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Our new





changed THE WORLD


MAKING PLANS FOR SURREY Exclusive interview with new council leader, Tim Oliver

SELL a business








A word from the CEO


President’s column


Local and Chamber News


Four financial ‘must dos’ Haines Watts


Preparing a business for sale Herrington Carmichael


Business activity in the South East NatWest


Surrey Business Awards


Tim Oliver, leader of Surrey County Council


Business Survey NatWest


International Women’s Day 2019


Ethical pest control Cleankill




The Acumen Convention Business Acumen




Wellbeing, Productivity and Presenteeism


Wellbeing: Natural Remedies Naked Pharmacy


Pregnancy and Work Strategies


Wellbeing = Increased Profitbability TWPC


Office ergonomics Posturite


A happy, holistic workforce DMH Stallard


Does wellbeing pay? ViiSana


TRAVEL: Shake Hands in Rome


TRAVEL: Travel News


TRAVEL: Bucket List – Panama


Concept Leasing






Sponsor a Chamber event


Surrey Chamber New Members


Surrey Chambers Events Diary 2019


Policing Surrey – Looking For a New Chief


Introducing... Sarah Edwards


Surrey Chambers Golf Society


Young Professionals


Join the Chamber


The men who changed the world


Shake hands in... THE ETERNAL CITY



66 AUDI Q8

All rights reserved. The views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher. The publisher cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions relating to advertising or editorial. The publisher reserves the right to change or amend any competitions or prizes offered. No part of this publication may be reproduced without prior written consent from the publisher. No responsibility is taken for unsolicited materials or the return of these materials whilst in transit. Platinum Business Magazine is owned and published by The Platinum Publishing Group.







The ‘B’ Word As much as we are all tired of hearing about Brexit every day in the media, it is important that we are preparing ourselves for whatever the outcome is. In a recent survey of 1000 Surrey businesses, we were concerned to learn that 62% of the respondees had not given any thought to preparing for Brexit. Surrey and Hampshire have been cited as exemplar areas for collaborating to provide the best access to information and support around Brexit. Working with the Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership, the County Councils and other business organisations, Surrey Chambers has been an integral part of this support. As well as contributing to a portal of the latest information,, we are running events across the area to help businesses to address any concerns they may have. We are dedicated to supporting business through these turbulent times with the latest information and updates regarding Brexit.


Perhaps more fundamental to our businesses, we held a round table discussion around why productivity in the UK is lower than in other countries, sponsored by NatWest. This proved to be very interesting with a number of areas of agreement as well as some divergence. There was clear consensus on the importance of good connections and this varied from broadband and phone lines to roads and transport. All of these have

a massive effect on how productive a business is and every attendee could give real examples. A clear steer for Surrey Chambers was to make a bold ambitious ask of the public sector to ensure full coverage of fibre broadband and 5G as soon as possible. There were some concerns that Surrey and the South are not as strong in their demands to government as the Northern Powerhouse and the Midlands Engine and that we need to stress how key we are to UK plc. With both Local Enterprise Partnerships and the County Council in attendance there were some strong messages to take away.

Connecting with the business community

The Chamber continues to provide numerous opportunities for businesses to meet and build their networks. We started a new series at the beautiful Hartsfield Manor in Betchworth last month and the attendees loved the light touch structure to networking, giving them an easy way of meeting several fellow businesses. On March 8th we are running our annual International Women’s Day lunch covering the topic #Balanceforbetter. We will be looking at how things have changed for new generations and our speakers will be covering this from different angles. Running it in conjunction with The Inspiration Space, this promises to be an excellent event at Harbour Hotel, Guildford. Surrey Chambers of Commerce can be reached on 01483 735540, or email @surreychambers

Louise Punter

CEO Surrey Chamber of Commerce

THE TEAM MaartenHoffmann–Director 07966 244046

Molly Enser Chamber Editor

Sarah Edwards Business Development Manager

Lesley Alcock Business Development Director

Fiona Graves Events Director

Laurence Elphick Head of Sport

Kate Morton Copy Editor If you have a news story for publication, email IanTrevett–Director 07989 970804

Alan Wares Head of Design

PoppieSharman Events Manager

Rose Dykins Travel Editor

Steve Elford Head of Web Development

For Surrey Business Awards enquiries email For editorial and advertising enquiries email






by Steve Coburn


he day-to-day hustle of running a business can often direct focus away from the longer term aims. We get so caught up managing the ‘urgent’ that we forget about the ‘important’. What about taking time to focus on important things like company culture and leadership? How often do you take the time to research ideas, and think about how your own actions affect the culture around you? Personally, I think about leadership and culture on a daily basis. Whilst others within our company focus on ‘what’ needs to happen, I focus on ‘why’ we’re doing it and how subtle changes to the way things are communicated, or the actions of our team leaders, can influence everyone’s overall mood, confi dence and, ultimately, performance. Of course, there are times when the urgency of certain tasks take over, and I’m as busy as everyone else. But, during those moments, how can we, as leaders, ensure that the organisation continues to focus on the right things? When I do have time to research leadership ideas, one of the people I often turn to is Simon Sinek. His talks on TED. com and YouTube are fantastic, and the good news is that he’s releasing

a new book ‘The Infinite Game’. Simon was in London recently, and I got the opportunity to meet him. He’d just given a one and a half hour talk, followed by 45 minutes of questions and it was inspirational! In essence, Simon was advocating that most businesses believe they are competing in a ‘finite game’. We all know what one of these is – football, for example. Two teams compete for 90 minutes, within an agreed set of rules, and after 90 minutes the team with the most goals is the winner, and all the players go home. But, Simon asks if that is really what business is about? If we’re trying to ‘beat’ our competition, then when is the ‘final whistle’? How do we measure whether it’s us or our competitor who has ‘the most goals’? And what do we ‘win’? In an ‘infinite game’, the players’ aim is to stay in the game as long as possible. If one player drops out, the game still continues. The Americans go to war to play a finite game. In Vietnam, they wanted to ‘win the war’ and go home. They were playing to the final whistle and had some

arbitrary measurement that, if reached, meant they could claim that they were the ‘winners’. But, their opponents were playing an infinite game. The Vietnamese people only had one aim… to stay living in Vietnam. I don’t think there’s many people in the world who would say that America ‘won the war’, yet Vietnam is still populated by Vietnamese people – so, does that mean that the Vietnamese people ‘won the war’? No, the Vietnamese are still playing their infinite game. And, over the next hundred years (and more), they will continue to overcome many battles – whether they are economic, health, climate or another foreign combatant. Their aim isn’t to ‘win’, it’s to keep playing. And, isn’t that what our own businesses are like? Everyday, we face a different challenge. The game progresses to a new level. And, our aim, is to stay in the game. So, be careful what you’re measuring in your business. If your KPI’s have more in common with a game of football, then maybe you need to reassess which game you’re actually playing?





University investigates satellite security


CC Group and the University of Surrey have set up a “Space Cyber Security Research Partnership” to investigate the security issues faced by satellites.

A statement from the British university and infosec firm said they “will utilise the University’s world-leading expertise in technological innovation and focus on high-impact research to improve the understanding of current and future security challenges facing the industry”. On top of this they will also be sponsoring a PhD student to look closely at the security implications of using commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) components in satellites.

The organisations added: “Traditionally the satellite industry has, to some extent, relied upon ‘security through obscurity’. However, this is no longer

Run Surrey, run!


he Mercer Surrey Half Marathon, the county's largest UKA Sanctioned half marathon, is in its sixth year and will take place on March 10th. The event raises an estimated £300,000 for Harrison's Fund, Macmillan Cancer Support and a number of other national and local charities each year. The single-lap half marathon is set in the glorious countryside surrounding

Woking and Guildford, and follows a fully-closed and professionally marked and measured route from Woking town into nearby quaint villages. It’s a fast and flat course and boasts a record win time of 62 minutes. This fun-filled day is perfect for all the family and includes a kid’s challenge and event village. Not to be missed!

Down to earth Dorking


he village of Newdigate near Dorking experienced yet another earthquake last month. The British Geological Survey reported a 1.9 magnitude earthquake at 5.03pm, five days after a 2.4 magnitude tremor. The depth of the quake has been recorded by the British Geological Survey (BGS) as 2km. Since April 2018, there have been



a number of earthquakes with a Newdigate epicentre, with many occurring in a short space of time last summer. Last month’s earthquake on February 14th was the largest to hit Newdigate since July 2018, asking questions once again whether there is a link between the earthquakes and nearby oil exploration works at Horse Hill.

the case, as well-known operating systems are being deployed that could potentially be vulnerable to common security issues.”

I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me. BUSINESS WISDOM

Surrey site set for Hollywood


large film set is currently being built at Hankley Common near Farnham. Reports suggest that the set is under construction for filming to begin on the upcoming First World War film ‘1917’. According to IMDB , the war film will be directed by Golden Globe winner Sam Mendes and filming will begin in April. It will star Dean-Charles Chapman (Game of Thrones) and George Mackay (Peter Pan). The site, which is owned by the Ministry of Defence and managed by Surrey Wildlife Trust, has been a popular film site in the past, playing host to Bond films including Skyfall, The World is Not Enough, and Die Another Day.



urrey residents have been promised a greater police presence - after a proposed rise in council tax for policing was given the go ahead.

The county council’s Police and Crime Panel has approved a plan for an increase which means the cost for the policing part of the council tax for the financial year 2019/20 has been set at £260.57 for a Band D property. It amounts to an extra £2 a month for Band D council tax bills - the equivalent of around 10% across all bands. The rise comes into effect in April this year. In return, the Police and Crime Commissioner David Munro has pledged an extra 100 officers by April 2020,

including PCSOs. Surrey Police wants to double the number of officers in the dedicated neighbourhood teams sup-

Where the rich live


esearch from Zoopla has revealed an extraordinary 44% of properties in the village of Cobham come with a seven-figure price tag. The leafy enclave is in Surrey’s ‘golden triangle’ which attracts scores of footballers and celebrities; even the local post office stocks Dom Perignon champagne.

top place outside London for homes worth more than £1million – with a total of 5,615.

There are now nearly 3,000 million pound homes in the Cobham area, according to the property website, more than there are in the whole of Wales. Guildford, just ten miles away, is the

London still has far more property millionaires than elsewhere in Britain – 395,871 – but has seen the steepest drop over the past year, losing about 34,850.

Famous faces who have settled in the Surrey countryside include tennis star Sir Andy Murray, actor Brian Blessed and footballers Peter Crouch and John Terry.

porting area, and invest in specialist officers to tackle serious organised crime gangs and drug dealers.

A hole lot of trouble


ore than 41,000 potholes were reported in Surrey in 2017/18 making it the worst county in the South East for the problem. Figures show that £446,812 was paid out in compensation by Surrey County Council (SCC) for pothole damage in the 12 months, dwarfing Kent’s total of £26,587. If added together the total depth of all Surrey’s reported potholes in 2017/18 was a staggering 1,652 metres, or just over a mile. In the South East 122,534 potholes were reported across the nine counties, the most of any UK region. Surrey’s figure of 41,295 potholes makes up 34% of the total.




news People are wrong when they say opera is not what it used to be. It is what it used to be. That is what’s wrong with it. BUSINESS WISDOM

Ten years of success

Watts Gallery

Fine dining for charity


elp the Surrey Care Trust to blossom this spring by dining out at two new fundraising events. Patron, Sir Richard Stilgoe OBE DL, will be the guest speaker at a charity dinner in the sumptuous surrounds of the Grade II listed Watts Gallery, Compton on Wednesday 13th March. Diners can soak up the atmospheric spaces and the unique collection left by the eminent Victorian artist G F Watts as they enjoy a sparkling reception and a three course meal. Tickets are available from Guildford’s Tourist Information

Centre, book online at or call 01483 444333. Join the Trust and host, The Rt Hon. Baroness Bottomley of Nettlestone, on May 14th for the second event, a special lunch at the House of Lords. Businesses can entertain clients and enjoy stunning views of London from the grand surrounds of the Cholmondeley Room and Terrace. For tickets email or call the Trust’s Events Officer, Hannah Gilmour on 07748 963617.

