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JULY 2021

OPENING UP: Retail and Events after lockdown Caffe Isola Jack Up The Summer Bayliss & Booth Isle of Wight Lottery Edward Grey BCC Economic Forecast

BE READY FOR THE FUTURE APPRENTICESHIPS help businesses to come back stronger IT WILL HAPPEN. Unlocking is taking longer, but that doesn’t mean your business can’t keep moving forward. Now more than ever, Apprenticeships can help you to fill the gaps in your workforce. It’s time to talk to HTP – we can help you right now.


£4,000 EM PL OY ER BO N US

As part of the Government’s Plan for Jobs, employers who take on an Apprentice or Trainee get paid up to £4,000, so employing a young person is now even easier. You can develop a new staff member who can learn to work ‘your way’. It’s a great start for them, and part of a new beginning for your business. Get ready to unlock their full potential – all you have to do is offer work experience and supervision to an Apprentice or Trainee (and we’ll help with everything!). Our strong track record in successfully placing talented young people with great Island businesses proves that at HTP, we really know Apprenticeships.

Use this time to get HTP Apprenticeships working for your business

Call 01983 533926 • Visit htp.ac.uk Or email apprenticeships@htp.ac.uk

Island Business Magazine Published by the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce Editor Tom Stroud tom.stroud@iwchamber.co.uk Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce Mill Court, Furrlongs, Newport Isle of Wight, PO30 2AA Tel. 01983 520777 Designed & Printed by Meridian3.co.uk While every care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of Island Business magazine the publishers do not accept any liability or provide any guarantee that the information is accurate, complete or up to date. The publisher and its employees and contractors have used their best efforts in preparing these pages and this publication but make no warranty of any kind, expressed or implied, with regard to the information supplied. The views of contributors do not necessarily represent those of the IW Chamber of Commerce. The IW Chamber of Commerce and its employees and contractors shall not be liable in the event of incidental or consequential damages in connection with, or arising out of, the providing of the information offered here. Contains material sourced from responsibly managed forests, certified in accordance with the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council).


FOREWORD WELCOME TO THIS MONTH’S EDITION OF ISLAND BUSINESS We continue to live in uncertain times where businesses still have to make tough decisions and despite hopes, roadmaps can change their schedules. There’s no doubt that hospitality and events have been hit hard by the pandemic and to continue to put on a show in 2021 has required real confidence. In this edition we talk to Sarah Moss, one of the organisers of Jack Up The Summer, set for this August. As well as a show promoter, Sarah has also become one of the leading voices within the Island’s events sector.

Elsewhere in this edition we look at the retail sector, with the inside story on how Caffe Isola and Bayliss & Booth, both well known Island destinations, have adapted to the situation and managed to return from lockdown as stronger businesses. Every month continues to bring new challenges and we hope that your business too is managing to stay strong. We return with another edition in August – for now enjoy your magazine!





Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce

Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce

Please recycle this magazine

JULY 2021






Finance | Ben Silk, Rouse Limited


Retail | Bayliss and Booth


Retail & Hospitality | Caffe Isola


Wight Gift Cards


Interview | Sarah Moss, Jack Up Events


Feature | Diametric


BCC Survey | Small Business Confidence Rising


IW Lottery


IW Chamber Business Advisor | Edward Grey


BCC Economic Forecast


Training & Events


New Members


IW Chamber President | John Allen CONTENTS


Carole Lee, Trenches Law

IW Chamber’s Expo returns for 2021 with WightFibre

Trenches Law and Island Lettings team up Property agent Island Lettings has joined forces with telecoms legal specialist Trenches Law, to support the faster roll-out of ultrafast full fibre connectivity on the Isle of Wight. The collaboration was inspired by an IW Chamber event at which the two organisations began discussing the Island’s broadband challenges and opportunities. Trenches Law works alongside Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to help overcome the obstacles that commonly stall the roll-out of ultrafast fibre.

The Island’s business community can once again come together for a day of business engagement and face-to-face networking. The IW Chamber’s annual business Expo will see exhibitors from across a wide range of sectors showcasing their businesses at the Lakeside Park Hotel in Wootton on Wednesday 22nd September. Doors open at 10am with free entry to everyone and the event runs until 4pm. The event is once again supported by headline sponsor WightFibre. “We’re really looking forward to Expo,” says IW Chamber Chief Executive Steven Holbrook. “Not being able to hold our annual event in 2020 was one of the low points

of a difficult year. However, times are changing, and as we move towards unlocking and the economy is rebuilding, I’m looking forward to seeing businesses meeting up and engaging with each other once again. “Expo has always been a hugely popular and essential event for the business community. This year, more than ever, it will help businesses to engage with each other and to reconnect after more than a year of virtual networking. If you’re in business on the Island, you should be at Expo. Entry is free and we have some brilliant exhibitors and a great atmosphere for networking. Join us for a great day.”.

”Network operators still encounter challenges when it comes to installing new telecoms services on private land,” says Island Letting’s managing director Mark Burton. “We’ve joined forces with Trenches Law to smoothen the process for the benefit of all stakeholders. This should translate into a better level of service for both our tenants and landlords – not to mention the ongoing future-proofing of the Isle of Wight’s connectivity.” “This relationship really highlights the power of teamwork in the property and communications space,” added Carole Lee, wayleave liaison manager at Trenches Law. “Island Lettings is enhancing the quality – not to mention value – of the properties in its portfolio, tenants benefit from ultrafast broadband which is in particularly high demand right now, and the network operators we represent can press on with their ambitious build programmes as planned.”

Live entertainment returns to Robin Hill A new event joins the Island’s calendar of live concerts next month, with the return of live music and comedy to Robin Hill. The Woodland Sessions is a three night series of intimate outdoor shows, taking place in a socially distanced ‘picnic style’ format in Robin Hill’s open-air valley. Capacity for the shows is limited to under 1000 per night and the events will comply with the latest COVID-19 regulations. The line up features well known names including singer Katie Melua and comedian Tom Allen. Park Manager James Crofts said: “We’ve all been starved of live entertainment in the last year so, as we embark on something more like normality, we wanted to treat the Island and our guests to something very special, combining the highest quality entertainment with our beautiful woodland environment.” The intimate shows mark the return of live entertainment to a venue long associated with music and events; Robin Hill hosted Bestival from 2004 to 2016 and Eklectica in 2017 and 2018.




Major blade production contract for Vestas Hundreds of Isle of Wight built blades will drive Scotland’s largest renewable energy project. Nearly 90% of the blades needed for the Seagreen scheme on the Firth of Forth – almost 300 in total – will be produced at Vestas’ Newport plant, for installation by the end of next year. Production is currently underway for the Seagreen project at the Isle of Wight facility, with the 1,000th offshore wind blade produced in the UK by Vestas – an 80m V164 blade – recently rolled out of the facility. The contract will sustain long-term, well paid jobs for the UK offshore wind sector. It’s a major moment for the Danish multi-national’s Island division. Vestas has been developing and producing wind turbine blades from its blade factory and R&D centre in Newport for more than two decades. “With nearly 90% of the Seagreen project’s blades

manufactured in the UK, we are delivering on our supply chain commitments to the UK,” said Tommy Rahbek Nielson, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Vestas. “That Scotland’s largest offshore wind project will be powered by largely UK-produced blades is a testament to the blade manufacturing and technology expertise Vestas has built in the UK. Vestas is proud to be powering UK homes through UK knowhow”. The V164 offshore wind blades are first produced at Vestas’ Newport facility and then painted and finished at a state-ofthe-art logistics facility in a decommissioned oil-fired power plant in Fawley. To service the UK offshore wind sector, Vestas has ramped up its staff to now employ over 1500 in production, blade technology research and development, construction, service and other professional staff across the UK.

