scotland’s First Minister, Alex Salmond MSP Stephen Leckie, President, Perthshire of Commerce

TOP RECRUIT FOR CARBON C a r b o n Fi n a n cia l Partners has recruited one of Scotland's top financial planners.

£10.00 per person – please book in advance.

Chartered and certified fi n a n cia l pla n n e r Nicola Coates joins from Turcan Connell.

To book your places or tables please contact: Terri Mcallister at Hilton Dunkeld House Hotel on 01350 728337 Email:

Her arrival is a feather in the cap of Carbon, which has just won another top UK award.

For further information contact Lorna Birse-Stewart on: 07831 131313/583733 Email:

The leading independent financial planning and investment advice firm was honoured in the national Gold Standard Awards.

The Dunkeld Opening Gathering Committee is made up of representatives from: Dunkeld & Birnam Angling Association, Dunkeld and Birnam Tourist Association, Dunkeld House Fishings, Hilton Dunkeld House, The Tay Foundation & TDSFB and Perthshire Chamber of Commerce

Carbon collected the Incisive Media Gold Standard for Independent Financial Advice.

Save the Date for the Going Places with Scotland’s Food and Drink Industry: A Scotland’s Cities Global Excellence Conference

Save the Date for the Going Places with Scotland’s Food and Drink Save the Date for the Going PlacesIndustry: with Scotland’s Food and Drink

Going Places with Scotland’s Food and Drink Industry A Scotland’s Cities Global Excellence Conference

Managing director Gordon Wilson said: "I am delighted that Nicola has decided to become part of our team. "Not only is she one of the most qualified financial planners in the UK, but she has experience of working with clients who have very complex financial circumstances.

5 March 2014, Perth Concert Hall, Perth

You won’t want to miss the Going Places with Scotland’s Food and Drink Industry: A Scotland’s Cities Global Excellence Conference taking place on 5 March 2014 at Perth Concert Hall, Perth, Scotland.

Industry: A Scotland’s Cities Global Excellence Conference A Scotland’s Cities Global Excellence Conference

Whether your business ambitions are to go local, go national or go global Scottish Cities Alliance in partnership with Scottish Enterprise, Scotland Food & Drink, Perth and Kinross Council and SAC Food and Drink invites you to save the date and hear from industry experts on how they are going places at home and away.

Going Places with Scotland’s Food and Drink Industry A Scotland’s Cities Global Excellence Conference

"She is both a chartered financial planner with the Personal Finance Society and a certified financial planner with the Institute of Financial Planning.

Scotland Food & Drink’s AGM will form part of the conference. Details to be announced.

5 March 2014, Perth Concert Hall, Perth

"Nicola is also branch chairwoman for the Institute of Financial Planning in Scotland."

You won’t want to miss the Going Places with Scotland’s Food and Drink Industry: A Scotland’s Cities Global Excellence Going Places taking with Scotland’s Drink Industry Conference placeFood on and 5 March 2014 at Perth Concert Hall, A Scotland’s Cities Global Excellence Conference Perth, Scotland.

Before joining Carbon, Nicola was family office manager with Turcan Connell Asset Management in Edinburgh.

Conference tickets on sale through Eventbrite January 2014

For further information contact Suzanne Cumiskey, Perth and Kinross Council, Planning and Regeneration by email, or phone 01738 475731 or 07834 640237

5 March 2014, Perth Concert Hall, Perth

Whether your business ambitions are to go local, go national or won’t want to missCities the Going Places within Scotland’s Food andwith Drink Industry: A goYou global Scottish Alliance partnership Scottish Scotland’s Cities Global Excellence Conference taking place on 5 March 2014 at Perth Enterprise, Scotland Food & Drink, Perth and Kinross Council and Concert Hall, Perth, Scotland. SAC Food and Drink invites you to save the date and hear from Whetherexperts your business ambitions go local,places go national or go global industry on how theyare areto going at home andScottish away.

She moved to Scotland in 2008 from Leeds. 

Details to be announced.

"I have joined a company where I will be able to add to and learn from the wealth of experience of people who are already there."

Cities Alliance in partnership with Scottish Enterprise, Scotland Food & Drink, Perth and Kinross Council and SAC Food and Drink invites you to save the date and hear Scotland Food & Drink’s AGM willplaces formatpart conference. from industry experts on how they are going homeof andthe away. Scotland Food & Drink’s AGM will form part of the conference. Details to be announced.

Conference tickets on sale through Eventbrite January 2014 Conference tickets on sale through Eventbrite January 2014

For further information contact Suzanne Cumiskey, Perth For Kinross further information contact Suzanne and Cumiskey, Perth and Kinross and Council, Planning Regeneration by Council, email Planning and Regeneration by email, or phone 01738 475731, or phone 01738 475731 or 07834 640237 or 07834 640237

Nicola said: "Carbon and I share the same vision for financial planning - its approach to clients, investment proposition and reputation in the marketplace is excellent.

Nicola is based at Carbon's Perth office, but will work out of the Edinburgh and Aberdeen offices as required.





LOO-KING GOOD FOR 2014 Perth based Scotbox has recently invested £200,000 in additional temporary site accommodation to expand their fleet and have upgraded their self contained welfare cabins and site offices. Reacting to increased demand from their expanding customer base, these new cabins are expected to be delivered in January 2014. SCOTLOO and SCOTBOX are divisions of Castlecroft Securities group and were established in 1984, and has become Scotland’s leading independent supplier of staff welfare and event solutions. A private family run company employing around 23 staff members provide an ongoing training programme to ensure that all their staff members work to current legislation, they have a fleet of vehicles which deliver their full range of equipment throughout Scotland and also provide a hire service for their Hiab vehicles complete with driver on an hourly rate. Also within the range they have an access platform which again can be hired on an hourly rate this time though as a self drive option. Scotloo are fully licensed by SEPA and Scottish Water and run one of the few independently owned waste water treatment plants in Scotland, they provide liquid waste treatment disposal solutions to support commercial/ domestic tanks, caravan site waste, hotel and commercial grease traps to name a few. Scotloo not only provide cold water chemical toilets for events both national and local but can also provide, within their Saltire collection, a range of luxury self contained toilets that can accommodate up to 300 guests.

CHAMBER MEMBERSHIP KEY TO SUCCESS FOR ASM MEDIA & PR J o i n i n g Pe r t h s h i r e Chamber of Commerce this year has been key to much of the success e n jo ye d by member Alan S. Morrison, owner of ASM Media & PR and Marketing Manager for the Mr Droogle Google Business Photos virtual tours franchise.


Perth-headquartered GS Group has announced a number of new employees as it gets set to start 2014 at an all-time high following a momentous year which saw the biggest change yet in the organisation's 22-year history.

GS Group is a trading name of George Stubbs Financial Ser George Stubbs Insurance Services Limited is authorised an George Stubbs Financial Services Limited is authorised and

The new Chamber member, and main sponsor of the recent Business Star Awards, is now a significant employer in Perth and Kinross and its Scotland-wide workforce exceeds 50. Among its “new starts” are Vicky Bryce, Jamie Hutchison, Rachael Connor and Scott McKee. They all join the GS team in Perth to meet the demands of the rapidly expanding company. Vicky and Scott work in the General Insurance Broking division whilst Rachael and Jamie work in the group's Financial Services division. They join an already impressively strong team dedicated to growing the business through excellent customer service. Managing Director and owner George Stubbs started the business in 1991 as a sole trader and although the GS brand has evolved throughout Scotland since then it remains very much a Perth company. Mr Stubbs said: “It's important that we continue to attract bright, ambitious people to GS Group and I want to wish them every success with the company as we move forward.” Since creation in 1991, the company developed locally and then expanded considerably, opening offices in Glasgow, Falkirk and Dundee and increased staffing levels by more than 25% over the past two years to 55. It offers comprehensive services in a wide range of fields including insurance broking, corporate insurance and financial planning and has a range of specialists proactively managing clients' insurance programmes.

Since joining in March, he’s seen both businesses enjoying rapid growth thanks to connections made through the Chamber, particularly so in Alan’s work for Mr Droogle ( A full page advert in the Spring edition of InCommerce led to a breakthrough order from Crieff Hydro (for which Mr Droogle delivered the biggest Google virtual tour in Scotland!) and the same ad plus a Chamber member e-shot also led to a large order from a Perth flooring firm. The Chamber’s breakfast networking event at Perth Show in August then led to another major order for Mr Droogle with fellow member Williamson Design Florists. That business was crucial to Alan winning a second Google Silver Award for Mr Droogle – for sales performance in October – the only Scottish franchisee


to win anything that month. They won their first in July. In his own business, Alan’s seen the photography side in particularly high demand, with him spending a lot of August, November and December in Perth shooting events, shops and leisure spaces for Perth City Centre Management as part of a sixmonth contract to create new images of the city to be used in marketing it to visitors. Speaking about Perthshire Chamber of Commerce’s role in his success, Alan said: “Joining the Chamber has been the best decision I’ve made this year, as the business that’s followed on from that has paid my membership fee many times over. I can’t thank Karen and Vicki enough for the introductions they’ve made and for their help and advice this year – they’ve been an important part of my success in what’s been an incredible year.”