A space to discover


t’s a new age in the delivery of the curriculum at The Winston Churchill School, Woking, as the new ‘Discovery Space’ has now been finalised. The new build modern library occupies two floors with a planetarium on the first floor. The planetarium is one of only circa 30 fixed planetariums in the UK, and one of only two in a UK school. At the heart of the design was the idea around creating a distinct, unique and



inspiring space to encourage students and the wider community to further engage and learn. The manifestation has a repeated Morse code pattern which spells out ‘V’ - meaning ‘V’ for victory and the trademark associated with Winston Churchill, the namesake of the School. The building design centres on a circular core, with the final result, a unique and innovative learning environment.


andler Training (Southern Counties) based in North West Surrey, has been dedicated to creating success for local businesses for 10 years. Managing Director, Paul Glynn, says: “Being part of the global Sandler network means we can give our clients access to world class materials, tools and processes. Being local means we closely look after our clients which helps business directors and their commercial staff stand apart from the competition.” To mark their 10 year celebrations they are offering three scholarships on their yearlong reinforcement training programme. As Paul explains: “Training people in sales, management and customer service is the most important investment any organisation can make and we are keen that all Surrey Chamber members should have that option.” If you would like more details about the scholarships please contact Paul

Wit ought to be a glorious treat like caviar; never spread it about like marmalade. BUSINESS WISDOM

Business drivers benefit

The hills are alive


nchcape UK’s Lexus Guildford and Surrey Hills Enterprises are delighted to announce their new corporate partnership. The luxury car retailer and community interest company have joined together to drive the next phase of a development which aims to build a thriving rural business community and develop Surrey Hills into one of the top 10 nationally recognised countryside destinations. The partnership will also help to promote the ‘Trade Mark Surrey Hills’, recently launched with the support of the Rt Hon Michael Gove, Secretary of State for the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs. It is a mark of local provenance and quality which celebrates those businesses of high quality that reflect and support the distinct and special nature of the Surrey Hills. For further information please visit www.


kicked off to a great start for MercedesBenz company car drivers as the two new A-Class diesel engines avoided the 4% BIK diesel surcharge for the life of the vehicle. After being tested to RDE-2 standards, the A 200 d and A 220 d alongside the new B-Class featuring these engines, will all avoid the BIK tax benefitting their business owners. So how do these engines perform? Comparing emissions, the A 200 d emits 110g/km of CO2 and the A 220 d emits 114g/km of CO2. Whilst the A 200 d

delivers up to 67.3mpg on the combined cycle, the A 220 d achieves 65.7mpg. But it’s not just the performance of these vehicles that stands them above the crowd. Both are available in the AMG Line trim, adding a touch of drama to their already-eye-catching shapes. The interior includes the state-of-the-art MBUX touchscreen multimedia system with voice activation and seven-inch cockpit display, all designed to make your business journey as comfortable and seamless as possible. We review the all-new A Class in the next issue.

The happy Mundays


fter 16 years at Cedar House in Cobham, Mundays’ Surrey office has relocated to modern, high specifi cation offices at 400 Dashwood Lang Road, Bourne Business Park, Weybridge.

Valerie Toon, Managing Partner, said of the move: “The new offices provide our team with a modern and practical environment, with large communal areas for them to hold meetings and share social time. The office layout and environment better reflects our inclusive and collaborative culture and allows team members to interact out-

side of their roles and creates a greater sense of wellbeing within the team.” “We will continue to remain a strong supporter of the local community in Cobham and the wider Elmbridge area, and are very proud to represent many local individuals and businesses. Serving our community will remain at the heart of what we do and we are looking forward to continuing our support of Cobham RFC, Cobham Netball Club and many other local initiatives, as well as forming new relationships with the communities in and around Weybridge.”

Valerie Toon





Corporate dealmakers


harles Russell Speechlys in Guildford has been shortlisted for four Insider South East Dealmakers Awards 2019 including Corporate Law Firm of the Year, Corporate Lawyer of the Year and Private Equity Deal of the Year (with two deals in this category).

The awards celebrate the region’s corporate finance transactions across the legal, accountancy, banking and finance communities. Rebecca Burford, shortlisted for Corporate Lawyer of the Year, led both of the deals nominated for Private Equity Deal of Year and has also recently been listed as ‘Associate to Watch’ by Chambers & Partners, and ranked as ‘Next Generation Lawyer’ in the Legal 500. The two deals selected as finalists for Private Equity Deal of the Year – Xstrahl and Trusted Housesitters - both relate to management buyouts.

Charles Russell Speechlys’ Corporate Team

Duncan Elson, Partner and Head of Charles Russell Speechlys in Guildford, commented: “We are all thrilled that the hard work, professionalism and insight of our corporate team has been recognised by the judges of the Insider South East Dealmakers Awards. In particular, I am delighted that we have been

New era for Catholic college


t is the end of an era for DHP and the start of a new beginning for St. Richard Reynolds Catholic College, as the final snagging has been completed on their five year project with the Diocese of Westminster and the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. The new school in Twickenham accommodates pupils between the ages of 4 to 18, and provides approximately 150 primary school places, 750 secondary school places, a 300-place sixth form and

accommodation for 48 Strathmore School pupils. The existing site in Clifden Road comprised a variety of buildings ranging from 1907 to the early 1970s including an Edwardian building with important historic and social importance. The refurbishment and new build design pays homage to the existing architecture whilst tactfully blending the new with the old. The main principles of the design include a courtyard space and clear zoning to identify different school stages, whilst incorporating shared spaces to enforce the allthrough environment.

shortlisted for Corporate Law Firm of the Year. This is a significant achievement in a highly competitive industry and reflects the success of the whole team over the last year. I would also like to congratulate Rebecca Burford on her outstanding success.”

Television is for appearing on – not for looking at BUSINESS WISDOM

Three become one


urrey Chambers brought together three members at one of their recent events and as a result, a business was formed. Whilst presenting at a Chambers Networking evening at Canon UK, long-standing members Ges Ray and Louise Camby of Presentation Excellence, fell into conversation with Angela Rigby of Emprana, and a couple of canapés later a new business was created - a business which brings an effective physical, emotional and mental health approach to transforming confidence in public speaking. Surrey Chambers enables members with a combination of complementary skills to collaborate together to help overcome fears of networking and public speaking. Plans for 2019 include an ‘All Eyes On You’ workshop. To find out more please contact Louise on 07889 304460.




FOUR FINANCIAL ‘MUST DOS’ TO KEEP YOUR BUSINESS IN SHAPE Keep on top of your company’s financial health with these essential economic practices. By Dan Morgan, Partner at Haines Watts

Dan Morgan


s a business owner you have a lot on your plate. It is often the case that you end up spending time on the urgent issues at the expense of prioritising the important issues. Making sure that you have your finger on the pulse of your company’s financial health is vital. Keep watch on the following indicators:


Proper management of working capital is fundamental to your opera-

tional success. It is a key indicator of how efficiently your company is operating and how financially stable your business is in the short term. Working capital management not only helps you track whether you have sufficient cash flow to cover short term debts and expenses but indicates how well managed your business is. When going for an additional round of funding or reporting to your bank, good working capital management is key.


Being able to predict with some accuracy the cash your business will require to survive, particularly in these uncertain times, is essential. Accurate forecasting should enable you to plan, take advantage of cash surpluses but also alert you to any potential risks on the horizon.


Ratios are mostly a reflection on past performance, but they do provide a valuable tool for evaluating progress against internal goals. They also provide a measure against which you can compare the performance of your

business against that of a single competitor or your industry more widely. Financial rations can be a powerful tool for identifying trends and safeguarding your business against market dynamics.


A financial growth plan is not a business plan, however, it is just as important. It is a plan that works handin-hand with your business strategy. It provides the insight on how you expect your business to perform, where the financial risks may lie, documents the levels of funding you have access to and outlines plans for access to future funding. Without a financial growth plan you put your goals and strategy at risk. Many business owners I talk to, particularly those in the early stages of growth, manage the financial role personally. While there is no doubt having a sound understanding and a grip on the financials is essential, there comes a time when you may need a dedicated expert to take on responsibility for the finance function. There are a variety of options available to business owners who need support with the financial aspects of running a business – talking to your professional advisors before this becomes an issue is key.

Haines Watts





Get your business in the best possible shape for a sale and follow these do’s and don’ts by Corporate Solicitors, Matthew Lea and Kate Eyres from Herrington Carmichael. cided by the buyer and the value they think it is worth.


The speed of the negotiations and agreeing the legal documentation varies from deal to deal, but can be greatly sped up by preparing your business for sale. Matthew Lea


Kate Eyres

ou’ve put effort into making your business into the success it is so far, so on exit what are the things you need to do to maximise the value for you?

advisors. The teams you put together will play an integral role in the sales process. The teams must co-operate, communicate and work together on a range of matters.

To get started there are a number of things to consider in the lead up to selling:

Get your shop window ready and understand the value of your business from a buyer’s perspective


Putting the right professional team together


Getting your shop window ready and understanding the value of your business from a buyer’s perspective



Be prepared for the sales process and negotiations What are you going to do after completion?


You will need to assemble a dedicated team that will work on the sale, this can include a management team, legal advisers, corporate finance and tax



Before engaging with prospective buyers, you should consider undertaking an internal due diligence process, which involves reviewing your business from the perspective of a potential buyer and identifying strengths and weaknesses in order to position them correctly. Addressing and resolving any issues in advance will help maximise the value of the business. It can also help save you money in the sales process going forwards. You will also need to consider who you are aiming to sell to and what they will want to see. Remember the price of your business will ultimately be de-

In terms of the legal documentation and process, the following key items will form part of your sale: • non-disclosure agreement; • heads of terms • the sale and purchase agreement • and the disclosure process (where you have the opportunity to protect yourself against the weaknesses in your business identified in stage B) A crucial part to the process is requiring the buyer to sign a non-disclosure agreement prior to any sensitive information being provided to ensure your commercial information remains confidential. Next is commonplace for parties to enter into a heads of terms setting out the key commercial points of the deal. This document can often help focus the deal as a skeleton of agreed terms, but can also hinder if the parties get too excited in the finer legal points at this stage. The key legal document is the sale and purchase agreement. The form this document takes will depend on the method by which the business is sold. The principal methods of selling your


business is via an asset sale or a share sale. While both structures are ultimately capable of achieving the same objective there are often fundamental differences in the legal effect and the tax treatment of the two methods. The tax treatment of the two methods is often a driving force in determining what route you take. Often, the most important thing for a seller in your position is ensuring the sale qualifies for entrepreneurs’ relief. Your advisers will need to structure the deal to qualify for that relief as this will mean your proceeds of sale will be taxed at 10% rather than the full applicable capital gains tax rates. Regardless of what form the sale and purchase agreement takes, this document is fundamental and will contain many of the following contractual terms, for example, the purchase price and payment process, the assets / shares being transferred, warranties and indemnities which protect the buyer and clauses limiting your liability to the buyer which in turn protect you.

REMEMBER THE PRICE OF YOUR BUSINESS WILL ULTIMATELY BE DECIDED BY THE BUYER AND THE VALUE THEY THINK IT IS WORTH Your advisers will advise you on the form and content of these terms and negotiations should centre around agreeing a document which is as protective of you as a seller as possible.