Jobs boost from RFEL’s MOD contract RFEL has secured a multi-million pound contract to supply technology used on board armoured fighting vehicles commissioned by the Ministry of Defence. The Newport based firm will deliver their Trailblazer vision aid, for use in the Boxer Mechanised Infantry Vehicle (MIV) programme for the British Army. The programme will be delivered over a 10-year period, sustaining and creating jobs at two sites on the Island. The peak of production for this project will see RFEL delivering 400 TRAILBLAZER units per year, with in-service support spanning 30 years.

Assembly, calibration and testing is conducted at RFEL’s Newport headquarters, ensuring jobs for over a decade to come. To support this expansion, RFEL opened a new production facility in late 2019, co-located with the company’s current headquarters on St Cross Business Park. The new facility houses dedicated assembly and test areas as well as goods in, stores and dispatch. Trailblazer’s supply chain is almost exclusively UK-based; PCBs, glass and optical assembly, development and manufacture of the wiper systems, connectors, cable assemblies, machining and the Driver Display are all procured from UK suppliers. The camera configuration for Boxer MIV has been specially designed by RFEL using the most modern processing technology available. Richard Streeter, RFEL’s Managing Director said: “RFEL is proud to be supplying the TRAILBLAZER solution to the Boxer MIV programme. This highly capable solution will ensure the safety of the Boxer MIV crew and will support them delivering successful operational outcomes for decades to come.”

New administration at County Hall Councillor Julie Jones-Evans is the Isle of Wight Council’s new Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Business Development. The portfolio’s responsibility includes “supporting Island Businesses, stimulating inward investment, the visitor economy including support for Visit Isle of Wight and partnerships for economic growth and inclusion.” Julie Jones-Evans takes the role as part of the recently elected council led by Councillor Lora Peacey-Wilcox. JULY 2021






BCC responds to roadmap delay: Support for business must continue The British Chambers of Commerce has reacted to the delay in lifting the remaining Coronavirus restrictions. The BCC has called for an extension to the support measures in place and further clarity from the government. “Businesses will be disappointed by this setback to the reopening in England,” said Claire Walker, Co-Executive Director of the British Chambers of Commerce. “This delay to the removal of restrictions will come as a hammer blow to those firms who must remain closed, and to those who continue to see their ability to trade severely restricted. “Many firms have fought incredibly hard to stay afloat throughout the pandemic and are struggling with the damage done to their cashflow and revenue. They are desperate to play their part in the recovery. We must ensure they receive the support, and the clarity, that will give them a chance to do that.

Jigsaw Family Support in spotlight

The Jigsaw Family Support centre in Ryde welcomed Graham Biss, Deputy Lord Lieutenant, to take a tour and find out more about the charity’s vital work supporting families on the Island. Graham was shown around the centre by Jigsaw chief executive, Tina Maretic, who started the charity in 2012. The visit was part of a series being undertaken by the Lord Lieutenant and her deputies to community groups to thank them for their ongoing work. Jigsaw offers help and support to families that are going through the process of separation and divorce, and afterwards if needed. Tina said: “Jigsaw Family Support and child contact centre are the only registered and accredited children’s contact centre on the Island. Therefore, it is imperative to continue providing all the services that Jigsaw offer to parents and their families when separating, which is very often a very traumatic time for the whole family. Our services include reunifying children with their parents, many of whom have had no contact at all with them for months, even years.”

Major Costa upgrade contract for WRS

“It would be extraordinary if we saw government retracting support to businesses now, given that some firms will remain unable to fully trade and others effectively forced not to trade at all. “The government must provide further cash grants, at least equivalent to levels provided during the first lockdown. An extension of the VAT deferral scheme and the 100% Business Rates relief for eligible businesses should also be considered given the length of the delay and the impact on hospitality and leisure firms.” WRS Systems has had a busy year keeping customers trading throughout the pandemic, providing solutions from self-interaction kiosks to Click and Collect integration. However, the EPoS provider is now moving forward with their next challenge – A 1600-unit swap out for their customers at Costa Coffee. Emma Wilson, Business Executive explains: “Taking on Costa Coffee three years ago, the largest hospitality trader in the UK, was the biggest and proudest milestone for WRS as a company, and a great opportunity to stay on trend with the ever-evolving market. Three years on and we are very fortunate to have successfully won the tender for the next stage of their legacy kit – 1600 of them to be exact. “It is a great feeling for all the staff who have worked tirelessly over the last year supporting all customers old and new through the hardest year for Hospitality in decades. We feel very excited for the next challenge.” The first WRS installation takes place in July, with hundreds of Installations taking place each week until December. JULY 2021






New Eco wellness resort planned near Yarmouth Ambitious plans are under way for The Woodlands, a resort centred on sustainable living, nature and wellness in a new development with plans for treehouses, tiny houses and high-end safari tents. The resort will also feature a wellbeing area including a spa, saunas, and in a partnership with the resort, Liz Earle will offer their treatments and products. The development plans to include a restaurant, coffee shop and farm shop which will be open to everyone including day visitors. The resort is planned to be as eco-conscious as possible; from the build and the materials used in the development and interiors, to the implementation of renewable technologies, with electric vehicles available for guests. Behind the business is Alan Short and Simon Hirst, who run an Island joinery company, Acorn Interiors, and Tanya Lippuner from TML Creative, an interior architecture and design company. Together, the team have successfully completed interior fitouts of local hospitality projects including The George and The Terrace, and leisure projects such as the new facilities at Yarmouth Harbour. “The Woodland Resort will be an incredible experience for guests who are looking to escape the everyday hustle and bustle, and with our plans to make it as fully sustainable as possible, this will be unlike anything else the UK has to offer”, Tanya explained.

Tidal energy residents consultation from PTEC The Perpetuus Tidal Energy Centre plans to harness tidal energy as a renewable, reliable source of electricity, placing tidal turbines in the sea off the south coast of the Island. The site is hoped to be operational by 2025, generating enough clean electricity to power thousands of homes. A planning application for the onshore elements of the project will be submitted to the Isle of Wight council in the coming months. If consent is granted, construction work is anticipated to commence in 2023. The project achieved full consent in 2016, but has since been delayed by a change in government policy. Planners say that the project will generate energy for at least 15 years, resulting in long term investment and revenues which will boost the economy both nationally and locally. With the scheme now backed by a partnership with the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), funding from TIGER (Tidal Stream Industry Energiser) and anticipated new government support, PTEC is reaching out to Island residents via online surveys and webinars.

Chairman of PTEC, Rob Stevens, said: “This project will further strengthen the UK’s global leadership in tidal power and strengthen the Island of Wight’s maritime economy with investment and jobs. Once established it will put the Island at the forefront of sustainable marine energy innovation to further enhance its reputation as a marine industry hub.”

Wight Community Energy generates £8k for local community Wight Community Energy’s solar farm in Shalfleet has generated £8,000 of community funding, delivered as part of annual grant. The farm is one of a group of six across England and Wales - creating clean, renewable energy whilst reinvesting profits into the local community – to have generated a combined £60,000 JULY 2021

of surplus profit. This fund is shared between partners to support their local communities. The six solar farms work in collaboration and are supported by Community Owned Renewable Energy (CORE) Partners. Profits generated by the farms have been

pooled into an annual community benefit fund that is managed by CORE. This new money is the second batch of funding to be released early by CORE and its advisors, Finance Earth, after a similar release in 2020. It brings total funding to support communities over the last two years to over to £255,000. NEWS


Looking up – why planning and diversity are the keys to managing your finances as confidence returns

FINANCE By Ben Silk of Rouse Limited Businesses of all types have had a rough time. Even if your business was deemed ‘vital’ and could continue trading through the lockdowns, there were extra costs to cover in making everything ‘Covid safe’. For the majority though, from builders to hairdressers, gyms and event management companies, it’s been a nightmare. So, as we step forward (carefully) once again, we should look up from the survival road we’ve been focused on and begin to think positively about how to shape our next steps. In many ways the world was forced to take time out and, for us, 2020 was a year of reinvention and adaptation. Like many, we worked from home, so innovations such as secure portals and encrypted conference calling allowed us to provide a seamless, tailored service to our clients throughout the lockdowns, while maintaining data security. We will continue with this as we move forward and perhaps our experience is something that we can share with other businesses.