DENVIR CROWNED BEST SCOTTISH MARKETING BUSINESS AT THE NATIONAL MIAWARDS Denvir scooped the MiAward for Scotland’s Best Marketing Business at a glittering awards ceremony in Manchester last night. The Aberdeen and Stirling based marketing agency picked up the prestigious award after demonstrating the agencies successful year in terms of new client wins, achieving commercial success for clients in campaign delivery and showcasing the business as a fantastic place to work. The business has grown considerably in the last twelve months in response to a strategic business review and brand development project, resulting in the business breaking into new industry sectors and expanding in to Aberdeen, opening new premises in the city. Suzanne George, CEO at Denvir, said: ‘We couldn’t be happier with last night’s result at the national MiAwards. We have had an incredibly busy year and this is a true testament to all the hard work that has been put in by the whole team. We are certainly ending the year on a high and can’t wait to see what else we can achieve in 2014.’ The MiAwards is an annual celebration and recognition of the agencies, businesses and individuals who make the UK marketing industry so successful. Now in its fifth consecutive year, the national awards attracts agencies from across the entire spectrum of the UK's diverse marketing services sector, competing for honours with ambitious agencies going head to head to prove they are simply the best at what they do. To find out more about Denvir please visit

CUP DAYS AT PERTH RACES Perth racecourse, having just celebrated 400 years of racing in Perth with a memorable season in 2013, is set to follow the Australian example of Cup Days at the races. Perth Gold Cup Day, now regularly held on the second Sunday in June, has been a huge success attracting up to 10,000 racegoers regularly since it was first held in 1999. Families and businesses can now look forward to their own local Cup Day at Perth races right through the summer. It is understood a Dundee Cup Day is planned, along with a Crieff Cup Day, a Dunfermline Cup day, an Inverness Cup Day, an Aberdeen Cup Day. The first Cup Day will be the Bierfest Evening on May 14th which is planned to be the Scottish Universities Cup Day. Dates of the other Cup Days will be announced shortly or found on their website Sam Morshead, Perth Racecourse General Manager, is excited about this idea of promoting a fun day out at Perth Races through Cup Days for local towns and communities, while also providing opportunities for high profile sponsorship and partnerships with businesses in Central Scotland. He believes that these new high profile races will provide a great focus for the afternoon’s entertainment while also forging a bigger link with local communities and businesses. These high value races will give Perth Races, and their new Cup Days, a bigger profile throughout the UK and Ireland, hopefully attracting more visitors to the area.

From left to right Catriona Coan Director, Suzanne George CEO and Jane Maher Director.




1,500 YEARS OF HISTORY COMES ALIVE ONLINE Scone Palace has launched a brand new website that brings 1,500 years of history into the 21st century by allowing visitors to pre-purchase tickets for the Palace, its grounds and selected events online for the very first time. The site also incorporates an online shop enabling enthusiasts all over the world to browse and buy exclusive high quality gifts including fine malt whiskies and bespoke hampers featuring some of the Palace’s favourite Scottish produce, all sourced from local and independent producers. In addition the site features a host of information for country sports enthusiasts, including details of shooting and stalking opportunities on Mansfield Estates. Anglers can also access real time availability for fishing on the renowned Fishponds and Waulkmill beats, which offer some of the finest salmon and game fishing in Scotland. Designed by Edinburgh agency ‘Heehaw’, the site aims to provide one-stop, online information about all aspects of Scone Palace and Mansfield Estates Elspeth Bruce, Palace Administrator, said: “The development of the new site is in response to feedback which demonstrates that today’s visitors want to access information and make bookings in lots of different ways, including through mobile devices. “The site is designed with visitor needs very much in mind and will provide inspiration and ideas to whet the appetite for a visit. The online shop will make it easy for people to beat the queues by pre-purchasing tickets for entry to the Palace and grounds, and to reserve seats for some of the hottest tickets in our events calendar. Once they return home, visitors can then purchase a special memento of their trip, quickly and easily at the click of a button! “Exclusive items on offer include jams, marmalades, chutneys and honey from Scone Estates’ own label and best-selling books on Scottish history, including ‘Scotland’s Stone of Destiny’ by Nick Aitchison, which explores the myths surrounding the infamous Stone of Scone. “As energy prices continue to rise, locals may also be interested in our range of wood fuels including seasoned logs, firelighters and kindling, locally-sourced from the Estate, which can be ordered online and delivered free to addresses within a 10 mile radius of Scone”. Elspeth added: “Scone Palace welcomes over 100,000 visitors of all ages every year. More and more of them are looking for information online and on the move. This new website brings Scone’s 1,500 years of history bang up to date for the 21st century”. The new site can be viewed at



PERTH HOTEL DRIVES FORWARD GREEN SERVICE Electric cars may not yet be an every-day sight on Perthshire’s roads. But with the latest research predicting sales of eco-vehicles will accelerate rapidly in the coming years, one local hotel is driving ahead of the game. The Best Western Lovat Hotel on Perth’s Glasgow Road now boasts the city’s first hotel-based plug-in charging point. And guests at the Symphony Hotels and Leisureowned hotel are invited to use the service free of charge. Symphony director Mike Sheffield explained that the farsighted move is the latest initiative in the company’s green credentials. “Green Tourism is something all hotels are becoming more and more aware of,” he said. “Symphony recently gained planning consent for a Biomass plant at the Best Western Queen’s Hotel in Perth, becoming one of the first in Scotland within a town centre location to do so. Now we’re delighted to turn the green spotlight on The Best Western Lovat as well. “Customers and guests are also increasingly aware of environmental issues and most hotels have embraced laundry policies as just one example of how they try to reduce their environmental impact. “At The Best Western Lovat we have gone one step further than the others with the installation of a charger unit,” said Mike. “The technology for–and acceptability of–electric cars is progressing all the time and we want people who do become an electric car owner to know that The Best Western Lovat is a suitable stop-off point for them.” Mike believes it is just a matter of time before other hotels in the area adopt the same policy in preparation for any electric vehicle guests. “Guests can charge their vehicle in the hotel car park overnight while they sleep safe in the knowledge that it will be primed and ready for their onward journey the next day,” he explained. “It’s a client service that I’m sure more and more businesses will look to provide in the future.”


mi REBRAND L-R Graham Alexander, Ian Williams (Chairman), Greig McKnight, Chris Horne (Managing Partner), Ian Craig

Due to developments in the business, the team at mi city is excited to announce a rebrand which they believe better reflects their aim of connecting businesses and towns using digital channels.


With immediate effect the mi city apps and online presence will fall under the new parent brand of–miconex (

One of Tayside’s largest firms of independent Accountants, Campbell Dallas LLP, is delighted to announce the promotion of Ian Craig to partner. Greig McKnight from Glasgow and Graham Alexander from Aberdeen have also been promoted.

The new company name sits above the consumer brands which people may be more familiar with mi perthshire, mi inverness etc. These brands allow local consumers to connect with businesses–accessing local information via Smartphone apps, web, social media and email.

Ian, who comes from a farming background, strengthens the partner-led farming expertise in Perth. Having joined the firm in 2005, Ian has made a significant contribution to growing the firm’s portfolio of rural businesses, particularly in Perthshire, Fife and Angus.

The name helps to communicate their belief that technology can play a positive role in the revival of towns by helping people to feel more connected with their communities.

Campbell Dallas have also invested in a further five trainees to help the continued growth of their Perth office. Senior partner Andy Ritchie commented that “We are delighted to be in a position to take on so many trainees. We have successfully grown our client base by over 10% in the last year and the new appointments are a commitment to continue this growth pattern. The new trainees come from a mixture of University, College and school leavers and will have a great opportunity to gain a qualification and commence a career in finance and tax planning.” Emma Deans has commenced a 3 year ICAS training contract after graduating from Edinburgh University, Alastair Stewart and Kim Young both recently graduated with an HND in accountancy from Perth College UHI and join the firm as Accounts Assistants. School leavers Sandra Guthrie and Elise Henderson were recruited from local secondary schools Perth Grammar and Perth Academy, respectively and are studying for their AAT qualifications.

This change comes ahead of further announcements in 2014 – they have been working behind the scenes over the past nine months to develop a new technology platform which is due for release in January next year, creating a new resource for Scotland’s towns and regions–mi scotland ( They have been working closely with City of Perth (Perth and Kinross Council) over the past few months and through this partnership have been able to offer access to the platform free for businesses. Over 100 businesses have taken up the opportunity and are now using to communicate with over 15,000 local residents. The apps and website are becoming an essential local resource to find out what is happening in Perth helping to drive business into the city centre.

Campbell Dallas has at the same time also recruited Lynne Wilson to the position of Business Advisory Services Manager. Andy Ritchie said “We knew of Lynne’s pedigree and experience in looking after family and owner managed businesses. I was delighted when she agreed to join us and she is already proving to be a great asset to our team in Perth”.