Congratulations, you have sold your business, but what next? You will need to consider whether you will continue in the business post completion and if any part of the purchase price is conditional upon future performance? Additionally, now you have a lot (hopefully!) of cash, have you spoken to your financial adviser as to what to do with it and updated your will?

ditional specialist advice, contact our experienced corporate solicitors.

Join us for our ‘Preparing a business for sale’ event on the May 8th, at our Camberley office. E: or W: www.herrington-carmichael. com for more information.

Contact our experienced Corporate Solicitors, Kate Eyres or Matthew Lea on 0118 977 4045 for specialist advice.

This article has looked only briefly at the considerations for selling. For ad-




bigger slice of the pie SUPPORTING BUSINESSES IN THE SOUTH EAST By Richard Kerton, CEO and Co-Founder of Esme Loans

Richard Kerton


n 2017, the South East experienced the lowest unemployment rate in the UK with 3.2%, below the national average of 4.4% (Eurostat, 2018). On the other hand, towards the end of the year, the South East experienced a dip in labour which has only recently begun to bounce back. Brighton-based catering company, Piglet’s Pantry, is part of the back-bone of businesses that has turned this trend around. Having secured a loan for £35,000 from Esme in 2018, Piglet’s Pantry was able to chase growth and open up new revenue streams. Piglet’s Pantry started out when Joanne Hunter was asked by someone at Brighton’s AMEX stadium if she knew anyone who makes pies, as they were struggling to find a supplier. Having trained as a patisserie chef, Joanne jumped at the chance and created some tasting recipes. She formally applied for the contract along with hundreds of other chefs across the



country, and after making it to the top three, was thrilled to find out that her pitch had won.

- and they continue to be the official pie vendor to circa 30,000 fans at Brighton and Hove Albion FC.

Since then, she’s taken her business from strength-to-strength. From hand-making 2,500 pies for match day, she now has her own premises, two pastry making machines and employs 25 members of staff.

Talking about her experience of using Esme, founder Joanna said: “My

“As we have grown our suppliers have grown as well, which has been fantastic to see. I love being able to make a difference to people. We have been able to employ people and given people and other local businesses opportunities they may not have had otherwise.” For Piglet’s Pantry, Esme’s quick and simple process has helped the company to expand from a tiny pantry in Shoreham-on-Sea to a local success story with eight concessions and counting

Joanna Hunter, founder of Piglet’s Pantry

DIGITAL LENDING financial partner suggested Esme Loans, and the process couldn’t have been simpler. From that email recommending Esme, to having the money in my bank account available, ready to spend, it was about 48 hours which is quite incredible really. Our loan has enabled us to go out and start to grow our business. We needed new equipment and resources to get to the next stage and the loan meant I could order a blast chiller as well as hire a new production manager.”


Esme Loans is the digital lending platform where SMEs can quickly obtain unsecured loans between 10k-150k, which can be borrowed for up to five years. We saw a gap in the market for a product that was quick, easy-to-use and hassle free. Esme gives customers a fast decision on their lending application which, if successful, can see customers receive funding within just one hour. Our fastest loan from application through to drawn down currently stands at 29 minutes, something unheard of in traditional business lending. Having successfully taken Esme from start-up to scale up, the other founders and I fully understand the pain points of running a small business, and have drawn upon our own experiences of scaling to develop a product that addresses the needs of growing businesses. Whether a company is in need of capital to meet the demands of rapidly expanding business, or they simply need a short-term loan to effectively manage cash flow, Esme’s aim is to make the process as quick and easy as possible, allowing businesses to get on with what they do best. As a one of the fastest growing districts of the UK, the South East’s prosperity has seen it come in just behind London as the second largest regional economy. With the number of businesses per person higher than any other within the UK, Esme is here to support the region’s business growth.


The region [South East England] experienced the lowest unemployment rate within UK, equal to 3.2% in 2017, below the national average of 4.4% (Eurostat, 2018). The South East is a large size region and the most populous within UK with a population of almost 9.05m that accounts for 13.7% of the national total. The region is a fast growing and very prosperous area with the second largest regional economy in the UK (after London). The regional Gross Domestic Product amounted to €354b in 2016, which represents roughly 15% of UK GDP (Eurostat, 2018). The South East has the second highest levels of investment in R&D in the UK, with a Gross Expenditure on Research and Development (GERD) as a share of GDP equal to 2.34% in 2015 (Eurostat, 2018), far above the national average of 1.67%.



There were

small businesses at the start of 2018

Summary • Compared with the previous year, the private sector business population fell by 0.5% (-27,000 businesses) whilst conversely private sector employment increased by 2% (+304,000). • This contrast is attributable to the number of smaller non-employing businesses falling by 1% (-50,000) but the number of larger employing businesses rising by 2% (+23,000). • The decrease in the business population is the first fall in the series, which started in 2000. However, there were still 2.2 million (+63%) more businesses than in 2000.

SMEs and the Economy: • Small businesses accounted for 99.3% of all private sector businesses at the start of 2018 and 99.9% were small or medium-sized (SMEs). •T  otal employment in SMEs was 16.3 million; 60% of all private sector employment in the UK. • The combined annual turnover of SMEs was £2.0 trillion, 52% of all private sector turnover. • The number of businesses per person (business density) is higher in southern England than elsewhere in the UK.






Celebrating our 50th anniversary in 2019. We pride ourselves on our ability to provide independent, sophisticated and bespoke financial advice. Aissela, 46 High Street, Esher, Surrey, KT10 9QY 01372 471550 SURREY BUSINESS



SURREY ENTER NOW FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO OPEN ENTRIES MAY 1ST BECOME FOR AN AWARD WINNING COMPANY winnerswill willreceive receivethe thecoveted coveted trophy, recognition by their peers All winners trophy, recognition by their peers and and invaluable coverage the Surrey Chambers Business Magazine, invaluable coverage in thein Surrey Business Magazine, which reaches which reaches intoofevery corner ofasthe county, as recognition well as full recognition into every corner the county, well as full across the across the Platinum digitalreaching platforms 468,000 readers. Platinum digital platforms overreaching 468,000over readers.









Review the categories and determine which are most appropriate for your business. Download the entry template and write your entry ensuring that you address the criteria outlined. Keep each entry to no more than one thousand words over four pages. Save entry as a pdf and submit online.

RULES OF still ENTRY There are a few sponsorship opportunities • Entry is open to businesses with a base of operations in Surrey. • Each business is permitted For to entermore a maximuminformation of three award categories. available. contact • Each entry will be charged £50.00 per entry which covers administration costs. September 4th .2019 • All entries must be submitted by 17:00hrs on Wednesday July 11th 2018








Molly Enser meets Tim Oliver, the new leader of Surrey County Council


n November 2018, Surrey County Council’s then leader David Hodge announced his resignation. After seven years, and some controversies, it was time for a new leader to step in. Tim Oliver, leader of Elmbridge Borough Council for just six months, was announced both as leader of Surrey County Council’s conservative group, and subsequently leader of Surrey County Council in December 2018. Having qualified as a solicitor, Tim Oliver was CEO of Parabis Group until 2014. Parabis provided legal services to the insurance industry, as well as incorporating rapidly growing claims handling, loss adjusting, health and safety and rehabilitation divisions. Parabis collapsed in November 2015, a

year after Oliver had stepped down as CEO. Parabis was saved when private equity firm Duke Street invested in the company in 2016. Holding the cabinet position for people, Tim has responsibility for health and wellbeing in the county, and this clearly is an important topic for him. Amongst his visions is to work alongside the NHS 10 year plan aiming to promote healthy lifestyle choices, not only for residents within Surrey, but for businesses and their employees too. Tim has declared it is time to ‘return to Surrey’. Specifically, he has appointed a cabinet member to find a new location for County Hall; Surrey County Council’s current home is situated outside the county in Kingston Upon Thames. Although he is a reasonably new county councillor, Tim is here to listen and to change, not only to those who live in the county, but also those who work here too. Part of his plan is to save money, with the announcement that the Council has agreed to make savings of £82m from its 2019-20 budget. This certainly heralds the winds of change for Surrey County Council.




The strategy of Surrey County Council is to deliver the best quality services within the financial envelope that we find ourselves in. We want to do that in a relevant way to residents, which is about modernisation. One of the challenges we have as an organisation is when we consult on changing things people automatically see this as a negative, when actually there are things that we have done here for many years that we need to transform.


It’s about a strong Surrey economy. It’s about getting people to invest, and supporting businesses to grow. That is absolutely what the Surrey County Council wants to do. It wants a thriving economy. Challenges around that are creating the infrastructure, which supports growth in businesses. Certainly pursuing economic growth is a key strategy.

expecting though is growth in the business community and in business rates. We will be able to retain a percentage of that; so it’s absolutely inline in terms of helping to support that growth.

days due to sickness is a significant cost to any business. Those days are not just through physical sickness, but are increasingly from mental illness, which is a major challenge.



What we have done as a Health and Wellbeing board, is a sizeable piece of work to look at what we identify as 10 key health priorities and those include, a focus in large part on prevention. So it’s about first of all trying to prevent people falling into an illness, physical or mental. And then if you can’t prevent that, it’s about intervening earlier, so that it doesn’t become a chronic issue.

It has in many ways. Not just employing people, but understanding the challenges of managing expectations, career paths and plans. That all goes with the responsibility of running your own organisation. You have to have expertise in many areas, or have people that can help you around those areas. I grew a business from 50 people to 2,500 people by the time we finished, and no two days were the same. I understand the challenges of running and growing a business, and I think that’s where in many ways the county can help support organisations through that journey.


I don’t think they differ. The previous leader was very focused on exactly the same issues, how we can help and support businesses. This is about creating a foundation that we can continue to build on. The county has always seen businesses as a key partner, and of course we’re facing a funding review by central government, so by 2020 we will receive no central grants. What we are



We have plans. Without question, it’s challenging for any organisation at the moment trying to understand what the world will look like post end of March. We are here to deliver services and we’ve got the contingency plans around how we do that. Surrey has different challenges from Kent or Sussex, where they have ports and so on. So our challenges will be different, but to the extent where we can try to anticipate what might happen and we have got a team working on that.

HEALTH AND WELLBEING HAS BEEN A KEY TOPIC IN THE PAST YEAR, HOW CAN YOU BEST EDUCATE BUSINESSES ON THE IMPORTANCE OF H&W IN THE WORKPLACE? Health and Wellbeing is hugely important. If you take some statistics, 30% of health outcomes are around your own lifestyle, 20% are around medical interventions and the other 50% is social economic factors, and those are heavily influenced by local government. It might be around housing, education and so on. If you look at it from an employer’s perspective the number of lost

It’s tough for the employer when somebody goes off sick, generally there might be some contact with the person off ill, but actually it’s left to somebody else to sort those issues out and the employer is faced without a member of staff. There isn’t a system that helps work through that issue. So what we, as a county, are doing is working with the NHS, who are very focused on trying to educate people on living a better lifestyle - to drive the agenda for it. It’s a long term plan and it fits in with the NHS 10 year plan. The 2030 vision is all about encouraging people to lead healthy lives. It’s as much about educating the public about what they can do and how they can access services if they need support, as it is about businesses knowing how to access solutions.


It is important to all of us. We all want to lead as healthy lives as we can, with a good quality of life. It’s about ensuring that people can enjoy their environment. From an employment perspective, it’s about employees that are happy at work. I think staff morale is a really difficult thing to get right, in any organisation. Most businesses are going through changes of some sort especially with Brexit, and good communication is important, but a happy healthy workforce that enjoys coming to work is absolutely what we want to achieve. Whether that’s working here, or any other organisation.


It’s doing what we can in terms of improving infrastructure, making it easier to get around the county; that’s one of the key aims in our vision, as well as providing businesses with support when they want it and need it. At local level a lot of borough councils hold regular forums with businesses and I think there is quite a lot of networks of support here that we can provide. It is about us understanding what we can

engagement side is key. We have strong connections with the Local Enterprise Partnerships to support infrastructure projects. There are all sorts of things that we can help them tap into.


do to help businesses and being able to deliver what that is. We do have a successful business community and we are continuing to build on that.