Diversity helps with adversity Diversity builds a strong framework. The past year has proven that random events do happen and that planning is key to being able to weather any storm that might whip up. Having a broad asset base, for example in a pension fund, helps smooth out the bumps in market turbulence. Through the locked-down months we found that many businesses were reluctant to plan: the uncertainty essentially rooted them. However, we found that those businesses that continued to engage with us benefitted and 8


we were able to help with specific issues, such as using pension funds to plug financial gaps in their business. Where a pension owner is over 55 years of age, their pension fund can be drawn down to replace lost income – this can be a partial drawdown of funds, phased over time, and may be available tax free. A business that has set up a Small Self-Administered (Pension) Scheme (SSAS) could benefit from borrowing up to 50% of the funds held by using the loan back facility. The loan of funds released in this way must be documented correctly and meet certain criteria to avoid unnecessary penalties but, once released, the SSAS funds can be injected into the business. Finally pension funds can be used to buy commercial premises, which can then be let to a business. Using pension funds to purchase the premises already owned by the business may result in a cash injection to the business (without the total loss of control that would be experienced if sold to a third party landlord). For an entrepreneurial business owner, a pension is not only a route to future financial stability, it is also an excellent way to achieve business economic success.

Get a clear view ahead Government support for businesses will gradually taper off. If you’ve taken advantage of any of the support, perhaps in the shape of loans, check your repayment commitments. You should have a sound plan to repay the debt that won’t impact your cash flow. One of the tools Financial Planners use to help put together the clearest financial picture for an individual is cash flow forecasting. It could allow you to see how unplanned events, such as the pandemic, might impact on your future plans and what adjustments need to be made to get your plans back on track. Now the pathway is more certain, we are seeing business confidence returning; many are now re-engaging with us as they see a stronger foundation to build on. One of the benefits of using a qualified Independent Financial Planner is that we can always be there to guide you. You can’t always see a storm coming but having a plan that allows for adjustment can help smooth things out. Ben Silk is a Certified Financial Planner™ professional and Chair of the Investment Committee at Rouse Limited. Rouse Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR THE ISLE OF WIGHT

JULY 2021



RETAIL Bayliss and Booth Resilience, relocation and rebirth: how Carole and Peter Lambert emerged from lockdown with a business stronger than ever. By Tom Stroud

completely stripped out, as though we’d never been there. At the same time, we carried on trading - on the phone, on social media, doing doorstep deliveries. We were totally immersed in trying to find the best ways to navigate the situation.” Like many other businesses, Carole and Peter used the lockdown as a moment of self-reflection. As economic uncertainty reigned, they reassessed and futureproofed their operation.

When Britain entered lockdown in March last year, Carole and Peter Lambert closed the doors on their store on Newport’s Riverway Industrial Estate. They knew they had outgrown their premises and had been exploring new locations for several years. But as the lockdown measures were extended, it became clear that the enforced break in service would act as a moment to take stock and begin again. By June, Bayliss & Booth had a new home, on Lushington Hill in Wootton. “We’re a different business now,” says Peter Lambert. “We’ve got a very distinctive building, on what must be the busiest road on the Island. We have windows that we can use to tell a story to passing customers and we have plenty of parking. It’s great!” Shops around the country reopened on June 15th and Carole and Peter followed just a week later. A remarkable achievement, and with staff on furlough, it was a challenging time for the core team. “It was non-stop, really intense time for us,” Carole Lambert says. “Our lease ran out during the first lockdown so we knew we wouldn’t reopen at Riverway. We used the three months to fully relocate 3,500 square feet of stock, with our previous building



“You can’t have any sacred cows in your business,” Peter says. “You have to be light-footed, adaptable and quick to respond. We knew the internet wasn’t going to be the solution for us. We’re a bricks-and-mortar store for a reason, because we can engage with people on a one-to-one basis and give the best service that we can. It’s very difficult with the internet because you lose control and you’re very exposed in terms of ensuring that your standards are met.” Using local tradespeople and suppliers, they refitted the store. Dressed with a new visual identity, the shopfront is topped off with a 1.5m fired Vlaze enamel cockerel, produced by AJ Wells. It’s now more than a year since customers started flocking to the Wootton site, at a rate that surprised and delighted the owners. “We were taken aback,” Peter says. “It became obvious from talking to other retailers that there was a huge pent-up demand, created by the three months of closure. People wanted to invest in their homes, interiors and surroundings, sometimes for their second home. It just exploded for us. Our staffing levels have increased by almost 50 percent because the business is there to justify it and because we’re determined to do things up to a standard and not down to a price.” The new site, on a busy main road and with plenty of parking, has enabled Bayliss & Booth to become a destination in its own right. “Parking is hugely important for a business of our size, and that’s often a problem in town or on an industrial estate,” Carole explains. “Here people often walk away with large items like lamps, rugs and bedside tables. It’s convenient. They can pick up a gorgeous terracotta planter and pop it straight into their car. The last year has been a real tale of growth for us as a business, continuing to look after the needs of our customers, as well as finding new ways to engage, listen and to grow our community.” “Our new location has totally moved our business forward,” Peter agrees. “We were quite isolated on the industrial estate and here we’ve been completely embraced by the community. I think the most important thing is the realisation that our market is here on the Isle of Wight. The Island is big enough to sustain us and lets us do what we do best.”


TECH TALK You can receive a copy of our regular ‘Tech Talk’ printed newsletter full of exclusive articles on how you can better use technology to build and grow your business. Visit wightcomputers.co.uk/ newsletter to sign up

ARE YOU BUSINESS FIT? Last year forced many businesses to work differently. Find out how your business IT is doing with a health check from our multi-award-winning team.


JULY 2021

HAPPY CLIENTS! It has made my life so much easier to be able to simply say to any of my team, ‘please call Wight Computers’ rather than trying to muddle through myself attempting to fix IT issues! Alison Colley, Real Employment Law Advice

01983 898250 www.wightcomputers.co.uk



RETAIL & HOSPITALITY Running a business in a pandemic hasn’t been easy for anyone. But for the family behind Newport’s Caffe Isola, their last year has been “a rollercoaster”. When restaurants and indoor eateries were forced to close during lockdown they lost one arm of their business. Meanwhile Island Roasted, their artisan coffee brand, was suddenly idle as the hospitality industry went into hibernation. From the outside it looked like a very difficult time. On the inside, the Burgess family were taking stock and reinventing their business.

COFFEE BREAK: how Caffe Isola survived lockdown to come back stronger than before “We had to put a lot of things on hold and we diversified very quickly,” explains Stefanie Burgess, business manager for Caffe Isola. “We had to engage in new ways with our current customers and potential new ones. During the first lockdown we increased our online orders, which was great. At Caffe Isola we’re proud to help and support over 25 retail suppliers, who we were able to feature on our own website, which helped to keep them in business too. “We came back fighting in July after the first lockdown. Eat Out To Help Out really worked for us in August. Business was back! Although we were operating at reduced capacity and with all the Covid restrictions in place, we were making progress. November’s lockdown was brief and we still felt that we would turn the corner in the new year. So closing for Christmas, knowing that we were heading back into months of lockdown, was devastating.” Caffe Isola reopened on May 17th and is once again welcoming customers through the doors of their premises on Upper St James Street. Footfall is slowly returning to the town centre, but with far fewer events anticipated this coming year, it’s still going to be a difficult time for the hospitality sector. “It’s been tough for everyone,” Stef says. “We’ve seen other businesses like ours hit harder and we feel their pain too. As a family we think on our feet and we have helped and supported each other. There are six of us in the business but we also employ 20 people and they’re part of our family as well. Dani Cooke, our manager, has been with us for 19 years and she’s now come through a pandemic with us.” Remarkably the business has emerged in 2021 with the same number of employees as in 2019, including some new appointments and with the addition of some Kickstarter placements. “Throughout the ups and downs we kept as busy as possible,” Stef says. “We kept our relationship strong with our customers and we worked hard so that we could all hit the ground running again. During the downtime we reached out to customers to see how we could help and support them as much as possible, including servicing their coffee machines so that they were ready for business again.”