L-R Kim Young, Lynne Wilson, Alastair Stewart, Sandra Guthrie, Emma Deans, Elise Henderson




PERTHSHIRE CARAVANS – GOING FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH Perthshire Caravans is Scotland’s leading supplier of motorhomes, caravans, static holiday homes and accessories–and is going from strength to strength. The company is pleased to report that they were recently appointed a Bessacarr motorhomes dealer. Bessacarr is a name synonymous with luxury, high-quality products and outstanding design, and is aimed at the discerning motorhome enthusiast. Perthshire Caravans Director Ian McCormack Jnr said: “Since Perthshire Caravans was established in 1936, we have consistently expanded and improved our products and services to ensure maximum customer satisfaction. “Other companies have tried to imitate us but our customers know that when it comes to value for money, customer service and going that extra mile we always come out on top. “We are a dealer of a wide range of brands of motorhomes and caravans including Swift, Auto-trail, Bailey, Elddis, Auto-sleepers, Burstner, Romahome, Tribute, Atlas and Willerby – and are delighted that we have now been appointed Bessacarr motorhome dealers. We invite you to come along to our showroom to view the models we have in stock.” Perthshire Caravan Company was established in 1936 by Peter and Chris McCormack, the parents of the present owners, Ian and Peter McCormack.

Coupar Angus Pride of Place volunteers with sponsors, front, from left– Citizen of the Year Florence Smeaton, Councillor Alan Grant, Sylvia Brewer, Binn Skips Chairman John MacGregor, Binn Skips business development manager Jim Renton, Bill Ronald (Pride of Place vice-chair), Rona McKinnon, Katie Murray.

BINN SKIPS KIT OUT CLEAN UP SCOTLAND VOLUNTEERS Binn Skips has announced a national sponsorship deal with Clean Up Scotland–the mass engagement campaign which aims to quickly remove litter and mess so that Scotland shines when the world is watching in 2014. Binn Skips is supplying 15,000 tabards for clean up volunteers throughout Scotland as they strive to make Scotland Europe’s cleanest country. This comes after local community group, Coupar Angus Pride of Place, won first place in the Royal Horticultural Society’s prestigious Britain in Bloom competition Large Village category in October. Binn Skips chairman John McGregor said as a leading waste management company, the Perthshire-based business was happy to support an initiative which aimed to clean up the country. “Clean Up Scotland’s bid to make Scotland the cleanest country in Europe is one which mirrors many of the aims and aspirations of Binn Skips and our clients,” he said. “We’re delighted to support the drive and the many volunteer groups and organisations who are all working towards this goal.” Derek Robertson, Chief Executive of Keep Scotland Beautiful, said: “We are delighted to receive support from Binn Skips as a sponsor for our clean up kit volunteer tabards. Providing free Clean Up kits to individuals and organisations is very important in encouraging people to clean up their local neighbourhoods as part of our Clean Up Scotland campaign. “We aim to engage a million like-minded people during 2013 and 2014 to help make Scotland shine when the world is watching us host the Ryder Cup and the Commonwealth Games.   I hope the campaign, boosted by the support of this sponsorship deal, will make a real difference.



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Carbon strikes gold

Carbon Managing Director Gordon Wilson (left) receives the firm’s Gold Standard award from Jonathan Evans MP in the ceremony in the House of Commons

Carbon Financial Partners has just won another top UK award. The leading independent financial planning and investment advice firm was honoured in the national Gold Standard Awards.

UK at the Personal Finance Society Conference in Birmingham. It was one of only four finalists in contention for the Chartered Financial Planners of the Year Award (Corporate).

Carbon won the Incisive Media Gold Standard for Independent Financial Advice.

Inheritance Tax Planner of the Year One of Carbon’s chartered financial planners, Paul Gibson, continues to gain national recognition. He was recently a runner-up in the Inheritance Tax Planner of the Year category of the FT Money Management Financial Planner Awards.

Managing director Gordon Wilson received the honour in a ceremony in the House of Commons in London. Now in their 11th year, the Gold Standard Awards are designed to identify companies in the UK financial services sector that have strong structures and procedures in place, as well as going above and beyond standard business practices to promote trust in the sector. Deborah Benn, chairwoman of the judging panel, said: “We are at a crossroads in terms of how financial services in the UK will look in the future. “Groups achieving the Gold Standard level bear testament to how far down the road some are in successfully embracing the monumental changes

they face. “And, while only forward-thinking groups with robust structures already in place have the capacity to cope with these changes, the fact we are seeing continual improvements as well as some relatively new groups emerge from a position of strength with a new and fresh offering bodes really well for the future of financial services.” Mr Wilson said: “This is one of the toughest financial services awards to win. “We were up against competition from all across the UK and are delighted with this honour. It reflects the team’s hard work. “Carbon has built one of the very best teams of financial planners in the UK, and our awards this year are evidence of this.” UK Chartered Award The firm was recently officially recognised as one of the top chartered financial planning firms in the

Investment Adviser of the Year Another highlight of 2013 was being named Investment Adviser of the Year in the Professional Adviser Awards held in London.

Mr Wilson added: “Carbon is one of the UK’s leading independent financial planning and investment advice firms. “I believe the quality of the Carbon team, our ethics and our professionalism are second to none.” Carbon has offices in Perth, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen.

Gordon Wilson can be contacted by e-mailing

o of ti rs da te n or ou pp n F su e d Lar ou c Pr ll M Bi

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investing business planning retirement planning tax & trust planning

“At Carbon it is all about listening – listening to understand clearly what’s important to our clients. Then it is all about numbers, teamwork and finding the right solution.”

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Investment Adviser of the Year Professional Adviser Awards 2013

Council working to support local recruitment


n the 1st July, as part of Perth & Kinross Council’s drive to help take people out of unemployment and into work, two new recruitment initiatives were launched. The aim of these grants is to provide financial and practical assistance to small and medium-sized enterprises to recruit additional staff. Our first initiative, Youth Employment Scotland, is funded by the Scottish Government and European Social Fund and is part of the Scottish Government’s commitment to help unemployed 16-24 year olds into work. At the same time, the grants will also help to create growth within SMEs by helping them to invest in fresh talent. Youth Employment Scotland is a wage incentive that offers employers a 50% contribution of the hourly national minimum wage rate for contracts of a minimum 25 to 40 hours per week for a maximum of 26 weeks. In addition to this wage incentive, Perth & Kinross Council has made a commitment of £500 per young person for accredited training to help them sustain employment in the longer term. Alongside this, we launched Recruit 25+ P&K. This initiative targets over-25s, who according to recent figures constitute 72% of the local population currently seeking work. However, presently there is little or no assistance available to help employers recruit from this client base.

Recruit 25+ P&K is Perth & Kinross Council’s approach to bridging this gap. Originally it offered small and mediumsized enterprises £2,500 if they employ a jobseeker who lives in a Perth & Kinross Council ward where the unemployment rate is equal to or above the Scottish average. Contracts of employment must be for six months and provide a minimum of 25 hours per week. In addition, people supported through Recruit 25+ P&K will also be able to access the Council’s Enhancing Opportunities Grant, which will enable them to improve their skills and gain vocational qualifications whilst in work, with a view to sustaining employment. Both incentives have been progressing well since the launch. Youth Employment Scotland, or the YES fund as it is more communally known has as of 31st October, helped 38 into employment. Youngsters have been employed in a diverse and varied array of sectors and opportunities with youngsters gaining positions ranging from administrators, retail assistants and motor vehicle trade apprenticeships to woodland assistants, community arts assistance and paralegals. In the same period the Recruit 25+ P&K helped place 13 individuals into employment. It was also decided in this period that Perth & Kinross Council would increase this payment to £3,500. The project has been received positively within the business community. A newly established sales and marketing entrepreneur stated that this fund has had a significant impact on her business. With this fund, she has been able to offer the 2 Sales Consultants employed a basic salary. Prior to this fund being available, she was only able to offer “commission only” contracts of employment. The company faced difficulty recruiting, and therefore the capacity to take on the additional business contracts being offered. For further information on both these incentives or the Enhancing Opportunities Grant, please contact Shelley Huggins, Employment Initiatives Team Leader at or call 01783 477962.

New Business Grant Available


erth & Kinross Council has created a Business Consultancy Grant offering a unique opportunity for companies within the

Council’s boundary to gain access to a wide variety of professional business consultants. The scheme will offer financial assistance to small and medium sized firms seeking to expand and grow their business. The grant is targeted specifically for services which if required by the company will enable them to grow. This may also include overcoming obstacles where professional bodies may assist that will benefit the growth of the company. An example of some of the services that may be covered are listed below. •

Strategy and Development

Commercialisation / Exploitation

Employment Law

Contracts (eg licensing agreements/JVs/alliances)

Procurement Law

Intellectual property

Equality and DiversityProduct InnovationHR ServicesHealth and SafetyResearch and DevelopmentOrganisational ChangeQuality

Environmental planning

Food safety legislation

IT Infrastructure

Subject to prior approval the Council may also assist in funding of up to 50% to a maximum of £2,500 to support the cost of this advice. The assistance covers a wide range of specialist fields. If you feel your business could grow from using this fund please contact Fraser McGowan on 01738-477954 in the first instance.