As they say, if you were starting from scratch you wouldn’t design them as they are now. We have put millions and millions into the maintenance of the roads and we are putting in a further £20m.

We have a huge number of natural assets here and businesses are a key part of it. Yet the challenge is why would you work and invest in Surrey, when you can get on the train and be in London in 30 minutes? So I think what can we do collectively with businesses, and members of the chamber, is to get across that message of what it’s like to live and work in Surrey, and what it feels like.

The challenge we have is that Surrey’s roads are as heavily used as London’s, and we don’t get the same funding per mile as London. We have, over the last 12-18months, changed the way in which we approach pot holes. Historically each individual pot hole has been filled. But because of extra funding, we have moved to putting big patches on the road, so they are much longer lasting.

We’re so fortunate to be 30 minutes from London on the train, and five minutes away from rolling countryside. We have good transport links with the road, (although the roads can be a bit challenging) rail and airports. From Surrey you can pretty much go anywhere in the world easily – I think people undervalue that sometimes.

If you drive around the county at the moment you will see an improvement, but it’s a never ending issue I’m afraid. Not just for this county, but for everywhere else. We’ve absolutely maximised the use of the funds we’ve got. Part of it is weather dependant, but there are issues with the road surface itself and we are putting as much money as we possibly can into improving the challenges around getting across the county; that’s the consequence of a thriving county.


It should be easy. I think that’s something we need to look at though. The key thing is engagement, we want to hear from businesses and what they need to assist them, and facilitate that. Our


The county has an official position in supporting the third runway at Heathrow. So, subject to the conditions being met around routing and noise pollution, particularly with Brexit, we have to have a system here that works internationally. My borough of Elmbridge has a very strong view on this as it’s directly impacted by the flight path. Arguably we will have a second runway at Gatwick as well. I’m not quite sure why that wasn’t pursued as an option already. As long as the infrastructure is there to support expansion, to make sure it’s manageable, the county supports it.





t est



NEW BUSINESS DECLINES South East figures show first drop in two-and-a-half years adjusted index that measures the combined output of the region’s manufacturing and service sectors – decreased to 50.6 in January, from 51.9 in December. The latest figure signalled only a fractional increase in combined manufacturing and services output, and the weakest rate of growth in the current 30-month sequence of expansion. The South East posted a broadly similar rate of growth to the UK as a whole (50.3) in January, and also the neighbouring South West (50.4). It compared favourably with London, where a decline was registered (48.0), and no growth in the East of England (50.0).

Stuart Johnstone - MD, Corporate and Commercial Banking, London & South East


rivate sector output in the South East barely rose at the start of 2019, according to the January NatWest PMI® data. The rate of expansion was the slowest since activity started rising again following a brief shock after the EU referendum in mid2016. Moreover, the volume of incoming new business declined for the first time over this period. As a result, the level of outstanding work fell for the fourth month running, and firms cut jobs. The 12-month outlook remained subdued, linked to Brexit uncertainty. The headline NatWest South East Business Activity Index – a seasonally


The near-stalling of output at the start of the year reflected a drop in new business. Excluding the temporary shock to demand in July 2016 following the EU referendum, the rate of decline in the opening month of 2019 was the sharpest since November 2011. Weaker demand was attributed both to Brexit uncertainty and a slowing global economy.

Overall growth of output was supported by firms making further inroads into their outstanding business in January.

70 60 50 40 30






Average input prices increased at the slowest rate in eight months in January. That said, the rate of inflation remained strong in the context of historic survey data, and the South East registered an increase that was above the UK average. With input prices continuing to rise at a historically marked rate, charges rose solidly in January. The rate of output price inflation was the joint-strongest in seven months and above the longrun average.


Business expectations picked up slightly in January but remained subdued, as many firms reported that returning confidence and demand rested on the outcome of Brexit negotiations.


The NatWest South East PMI® is compiled by IHS Markit from responses to questionnaires sent to South East companies that participate in IHS Markit’s UK manufacturing and services PMI surveys.

sa, >50 = growth since previous month




New Business Index


Backlogs fell for the fourth successive month, and at the second-fastest rate since January 2012. With a lack of pressure on capacity, firms cut employment at one of the fastest rates since early-2010.









Start up

Fast growth





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International Women’s Day International Women’s Day is just around the corner and we have got an event that you simply won’t want to miss!


ecent years have seen a dramatic rise in campaigns alerting society to unwelcome prejudice that still exists in multiple forms in day-to-day life, with a specific focus on the workplace. It’s no secret that we’re entering an exciting and rapidly changing period of history that is broadcasting a worldwide call to action. Everyone has a part to play – all the time, everywhere.


Dr Subo Emanuel has recently joined Wonersh Surgery, Guildford as a GP Partner.

Liana Fricker

Liana Fricker is Founder and Managing Director of The Inspiration Space, a community that supports start-ups, creatives and entrepreneurs.

Brett Riley

CEO and Founder at ITARMI UK Ltd.

Sara Keel

Sara is the Director of Babycup Ltd.




The world requires balance. As a precursor to a better working world, we should all adopt a unified approach to help create a #BalanceforBetter. Surrey Chambers of Commerce, with the Inspiration Space, are thrilled to invite you to the 2019 International Women’s Day event, which will feature a thought-provoking discussion over a delightful two-course lunch.

With our Women in Business initiative, we’re proud to host events that continuously question and discuss issues such as gender equality, which are sadly still prevalent in the corporate world.


• Have we created a better vision or have we negatively impacted expectations for the future generation? • Are we putting too much pressure on ourselves as well as Generation Z and beyond? • Are we equipping young people with the resilience needed to grow up in this highly demanding world?

• Are we encouraging them to push boundaries or push the limits of their own wellbeing? This event will feature a number of incredibly knowledgeable speakers who will look to answer such questions as above, commenting on themes such as innovation, resilience, wellbeing, disruption  and confidence. Through personal experience and observation of the world around them, our

panellists will collectively bring such themes together to demonstrate a #BalanceforBetter. Join us on Friday March 8th as we galvanise continuous collective action, actively reinforcing and amplifying #BalanceforBetter all year round.

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY LUNCH DATE: Friday March 8th 2019 TIME: 12:00 - 14:45 THEME: Business Women In Surrey PRICE: Member Rate: £35.00 +VAT Non Member Rate: £45.00 +VAT LOCATION: The Guildford Harbour Hotel,  3 Alexandra Terrace, High Street, Guildford GU1 3DA

How pest control


can be green

Cleankill has won awards for its ethical policies


very contractor, whether they look after IT systems, lighting, catering, cleaning or pest control, should be able to demonstrate that they are being as ‘green’ as possible. Thanks to customer demand and the desire of companies like Cleankill to operate responsibly and ethically, the pest control industry has changed over the last decade and new approaches have been developed alongside a return to some traditional pest control methods like traps. Practically every company needs a pest prevention contract - ideally with a series of planned visits to monitor activity and make sure problems are spotted early. This gives ‘peace of mind’ to businesses particularly those involved with food production or retail which demand the highest standards of hygiene.

Cleankill Managing Director, Paul Bates

way. More companies are looking to procure from suppliers with green credentials which is very encouraging.”

For pest controllers, being green demands lateral thinking. It’s easier, quicker and more profitable to use chemicals than green alternatives so choose your provider carefully as there are some companies who are not ‘green’.

All pest control companies should have the approach of Exclusion, Restriction and Destruction (as a last resort). ‘Exclusion’ means looking at where pests are entering a premises and blocking entrance points. ‘Restriction’ means creating unfavourable conditions for pests and ‘destruction’ means the chemical and physical elimination of pests. Traditional traps should be used where appropriate for rodents. Cleankill technicians never blanket spray and only use pesticides as a last resort.

Cleankill Managing Director, Paul Bates, explains: “Whether it’s travelling, office work or in the field, we go above and beyond any other company in our sector to demonstrate our green credentials, and we’re dedicated to being greener and helping customers reduce their carbon footprint by operating in an environmentally sensitive

Cleankill is the only pest control company to be a corporate member of the Bat Conservation Trust. The company also regularly works with Natural England, the RSPB, other animal charities and beekeepers throughout the country to make sure bees are not harmed. Pest control services can be adapted to minimise the impact on the envi-

With offices in Surrey, Sussex, Bristol and Bucks, Cleankill has won several ‘green’ awards. Consideration for the environment continues to be at the heart of the way it does business.

ronment. For instance when premises have problems with pigeons they are often nesting on ledges or roofs that are in accessible by ladder. Cleankill realised that employing abseilers to scale buildings was a greener solution than using cherry pickers. Sometimes effective pest control requires a combination of approaches, particularly when it comes to bird control. Nesting pigeons can cause a range of problems and seagulls can cause issues by being aggressive toward people particularly around nesting time. The most natural of bird control methods is using predator birds. It is particularly suitable for places where customers don’t want netting or spikes. They are also perfect for sports stadia and open air markets. Cleankill Pest Control holds the Investors in People Gold accreditation. Contact Cleankill for a free survey on 020 8668 5477. Go to




Profile of Larry Page and Sergey Brin. By Ian Trevett


To get tickets for Brighton SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) you have to be fast. Last year, tickets for the conference were snapped up in less than 15 minutes. The search marketing event at the Brighton Centre - packed with digital marketers, techies and geeks – is a resounding success story. Famously it started up as a couple of dozen mates meeting in the upstairs room of a pub to talk about internet search, and now it is a leading industry event attracting delegates from all over the world. I attended my first Brighton SEO this autumn and was hugely impressed by the quality of speakers, the slick organisation and the buzzy atmosphere.



Digital professionals benefit enormously from events like this, but the big winner is Google. A global industry has sprung up around making the internet work better for the benefit of Silicon Valley business. Google sets the rules about how a website is rated on its all-important search engines and the SEO industry works tirelessly to ensure their clients’ websites fit Google’s model. Make no mistake, outside the Chinese domestic market, search optimisation is all about Google. At Brighton SEO, the only other search engine regularly discussed was YouTu-

be, which processes 3 billion searches a month, more than Bing, Yahoo!, Ask and AOL combined. And who owns YouTube? Who else but Google. With its huge dominance, the power of Google is impossible to overstate. If a potential customer searches online for a service or goods that your company provides, then Google will decide which business is at the top of the list. If your company doesn’t appear on the first page, then you might as well not exist. It has been calculated that an incredible 91.5% of traffic is shared by the sites listed on the first Google search results page ( seo-101/seo-statistics/).

THE BIG STORY Photos). The company leads the development of the Android mobile operating system, the Google Chrome web browser, and Chrome OS, a lightweight operating system. It has released multiple hardware products including the Google Pixel smartphone, Google Home smart speaker, Google Wifi mesh wireless router, and Google Daydream virtual reality headset.”

“THE POWER OF GOOGLE IS IMPOSSIBLE TO OVERSTATE” And then there are the ‘moonshot’ ventures, where Google goes off on a tangent with seemingly impossible projects. Google’s Company X explains: “Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin always believed in investing some of the company’s resources in hard, long-term problems. In 2010, a new division formed to work on moonshots: sci-fi sounding technologies that aim to make the world a radically better place.” Projects underway include the use of balloons for rural internet connectivity and kites for electricity generation. It easy to view Google in the context of a huge over-bearing multinational intent on global domination, but the driving force has always been the insatiable curiosity of its founders, along with the inquisitive culture they have created. It’s no wonder that businesses are keen to find out more about SEO. Personally I am fascinated by the science of how it works, but speaking to professionals in the industry, I have been taken aback by the language they unwittingly use. When I suggest ideas on how we can increase our site’s rankings, I receive answers like “Google doesn’t like that.” Or worse: “If you do that, Google will penalise you!” Penalise me?! Who or what is this vindictive monster that seeks to punish me? In the age of secularism, do we now have to prostrate ourselves on the altar of the new powerful god that is Google? Earlier this year, Google quietly removed it’s “Don’t be evil” motto from its code of

conduct. How worried should we be?