From left: Viviana Burgess, co-owner, Stef Burgess, co-owner and business manager and Dani Cooke, Caffe Isola Manager

As the economy emerges from lockdown and guidance changes, many of us will be taking stock of the effects of new working practices. Is working from home still preferred? And will the zoom call and the virtual meeting replace the opportunity to get out of the office and meet for a coffee on the high street? Stef is confident that meeting face-to-face over a cup of something is here to stay and Caffe Isola is already doing brisk business again. “We’re definitely getting back to normal. People haven’t seen their friends and family for such a long time and meeting in town for a coffee is a great way to catch up. I think people generally have had enough of sitting in their own living rooms and feeling trapped! They want to get out, go to work, grab some lunch and coffee and do the things they’ve always been able to do. I think cafes like ours provide a fresh, positive space and a change of scenery for creatives and business people generally. Customers are coming here to drink coffee and work away on their laptops, with their headphones in, just like before. We have a massive building here and I’ve already had loads of enquiries regarding hiring our meeting rooms.”




Although high streets across the UK had been struggling well before the pandemic hit, Caffe Isola seems well placed to lead the recovery. A strong brand, in a prominent location, providing a very local retail offering as well as a place to socialise, it’s the kind of business and experience that won’t be replaced by on-line shopping.

retailers have come back stronger. It’s less of a shock. They’re better equipped to deal with it all, rather than rabbits in the headlights. It’s going to take a little bit of time but Newport always thrives on passion and diversity. Newport is a hub and I think it will come back flourishing.”

“I do think the worst is over,” Stef says. “Nobody wants to see an empty high street and I think this time round,

“I feel very positive about the future. We’re all shopping locally and holidaying in the UK this summer, so that’s great for the Island as a destination. The vaccination program makes us all stronger and more optimistic about the winter too.”

Family business: three generations of the Burgess family outside Caffe Isola in Newport

Stephanie Burgess, business manager, Caffe Isola

JULY 2021



RETAIL Wight Gift Cards are “the Wight way to shop” Island retailers are backing the Wight Gift Card, with almost 100 businesses signed up to take part in the pre-paid gift programme. Shoppers and visitors are being encouraged to use the scheme to spend money with Island stores and outlets, supporting local businesses as the economy unlocks. The Wight Gift Card, sponsored by WightFibre, works like a local currency. Each gift card is a pre-paid Mastercard that can be redeemed at over 90 registered businesses on the Isle of Wight, in stores and for online purchases too. As the gift card programme works through existing payment technology, there is no additional hardware or software required by the business and staff training is not required. Shoppers can buy the card as a gift, and know that with a Wight Gift Card their recipient can choose their own selection from many of the Isle of Wight’s bestknown brands and producers, right across the Island.

“Now is the time to get out and spend locally” More than 50 Island shops are taking part in the scheme, along with 20 food outlets. Other businesses taking part include accommodation providers, leisure and attractions, health and beauty and other service providers. The Wight Gift Card was officially launched in November when John Irvine, CEO of main sponsor WightFibre, made the first purchase with a Wight Gift Card in Shorelines of Cowes. The card proved popular in the run up to Christmas, with more than 70 gift cards sold in the final weeks of 2020. The Isle of Wight Council’s cabinet member for regeneration, Cllr Julie Jones-Evans, explained: “The gift card scheme follows on from recent shop local initiatives on the Island such as Fiver Fest and Let’s Buy Local. Now is the time to get out and

htFibre y: Wig ight wa oney locally W e th ds m ping e spen : Shop Above O John Irvin CE

“We joined the Wight Gift Card when it was first launched back in November,” says Caroline Hurley, proprietor of Becalmed Spa, Cowes. “We are a sports massage, holistic and beauty therapy centre. We’ve had quite a few sales since we reopened through the gift card with both new and existing customers taking advantage of it. Clients enjoy the convenience of the Wight Gift Card, and it’s good to know that the money is going to support local jobs and companies.”



grab some superb high street deals as our Wight Gift Card members are offering great products and services to tempt shoppers back into their shops - and online too of course. Seeing the Island’s shops and businesses coming back to life at last is a delight, and I’m sure that the Wight Gift Card will continue to play its part in this recovery.” Colin Munro is the managing director of Miconex, the company managing the Town and City Gift Card scheme. He commented: “A Town and City Gift Card like the Wight Gift Card is a piece of potential. The potential to support a small, independent business which may have struggled through the last year. The potential to keep money locked into where you live and the potential to safeguard jobs, livelihoods and the vibrancy of where you live. “Your Wight Gift Card can stay in your bag, wallet or in a drawer at home, or it can be turned into drinks with friends at your local, fish and chips on the seafront, a new outfit for the warmer weather to come or a long-awaited haircut. Now is the time to get out and spend locally.” To buy a card or find out more about the scheme, including a list of over 90 participating venues, visit www.townandcitygiftcards.com/ product/wight-gift-card/

Left: Caroline Hurley, proprietor of Becalmed Spa, Cowes, holds a giant Wight Gift Card


JULY 2021



“It’s not until something’s taken away from you that you appreciate its value. People have missed an entire year of social experiences!” Sarah talks to Tom Stroud

Sarah Moss has been organising the Jack Up The Summer festival since it began in 2013. Jack Up Events joined the IW Chamber at the beginning of last year. In the months that followed, Jack Up Events would be forced to cancel their show for 2020. Sarah also became a highprofile public face for the Island events sector, lobbying parliament with the support of the Chamber.


After no show in 2020, Jack Up The Summer returns in August. Some shows have decided not to run this year either - was it an easy decision for you to come back? There was never any doubt that we owed it to our loyal audiences, traders, charities and artists to forge ahead. I’ve heard it said that ‘when you postpone an event you find out how good it is’ and we were blown away by the loyalty and support shown by Jack Up The Summer attendees, with over 93% retaining their tickets and rolling them over to the following year. As a relatively small festival, with plenty of green space for everyone to spread out, our onsite build is less than a week in length, which allows us to react very quickly to any last-minute safety requirements. Given the many months of planning involved in staging an event like Jack Up, we are taking the pragmatic view that it’s better to put in the work, rather than miss the chance to deliver, once permitted to do so safely. Jack Up The Summer is a real labour of love for our small team. As a micro business ourselves, we recognised the profound impact our inability to stage the event for a second year would have had on the many small independent Island businesses and freelancers who rely on events like ours to earn a living.

2020 was a terrible year for the events sector. How positive do you feel about the future for the live events industry on the Island? The festival industry was the first to close and will be the last to re-open. However, running a festival means you are constantly faced with challenges so it’s about knocking down one hurdle at a time. When Covid 19 hit I focused on doing everything I could not only to sustain our own business but also to ensure that locally run festivals and events remained firmly on the agenda. I formed a consortium of event organisers representing the Island’s leading independent festivals and summer shows. This group has developed to become a vital support network and has enabled us to lead conversations on a local and regional level. It’s been inspiring and incredibly heartening to see how we’ve supported one another through these uniquely challenging times and the sector will emerge stronger as a result. We’re working as a team – sharing ideas, costs, resources and driving economies of scale. There is massive pent-up demand for experience-led events and a new wave of interest, optimism and enthusiasm for communal events taking place in well controlled environments. It’s all about quality of life – the pandemic has taught each and every one of us how important this is.




Jack Up The Summer is being held this year on 6-8th August at North Fairlee Farm in Newport. All the event’s contractors are Island-based, food concessions and market stalls are run by Island businesses, the bars are run by Island Ales and food stock is purchased from nominated supplier Medina Foods. Over the past three years Jack Up The Summer has helped to facilitate the fundraising of over £30,000 for a range of charities and local good causes. Their nominated Charity of the Year for 2021 is Beaulieu Respite and Children’s Home.