Air Passenger Duty Flies in the Face of Business Growth


t a time when Scotland’s economic recovery seems at last to be gaining some momentum and both trade and business confidence appear to be picking up, it is important to remember that this upturn remains fragile and that we are still some way back from where we stood before the recession struck. As a result, it is important for our governments, both in Edinburgh and in London, to take steps that will minimise business costs and help enable future success and growth. In large measure, our governments have responded positively, particularly on the tax front where the UK Government has significantly reduced the burden of Corporation Tax, whilst the Scottish Government has introduced some attractive policies to reduce the burden of Business Rates on some small businesses. It is therefore curious that the UK Government has failed to act on a tax which most of our European neighbours seem to believe is damaging and which the Scottish Government has pledged to cut, if it had the power to do so–that tax being Air Passenger Duty (APD). Air Passenger Duty is a tax on flights leaving UK airports, with the exception of flights leaving airports in the Highlands and Islands region. For each passenger, this tax is levied at between £13 and £184 per ticket, depending upon the destination and class of travel. This is a tax which hits nearly every air traveller and impacts on the cost of living for the average family, but the tax also bites keenly on business travellers, particularly to key international growth markets, and in addition can be a consideration for businesses looking at Scotland and the UK as a site for investment. To put the UK’s tax levels into perspective, these are by some distance the most expensive air passenger taxes in the world. Our long haul premium rate of £184 compares to the next highest taxed nation, Fiji, where equivalent taxes are in the order of around £50 and our closest European rivals are Germany, where the tax is currently set at around £35. That said, at the time of writing, the German CDU/ CSU and SPD are engaged in coalition talks which may result in Germany scrapping its Air Passenger Duty entirely. Indeed, many European nations choose not to levy an Air Passenger Duty: in addition to the prospect of Germany, both the Netherlands and Ireland have chosen to abolish the tax, believing that such a move will improve their international connectivity. Some have indeed argued that as well as being a win for business, abolishing the tax would also be a win for the Treasury in the longer term as a result of increased business growth and a consequent rise in other tax revenues. This was the thrust of a report from PwC, published in February 2013, which argued that the abolition of APD would result in an increase in UK GDP of 0.45% in the first year followed by further increases of 0.3% in each of the next two years. All of this could mean that the Treasury could be £250 million per year better off without the tax than with it.



Equally, Scotland’s airports have calculated that the tax in its current form is costing them around 2 million passengers per year and costing Scottish businesses £210 million per year in revenue. The Scottish Government, which in its White Paper, Scotland’s Future, pledged that in the event of independence it would cut APD by 50% immediately with a view to eliminating it entirely as soon as possible thereafter. However if we are to get action sooner, or in the event of a ‘No’ vote in the referendum, the solution may be to devolve APD to the Scottish Parliament, as had been recommended by the Committee on Scottish Devolution back in 2009. Northern Ireland already has a measure of devolution on APD which has allowed it to slash tax rates on long haul flights. From a local perspective, there is no doubt that efforts to attract new air services to Dundee have been impacted by APD. While departing flights from HIAL’s Highlands and Islands Airports are exempt from APD, Dundee is not. Given the strong competition it faces from a resurgent Edinburgh Airport and, indeed from Glasgow and Aberdeen airports, this makes the task of attracting new routes to Dundee that much harder. The UK Government has to addressed the needs of smaller, regional airports like Dundee which provide vital support for business and tourism across the UK. Also, with  no sign of any positive moves on APD from the in the UK Government’s 2013 Autumn Statement, it is time for a renewed effort to get this damaging tax abolished or, at worst, get it devolved.

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Scottish Chambers of Commerce to support creation of 270 graduate jobs


cottish Chambers of Commerce successfully supported the creation of 100 new, permanent positions for Scotland’s graduates in 2012 through the pilot Graduate Recruitment Incentive. This success was recognised by the First Minister Alex Salmond who announced £600,000 funding for Scottish Chambers of Commerce to support the creation of 270 new permanent jobs across Scotland. Perthshire Chamber is delighted to be delivering this at a local level.


Liz Cameron, Chief Executive said, “This initiative will revitalise the interaction between young graduates and small businesses. At the core of Scotland’s economy are small businesses and the energy and insight of young people can transform organisations to tap into new opportunities and markets. The entrepreneurial spirit of our graduates will bring innovation to Scotland’s firms and make a tangible contribution to that company’s growth.”

The announcement which took place on Tuesday 27th August in Campbeltown forms part of the Scottish Government’s ‘Make Young People Your Business’ initiative which supports businesses to employ and engage with Scotland’s talented young people.

First Minister, the Rt Hon Alex Salmond MSP said:

The nationwide launch of the Graduate Recruitment Incentive will assist small businesses across Scotland to create quality jobs for young graduates. Vicki Unite, Chief Executive of Perthshire Chamber said:

Through the Scottish Chambers of Commerce’s Graduate Recruitment Incentive, the creation of 270 permanent jobs will help our graduates make a meaningful contribution to the growth of small businesses and develop careers that maximise their skills."

“One of the key functions of our Chamber is to encourage employment and growth of our Perthshire companies. This incentive can help businesses – especially our smaller businesses – take this step – and we are delighted to be part of this programme. It’s acknowledgement of the value and vitality of the Chamber network.”

For more information and assistance, please go to or contact the Perthshire Chamber office who are managing the programme for Perthshire businesses. This is open to members and non-members. Contact details are 01738 448325 or


“We are determined to invest in the skills and talents of all our young people. Scotland’s young people face a range of challenges In the current economic climate.


Graduate Recruitment Incentive: The Details

Is your business located within Scotland with fewer than 50 employees? If so, and if you create a new, permanent graduate position offering a salary of £14,000 or more, you will be eligible for the following support: •

BUSINESS SUPPORT – PRE RECRUITMENT Dedicated business support to assist with creating the job specification, creating the advert, advertising the position and guiding you through the selection process.

To support the above, you will also be given access to straight-forward guides and templates to facilitate the overall recruitment process. These include

Advert template.

Application form template.

Interview scoring guide and template.

Employability skills guide and template

Application tracking guide and spreadsheet.

Letter templates.

BUSINESS SUPPORT – POST RECRUITMENT Dedicated business support to assist with embedding the new position into your organisation, such as induction check listing and objective setting. Again, you will be given access to guides and templates to facilitate the embedding process. These include •

Induction check list template

Objecting setting guide

Performance review guide and template

FINANCIAL INCENTIVE In addition to the tailored support available, if the new position fits with the above criteria, and the candidate selected is educated to degree level and under 30 years of age, your business will be eligible to receive a £1,500 incentive to assist with the recruitment process. This funding is provided by the Scottish Government department of Youth Employment. The new, graduate positions can be either full time of part time. The minimum salary required to ensure eligibility for the support is £14,000 FTE. Part time positions will receive a pro rata incentive.

CAREERS FAIRS To further encourage engagement between Scotland’s graduates and the SME community, SCC will also be hosting stands at Scotland’s national Careers Fairs at which career opportunities within Scotland’s SME’s will be advertised to the cream of Scotland’s graduates. Graduates will be informed of the benefits of choosing a career with an SME and will be given details on current and forth coming opportunities Scotland wide. This service will be an additional aspect of GRI and will again be a fully funded service for employers. Details of the Careers Fairs and how to express your interest in being represented at them will be loaded to our website

This new phase of the GRI programme is being delivered between September 2013 and March 2014. To register your interest with us at this stage, please submit your details on our website or contact Perthshire Chamber of Commerce who are working with us to deliver the programme locally to take the process forward. They can be contacted on or 01738 448325. For other opportunities to recruit young people visit






e’re often asked what VAT tips we can give to small businesses to help them in their first year of trade – here are our Top 3 VAT Tips;

1. Make sure you register for VAT when it’s right for you – if you sell to the public that might only be when you reach the obligatory registration threshold (currently £79,000) rather than when you first start to trade– meaning your early sales are competitively VAT-free. However, if you are spending on capital items, it may be helpful to voluntarily register early to recover VAT quickly, to improve cashflow. 2. Consider the many schemes available for small businesses such as cash accounting and particularly the ‘Flat Rate Scheme’ – FRS. The FRS allows you to charge VAT as normal but only pay HMRC a lower percentage based on the nature of your trade. Whilst you forgo routine claims to VAT on costs, you avoid the need for more detailed VAT records. The FRS is particularly useful where all sales are subject to the 20% standard rate of VAT. 3. Don’t forget the VAT that you incur in getting to the ‘Go’ stage; if you have VAT on set up costs or capital items, that is recoverable on your first VAT return, even under the FRS. Note, however, this only applies to services purchased up to 6 months prior to registering and to goods and assets on hand at the point of registration and which were bought in the 4 years prior to registration.