Google is so synonymous with search that the words have become almost interchangeable. But Google’s reach spreads far beyond a search engine. It influences (and usually dominates) most of the digital space. Wikipedia lists some of its vast list of industry-leading tools: “It offers services designed for work and productivity (Google Docs and Google Sheets), email (Gmail), cloud storage (Google Drive), language translation (Google Translate), mapping and navigation (Google Maps, Waze, Google Earth, Street View), video sharing (YouTube), and photo organising and editing (Google


Even with all the power and money, Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin are first and foremost techie geeks, driven by the desire to tackle big questions. Page’s father, Carl Victor Page, Sr., earned a PhD in computer science from the University of Michigan, when the field was still being established, and has been described as a “pioneer in computer science and artificial intelligence”. Page’s mother, Gloria, was a university instructor in computer programming. Growing up, Page recalled that his house “was usually a mess, with computers, science, and technology magazines and Popular Science magazines all over the place.”



Like Page, Sergey Mikhaylovich Brin was born in 1973 into an academic family, but his upbringing was very different. His father Mikhail was a mathematics professor and his mother Yevgenia was a researcher at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Both Russian Jews, they had studied at Moscow State University. His father had wanted to be an astrono-

sites looking for incoming links, with the basic idea that if websites were pointing users towards a particular site, then the site must be pretty decent. The new algorithm analysed the relevance of the backlinks that connected one Web page to another, and allowed the number of links and their rank, to determine the rank of the page.

“IF YOU’RE NOT DOING SOME THINGS THAT ARE CRAZY, THEN YOU’RE DOING THE WRONG THINGS.” mer, but the Soviets barred Jews from the physics and astronomy departments at universities. He switched to maths, even though Jews had to do more difficult entrance exams. Unsurprisingly, in 1979 the family emigrated to America, when Sergey was just six. Page and Brin met when studying for their PhDs at Stanford University, as a biography in The Economist recalls: “At an orientation for new students Brin met Larry Page, the son of computer scientists and also of Jewish background. They instantly annoyed each other. ‘We’re both kind of obnoxious,’ Mr Brin once said—as ever, half in jest, half serious. They decided to disagree on every subject that came up in conversation, and in the process discovered that being together felt just like home for both of them. They became intellectual soul-mates and close friends.” Together, the pair authored a paper titled: “The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine” - and in doing so they concluded that they could build an internet search engine far superior to those already in existence. Up to then, search engines primarily collected and retrieved URLS and titles based on pure keyword match. The problem was that a search would often take you to a site totally irrelevant to what you were looking for. Brin and Page created a search algorithm call BackRub, which would crawl



With the huge amount of processing power they needed, Page’s dormitory room became a machine laboratory. The rapid growth quickly became too much for Stanford’s computing infrastructure, which could hardly cope, and the university had to bring in new servers. In 1996 the Google search engine went live to internet users. The pair were only 23 years old. Both had a strong ethical outlook and aimed to make the world a better place. The objective from day one was to make the internet experience better for all users, and ensure that when someone tried to find something online, their search engine would take them to the right place. When web developers tried to override the system by creating

worthless incoming links to boost their ratings, the pair changed the rules by devising ways to assess the relevance of links. For instance, links from sites that were seen to be credible and authentic rather higher than other links. The Economist wrote: “Messrs Brin and Page appear to be trying to do good. They have been mocked endlessly, and understandably, for their corporate motto (“Don’t be evil”), but probably mean it. When they start to look evil, it is usually out of naivety. Google went into China agreeing to censor its search results to appease the Communists, but did so in the belief that a lot more information, with omissions clearly labelled, makes the Chinese better off. Mr Brin certainly had the Russia of his youth in mind, but agonised over the decision.” They were very young when success suddenly arrived. The pair were devoted attendees of the wild Burning Man festival in the Nevada Desert, and author and festival enthusiast, Steven Kotler, wrote: ”From the very beginning, Larry and Sergey have been kind of rabid attendees. The centre atrium at Google for years was decorated with pictures of Googlers at Burning Man, spinning fire, doing various things.” Just before Google incorporated as a company in 1998, Brin and Page left the pressure of the business behind to let loose at the festival, announcing to the world their absence by creating a Bur-






ning Man Google logo for the landing page, setting in train the trademark logo doodles. In 2001 Burning Man featured again when they sent Eric Schmidt to the festival to decide if he was the right man to become the new CEO. Being young meant their behaviour wasn’t always as mature as expected by their positions of authority. Certainly some of Sergey Brin’s actions would be frowned up on in the age of #MeToo. This year, Adam Fisher published an expose book entitled; ‘Valley of Genius: The Uncensored History of Silicon Valley (As Told by the Hackers, Founders, and Freaks Who Made It Boom).’ Fisher interviewed Charlie Ayers, Google’s first executive chef, who said, “Sergey’s the Google playboy. He was known for getting his fingers caught in the cookie jar with employees that worked for the company in the masseuse room. He got around. H.R. told me that Sergey’s response to it was, “Why not? They’re my employees.” But you don’t have employees for screwing! That’s not what the job is.”

Another early Google employee, Heather Cairns, recalled her reaction at the time: “Oh my God: This is a sexual harassment claim waiting to happen! That was my concern.”

dies, nap pods, video games, ping pong and on-site physicians. The employee code of conduct has written an entire section on how dogs are welcome in the workplace.

Most of the pair’s behaviour was harmlessly childish: Another early employee commented: “Google was not a normal place at all. There was just all kinds of weird stuff going on. I would just walk around and check stuff out like the kid in Willy Wonka going around the chocolate factory. Larry and Sergey would be on the floor doing crap with LEGOs.”

A recent survey showed that 86% of Googlers say they’re extremely or fairly satisfied with their job.

Heather Cairns, Google’s fourth employee summed up the scene succinctly: “Larry and Sergey were first and foremost, and probably still are, inventors. That was their true love.” They created a working culture that has been admired and copied around the globe. Employees have always been encouraged to innovate and think big. They were one of the first companies to encourage flexible working and the perks include free, organic, chef-prepared meals, free health and dental, hybrid car subsi-

Larry Page describes the culture: “It’s important that the company be a family, that people feel that they’re part of the company and that the company is like a family to them. When you treat people that way, you get better productivity.”


After a while trouble started brewing for Google. It had become too successful, too big and less agile. It faced the problem feared by all dynamic young companies, it was become the establishment rather than the disruptor. The problem was described by Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg in “How Google Works’: “In his 2013 Founders’ Letter (to all Google employees) Larry Page noted that ‘over time many



THE BIG STORY companies get comfortable doing what they have always done, with a few incremental changes. This kind of incrementalism leads to irrelevance over time, especially in technology, because change needs to be revolutionary, not evolutionary.’ Larry was concerned that as we were slowing down, becoming more process-driven, and acting like a big company, we ran the risk of realising our worst possible fate: becoming irrelevant.



“This is what drove the creation of Alphabet, which we announced in 2015. Google became a subsidiary of the new holding company as well as Waymo (self-driving cars), Nest, X (Loon and other moonshots), DeepMind and Sidewalk Labs, all of which have their own culture, processes and leadership. “…The Alphabet decision was ambitious and totally Larry: bold, innovative and decisive. To our knowledge, no other company of our size has done a corporate restructuring like this. Companies create operating divisions with presidents; they don’t cleave themselves into multiple pieces, at least not when things are going well. “…Forces in big companies can actively conspire against smart creatives who are trying to do something different. You aren’t just trying to climb a mountain; people are dropping rocks on you when you ascend! Alphabet is our bid to defeat these forces and keep Google and its sister companies nimble, uncomfortable, and relevant.”

Sergey Brin is the current President of Alphabet Inc. and Larry Page is the CEO.

say it is guilty of hiding criticisms of its own bad publicity.


It is a notorious tax avoider. To the fury of the EU regulators, Google bases its European operations in low-tax Ireland and remits significant profits to a company in Bermuda as payments for intellectual property. 

For all Page and Brin’s best intentions, many believe that Google is indeed evil. A typical comment online on a tech chat room declares: “Google is categorically evil. It’s a monopoly on information. It has more email users than anyone else, it has a virtual complete monopoly on searches. You are its product, it sells you and your information to advertisers. “It controls what you see and how you view it. It has the power to make you like things or dislike things.” Many accuse it of creating biased search results and

In many regards it acts like a large global corporation. The power it wields is overbearing and having such a strong monopoly is unhealthy. But perhaps its greatest crime is being too innovative, too creative - and simply being better than its competitors. Yes, it is worrying that one business dominates the internet, but would our lives be better without Google? Rather than look on in envy, perhaps we should thank Page and Brin for creating such effective and useful products. Perhaps the value of Google is best described by the Information Technology journal which wrote in 2009: “In 1440, Johannes Gutenberg introduced Europe to the mechanical printing press, printing Bibles for mass consumption. The technology allowed for books and manuscripts‍—‌originally replicated by hand‍—‌to be printed at a much faster rate, thus spreading knowledge and helping to usher in the European Renaissance ... Google has done a similar job.”



Up to 67% off † Business Breakdown Cover for Chamber members Service level



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Accident Management

Takes the hassle out of arranging repair, recovery and insurance claims after an accident or vandalism.

For more information or to take up this offer, please contact your local Accredited Chamber of Commerce. Direct Debit. To make life easier, you can now pay for your breakdown cover by Direct Debit. Based on Fleetwide 3 Standard rates for 3-6 vehicles. All the above prices are per vehicle per year, inclusive of IPT (Insurance Premium Tax). All prices are subject to change. Fleetwide cover does not apply to: specialist vehicles, ie: taxis, mini cabs, hire vehicles, ambulances, police vehicles, vehicles on tradeplates, minibuses, privately owned vehicles (unless used for business purposes), motorcycles and courier vehicles (all of which can be covered on Specialist rates as above), or any vehicles over 3.5 tonnes gvw. Terms and conditions apply. *Relay and Relay Plus services are not provided at or within ¼ mile of driver’s home address. Offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. Offer prices are only available while your Chamber membership is current. We reserve the right to review pricing at any time. Full terms and conditions available on request by calling 0800 55 11 88. Business Breakdown cover is provided by Automobile Association Developments Limited (trading as AA Breakdown Services). Relay Plus is underwritten by Acromas Insurance Company Limited. Acromas Insurance Company Limited is authorised and regulated by the Commissioner of Insurance, Financial Services Commission, Gibraltar, and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, United Kingdom. Acromas Insurance Company Limited is a member of the Association of British Insurers. Head Office: 57-63 Line Wall Road, Gibraltar. Registered Number 88716 (Gibraltar). UK brand address: Acromas Insurance Company Limited, Enbrook Park, Folkestone, Kent, CT20 3SE. Automobile Association Insurance Services Limited is an insurance intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered Office: Fanum House, Basing View, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG21 4EA. Registered in England and Wales number 2414212. †