JULY 2021

How did being a Chamber member help you to navigate the months of uncertainty? I joined the Chamber in February last year and a month later I wrote to Chamber CEO Steven Holbrook to highlight how festival businesses - which rely on generating an entire annual income over a single weekend - were on a knife edge because of the pandemic. Steven invited me to several calls with the Island’s MP Bob Seely, which subsequently led to myself and other organisers being invited to present our concerns to Caroline Dinenage, the Minister of State for Culture. The Isle of Wight was the only constituency in England that she agreed to meet, because of the critical role our events play in contributing to coastal tourism. I also took part in monthly networking sessions and drew considerable personal strength from the support shown by the local Island business community who encouraged me to fight on, despite multiple setbacks. Without the support of the Chamber we would have struggled to get our voices heard. The Chamber’s intervention has helped to ensure events like Jack Up The Summer can continue to provide employment opportunities for scores of local businesses, enriching the lives of those who attend, whilst also giving back to our Island community.

Why do you think that events like yours are so important for the Island? Festivals are an important part of both the Island’s identity and our economy, contributing £45 million to our local economy each year. £30m of that comes from smaller events like Jack Up The Summer. Huge ecosystems exist around festivals, with extensive local supply chains and job opportunities. We employ a vast temporary workforce to deliver our events, collaborating with a diverse talent pool of skilled professionals to provide everything from equipment and marquee hire, production, security, medics, prop design, toilet hire, refuse collection, kids entertainers and countless freelancers. Festivals support the visitor economy too, helping shops, bars, restaurants, accommodation providers. They also provide a significant platform for traders, crafters and small Island businesses to make money on-site. Jack Up The Summer supports Island charities, good causes, community groups and education partnerships and festivals nurture creative talent and showcasing emerging local bands. They’re also a moment for both Island residents and visitors to come together socially. The benefits of festivals really do ripple throughout the Island’s economy and community.




By Tom Stroud

Diametric’s Graham Steele (left) and Joe Newnham

Manufacturing in lockdown and surviving the pandemic:

how DIAMETRIC carved out a new future Diametric is a UK branding specialist with manufacturing facilities on Manners View in Newport. They specialise in cutting edge badge, label and nameplate production technologies. The Covid 19 pandemic hit hard, damaging key customer sectors like the automotive industry and affecting supply chains. With staff furloughed and an uncertain future, the leadership team reviewed the business and have come back stronger, to pre-pandemic order levels. Here’s how they did it, in their own words. GRAHAM STEELE, Managing Director: Covid hit hard, very quickly. We had 30 members of staff looking at us asking what we were going to do. I remember at the time just politely replying ‘I don’t know.’ Everything changed rapidly, and continued to do so as we entered into the first lockdown.

JOE NEWNHAM, Operations Director: One of the challenges was the speed at which the government guidance was coming out. We were having to adapt so quickly and our staff all understood the situation. We were as open as we possibly could be. The automotive sector is a significant part of our overall business, so as soon as we knew that there could be a risk that we may have to shut for a period of time, we started to say that. The key thing was to be transparent.

GRAHAM: We were right in at the deep end with little time to prepare. In business you have a vision or timeline and we had spent four or five years building up to Brexit, and that held us in good stead. My business partner Steve Watts and I took a strategic decision to start reserving our cash flow for two years because we were 18



anticipating a turbulent period. We ended up using some of those reserves to get us through the Q2 period which, like for many businesses, saw very poor order-in value.

other businesses on a one-to-one level. The community came together, with a collective response.

The lowest point was the start of last summer. My wife Stacey is Operations Manager and I remember telling her ‘I genuinely think this is all going to go to the wall if this carries on much longer.’ I thought at that point that at least we could still make a difference, so we started manufacturing PPE equipment, free of charge, for Island care homes.


We furloughed staff and we had people working from home, but the core team did not stop working for a day. We had never been so busy, because we were supporting everybody that was working from home, as well as quality inspection, assembly and getting work out of the door. We were literally everything to everybody. I was going home exhausted and I think psychologically that was healthy for me. I’d wake up at

four o’clock in the morning and think ‘well, I’m going to go to work,’ because if I was at work it meant I was busy and if we’re busy it was going to be okay.

JOE: Once we got through the initial thump of the pandemic we very quickly started to formulate different sales strategies. We started to look at ourselves much harder internally in terms of our competitiveness. We kicked off a number of initiatives which have really helped guide us with our strategy going into 2021 and they’ve driven investment as well. We know we’re not the cheapest but we are very high quality and we are a customer service centric company. Secret shopper was a really interesting exercise because it made us really look internally at what can we do to make ourselves sharper, quicker and what do people really want. It was on our radar previously and I think the pandemic really accelerated the new approach.

GRAHAM: Being part of the Chamber helped too. We really started getting actively involved in the networking events and we soon realised you’re not alone. The business forums are hugely valuable and led to a lot of private messaging, helping JULY 2021

I think all our staff wanted to contribute. They wanted to come back rather than to be sat at home. That kept morale high. We had the cash flow reserves to give us the backbone to survive and I think a lot of companies didn’t, or they lost a lot more people than we did. We had to make really difficult decisions last year but we’re still a very similar company. Now we are rising again and in fact our order level this year is back to 2019 level, if not slightly stronger.

GRAHAM: We were very fortunate that by Q3 we started to see the seeds

of growth again and by Q4 we were back to pre-pandemic levels in our order-in figures. The saving grace for Diametric through any recession or external economic impact on the business has been our industry spread. The Automotive sector was hit badly, whereas medical saw a boom. We also work in hospitality and the film industry, and those guys saw the worst of the situation, but fortunately even there we started seeing our client base return.

JOE: On the Island we had to let two people go last year and we’ve already re-recruited to support our buoyant order book. We also invested in the plant machinery and we’re now looking at a second round of investment with a new cutting device, which will speed up current processes but also broaden our opportunities. Our total headcount has increased by three from last year, which is great and it shows the level of recovery. We’re really excited.

GRAHAM: This year is a completely different story. When Steve and I bought the business in 2015 we couldn’t have predicted any of this, but in my time as Managing Director we’ve been through Brexit, a mini recession and a pandemic, and we’re still here. We’re still thriving. So I’ll take that any day of the week. FEATURE


BCC survey: Small Business confidence rising but fears over future lockdowns remain “The shadow of Covid is very long” warns Claire Walker, Co-executive Director of the British Chambers of Commerce

UK small businesses are increasingly confident in their ability to grow and power the economic recovery, although many still have fears about the ongoing impact of Covid restrictions. This comes according to new data published by the British Chambers of Commerce in partnership with Funding Circle, the UK’s largest small business loan platform.

Claire Walker

The survey of more than 1,000 firms, almost all SMEs, reveals the majority (63%) are emerging from lockdown with either concrete plans or intentions to grow their business over the next 12 months. The manufacturing sector (68%) is particularly optimistic, while nearly six-in-ten (58%) of the hardest hit business-to-consumer (B2C) firms such as hospitality, catering and retail still anticipate growth. Key points: •

Growth: 63% of firms surveyed confident in their growth prospects over next 12 months

Restarting: 53% already operating at pre-pandemic capacity; 80% expect to be by October

Barriers: 38% cited further lockdowns as a barrier to re-opening, while 37% cited ongoing social distancing measures

Finance: 44% believe access to finance will help overcome the remaining barriers to fully restarting operations

Although the UK economy is still emerging from lockdown, many businesses have demonstrated their resilience and are already carrying out their vital role as engines of economic growth. More than half (53%) said they had already restarted or returned to pre-pandemic levels in April, with a further 27% expecting to reach this milestone by October. By the end of the year, 91% of businesses expect to have fully restarted, with only 1% not expecting to restart for the foreseeable future. For many, the biggest barriers to reopening are Covidrelated, such as the risk of further lockdowns (cited by 38% of respondents) or social distancing requirements (cited by 37%). Concerns around reduced customer demand (33%), inflation pressure (18%) and recruitment difficulties (14%) are also weighing on UK businesses. Access to finance will be key in helping SMEs to unlock their full growth potential, with nearly half (44%) believing it will help overcome the remaining barriers they face. Commenting on the findings, Claire Walker, Co-executive Director of the BCC, said: “The ability of businesses to bounce back from the devastation caused by Covid is a huge testament to their resilience. Although, the financial support put in place by the government to help many through the last 12 months will have played a crucial role. 20