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s the Ryder Cup and Commonwealth Games approach, many local businesses are considering offering tickets or hosted events to clients and customers. Put baldly, this could amount to a financial or other advantage intended to obtain or retain their business and therefore be classed as bribery under the 2010 Bribery Act. If proven this can result in penalties of up to 10 years imprisonment and hefty fines. Happily a number of points make prosecution and illegality unlikely. First, such conduct is only actionable if it amounts to acting improperly – Government guidance confirms the Act is not intended to prevent reasonable and proportionate hospitality, promotional or similar business expenditure. Second, it is a defence for an organisation to show it has adequate procedures to prevent bribery on a risk based approach. Where an organisation only conducts business domestically, the risk of actionable bribery is low. The above is clarified by the government guidance which sets out six principles to help businesses avoid breaching the Act. These are: •

develop proportionate procedures;

have top level commitment to preventing bribery;

carry out periodic risk assessments and document them;

carry out sensible checks on employees and business partners or collaborators;

communicate your policy externally and internally to partners and staff and offer training; and

monitor and review procedures regularly.

Check your policies and procedures – including whistleblowing and hospitality policies – against these principles and amend as required. That way, the trip to the Ryder Cup should be fine. Provided by Kate Wyatt, Miller Hendry Solicitors, Email: Tel: 01738 637311 Web:

Kate Wyatt,

Miller Hendry Solicitors

11 Dunira Street Comrie Perthshire PH6 2LJ T: 01764 670 899



CHAMBER SPONSORS Platinum Partners

GRAHAM ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES Ross Graham, Managing Director: Graham Environmental Services Ltd are delighted to become a Platinum Partner of Perthshire Chamber of Commerce and join the other prestigious local and national Chamber Partners. As our company has grown over the last 20 years we have found the Chamber's networking events, training courses, golf days and Annual Dinners extremely enjoyable and very beneficial. This was particularly true during our diversification in recent years while we have added our other range of services (fire extinguishers, kitchen deep cleaning, washroom service and PAT testing) to our core services. We are big believers in “you can’t grow your business unless you grow your knowledge”, and the Chamber has given us the platform and opportunities to further develop our staff through training and connections which has assisted our growth greatly over the last few years. Case Study - one introduction from Vicki Unite has covered the cost of our Platinum membership for the next 4 years!!

GS GROUP Independent broker GS Group was the main sponsor of the 2013 Perthshire Chamber of Commerce’s Business Star Awards and a new Platinum Partner. The Perth-headquartered company started life in 1991 with owner and founder George Stubbs operating as a sole trader. Consistent growth and expansion since then has resulted in the company becoming one of the UK’s foremost independent brokers and a significant employer in Perth and Kinross. With its success at an all-time high Mr Stubbs embarked on a rebranding and alignment exercise this summer to bring all strands of the business under the same umbrella, and so GS Insurance, GS Financial and GS Corporate - with staff spread across Perth, Dundee, Falkirk and Glasgow - has now become GS Group. Mr Stubbs said: “GS Group is delighted to be the main sponsor of the Chamber’s Business Star Awards and to recognise business growth and achievement in our area. I look forward to finding out more about the diverse range of excellent businesses throughout Perthshire and working closely with the Chamber of Commerce.” GS Group offers comprehensive services in a wide range of fields including insurance broking, corporate insurance and financial planning and has a range of specialists proactively managing clients’ insurance programmes.

THE JAMES HUTTON INSTITUTE Davina Wyper, Head of Communications: “We are delighted to continue our relationship with Perthshire Chamber of Commerce to strengthen our partnerships with local industry and find shared solutions for the challenges that face us. Our world leading research provides solutions for key global issues such as food, energy and environmental security and this work starts here in Scotland, with our local partners.”

BINNWASTE MANAGEMENT Managing Director Allan MacGregor: “The family-run businesses of Binn Skips and Binnwaste Management have always been conscious of playing a responsible and supportive role in the community. It’s equally important to support the local business community and a Platinum Partnership allows us to help businesses through the valuable and effective work that the Chamber does. “The sponsorship package also gives us a higher profile within the Chamber which is an effective marketing tool. “Binnwaste Management realises the importance of business support and networking and hopefully our sponsorship will help maintain and enhance these vital services for businesses throughout Perthshire.”



CHAMBER SPONSORS Platinum Partners

Gold Partners

PERTH COLLEGE UHI Centre for Enterprise Manager Sheena Howden: “We play a key supportive role in helping a number of businesses across a range of sectors to become established and grow, as well as offering our students opportunities to gain hands-on experience within existing business structures. “Our Chamber Platinum Partnership helps to provide us with direction and contacts with industry so that our students and the local business community benefit from the very latest in business thinking.” A high-quality business resource has been developed by The Centre for Enterprise at Perth College UHI www. This free ‘online toolkit’ is a dynamic website with information and guidance on five main business themes with entertaining short videos featuring local entrepreneurs sharing their experiences on topics such as: • Business Start-up • Effective Marketing • Your Team • Diversification • Social Enterprise

Silver Partners BANK OF SCOTLAND Matthew Strachan, Senior Manager - SME Banking Tayside, Commercial Banking: “As economic conditions remain challenging for many small businesses across Scotland, there’s a common misconception that banks aren’t lending. But at Bank of Scotland, we most certainly are. “As part of Lloyds Banking Group, we lent £13.2 billion to SMEs across the UK in 2012. In the same period, our year-onyear net growth in advances to SMEs was four per cent, which is in contrast to a decline in net lending growth of four per cent across the industry. In addition, we continue to approve eight out of ten applications for overdrafts and loans.”

ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND Vic Bicocchi, Local Director, Commercial Banking, Tayside:

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“We are great admirers of the work the Chamber does not just in networking but also in training and business skills events. It is really important to offer that in your local area and we want to be part of that. “The Star Awards are also important to us and one of the most enjoyable days was going around visiting the entrants as a sponsor/judge and seeing the wealth of talent out there. We’re happy to support Chamber in its valuable work. “At RBS we have both the appetite and ability to lend - in fact we lend more to SME’s in the UK than any other bank. We provided over 40% of total lending in 2011 to SME’s in the UK which is well ahead of our natural market share.”

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BBC documentary has recently highlighted alleged discrimination against Muslim job applicants. As part of the Inside Out West investigation, two undercover white reporters – one a Muslim in traditional dress – inquired about 40 jobs being advertised in shop windows. Ian, the non-Muslim, was more than four times more successful in getting job interviews than Muslimconvert, Zoltan.

Chartered Quantity Surveyors & Building Cost Consultants since 1953.

The Equality Act 2010 covers job applicants as well as employees and accordingly employers could find themselves facing a claim from individuals, such as Zoltan, that they have had limited contact with. Employers of all sizes must therefore think carefully about their recruitment process and ensure that all steps are taken to eliminate discrimination. Tips include: •

The same information should be given to everyone who applies for a role, e.g. at one café, Zoltan was told CVs were being collected but Ian was offered a trial shift.

Applicants' personal details should be kept separate from the rest of the application form/CV so decision makers do not have details of an applicant’s protected characteristics, e.g. age, disability, religion, sex or race.

Applicants should not be asked to provide photographs unless necessary.

Wherever possible, more than one person should be involved in assessing candidates and if possible assessors should have equality training.

Record scores and/or keep notes of the decision making process which demonstrate why one candidate was picked over another. This will assist if an employer is called upon to justify their decision. Individuals have three months less one day from an act of alleged discrimination to bring a claim in the employment tribunal, therefore, we recommend that employers keep the documentation from the recruitment process for at least four months.

Provided by Debbie Fellows, Associate in Litigation, Thorntons Law LLP. Email: Tel: 01738 621212 Web:

Debbie Fellows, Associate in Litigation, Thorntons Law LLP



CDM Co-ordinators, advising clients on health and safety duties in construction. 2 King James Place I Perth I 01738 625619

Strang & McLagan

Funeral Directors & Memorial Consultants Main Office and Funeral Home

Newlands House, Main Street Bridgend, Perth Also at 20 Atholl Street, Perth 36 Priory Place, Craigie, Perth 62 High Street, Crieff

Part of Dignity Funerals Ltd

24 Hour / 7 Day Service Private Service Chapel and Rest Rooms Care, consideration and expertise gained over more than a century

Memorial Consultants Member of National Association of Funeral Directors

The best places sometimes come as a complete surprise... Built in the early 1800’s by the famous Doctor William Stewart Irvine, this beautiful Victorian house has now been transformed into an award winning, luxury, boutique bed and breakfast. A celebration of design and individuality, Craigatin House & Courtyard offers modern, city style accommodation in a beautiful Highland setting, a definite change from the expected! Exclusive boutique bed and breakfast accommodation is offered over 14 spacious and sumptuous en-suite rooms including a Suite, all individually designed and decorated and all with free wi-fi access. Start your day with a hearty Scottish breakfast served in our new modern and contemporary dining rooms. We offer a full range of breakfast choices all of which are prepared fresh to order. Afterwards, watch the garden birds and occasional red squirrel visitors or simply relax in our comfortable guest lounge flooded with natural light by huge modern windows all centred around our large and welcoming log burning stove. Craigatin House & Courtyard is an alluring haven in Pitlochry, with the natural beauty of Highland Perthshire and all its attractions right on your doorstep and just a short and flat walk away from all the town’s attractions, shops, bars and restaurants. Make Craigatin House and Courtyard your choice when staying in Pitlochry!