Expect the


The special 10th Acumen Business Convention takes place on May 8th at The Grand Brighton


ou can always expect the unexpected at the ACUMEN BUSINESS CONVENTION and this year, at its special edition tenth anniversary, it will top all others. The event will feature a special 10th Anniversary Guest Speaker Mr Tony Bloom, the man behind the phenomenal transformation of the Amex Stadium, the owner and Chair of the now Premier League Club, Brighton & Hove Albion. The keynote spot will feature Simon Woodroffe OBE, the Founder of YO! Sushi, a Dragons’ Den investor and the guest of TV shows such as Question Time and ITV’s Millionaire’s Club. New for this special tenth edition event is the three(!) Speakers Arenas (TED talk style) and an After Party! As always,



there will be live entertainment, three speakers arenas, organised and freerange networking, link & learn sessions and a lot of Acumen surprises throughout the day. Since 2009, ACUMEN BUSINESS LAW has been making waves in Brighton by staging the ACUMEN BUSINESS CONVENTION, a unique annual event put on for the business community to promote, celebrate and learn from all aspects of the business world. This year marks a decade of this prestigious occasion with the special tenth year edition being held on May 8th at the Grand Hotel in Brighton. The convention has become an important event for the movers and shakers of the business scene in the

Tony Bloom, Chairman of Brighton & Hove Albion FC

South East. To celebrate, there will be some very special features ensuring that this event is not to be missed. Other guest speakers include Graham Moore, the co-founder of Humantopia, one of the country’s leading speakers


“THE EVENT ATTRACTS IN EXCESS OF 300 BUSINESS DECISION MAKERS AND IS NOW RECOGNISED AS THE MOST PRESTIGIOUS AND PROFESSIONAL BUSINESS CONFERENCE SOUTH OF LONDON” Lambe of Bold Decisions, Sarah Rudder of Ginger Dog Development, Janet Gordon of Bluestarfish Consulting and Neil Laughton of Laughton & Co.

and authorities on improving wellbeing for students and staff in the workplace and Jules White, the entrepreneur’s sales coach and author of Live it Love it Sell it. Jules brings great experience to the conference having won investment in the Dragons’ Den from Peter Jones for her business ‘Truly Madly Baby’ - the reason she is known as the real dragon slayer! The Speakers Arenas will feature six fantastic arena sessions showcasing local success stories, these include: Anthony Prior founder of Bagleman, Tom Druitt founder of The Big Lemon, Nigel

The event has been inspiring the business leaders in the South East, as well as supporting local charities by ensuring the event supports a different charity every year. It attracts in excess of 300 business decision makers and is now recognised as the most prestigious and professional business conference south of London.  Besides knowledge, inspiration and the latest business trends, it provides its audience with the perfect platform to endorse their business in front of leaders and decision makers of established businesses. The programme line up  exceeds itself year on year and attendance is increasingly in demand; it’s definitely the place to be in May!

ruary and each year the event is sold out. With only limited places available in the Empress Suite at the Grand Hotel, make sure you secure your ticket today and take advantage of the early booking offer by visiting Acumen’s convention website on  You can find all the information there and see the spectacular programme full of inspiration, knowledge and experiences that will be happening on the day.  Of course, as with any ACUMEN BUSINESS CONVENTION, there will be more uncovered on the day with that special touch of Acumen magic.

Every year most delegates have secured their tickets by the end of FebPenina Shepherd, Founder & CEO, ACUMEN BUSINESS LAW

2019 Convention Partners: The Agora Clinic; The Missing Piece; ACUMEN PEOPLE; Brighton Cakes; Cooden Tax Consulting; Face Media Group; Hot Yoga South; MyTeamSafe®; Platinum Business Magazine; Revolution PTS; Search Seven; SRC Corporate Finance; Sussex Chamber of Commerce; The Sussex Sign Company; Watson Associates; xoomtalk






&WELLBEING It has long been recognised that a healthy workforce has a dramatic effect on productivity, leads to less absent days, increased motivation, company loyalty and overall economic prosperity.

Throughout 2019, this magazine will partner with a selection of major companies in the sector to offer advice on how to deal with the growing crisis of avoidable employee absent days. We intend to lead the way on this subject to aid in the economic prosperity of our region.




prevent absence?


Cost of sickness absence and worklessness

Annual budget for NHS

The obvious benefit of having a healthy workforce is that healthier employees are absent less often. Healthy workers are more motivated to stay in work, recover from sickness quicker and are at less risk of long term illness.


of sickness, absence, lost productivity through worklessness, and health-related productivity losses, are estimated to be over

In addition, organisations stand to make substantial cost savings by promoting health in the workplace and reducing sickness absence.


GDP of Portugal

This is greater than the current annual budget for the NHS and equivalent to the entire GDP of Portugal.

“We are embedding health and well-being at the heart of our business strategy because our people are our greatest asset, and we recognise that a healthy, happy and committed workforce is vital to our business success.” Alex Gourlay, CEO, Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc.


MILLION workdays are lost to work-related stress, anxiety or depression in 2017


2 IN 5 employees are working at peak performance.

JUST 28% of employees surveyed say their employer has a Wellbeing Strategy, and this drops to just 13% of employers of up to 250 staff.

Employees who work for an organisation that has a Wellbeing Strategy are



Mental ill-health costs each employer



per year

The London School of Economics analysed data from the Royal Mail, where an investment of


in the wellbeing of their staff generated a £225 million return on investment from 2004 to 2007.





Wellbeing, Productivity and Presenteeism SAM REHAN WWW.WELLBEINGATWORK.GLOBAL

The 2018 Health and Well-being at Work survey, involved over 1,000 HR professionals and was conducted by the CIPD and Simplyhealth. The survey revealed that almost nine in ten (86 per cent) HR professionals had observed presenteeism in their organisation in the past year, compared with 72% in 2016 and only 26% in 2010. Professor Sir Cary Cooper, president of the CIPD and professor of organisational psychology and health at the University of Manchester, warned: ‘“Although sickness absence is lower, presenteeism is on the increase,” and that “the concerns about job security from Brexit and the aftermath of the recession have led to people needing to show ‘face time’, worried that high absenteeism would lead to possible redundancy.” Aside from other health related costs aside, presenteeism can be very expensive for a business. Employees are significantly less productive when they are unwell and passing their illness to other workers further reduces productivity. Sick staff are more likely to make mistakes and produce less quality wok and interaction than healthy employees. What can be done?


roductivity is a complex field. The UK Office for National Statistics (ONS) describes in simple terms, that labour productivity measures the amount of output produced per worker: higher productivity means that a business produces more output for each worker it employs. Increased productivity over time means businesses can produce more goods and services per unit of input (labour, capital and others). The UK’s relatively poor productivity performance since 2008 has reflected in the prominence of productivity discussions and comparisons. ONS describes the impact of size, foreign direct investment (FDI), management practices and trade as some of the markers to why some businesses are excelling more than others. The ONS offers an interactive productivity benchmarking tool, to allow businesses



to calculate their productivity over time and also compare their productivity performance to other businesses in their industry. Only three pieces of information is required: turnover (or sales), purchases of inputs (excluding investment), and how many people are employed. What of wellbeing markers? In Improving Lives: the work, health and disability green paper, the Government describes wellbeing as ‘when a person feels comfortable, healthy or happy’. Published figures (ONC) show that employees took an average of 4.1 sickness absence days in 2017 and that the average number of sickness absence days that UK workers take has almost halved since 1993. Good news? Alarm bells have rung. Experts warn that an increase in presenteeism,  where people go to work even though they are ill, is a huge cause for concern and is reducing productivity in the UK.

The CIPD found that Presenteeism stems from a lack of employee wellbeing initiatives and warns ‘‘If organisations are serious about improving people’s well-being, they need to dig deep and take action to combat the root problems causing poor mental health, such as unmanageable workloads – yet again by far the greatest cause of stress at work according to our survey.’’ In short, the CIPD’s UK Working Lives survey report (2018) identified health and wellbeing as the single most important aspect of job quality in terms of the key outcomes, concluding that ‘being well is working well’.

REFERENCES consultations/work-health-anddisability-improving-lives 2018 Health and Well-being at Work survey by the CIPD and Simplyhealth. (2018) CIPD UK Working Lives [online] Survey report.


KT13 0YP


KT13 0YP

SURREY’S FITTEST BUILDING Superb HQ offices in a prestige location Market-leading sustainability credentials: ‘A’(24) rated EPC Fitwel accreditation Multi-modal transport access: car, bike, shuttle bus, train Great amenities on the doorstep: 3 coffee shops, David Lloyd fitness centre, M&S/Tesco superstores Flexible to occupier requirements: available from 3,000 - 36,000 sq ft 122 car spaces with scope for potential additional provision

D A K O TA - W E Y B R I D G E . C O M






THE BARE TRUTH What does the impact of corporate wellness programmes and natural remedies have on personnel health and business performance? Kevin Leivers, Managing Director of one of the South’s most innovative new healthcare companies, The Naked Pharmacy, discusses

to illness has a knock-on effect to all areas including families, finances and work deadlines, and time for personal wellness often takes a back seat too. One ill body/mind system can knock you off your feet – the immune system can be affected with repeated colds and flu, poor cardiovascular health can lead to high blood pressure, an out of balance nervous system can trigger anxiety/depression and musculoskeletal problems can lead to joint pain with a loss of mobility.


s the MD of a company that is growing rapidly, Kevin understands the impact that his own health and the health of his employees has on the performance of his business. The Naked Pharmacy is a small but growing team so just one absence due



Kevin Leivers hails from a background in research and development in the pharmaceutical industry. Beginning at the age of 16 with Boots Research, he worked with Dr John Nicholson who was part of the team that discovered Ibuprofen. He then went on to be Chief Pharmacist for a Swiss herbal pharmaceutical company for 11 years.

In 2016 he set up The Naked Pharmacy as the first 100% natural pharmacy in Europe providing herbal, food-based medicines and pharmaceutical grade supplements known as nutraceuticals. He says: “Experience has shown me that food and nutrition are fundamental drivers for wellness and that natural remedies facilitate the body’s pathways to work more effectively and safely. “We had a recent customer who is a typical example. His illness started in his 30s with a viral infection which spiralled so much he was unable to work. When he came to us for help, he was taking four ibuprofen three times a day and two paracetamol three times a day. He was also feeling exhausted, very low, his symptoms were getting worse and the prescriptions from his GP were not working. When I first

HEALTH & WELLBEING spoke to him, he couldn’t walk more than a few hundred yards.” Kevin advised him to take Natruflex, a high strength turmeric to reduce his reliance on painkillers, black garlic for his cardiovascular health, and Saffrosun, a saffron supplement to lift his mood. Six weeks later he had stopped taking painkillers, his mental health had significantly improved, and he had been able to resume work. Companies and employees are realising that proactive healthcare is much more sustainable in the long term as opposed to sitting and waiting for illness to strike. Alongside this there is increasingly persuasive scientific evidence on foods in proven strengths and the benefits that they give to mental and physical symptoms. With The Naked Pharmacy your workforce can have a one-to-one consultation with a pharmacist to ward off potential issues before they become chronic, or you can treat an existing illness naturally and without side effects before it snowballs into a much bigger issue. Natural solutions guaranteed with The Naked Pharmacy: •Effectivedose - the correct level of active ingredients for them to be effective (high potency) •Full spectrum - the full range of active ingredients rather than a single isolated active - for example, 15 curcuminoids vs 1 curcumin in our turmeric supplement, and Natruflex is combined with black pepper to aid absorption

EXPERIENCE HAS SHOWN ME THAT FOOD AND NUTRITION ARE FUNDAMENTAL DRIVERS FOR WELLNESS AND THAT NATURAL REMEDIES FACILITATE THE BODY’S PATHWAYS TO WORK MORE EFFECTIVELY AND SAFELY • Evidence based - all based on independent, human clinical research • 100% Natural - pure, natural food extracts free from side effects •CustomersupportfromourPharmacists - professional, honest and transparent advice from a team of pharmacists on the safe and effective natural solutions •Sustainable manufacturing practises – Fairtrade, organic and suitable for vegans and vegetarians Kevin continues: “We invested a lot into research and formulation before we made the first product batches, so we knew we had the proper clinical research to demonstrate effectiveness. “A couple of months after we launched Saffrosun, I spoke to a practitioner about a client who had chronic anxiety. After taking the saffron he felt an immediate release from his symptoms and felt able to cycle for the first time in years. Two years later this client is working again and has now started his own business. We have so many of these case studies which I find inspiring and humbling.”