“The government must now clarify the future of safety measures, such as social distancing, and set out a clear package of support that would be available should further restrictions be imposed on businesses this year, or in the years to come. “Firms will feel more confident and will be more willing to invest in jobs and in developing their business, if government can give assurances that a safety net of financial support will be provided should there be a need for restrictions which reduce or stop commercial activity in order to protect public health. “There is cautious optimism growing among firms that as the economy now gradually unlocks, they will be able to push on and return to growth. But the shadow of Covid is very long; many firms still feel uncertain about what the future holds. Having access to finance to help them weather this continuing uncertainty may well prove vital.” IW Chamber is an accredited member of the British Chambers of Commerce. Find out more at www.britishchambers.org.uk THE BUSINESS MAGAZINE FOR THE ISLE OF WIGHT




JOIN NOW Sign up at isleofwightlottery.com JULY 2021



Landmark 20th year for the Isle of Wight Lottery Lottery players, Island businesses and the Isle of Wight economy are all winners – are you playing? The Isle of Wight Lottery is enjoying a milestone year. For two decades the organisation has been dishing out cash – to winning players every week and to Island businesses in the form of interest free loans. Since 2001 the Isle of Wight Lottery has paid for holidays, new cars and deposits for houses; it has also provided the funding to create and sustain thousands of jobs in the Island’s economy. It’s definitely a moment to celebrate! The Isle of Wight Lottery was founded by the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce in 2001 and continues to be run from their Newport office. It was the first lottery in England to be developed specifically to create employment opportunities and is operated on a strictly “non-profit” basis. Since 2001 the Isle of Wight Lottery has given away thousands of prizes and millions of pounds in prize money, whilst supporting Island businesses and local jobs. The Lottery’s unique support has created and sustained thousands of Isle of Wight jobs at companies of all shapes and sizes.

SPLASHING THE CASH, EVERY WEEK Every Friday you could be winning £1,000 or one of our ten £100 prizes. With more than 500 prizes every year, you stand a great chance of winning a brilliant cash prize for just £1 a week to play. Stand by for our massive mega-draws too, with our £10,000 monster prize and two chances to win £5,000 each year! Sign up for the Isle of Wight Lottery and you’ll receive a unique number that will be entered into the draw every week. It’s just £1 each week and there are no limits on the number of times you pay to play. You can have as many numbers as you like.

are drawn at the IW Chamber offices at Mill Court in Newport, where the Isle of Wight Lottery has been based since it began. You can pay through payroll, or you can pay for your staff to play each week. It’s a great way of rewarding your team, with the chance of winning cash prizes every Friday.

INTEREST FREE LOANS AND ISLAND JOBS Isle of Wight Lottery players, by paying just £1 a week, have helped to fund interest free loans to more than 100 companies, providing almost £1million of vital start-up capital for Island businesses. With its unique interest free loans to businesses the Isle of Wight Lottery plays a unique role for the Island’s economy, supporting and nurturing businesses of all sizes and sectors. From florists to furnishings, engineering to e-commerce, motorcycles to marketing, it’s great news for the Island’s economy too, protecting employment for thousands of people. Island businesses including Rapanui, Nosy Design, Wyatt & Jack, Ann Ginger Soft Furnishings, Bright Bulb Design, Bump Express, Crossfit Valentis, Greef’s Biltong, West Wight Sports Centre and the Bay Tree Florist have all been helped with interest free loans from the Isle of Wight Lottery. “Our interest free loans are brilliant at helping businesses to start up or grow,” says IW Lottery’s Sharon Whiten. “We’re really proud to have helped so many growing Island business to create and sustain Island employment. The Isle of Wight Lottery loans are unique and have all been made possible by our thousands of loyal weekly lottery players. We’d like to thank them for their support for the Isle of Wight Lottery which in turn supports businesses and Island jobs.”

Every week our lucky winners are selected at random by the Lottery’s specially designed computer system. The numbers

The lottery’s Loan Fund offers interest free loans to Island entrepreneurs who can borrow up to £50,000 to invest in their business provided that the expansion will create jobs or sustain employment.

Creating and sustaining jobs: Bright Bulb Design are one of many businesses who used IW Lottery funding to take on new staff

Big money for Island businesses: Vectis Refrigeration borrowed £45,000 interest free from the IW Lottery fund




Island businesses like WRS Systems in Newport pay-through-payroll

COSTS JUST £1 PER WEEK There’s no restriction on the number of times you pay to play each week

RECEIVE A UNIQUE NUMBER Which remains with you for as long as you continue to play


Selected at random by the Lottery’s specially designed computer system

Head to www.isleofwightlottery.com to get started!

INTEREST FREE LOANS FOR ISLAND BUSINESSES Get funding to grow your business – find out more at www.isleofwightlottery.com JULY 2021

“I’d like to thank all of our players for their continued support and also remind everyone else that if you’re not playing, you’re really missing out. Each year we give away more than 500 prizes and at just £1 a week to play, with significantly higher odds of winning than the UK lotteries, its definitely worth a flutter. Either way, you’ll be helping us to continue to create and support Island jobs at a time when our economy needs all the help it can get. Why not join us?” IW Chamber CEO Steven Holbrook FEATURE




“Have you ever noticed how someone who doesn’t know you or your business can often give you an entirely new way of looking at something? That’s the power of coaching.” Island businesses are receiving expert advice and guidance from highly experienced mentors, thanks to an IW Chamber scheme supported by Isle of Wight Council and the Regeneration Team. The Business Advisor scheme launched in October, providing free one-to-one bespoke advice, to help Island businesses to grow, adapt and realise potential. Business success is not easy! There are so many articles and social media posts all claiming to have ‘the’ definitive recipe for growing business, for increasing market share & profit margins etc....and I suspect that there is truth in most of them! This is because business growth is dependent on multiple factors and each piece of the jigsaw matters, even the tiny, oddly-shaped ones! So, what’s the common denominator amongst all the variables? People.  And honestly, it takes a wide range of competencies to manage your people, lead your people (which is different from managing them), to recruit your people, retain them and to optimise their potentials in service of your business plans and aspirations.  Business growth means different things to each of us.  I’ve been running my own coaching and psychotherapy businesses for 21 years. My own aspirations and plans will be different for someone else - and there’s a common misconception that these differences are mainly down to sector, product or industry. It’s not.  Differing perspectives on “growth” are down to differing people.  I’ve been coaching leaders and managers for over two decades and the most pertinent factor in play in any leader’s vision for the future is the extent to which their professional aspirations are aligned to their personal integrity. Alignment - the deep, inner ‘knowing’ that what they are doing matches their values, beliefs and sense of self. Covid has impacted all of us, not least in terms of our certainties - our purpose and our belief in ourselves. The need to regain these things is vital for those at the top in order to effectively lead their businesses forward. This extends to their teams too; if your people don’t share your vision it’s most likely that they feel somehow ‘misplaced’ with it, oftentimes not quite knowing how to articulate it. Change. Adaptation. Innovation. These are today’s buzz-words.  But haven’t they always been when we talk about business growth? As the American actor Will Rogers once said: “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there!” Systems have to adapt to external forces. So do people. And that’s much trickier than we might hope. The human mind seems to be ‘wired’ to be habitual; we like the status quo. Even those that shout they “love change”, have deep, unconscious habits of thinking, feeling and behaving. It’s within the arena of changing behaviours that I thrive! Better behaviours = better results. Whether it’s Covid-related adaptation or not, businesses will always thrive when its people are motivated, engaged, focused, happy and team-spirited. It often surprises me that business leaders do not often pay enough attention to defining what ‘best behaviour’ looks 24



ABOUT ED Ed Grey is an Executive Coach & Leadership Mentor, NLP Trainer and Psychotherapist. In his corporate work, Ed specialises in behavioural change, management training and improving leadership competencies. He has worked with numerous organisations from global blue chips to SME’s and micro businesses. Ed is also a psychotherapist, helping people improve their relationships, treat intrusive symptoms of PTSD and achieve life goals.