■ Business Advice from Business Lawyers ■ Commercial Property Advice from Commercial Property Lawyers ■ Employment Advice from Employment Lawyers

Visit our Web Site at Perth 10 Blackfriars Street PH1 5NS Tel: 01738 637311

Crieff 14 Comrie Street, PH7 4AZ Tel: 01764 655151

Dundee 13 Ward Road, DD1 1LU Tel: 01382 200000


Cherry Joinery Based in Perthshire, with over ten years of experience in all aspects of joinery, Cherry Joinery know what they are doing. They have worked on many different projects throughout the years, from renovations and extentions to new builds.

CHERRY JOINERY 19 Ferguson Drive Perth PH1 1SR Tel:07584 034 206 Contact name: Christopher Cherry

Cherry Joinery has established one main objective since setting up. This objective is customer satisfaction to the highest standard. Cherry Joinery prides itself on being the number one throughout the Perthshire region for listening to what the customer wants. The best advice possible is then given, resulting in the biggest benefit out

of the work in hand. Whether it is a door handle to an extension, Cherry Joinery values every new customer and wants to add every one of them to their ever expanding list of returning customers. They have a strong view on making sure a new customer chooses them time after time when looking to have work done. The attention to detail and thought gone in to some of the work is second to none. With every job thought out in precision accuracy and detail. They want to make the customers amazed at what can be achieved with the wealth of knowledge they have.

Their ever expanding portfolio doesn’t stop with private clients. They are constantly on the lookout for maintenance contracts from property letting agents to nursing homes. With all other relevant trades to hand, they make it the simplest route possible to getting things put correctly that need doing in a stress-free manner for the customer/ tenant or landlord.

MMG Archbold

MMG ARCHBOLD Algo Business Centre Glenearn Road, Perth PH2 0NJ Tel: 01738 239450 Email: Web: Contact: Derek Grant

MMG Archbold is a firm of Chartered Accountants and Chartered Tax Advisers. Their objective is to help individuals and businesses meet their aims and aspirations and they never lose sight of the premise that their own prosperity is directly linked to that of their clients. Their enthusiasm and commitment towards your business and your team ensures you will enjoy working together to save you time, money and provide you with peace of mind. Core services such as Accountancy, Audit, Taxation, Payroll, VAT, Book-Keeping and IT Support are supplemented by specialist areas of Tax Planning, Personal

and Corporate Insolvency/ Restructuring and Charity Accounting & Support. Membership of the HCWA network of accountants gives MMG Archbold access to resources, knowledge and expertise usually only available to the very largest firms of accountants. Their partnership with Verus Wealth Chartered Financial Planners also enables them to provide their clients with access to specific advice on personal and corporate investments, financial planning and wealth management.

Council as an approved consultant to their Business Growth Team. Financial assistance for small and medium sized businesses seeking to expand and grow is available through the Business Consultancy Grant. MMG Archbold can work with firms based in the Perth and Kinross Council boundary to devise a business growth plan which will benefit from funding of up to a maximum of £2,500 so get in touch if you would like to take advantage of this great opportunity to help grow your business.

MMG Archbold has been appointed by Perth and Kinross

Baby Scan Studio Dr Christie is the most experienced ultrasound baby scanning operator in Scotland. He has been at the forefront of ultrasound development and application since 1965 and is internationally recognised for his experience and expertise.

BABY SCAN STUDIO PERTH LTD King James VI Business Centre Friarton Road, Perth PH2 8DG Tel: 01738 472007 E-mail: Web: Contact: Dr Sandy Christie


He introduced the first routine 20 week anomaly scans into the UK in 1974. He was Head of the Department of Obstetric Ultrasound at the University of Dundee Medical School from 1970 to 1995 and in recent years has held posts as Professor of Diagnostic Ultrasound at the Universities of Malaysia, Singapore, Istanbul,


Copenhagen and Thomas Jefferson in Philadelphia, and is currently Professor at Cornell University, New York (part-time). Routine scans given at 12 and 20 weeks are invaluable in checking the development and growth of an unborn baby. Baby Scan Studio offers the ultimate in revolutionary baby scanning – giving parents the chance to see digital 3D and 4D images of their child before birth. This is done in a relaxed, comfortable setting and can involve partners, family relations, and children and sessions allow an hour so that there is never a feeling of being rushed or hurried.

They know from experience that this is a very special time and want you to enjoy the experience. “Even in earlier stages scans can show childlike behaviour. The baby’s arms are already up to its head. I want people to see that even at this early stage it is really a little person. “In 3D and 4D scans you really do get some amazing expressions. It is already a little human being, doing all the usual things like yawning, smiling and frowning.”


Dundee Airport Dundee airport is a licensed airfield open for scheduled, private and charter operators and is situated only five minutes from Dundee City Centre.

DUNDEE AIRPORT LTD Riverside Drive Dundee DD2 1UH Tel: 01382 662207 E-mail: Web:

The current airport has developed from that modest beginning; the runway was further lengthened to 1400m in 1995 to accommodate a wider variety of aircraft, the original terminal was replaced the following year with the present building allowing the airport to offer a facility capable of handling in excess of 150,000 passengers a year Every day their operations teams handle a multitude of flights from

the onsite flight training school to the scheduled services and the private operators using business and leisure jets. The onsite flight training school can offer training for full Private Pilots License (PPL) right through to Commercial Pilots License (CPL). The school is run by Tayside Aviation who have a long and varied history at Dundee airport.

The airport is a convenient gateway for Fife, Angus, Perth and Kinross and is less than an hours' drive from the Highlands. Within easy driving distance there is a choice of hill walking, mountain biking, golf, angling and great historical places to visit. No matter what the time of year, Dundee airport is able to accommodate all your needs and to get you to where you want to be.

Cityjet run flights to London City Airport at convenient times to suit your business and leisure travel requirements. And during the summer months we have a weekly departure to Jersey.

Blairgowrie Golf Club The Blairgowrie Golf Club, home of the Championship Rosemount and Lansdowne Courses and the inaptly named Wee Course, was formed in 1889 and in 2014 celebrates its 125th anniversary.

THE BLAIRGOWRIE GOLF CLUB (D) Golf Course Road, Blairgowrie PH10 6LG Tel: 01250 872622 Email: Web: Contact: Douglas Cleeton

In 2014 the club will host the PGA Championship, Scottish Seniors Open Amateur Strokeplay Championship and the Junior Ryder Cup, amongst many other events. Specifically, the Junior Ryder Cup is played in the same week as the Ryder Cup, where play is on the Rosemount course on Monday 22nd and Tuesday 23rd September. Entry to this is free with many other golfing

attractions on offer during this event. Perhaps catch a glimpse of some of the stars of the future, and of the Ryder Cup players for the event later that week. With almost 1800 members, The Blairgowrie Golf Club has vibrant Junior, Ladies, Gents and Social sections and always welcome enquiries from potential new members or visitors to the club. “We are delighted to be joining the Perthshire Chamber of Commerce where we can benefit from the advice and assistance available through membership and also raise the profile of the club

within the business community of Perthshire. “We already work closely with other Perthshire Golf Clubs and value our relationship with those clubs, as we do our standing within the Perthshire community. In joining the Chamber we hope to enhance our standing and relationship and of course promote golf at The Blairgowrie Golf Club.”

Citrus Cleaning Citrus are the office, showroom and front of house cleaning experts, reducing costs and improving the image of companies across Tayside and Fife. They specialise in cleaning and restoring all floor coverings to their full potential, including stone, tiles and grout, Linoleum, rubber and carpets.

CITRUS CLEANING Citrus House, Gateside Farm, Bridge of Earn, Perth PH2 8QR Tel: 01738 551595 Email: Web: Contact: Paul Rice

At Citrus they know that their employees are their greatest asset and the foundation that makes it possible for Citrus to keep their promises to you. They therefore treat their staff accordingly and this is reflected in Citrus being able to offer reliable, trustworthy, staff that are dedicated to their work and clients.

Through their network of local teams based in Perth, Dundee and Kirkcaldy they currently manage contracts throughout Tayside and Fife including: Perthshire and Fife, Perth and Dundee, Scone, Cupar Angus, Luncarty, Stanley, Dunkeld, Blairgowrie, Errol, Longforgan, Broughty Ferry, Bridge of Earn, Gleneagles, Auchterarder, Methven and Crieff, Cupar, Dunfermline, Glenrothes, Kirkcaldy, Leven, Newburgh, North Queensferry, St Andrews and Tayport. As you would expect from a family firm, they are conscientious and committed to each and every contract. They believe the attention

to detail instilled in their trained, uniformed, insured, trustworthy and reliable staff will ensure Citrus can improve and maintain the standard of cleaning within your site. It has been their experience that the cleaning sector has suffered from a lack of service suppliers, who actually deliver what they promise. Clients do not expect miracles, they simply want the service that they have paid for and for which they require. However, it is always refreshing to have a service provider going that extra mile to provide continued satisfaction.