In 2018 Kevin was named ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ at the Surrey & Hampshire Business Awards, along with being selected as the ‘Natural Pharmacy of the Year 2018’. “I want to make a real difference which was why I got into pharmacy in the first place. Even though conventional drugs are the right approach for some conditions, I saw that many health problems are driven by diet and lifestyle where natural solutions are a better choice.” The Naked Pharmacy products are currently available through 120 retail pharmacies and health stores in the South East or online at

If you are interested in finding out more information about our corporate wellness programmes or to discuss how we can help you and your employees please email Kevin: or call 01483 685632.




with a bump

Pregnancy and the working woman. Strategies to get you through the 9-5 whilst pregnant. Words: Kate Morton


ou’ve hit one of your most life-changing experiences, you’re going to have a baby. You’ve spread the word amongst family and friends and now it’s time to manage your working situation, be it employed or self-employed. Whilst facing possibly one of the most exciting nine months you will ever have, you will also be contending with new thought processes about your career, income, and your future. Your brain will be somersaulting with questions and decisions, however, remembering yourself and your baby is your number one priority.

rate among women of ‘prime working age’ (aged 25-54) is up from 57% in 1975 to a record high of 78% in 2017 (www. So what does this mean? For some women, having a baby often coincides with a time when their ca-

with your feet up sipping ginger tea? If you’re healthy and experiencing a normal pregnancy, you will no doubt decide to continue to work, with the help of a few adjustments and changes to priorities. Some jobs may be ok at the beginning of pregnancy and get more challenging towards the end; schedules and hours may need to be altered and you may need an extra pair of hands at your desk.

“For some women, having a baby often coincides with a time when their career is taking off, however, pregnancy at work doesn’t have to be a constant struggle”

On average, around 250 babies are born every minute, that’s more than 130 million a year and it is projected that there will be 11 billion people on the planet by 2100. With that comes an almost continual rise in the proportion of women in employment in the UK. The employment



reer is taking off, however, pregnancy at work doesn’t have to be a constant struggle. Many women continue to work throughout their pregnancy without any problems, yet pregnancy causes many changes to the body as well as to overall health and wellbeing, and your goal is to stay safe and healthy for both yourself and your baby. So how do you survive the working day? Is continuing to work a good idea or should you just stay at home

Between physical changes, fatigue (sometimes extreme), bursts of energy, emotional highs and lows, and frequent trips to the bathroom, here are a few strategies to keep you calm and collected at work.

Take frequent breaks

You may get more tired than usual, especially in the first and last trimesters, so make sure you take short breaks. Use the opportunity at lunch to eat and rest, or go for a short walk in the fresh

HEALTH & WELLBEING air to get your heart pumping to help with that afternoon slump.


Snacks are imperative during pregnancy especially if you suffer from morning sickness (which unfortunately isn’t always limited to the morning). Take healthy snacks with you to munch on throughout the day and remember to keep it simple. Ginger, peppermint, and lemon tea will help calm your stomach whilst snacks such as crackers, pretzels, toast and even soup can help a churning tummy. And remember to stay hydrated!


Stress unfortunately comes hand in hand with pregnancy so keep any emotional slumps at bay with lots of early nights and gentle exercise which will help release endorphins and get the blood flowing. Meditation,

massage, yoga and even acupuncture are all good ways to help reduce stress and anxiety.

Ask for help

Work is pilling up on your desk and you’ve got a deadline looming - don’t face it alone. Take a deep breathe, stay calm and ask for help. If you can’t complete it all in time, say you need extra time and help. If you work for yourself, keep clients in the loop, give them realistic time scales and schedule your meetings wisely - don’t be overambitious. Regular exercise during pregnancy can improve your posture and decrease some common discomforts such as backache and fatigue. It will keep you fit during pregnancy, ultimately preparing you for the physical challenge of labour and birth. It will improve muscle tone, strengthen your core and boost your mood.

The employment rate among women of ‘prime working age’ (aged 25-54) is up from 57% in 1975 to a record high of 78% in 2017

75% 57%




Here are four desk-based exercises to keep your body moving in the right way during pregnancy.


Good for strengthening your thighs and boosting circulation - keep your feet flat on the floor and slowly lift one knee to a comfortable height, keeping the leg lifted, slowly straighten the leg without locking the knee, repeat on each side.


This is one exercise no-one will ever know you’re doing. A strong pelvic floor can support your baby and your bladder in pregnancy, help rotate your baby’s head during labour, and help prevent prolapse and stress incontinence once your baby is born.


Depending on your working environment, where possible, swap your chair for an exercise ball. Sitting and bouncing lightly on a ball will work your core muscles, encourage better posture and relax the lower back and hip muscles make sure your ball is firmly inflated.

Regularstretching PLATINUM TOP TIP: All the furniture at Platinum Towers is from Posturite and one side benefit of our sit stand desks is that when one of our team was pregnant, she would raise the desk, slide her bump in and then lower the desk to just above her bump, thus allowing her to decrease the reach to her keyboard. Brilliant!

Your joints and ligaments are more relaxed during pregnancy so take time to slowly stretch every day to realign muscles and ease any strain on joints. Take time to walk around the office - don’t stay desk-bound all day.



Wellbeing = increased


There is growing recognition of the importance of individual wellbeing inside and outside the workplace. In working to get the very best out of their organisation, many managers are choosing to adopt practices to increase the wellbeing of their staff.


recent and comprehensive study* suggests improvement in wellbeing will result in improved workplace performance: in profitability (financial performance), labour productivity and the quality of outputs or services.

What is wellbeing?

The term “wellbeing” covers several aspects of the way people feel about their lives, including their jobs, and their relationships with the people around them. Of course, a person’s wellbeing is to do with their own character and home or social life along with the workplace, but research shows that em-



ployers can have an influence on an individual’s sense of wellbeing in the way they run a workplace.

How can individual wellbeing at work be improved?

Employers have the potential to influence the wellbeing of their staff. There is no ‘one size fits all’ but where employers are able to raise wellbeing in their workforce, they are also likely to see improvements in the performance of their workplace and their bottom line. There will be different factors that influence wellbeing at an individual level,

but detailed analysis of a wide range of research studies has suggested that there are 11 key factors for increasing wellbeing to boost performance in general. • Where employees have a degree of autonomy over how they do their job – this does not mean that people should ignore set processes, but could mean that staff have a level of discretion about how they undertake their work • Variety in the work employees undertake, which could be addressed through job design.

HEALTH & WELLBEING “Research shows that employers can have an influence on an individual’s sense of wellbeing in the way they run a workplace.” • S taff respond positively to a sense that their job has significance within the workplace, as well as the perceived value of the job to society. • Being clear about what is expected of staff, including feedback on performance.

safety of work practices, the adequacy of equipment and the pleasantness of the work environment.

I will discuss this in more depth next month including ways to improve your employees mental resilience and therefore increase productivity & ROI– we’d all like that right?

• A sense of job security and clear career prospects both help increase wellbeing.

• Supportive supervision.

• S taff respond well to the perception of fairness in the workplace.

•S  taff also benefit from positive interpersonal contact with other people. This includes contact with managers and co-workers, as well as with customers or the general public (where the job requires it).

• Higher pay was also registered as a strong positive motivator. However, this relationship depends not only on the absolute level of pay but how this compares with the pay of other workers.

• Opportunities for employees to use and develop their skills.

Alongside these factors which can boost wellbeing, the research also showed that when the demands of a job are particularly high this can reduce wellbeing. A key thread that

• A sense of physical security is important for employees, including the

runs through many of these factors is ensuring good, open communication with employees. Involving employees in decision making, especially in combination with good leadership and line management is extremely helpful.

Mandy Brook is the MD or The Wellbeing & Performance Company. You can contact her at or check out our website at or call the team on 01424 236900 *(GOV.UK – Review of evidence on employee wellbeing and its potential impact on workplace performance)



Make a move

Sedentary behaviour and prolonged computer work can lead to serious health problems. Posturite, the leading workplace health and wellbeing specialists, tell us why we all need to move more


s a result of millions of years of evolution, you are now the guardian of a complex musculoskeletal system consisting of hundreds of bones, muscles, ligaments and other connective tissues specifically designed to give you the support, strength and agility to move around. While our bodies are perfectly geared up for wandering the prairies, looking for food and warding off sharp-toothed animals, our lifestyles have moved on somewhat. Modern first-world life is designed to be as low effort as possible: we like everything to be easy, convenient and immediately available. This is the philosophy behind the traditional office. Gather all employees in one place between specific times, with allocated workstations and set breaks for optimum productivity. It’s sound logic, except that humans, physiologically and behaviourally, don’t actually operate like this. We are generally healthier when we’re mixing rest with regular movement. Studies have linked sedentary behaviour with increased risk of being overweight, obese, having type 2 diabetes, developing some types of cancer, and dying prematurely. It also slows the metabolism, which makes it harder for the body to break down fat or regulate blood sugar and blood pressure. In essence, one of the worst things you can do for your health is spend a lot of time sitting down. According to WHO, physical inactivity is the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality.

Above and right: The Opløft Sit-Stand Platform

breaks and ergonomically set up equipment, workers often find themselves in uncomfortable positions without adequate support. The repetitive nature of computer work eventual-

ly tires muscles out, leading to injuries that cost businesses millions each year in lost working days.

know that when we don’t move for a long time we can start to feel sluggish, tired, unfocused and uninspired. One University of California study found that people who move less experience thinning in the area of their brain responsible for memory formation. More worrying is that even high levels of exercise didn’t seem to stop the brain degeneration, suggesting it is the frequency of movement and not the intensity that matters. The question is: how can we move more when our jobs require us to be seated?

Research shows it’s bad for our bodies, but how does sitting all day actually make us feel? Empirically, we

That’s where products like sit-stand desks come in. University College London recently used our Opløft Sit-Stand

“According to WHO, physical inactivity is the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality”

Prolonged computer work can also increase the risk of musculoskeletal disorders. Without regular movement




“While our bodies are perfectly geared up for wandering the prairies, looking for food and warding off sharp-toothed animals, our lifestyles have moved on somewhat” Platform in a trial that found a profound improvement in office workers’ performance after a week of sit-stand working. It doesn’t take much to be more active, but it could make a huge difference to your health. We’ve put together a few more ideas for Platinum Business readers to get started with:


USE A SIT-STAND DESK The simple act of moving from sitting to standing, when repeated throughout the day, activates your muscles, raises the heart rate and gets you out of poor postures.


PARK FURTHER FROM YOUR OFFICE Even if it’s just a few spaces further than your usual spot, those extra steps add up over days, weeks, months and years.


WEAR A FITNESS WATCH TO TRACK ACTIVITY Everyone loves a graph. Quantify and track your progress with a wearable watch to keep your motivation levels up.


WALK AT LUNCH Don’t lunch ‘al-desko’ - use your break to go for a walk. You could even invite colleagues along or turn it into a walking meeting.


STRETCH REGULARLY A series of gentle desk-based stretches every hour will relieve tension and keep your body feeling supple.


LEAD BY EXAMPLE Active working, which is what all of this is, can be tricky to start in an office where there’s long been a culture of presenteeism (appearing to work for longer hours by being present at a desk). It takes a bold person to get things going. Help yourself to the many resources you can find at to inspire your co-workers. Pretty soon, your whole office will feel healthier, more energised and productive.