GROW YOUR BUSINESS WITH THE SUPPORT OF THE BUSINESS ADVISOR SCHEME Edward Grey and Marnie Janaway are providing free, expert guidance and support to help Island businesses grow, backed by the IW Chamber and the IW Council.

like within their organisation. One of the main pieces of work I’ve been doing with island businesses is helping them create (and then implement) behavioural frameworks and linking these to performance management tools. Each framework is bespoke - and it gives the whole organisation a clearer understanding of which behaviours are likely to produce the results that the business wants. I also help HR functions to create effective strategies and processes to identify human potentials and utilise these from individuals throughout the organisation. Ideas into practical tools. Of course, we are all looking for practical, efficient ways to improve our results. This IWChamber role is a free mentoring/coaching/ consultancy opportunity for island businesses of all types. Have you ever noticed how someone who doesn’t know you or your business can often give you an entirely new way of looking at something? That’s the power of coaching. And if there’s one thing that’s certain, nothing is ever that certain! Mostly, I support leaders and managers on their journey through increased self-awareness to changing their attitudes/perspectives to implementing new strategies. Some of my island clients have been creating brand new business plans; others have been using sessions with me to adapt existing ones. My role requires skills in coaching and mentoring and a deep understanding of how the human factor plays a crucial part in recovery & growth. With over twenty years as a coach and psychotherapist, I create an environment where leaders and managers can open up, change, innovate and move forward. I love being part of this dynamic and creative process with people! Each island business is important - and this role gives me the opportunity to share the experience I have been fortunate to have accrued over many years. JULY 2021

Edward and Marnie have huge experience in business and distinct skillsets and specialisms. Between them, they are working with a diverse range of Island businesses to make a real difference. Could your business benefit from the insight and expertise of our highly experienced Business Advisors? Find out more – go to: www.iwchamber.co.uk/businessadvisors for more information or email: Edward.Grey@iwchamber.co.uk Marnie.Janaway@iwchamber.co.uk FEATURE


ECONOMIC FORECAST UK is set for an uneven economic recovery, despite record GDP growth, says BCC The British Chambers of Commerce has released its latest economic forecast which predicts UK GDP growth for 2021 of 6.8%. If realised this would be the strongest outturn since official records began in 1949. UK GDP growth is predicted to be strongest over Q2 2021 and Q3 2021. The UK economy is then expected to return to its pre-pandemic level in Q1 2022 with growth of 5.1% projected for next year. Consumer spending is expected to be the main driver of this year’s economic rebound. The release of pent-up demand as restrictions ease and the rapid vaccine rollout is forecast to drive the strongest growth in spending since 1998, as consumers spend some of their ‘unanticipated’ savings accumulated during lockdowns. Business investment is forecast to rebound strongly in 2021 and 2022, driven by boost from the reopening of the economy and the introduction of the super-deduction incentive. However, business investment is projected to slow sharply in 2023 as the super-deduction incentive ends and corporation tax increases.

predicted, a testament to the flexibility and innovation shown by businesses and the resilience of consumers. “Beyond the immediate optimism, further action will be needed if we are to see a recovery which truly sustains itself and seizes the opportunity to rebuild and renew our economy. “Young people now entering the workforce and those who lost jobs during the pandemic are at particular risk of longerterm unemployment. As the economy emerges from the pandemic, we need to create a dynamic and flexible skills system that meets the needs of local employers and supports individuals looking to return to the jobs market. “The government cannot afford to ignore the economic impact of decreased exports to Europe. The UK and the EU must now get back around the table and continue talks so they can build upon the arrangements set out in the TCA to deliver long-term improvements to the flow of trade between them.”

Hannah Essex

Despite the immediate boost to UK GDP, the BCC’s latest outlook projects an uneven recovery. Output from catering and hospitality, some of the sectors hardest hit by the pandemic, are forecast to only return to pre-pandemic levels in Q2 2023. In contrast, manufacturing output is projected to return to its pre-pandemic level in the third quarter of this year. UK unemployment is projected to remain at a much lower level than in recent recessions. UK’s unemployment rate expected to peak at 6.0% and youth unemployment at 15.6% in Q4 2021, after the furlough scheme expires. Youth unemployment is expected to lag the wider recovery with the UK’s youth unemployment rate projected to average 10.1 percentage points higher than the overall unemployment rate across the forecast period, a quarter (25%) higher than the pre-covid average (7.6 percentage points). Trade is projected to make a negative contribution over the forecast period. This largely reflects an anticipated decline in exports to the EU with post-Brexit disruption and the weak near-term outlook for the euro area expected to weigh on EU demand for UK goods and services. “The UK economy, and the business communities that drive it, are showing their propensity to bounce back from a crisis,” says Hannah Essex, Co-Executive Director the British Chambers of Commerce. “Historic levels of growth for this year are 26



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East Quay, Kite Hill, Wootton Bridge, IOW, PO33 4LA ADVERTISEMENT


IW CHAMBER TRAINING Training makes a real difference to the success of a growing business.

Fire Marshal Course

For established organisations, training fills the gaps and brings in external knowledge and skills. For many businesses training is mandatory, to ensure certification and accreditations are up to date.

Tuesday 3 August, 9.00am – 12.30pm

IW Chamber provides a wide array of training and learning sessions across the year. The QNUK Level 2 Award in Mental Health at Work (RQF) which provides an introduction to understanding mental health in the workplace, has been very popular this past year. Providing good quality training for employees demonstrates that staff are valued by the business and is instrumental in boosting staff morale as well as the bottom line.

Delivered by Good Skills Training £60 + VAT per person This Fire Marshal Course is a half day course designed specifically for those who have been designated with the responsibilities of Fire Marshal or Fire Warden. The course will look at the legal responsibilities of both the company and the individual. By the end of this course learners will understand what their duties as a fire marshal are.  

QNUK Level 2 Mental Health at Work Course Delivered by Good Skills Training

Wednesday 11 August, 9.00am – 5.00pm

Highfields Level 2 Health & Safety Course Delivered by Good Skills Training

Tuesday 20 July, 9.00am – 5.00pm IW Chamber members - £99 + VAT per person The Highfield Level 2 Award in Health and Safety within the Workplace has been designed specifically for people who are required to have a basic knowledge of health and safety practices that are essential in the workplace. Ensuring staff members are effectively trained in health and safety procedures is extremely important for employers, to ensure they have the correct systems in place to ensure a healthy and safe working environment for employees and any other people who may be affected by their business activities.

How to stand out from the crowd Delivered by Dale Howarth

Wednesday 28 July 2021, 9am – 12.30pm IW Chamber members – FREE What does your message really say about you? It’s not your website, social media or advertising that will make you more successful, it’s your message. With a bad message, whatever you do just makes the bad message even louder. This high-value practical workshop will look at the importance of establishing a message that reflects the best of your business and how to do this in 5 simple steps – to create a winning USP. Target your new message to open doors, maximise opportunities and drive your competitive advantage, helping you to stand out from the crowd and achieve even greater success for your business. 28


£99 + VAT per person Who is this for? The QNUK Level 2 Award in Mental Health at Work (RQF) is the ideal introduction to understanding mental health in the workplace. The qualification covers the most common mental health conditions, how to identify potential mental health concerns in colleagues and then how to discuss their needs and assist them to access suitable services and support.

Emergency First Aid at Work Course Delivered by Good Skills Training

Wednesday 8 September, 9.00am – 4.00pm £65 + VAT per person This one-day course is designed to give delegates the knowledge, skills and confidence to help those that have become unconscious, and those with minor injuries. The Emergency First Aid at Work Course also looks at the responsibilities of the Emergency First Aider. On successfully completing this course, attendees will be confident, safe, prompt and effective emergency first aider.