Nothing but the Best kitchens




Exclusive Brands Contemporary Design Skilled Craftsmanship OPENING HOURS Monday to Fri : 9am – 5pm Saturday: 10am – 4.30pm

Tel: 01738 638822 Ruthvenfield Road, Inveralmond, Perth, PH1 3EE

Ultimate Living Spaces “Scotland’s largest renewable energy & Passivhaus centre”

Energy Efficient Triple Glazed Windows & Doors

Bio-Mass & Renewable Heat

Callum Walker Energy Source 24 Fairykirk Road, Rosyth, Fife KY11 2QQ

Opening Hours

Tel: 01383 415 914 Email:

Mon – Fri : 9am – 5pm Sat : By Appointment

Wintergardens & Bi-Folding Doors

Space to be themselves, learning together.

Strong academic results Equestrian and sporting academies Continued investment New Science Centre opens in August

Kilgraston, Bridge of Earn, Perth PH2 9BQ Telephone: 01738 812257. Fax: 01738 813410 email: Kilgraston School Trust is a charity. Scottish Charity Number SC029664



Perthshire to the World Managing Director George Taylor

Perthshire Chamber of Commerce's newly crowned Export Business Star Award winner, Mackie's at Taypack, discuss the challenges, opportunities and rewards of exporting food products.


ince forming in 2009 as a joint venture between Perthshire potato farmers, the Taylor family, and Aberdeenshire-based Mackie’s of Scotland, Mackie’s at Taypack have established Mackie’s Crisps as one of the fastest growing crisps brands. Export has been fundamental to the brand’s growth so far and Managing Director, George Taylor, believes that this is an area where Scottish food and drink brands have an opportunity to really excel. Having grown rapidly since launch Mackie’s Crisps are widely available in the UK with customers such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons as well as numerous other retail, foodservice and wholesale customers. They began exporting in 2010 and are now selling in around 20 countries worldwide with international sales currently accounting for around 15% of the business’ overall turnover. Moreover, the brand’s export business as a whole is growing at a rate of 50% year on year in 2013. Being an ambient food product, Mackie’s Crisps are ideal for exporting. The company benefits further from the fact that their manufacturing process and unique gentle cooking method allows them to manufacture to a 12 month shelf life. The unique cooking method used to make Mackie’s Crisps has an added advantage in ensuring that the products have a fresh potato taste and a drier texture than many other premium potato crisps. It is USPs, such as this, that have made Mackie’s Crisps stand out in new markets. George Taylor explains: “The



premium crisp category has traditionally been dominated by hand cooked products and gourmet flavours; but continued growth of the segment is diluting the appeal of these qualities, which is why we’ve chosen to focus on additional attributes that make us stand out.” Amongst these ‘additional attributes’ is the heritage and provenance that Mackie’s at Taypack place at the heart of their business. George says: “Scotland the brand sells very well overseas: people tend to associate Scotland with quality when it comes to food and drink. Therefore, the more we can emphasise our Scottish roots the better.” One way in which Mackie’s Crisps promote their ‘Scottishness’ is through their unique Scottish flavours, which include Haggis & Cracked Black Pepper and Flamegrilled Aberdeen Angus, which have proven to be highly appealing to international consumers. However, the company did have to adapt some of these flavours in order to meet regulations and demands within some overseas markets; for example, they have created a vegetarian version of our Flamegrilled Aberdeen Angus crisps for export. The company has also had to adapt operational and marketing aspects of its business for different markets. “Every market we go into is different”, says George, “And it’s important for us to take time to understand each new area we enter before taking necessary steps to tailor our offering for that particular market.”

FOOD & DRINK One example of a development the business has made in response to differing market demands is the launch of dedicated Canadian packaging this month. The new packs are bi-lingual, to appeal to both English- and French- speaking Canadians, and feature information targeted specifically at the Canadian consumer. A prominent saltire has been added on the front of pack in order to emphasise the company’s Scottish heritage – something that is highly appealing in the Canadian market. Mackie’s at Taypack have worked very closely with Scottish Development International (SDI) to gain insight into new markets and establish growth. SDI offer a whole suite of support to Scottish businesses looking to expand overseas from introductions to international buyers to funding and support for learning journeys and international trade shows. Trade shows have been particularly instrumental to the success of Mackie’s Crisps overseas and, in the past year, the company has invested heavily in exhibiting at trade shows including major food exhibitions in Dubai, Canada, USA and Hong Kong. As a result, they have appointed a number of new export partners. The brand’s aim is to develop long standing relationships with distributors and importers in order to understand and respond effectively to their market’s needs. Going forward the business aims to continue building strong relationships with overseas partners in order to grow its export business further. They are also now focusing more attention on country-specific consumer marketing, including advertising, public relations and online activity, in order to support our distributors and establish Mackie’s Crisps as a global brand. George Taylor concludes: “The opportunity for Scottish brands in overseas markets is enormous. It is up to businesses

Mackie's at Taypack now export to around 20 countries across the world.

like ourselves to ensure that the quality associated with Scottish produce is upheld in order to pave the way for further growth of Scottish brands in these exciting new markets. “For other Scottish companies thinking about export I’d advise them to take time to understand the various new markets they wish to enter and to seek support from Scottish Development International in order to make the most of the opportunity they have in front of them.”







e may like the idea of dreaming of a White Christmas but, as many of us in the Big County know from first-hand experience, a generous sprinkling of the white stuff brings with it a whole host of challenges, not least of which is its ability to bring everything to a complete standstill. It doesn’t have to be that way, however, and there are key things employers should be thinking about as winter approaches. Being aware of rights and obligations in such circumstances minimises the risk of conflict or claims. These in turn depend on individual contracts of employment but here’s a summary of the main concerns and most likely scenarios: Are employees entitled to be paid if they cannot attend work because of travel disruption? There is, in principle, no obligation to pay employees if they cannot physically get to their place of work. This is, technically speaking, an unauthorised absence. Ensure your contracts entitle you to make deductions from wages in the event of unauthorised absence, otherwise you risk claims for unlawful deductions.


What if employees are able to get in to work but need time off to care for dependants? Employees are entitled to unpaid time off to care for dependants, but this is only to deal with emergencies. If closure was foreseeable, or continues on, employees should make alternative childcare arrangements and return to work.  If they do not, such absences would then become unauthorised. Whose responsibility is it to clear the way to keep businesses open? Our local council is on standby to ensure they are ready to clear ice and snow on more than 1500 miles of local roads, to keep emergency services running smoothly, and to improve conditions so that people can get to and from work safely. Pavements are not such a critical priority, but important nevertheless. It might interest members to know that there is actually no law preventing snow and ice being cleared from pavements which means, in fact, that anyone can do it! And the message rings loud and clear: they need your help.

Can employers require employees who are unable to attend to take paid leave? In theory you can always ask but review contracts in advance and clearly communicate your approach to weather related absences. Do not force employees to accept this retrospectively. Instead, consider alterations to contracts with consent to permit you to deduct from employees’ holiday entitlement in such circumstances.

But … if you clear the pavement and it ices over, and someone slips and falls, does that mean you are liable? Well, the good news is: No, this is very unlikely.

Is there is any obligation to pay employees if a workplace is closed? When severe winter weather has made it necessary for an employer’s business to close and employees remain willing and able to attend for work they are, in principle, entitled to be paid.

And finally, consider introducing a Bad Weather Policy. This can save a lot of frustration and business disruption if it’s well thought out and clearly backed up by systems and processes that can keep your business running, even through the darkest and deepest snow storms.


Provided that you are careful, use common sense and do not do anything which would be likely to cause harm or distress to others, it is very unlikely that you will be found responsible for any accidents.

Freedom and Success at Kilgraston SUPPORTIVE, ACADEMICALLY successful and consistently in the top three Scottish Schools at Advanced Higher, Kilgraston is a truly thriving community. Two years ago, Kilgraston in Bridge of Earn, with a balanced mix of day girls and boarders, was UK Independent School of the Year. Judges praised it warmly as “an example to other schools”. From the 45 leafy acres set amongst rolling hills, to the swimming, hockey and tennis academies, Equestrian Centre (the only school in Scotland with on-campus facilities) and now the current £1m investment in a state-of-the-art Science Centre, Kilgraston facilities look and feel world-class. Principal Frank Thompson says: “At Kilgraston, small is beautiful. With small class sizes, we are totally committed to individualised care. We know every one of our 340 girls extremely well. Staff know who needs a little extra help or who needs to be stretched a little further.” Kilgraston is part of the Sacred Heart network of schools and welcomes girls of all faiths. It has four sections: Nursery (ages 2½ to 5), Preparatory (ages 5–13), Senior School (ages 13–16) and Sixth

Form. Boarders love being here, this is clearly evident thanks to a warm and supportive atmosphere - Kilgraston girls are not only taken care of, they learn to take care of themselves and each other. Dr Leonard Sax, a world-renowned expert on the benefits of single sex education, held a seminar at Kilgraston last month and told parents: “Girls at single-sex schools are more likely to study computer science, physics, engineering and technology and participate in competitive sports than are girls in co-educational schools. “That’s because at the co-educational school, the focus is on how you look. But at the single sex school, the focus is more on who you are. The best possible thing you can do to help your daughter is to get her into a girls’ school.” To visit Kilgraston, please call (01738) 812257. Tours of the school are available year-round.