IW Chamber also offer courses in other areas. If you do not see the course you require, please contact us to see if we can help you. Contact chamber@iwchamber.co.uk and visit www.iwchamber.co.uk


EVENTS for IW Chamber members and non-members IW Chamber Networking

New Business Start Up Course

Tuesday 6 July 2021, 11am – 12pm via Zoom

Thursday 29 July 2021, 9.30am – 4.00pm

IW Chamber Members - FREE Join us for an informal virtual networking session, to catch up with other members. Everyone will get the opportunity to talk about their business.

Afternoon Tea at Quarr Abbey, Ryde Thursday 8 July 2021, 2.30pm – 3.30pm IW Chamber Members – £5 admin fee Enjoy a unique networking opportunity in the peaceful surroundings of Quarr Abbey with a cream tea in the garden and a chance to find out more about the Abbey.

IW Chamber Offices, Newport Available to non-members, £5 admin fee If you’ve got a business idea or you’re new to running a business, this course can help you to get started. Our business advisors explain the essentials, to help you take your idea from paper into practice. Get the tools you need to take your idea from the drawing board to the real world.

50 Plus Start Me Up – Free Business Start Up Course Thursday 29 July 2021, 9.30am – 4.00pm IW Chamber Offices, Newport Available to non-members

Bank of England Panel Meeting Thursday 15 July 2021, 9am – 10.30am via Zoom IW Chamber Members - FREE Isle of Wight Chamber members are invited to a round table discussion with the Bank of England. During the meeting Florence Hubert, Deputy Agent for Central Southern England will give a short presentation and each attendee will be able to speak about the economic conditions affecting their own business.

If you’re over 50 and looking to become self employed, perhaps for the first time, we have the course for you. Our business mentors will help you to get started, covering the basics in working for yourself and running your own business. Join us and get started!

IW Chamber Cowes Week BBQ & Drinks Wednesday 4 August 2021 Island Sailing Club, Cowes 1.00 pm – 4.00 pm

BCC Webinar: Crossing Continents – Moving goods under transit Thursday 22 July 2021, 2pm – 3pm Via Zoom IW Chamber Members - FREE

£60+VAT per person to include barbecue buffet lunch and open bar Join IW Chamber and Red Squirrel Property Shop for fun, informal networking at our annual Cowes Week event. We’re back at the Island Sailing Club, overlooking the action on the water. Soak up the atmosphere with a barbecue and the house bar is open all afternoon, including Mermaid Gin.

The volume of goods being exported from the UK under the Common Transit Convention has increased significantly since Brexit.

IW Chamber Business Expo 2021

Why is this method of import and export becoming more popular and how does a trader access the service?

Wednesday 22 September 2021

What are the advantages and disadvantages to using Transit?

FREE ENTRY to everyone

What is the role of a consignee and a consignor?

What does it cost to move goods in this way?

Join the BCC to find the answers to these questions and hear from the Director of Trade Facilitation and Chamber Customs as well as experts from HMRC. JULY 2021

Lakeside Park Hotel, Wootton 10.00am – 4.00pm The Island’s biggest business-to-business networking event is back! Join us for a day of high value networking opportunities with exhibiting businesses and hundreds of attendees. Make new contacts, catch up with potential clients and engage with the wider business community. It’s free to attend – save the date! EVENTS


Join the



Being a member of the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce is a great business decision! Membership starts at less than £3 a week and entitles you to a huge range of business support, exclusive events and member discounts.

IW Chamber members have access to these four essential services:

ChamberHealth & Safety ChamberHR ChamberTax ChamberLegal

These services give you unlimited access to no less than five business advice lines and a website which features over 750 free downloadable template documents. Not only that but you are protected by £1,000,000 of legal expenses insurance which includes employment cover and tax enquiry cover.

All these services are included in your membership fee.

Don’t delay…join today!




NEW IW CHAMBER MEMBERS Anderson Boat Cruises Ltd

Island FX

Bay Tree Florist

Oliver Ryan Photography and Videography

Timothy Anderson coralstar.co.uk andersonboatcruises@gmail.com 01983 760212

Leanne Brine baytreefloristiow.co.uk info@baytreefloristiow.co.uk 01983 298835

Cavanagh & Baker, The Island Made Emporium Adam Baker cavanagh-baker.co.uk Cavanagh-Baker@outlook.com 07486 097484

Chessell Woodyard Ltd Sean Pooley chessellwoodyard.co.uk sean@chessellwoodyard.co.uk 01983 555068

Goodyears Outdoors Stephen Goodyear goodyears.co.uk sales@goodyears.co.uk 01983 408181

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance Hanna McLaughlin hiowaa.org hanna@hiowaa.org 02380 743510 / 07714 284263

Mark Henry islandfx.co.uk fx@islandfx.co.uk 01983 244225

Oliver Ryan oliverryan.info olivermichaelryan@hotmail.com 01983 614643

RHF Fencing Supplies, Garden Buildings and Spas Roger Hanley rhfiow.co.uk roger@rhfiow.co.uk 07976 536831

Schroders Personal Wealth Mark French spw.com mark.french@spw.com 07917 030701

Silicon Digital Group Ltd Nicholas Phythian silicon.digital partnerships@silicon.digital


Julian Woodhouse 123ofc.com support@123ofc.com

Want to join the Chamber? Call the team on 01983 520777 or online iwchamber.co.uk JULY 2021



Although delayed, Freedom Day is still coming and we have to make the most of our UK visitors this year


The hope was that by the time you are reading this, virtually all pandemic restrictions would have been lifted. Sadly we know that this is no longer the case, as the delta variant of the virus has taken hold, and infections are increasing exponentially.

The much signalled decision to delay “Freedom Day” has been a bitter blow to the sections of our economy that are still closed as well as those finding it difficult to operate profitably under the social distancing rules. On balance the Government probably had little choice, as increasing infections will lead to many thousands more cases of Long Covid. This is still not properly understood by the medical profession, but what we do know is that Long Covid can mean long-term life changes even after a mild or asymptomatic infection. Alongside this, the more infections we have the more opportunity there is for new variants to emerge, and the risk that a new vaccine evading variant can undo all the work of the last 15 months. So, while we cannot eliminate the virus infections do need to keep the contagion as low as we can achieve. But this is all very disappointing as we go into the summer, traditionally the time of year where the Island’s economy flourishes. One of the unintended consequences of the pandemic has been the current staffing crisis in the hospitality sector. In Ventnor, which I know best, there are at least four restaurants that have not opened due to lack of staff and a number are operating restricted hours or days to get by on the staff they have. The staff shortage combined with the need for extra staff to serve at the table does not bode well for the sectors viability, which will be heavily reliant on having a good summer this year. I would mention at this stage one possible way forward is to take advantage of the Government’s Kickstarter scheme. There was a lot of information on the scheme in last month’s issue, but to recap if you take on an unemployed 18-25 year old through the Job Centre the government will pay their wages for six months and give you a £1500 incentive. The Chamber is aggregating applications and will guide you through the process, so it is worth getting in touch and talking it through. Hopefully after six months you will have a productive member of your team that you wish to take on, but there is no obligation to do so. Despite all of these issues it is good to see the Island busy again and our retail, hospitality and tourism businesses back in operation. In my business, renting out holiday accommodation, bookings this summer are the best they have ever been, and I hear the same from other providers. With the uncertainty of international travel many people who normally holiday abroad will be in the UK this year. We have to show them what they’ve been missing so that they keep coming back.





SELECT Partner

JULY 2021



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Profile for Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce

Island Business July 2021  

Opening up! We talk to businesses as they unlock after lockdown. We talk to Caffe Isola about hospitality and the high street; we hear from...

Island Business July 2021  

Opening up! We talk to businesses as they unlock after lockdown. We talk to Caffe Isola about hospitality and the high street; we hear from...

Profile for iwchamber

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