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EVENTS 2014 JANUARY Wednesday 15th

Business Breakfast @ The Opening of the Tay Salmon Season

8.30am - 10.00am

Hilton Dunkeld House


Tuesday 21st

Tourism Who’s Who Lunchtime Event

12.00noon - 2.00pm

Perth Concert Hall


Wednesday 29th

1-2-1 Meet the Buyer Surgery with Perth & Kinross Council

9.30am - 4.00pm

Saltire House


Thursday 13th

Speed Networking with PCC and Business50

8.30am - 12.00pm

Perth Racecourse


Monday 24th

Bank of England Briefing

Lunchtime Event



Monday 24th

PCC Board Meeting*

5.30pm - 7.00pm

Saltire House


Tuesday 4th

Networking Breakfast

7.30am - 8.45am

Express by Holiday Inn


Wednesday 5th

Going Places with Scotland’s Food and Drink Industry. A Scotland’s Cities Global Excellence Conference

Perth Concert Hall


Wednesday 18th

Procurement Info Share Lunch

12.15pm - 13.30pm

Saltire House


Future dates for your diary

Independence Debate with Better Together and Yes Scotland


AK Bell Library




2014 DATES FOR YOUR DIARY Thursday 4th September

Annual Chamber Golf Day 2014

Daytime Event

Rosemount Course


Friday 21st November

Annual Dinner and Business Star Awards 2014

Evening Event

Crieff Hydro


*Closed meeting but members are welcome to submit issues they wish to have raised

Perth College UHI Chartered Management Institute Management programmes Looking for management development training in the New Year? Perth College UHI offer a range of Chartered Management Institute programmes which are designed to meet both your individual and organisational development needs.

Awards starting in January include: First Line Management providing a focus on personal development planning, understanding stakeholder needs and developing good working relationships this is aimed at supervisors or team leaders wishing to develop their knowledge and skills. Course Fee: Special price for January 2014 start £149 (Usually £249) Management and Leadership Individuals can choose either Personal development planning, Information for decision making or Meeting Stakeholder and Quality needs. Course Fee: Special price for Chamber members for January 2014 start £249 (usually £299) Strategic Management and Leadership Individuals can choose either Strategic performance management, Information management or Organisational Direction. Course Fee: Special price for Chamber members for January 2014 start £299 (Usually £349) All of the above are all fully flexible and available online so individuals can study at a time and place to suit their circumstances. Workshops can be arranged subject to numbers. All awards are achieved upon completion of a final piece of assessment work.



TRAINING - The Mudd Partnership, Super Performance Series 10% Discount for Perthshire Chamber of Commerce Members The Mudd Partnership is delighted to bring you the Super Performance Series; a number of content rich sessions around the themed areas of Super Performance. Each live session will last 3 hours and be lead by Industry experts. Whether you work in the private, third or public sector, this is for you! Sessions Include: Super Performing You "The Performance Appraisal Gap - What Is It And What Can You Do About It?" Super Performing Organisation "Burgers Aren't Just Buns And Performance Isn't Just Sums!" Super Performing Business "Google v Facebook? The Shift To Social For You and Your Business" Super Performing Leader "The Leadership Paradox" All events will be held at The Mudd Partnership Place and cost £69+ VAT. All chamber members will receive a 10% discount. Place are limited so if interested, head across to www. and sign up to be the first notified when tickets go on sale.

Straight Talking Hard Working Forward Thinking 100% Customer Care Attitude

Binn Farm • Glenfarg • Perthshire PH2 9PX Tel: 01577 830833 Fax: 01577 830488 •


Skip hire (2yd to 16yd) Roll on roll off hire (20yd to 50yd) Recycling Trade waste Road brush hire Composting Compactor hire Wood processing Plant hire Aggregate Top soil Liquid waste disposal Septic tank emptying Agricultural waste

Every local authority and business need a reliable, committed and efficient waste management solution to link recycling, waste minimisation and the best value for money. Binn Waste meet that requirement in every way. Binn Waste have a strong commitment to our customers old and new. We also put a lot of time, resources and money back into the local community. With over 14 years experience in the waste industry Binn Waste are one of Scotland’s leading and forward thinking waste management companies focusing on recycling and improving the environment around us.

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Luxurious Lodges Award-winning Restaurant Whisky Bar Meeting Room Day Delegate rate from £30pp including room hire • Free Wi-Fi in the Hotel • Indulgent Spa and Leisure Centre • 4 star Hotel Bedrooms Duchally Country Estate, Gleneagles, Auchterarder, Perthshire PH3 1PN Tel: 01764 663071 Email:



Duchally Country Estate is centrally located just off the A9 near Auchterarder, nestled within 27 acres of breathtakingly beautiful Scottish countryside.



he Chamber is an independent, voluntary, non-profit making, non-political business organisation dedicated to the furtherance of members’ interests. It is the largest private sector business support organisation in Britain. The Perthshire Chamber of Commerce has a voluntary Board of Directors from all over Perthshire and a wide range of business sectors.

rship Membe s Benefit

Perthshire Chamber has two paid full-time members of staff: Chief Executive, Vicki Unite, and Office Support & Events Co-ordinator Karen Wright, based at the Chamber’s office at the Perth Business Centre, Saltire House, 3 Whitefriars Crescent, Perth, PH2 0PA.

CHAMBER SERVICES CHAMBER HR The Chamber HR service provides businesses with access to professional HR advice and a raft of documentation including contracts and staff handbooks

CHAMBER TRAINING COURSES Chamber members can take advantage of great rates through the Chamber’s exclusive training opportunities.

CHAMBER LEGAL EXPENSES AND 24 HOUR LEGAL HELPLINE Safeguard your business against the unexpected costs of professional legal services and get legal cover of up to £670,000 as well as access to a 24/7 helpline.

SCOTTISH CHAMBERS FOREIGN EXCHANGE Scottish Chambers FX has direct access to the wholesale currency markets and is able to pass on the resultant savings to members. SCFX charges no fees for transactions in excess of £5K and doesn’t charge commission.

CHAMBER MERCHANT SERVICES Process debit and credit card payments with discounted transaction fees, reduced terminal hire costs and no service fees. CHAMBER HEALTHCARE Help to reduce sickness absence and improve staff motivation with a choice of two great schemes. CHAMBER ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE Receive up to 61% on the cost of breakdown cover (for members of participating accredited Chambers only). CHAMBER FINANCE In partnership with RBS / NatWest we are able to offer 3 years free business banking for start ups, one year free business banking for those that switch accounts, discounted rates with RBS Invoice Finance. BUSINESS MENTORING Business Mentoring is a free service for Chamber members to link those looking for a mentor with those wishing to support new, local businesses and use their extensive business experience by mentoring another.

JUMPSTART AT THE CHAMBERS Jumpstart offer Chamber members a helping hand in securing R&D tax credits. From April 2012, companies have been able to deduct up to 225% of qualifying expenditure when calculating their profit for tax purposes. What’s more, they can claim R&D tax relief on expenditure that’s up to three years old. CHAMBER EVENTS Events include: Regular lunch and early evening events, monthly networking breakfasts, annual golf day and annual Business Star Awards. Plus many more including procurement and training events. REPRESENTATION The Chamber is represented on a variety of organisations and committees. It has regular meetings with the Council, local MPs, MSPs and MEPs. The Chamber is in a stronger negotiating position than individual members and uses its bargaining power for the benefit of members. PCC is affiliated to British and Scottish Chambers of Commerce and through the latter’s Council ensures that Perth & Kinross issues get heard at national level.

How much is Chamber membership worth now? ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTIONS - FROM APRIL 2013







£ 139 £ 165 £ 207 £ 260 £ 384 £ 480 £ 526


TOTAL INC VAT £ 27.80 £ 166.80 £ 33.00 £ 198.00 £ 41.40 £ 248.40 £ 52.00 £ 312.00 £ 76.80 £ 460.80 £ 96.00 £ 576.00 £ 105.20 £ 631.20


Contact the Chamber office on 01738 448325 or email for further details on any of the above or refer to the website

FOR PERMANENT PEACE OF MIND • Insurance Broking • Risk Management • Financial Services

PERTH South Inch Business Centre Shore Road, Perth PH2 8BW Tel : 01738 441 555 DUNDEE 7a City Quay Camperdown Street, Dundee DD1 3JA Tel : 01382 202605

GS Group is a trading name of George Stubbs Financial Services ltd and George Stubbs Insurance Services Ltd. George Stubbs Insurance Services Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. FCA No 308729 George Stubbs Financial Services Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority FCA 457640

Perthshire InCommerce 20  

Business to business magazine for the Perthshire Chamber of Commerce

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