About Posturite Workplace health and wellbeing specialists Posturite have long been champions of moving more at work. They sold their first sit-stand desk in 1994 and have been refining their designs ever since. At the end of last year the company unveiled their most exciting sit-stand desk yet: Opløft, Scandinavian-inspired and designed to be easily carried between workspaces or stored away to cater for the rising number of home workers and hot-deskers. Find out more at:



A happy holistic workforce DMH Stallard’s focus on a healthy workplace supports the delivery of service excellence


ccording to the World Health Organisation, most of us (58%) spend one-third of our adult life at work. With that figure in mind, it’s important that employers do all they can to provide an environment that helps maintain a healthy and happy workforce. DMH Stallard encourage talented staff to progress their career with the firm whilst benefitting from a great working environment that delivers excellent service to clients. They have been investing in a healthy workplace for some time. The firm’s holistic approach to mental and physical wellbeing is highly regarded and was an influential factor in the assessment that led to a Silver Award from Investors in People (IIP). A dedicated learning and development team has created a comprehensive programme that staff are encouraged to take advantage of, with initiatives covering everything from nutrition and fitness to resilience and positive thinking. Marzia Edwards, Learning & Development Manager, said: “Our IIP Silver Award recognised the significant commitment made by the firm to give colleagues the opportunity to broaden their horizons in terms of healthier living, better physical conditioning, mental

wellbeing and personal development.” Building on the national ‘Learning at Work Week’ initiative, we have designed sessions that have included topics such as mindfulness, nutrition and healthy cooking. Exercise is also actively encouraged with office pilates, yoga and massages organised.

“We introduced a flexibility policy in the summer that has been very well received. Individuals can, when necessary, arrange their hours around personal appointments and family commitments. This may involve working from home or simply starting the day earlier or later, depending on where they need to be.

“A wellbeing policy is much more than ticking a box, it’s about creating a safe and rewarding workplace where people can thrive” Marzia added: “It is heartening that 119 staff attended the resilience and wellbeing workshops during 2018, with many reporting real benefits to their lives, inside and outside of the working environment.” At the core of DMH Stallard’s integrated wellbeing strategy is the adoption of HR policies and procedures that are geared towards balancing the needs of the business, with the functional flexibility that allows people to operate most effectively. Caroline Wright, HR Manager, said:

“We also work very hard to support career development by ensuring staff can access knowledge-based training and fully engage with continuous professional development. A regular staff survey gives all staff the opportunity to let us know what they think, and it’s anonymous too so people feel comfortable sharing whatever they like.” Developing a physical workspace that reflects high modern standards is also an integral part of the wellbeing philosophy at DMH Stallard. The firm’s head of office operations, Graham Lawrence, said: “Good design is fundamentally important and we’ve worked hard to create bright, open plan offices wherever possible, and certainly brought that ambition to bear when we relocated from Gainsborough House to Origin One in the centre of Crawley. “We created a bigger breakout room than we have had previously to allow staff to get away from their screens in a comfortable environment where they can interact with others. A new coffee machine was also installed and areas used for printing and copying were sensitively screened to limit noise disturbances in other areas. Every office




“According to the World Health Organisation, most of us (58%) spend onethird of our adult life at work” is also equipped with a defibrillator. I hope they won’t ever be used but quick access to a defibrillator can literally mean the difference between life and death.” And it’s not all work and no play at the firm. A social programme from Brighton to London, and all the offices in between, keeps people busy, whether it’s fundraising for a host of fantastic good causes, representing DMH Stallard at football, cricket and volleyball, to name just a few sports, and, of course, in the many quizzes that staff take part in. Vanessa Joll, who is a Partner at DMH Stallard, coordinates many of the events outside office hours. She said: “Having a really busy social calendar is ideal for getting to know colleagues better, especially in a relaxed and fun environment. It’s great for team building and after a busy day in the office or in court, taking part in a competition is a good way to let off some steam, especially when we win!” Richard Pollins, Managing Partner at DMH Stallard, said: “The firm has grown quickly over recent years and with that growth comes great responsibility to have in place a framework of support that underpins both professional and personal development.


Only of IIP businesses have achieved the Silver Award. In their latest report on DMH Stallard from July 2018, comments by the IIP assessors included: ‘The fi rm is well managed with high standards of governance and has very clear people processes, which are consistently applied across the business.’ Richard Pollins

“One of our central strategic goals is to make DMH Stallard a better place to work. Wellbeing is at the heart of this. With the expertise and experience of dedicated HR, and Learning and Development teams, we’ve made wellbeing integral to the firm’s culture. “Of the many steps that demonstrate our progress, I’m particularly proud that, in addition to signing the Time to Change Employer Pledge, we now have six trained mental health first aiders within DMH Stallard.

‘DMH Stallard strongly believes in investing in its people and continually reviews its HR practices to ensure effectiveness in the way in which it engages with its people.’ ‘The firm continues to invest heavily in learning and development and people’s personal and professional growth.’ 1st Floor, Wonersh House, The Guildway, Old Portsmouth Road, Guildford GU3 1LR. Tel: 01483 302345

“A wellbeing policy is much more than ticking a box, it’s about creating a safe and rewarding workplace where people can thrive.”



Does wellbeing pay...? By Paul Ollerton, Managing Director at ViiSana Ltd who wholeheartedly ‘get it’, and who need holding back from spending their entire budget on wellness, and those who honestly see wellness as a far-away land of gyms, treadmills and bottles of green juice (at a recent meeting the owner chuckled with his colleagues at the concept of their employees ‘being well’!). Paul Ollerton


o self-respecting business owner can avoid the growing emphasis being put on the wellbeing of their employees. And quite rightly so. Gone are the days of offering a competitive salary, backed with good leadership and long-term career prospects. Our people want more – they want to feel well at work and at home, and they choose to work in an environment that enhances their lives. But it begs a big question – ‘does the investment in wellbeing for a business owner give a real return?’ The purpose of this month’s article is to put forward an honest view from an (honest) business owner. Many of those who will read this article will suffer from the same conundrum, that cashflow tends to dictate whether day-to-day operational investment decisions are made or postponed. My aim is to give some perspective to this question – should spend on wellbeing sit at the top or near the bottom of the decision pile?

Two sides of the same coin

I’m coming at this from a position of insight. Every day I speak to business owners, singing the virtues of investment in wellness. I tend to get reactions that sit in two camps – those



However, the answer to unlock the potential for both camps ultimately lies in proving one thing – does any investment lead to improvement of the business performance?

A vicious circle at play

Before we talk about demonstrating a return on an investment made, the ugly truth is that burying our heads in the sand is costing us money every day. For a long time, traditional business models assume certain costs, particularly sickness absence, as an accepted cost of operation. You even hear horror stories that some institutions

see a certain number of sick days as an ‘entitlement’. The latest government statistics state an annual UK sickness rate of 1.9% (1.7% in the private sector, 2.6% in the public sector, 3.3% in public sector healthcare), which although lower than it has ever been previously, the Office for National Statistics also suggest that as sickness absence falls, presenteeism has increased in line. Whilst we love a good statistic, what this means to business owners is that our people are coming to work ill instead of staying home to recuperate. This is arguably worse – but what’s for sure is that both scenarios lead to red numbers on the accounts. By the way, 1.9% is the equivalent of 4.1 days per year sick for every employee, and if we believe what we read, the average cost of employment across the UK is £107 per day, so that’s a direct sickness cost of over £400 per employee per year.

Sickness absence leads to a reduction in productivity

Which impacts revenue and profit

From vicious... BUT… it cuts a lot deeper than this, as the problem of absenteeism/ presenteeism creates a vicious circle that impacts far more than the cost of lost wages:

Which ultimately leads to higher levels of attrition / or lower retention

The lack of productivity leads to more pressure on other employees

The increased pressure leads to a lack of motivation / engagement

HEALTH & WELLBEING Whilst there is no silver bullet solution, understanding what causes the sickness absence in the first place begins the journey to wellness (which includes financial wellness).

From vicious to virtuous

It stands to reason that addressing the causes that drive sickness absence leads to a better place - and probably the most logical way to achieve this is to pro-actively implement a programme that addresses those causes. If you join the growing number of businesses who do so, there are many reportable benefits that will impact your bottom line. These will include: • Lower sickness – (to state the obvious) in some cases, by as much as 35%. • Lower attrition – companies who invest in wellness report figures that are 10% better than those who don’t. • Higher productivity – the Britain’s Healthiest Workplace 2017 study reports an average 16% improvement in productivity loss. • Better engagement – staff align to the company values when they feel good. So the vicious circle becomes the virtuous circle – because the improve-

paying for gym membership solves the problem.


UK sickness rate

which is the equivalent of..


days per year for every employee

which is also the equivalent of..


a day

1.7% private sector 2.6% public sector 3.3% public sector healthcare ments complement and drive each other, resulting in exponential results. If managed correctly and appropriately the financial impact of the above will vastly outweigh the cost of both the underlying absence but also the cost of implementing a programme. But…

A word of warning

Reducing avoidable sickness absence is not a simple tick box exercise. I speak to far too many people who think that providing a company gym or

Lower sickness (to state the obvious) – in some cases, by as much as 35%

Better engagement – staff align to the company values when they feel good

... to virtuous Higher productivity – the Britain’s Healthiest Workplace study reports an average 16% improvement in productivity loss

Lower attrition – companies who invest in wellness report figures that are 10% better than those who don’t

The answer is not just to throw money at the problem. All this will achieve is even more red numbers on the accounts. The aim when creating a culture of wellbeing is to positively change the way people live their lives, so that this positive change manifests in a better performing business. This is primarily achieved through the company culture, and it generally starts with management. My advice when setting out on the journey is to be realistic. Ask for opinion, get feedback along the way, and look for evidence of the sustainable small steps that lead to bigger improvements. It also won’t happen overnight – depending on your starting point, to create something meaningful will take time.

In conclusion

We asked the question ‘does the investment in wellbeing for a business owner give a real return? The answer is a resounding yes – and prompts and even BIGGER question – ‘Can you afford not to invest in wellbeing at work?’ As the main sponsor of Platinum’s Health & Wellbeing section, we will be regularly contributing with simple tips to embed the right culture into your business Watch this space in future editions – our aim is to give you implementable ideas that won’t cost you the earth. Next month we will be outlining how to go about forming a plan, and what to include.

In the meantime, if you would like to discuss your company’s individual health concerns/challenges, or if you would just like to discuss ideas for implementing a programme at your business, please get in touch: Email: Phone: 0333 772 0761 Twitter/Instagram/Facebook/LinkedIn



Rome Shake Hands in




The Eternal City is a window to both the past and the future, finds Rose Dykins



In Osteria da Fortunata restaurant (along the cobbled Via del Pellegrino) a white t-shirted chef sits facing out of a warmly-lit window. In an almost meditative state, she slices sheets of butter-yellow pasta into strips, twists them into strozzapreti-shaped pieces and places them in a simple paper lined tray. Moments later, these will be boiled, piled into plain terracotta bowls and served up to the diners crammed along the benches of the bare wooden tables. The queue trails out of the door, on this wintery evening, as it does every night of the week. Rome’s effortless charm lies in its confidence in its traditions; it knows it is one of the most desirable cities on the planet. Every corner you turn leads to something astounding: from secret gardens that could be straight out of oil paintings to magnificent Roman architecture – the relics of the one of the most powerful empires the world



“For business travellers visiting the Italian capital, a major gain was the opening of the


has ever known. With its past such a visible part of the city’s fabric, Rome provides one of the most staggering cityscapes in Europe for corporate events, along with innovative facilities that keep on evolving. For business travellers visiting the Italian capital, a major gain was the opening of the largest congress centre in Europe in 2016. Known as “La Nuvola” (the cloud), Roma Convention Centre was 18 years in the making, following an investment of €240 million. A gigantic glass cube of a building in the heart of Rome’s EUR business district, Massimiliano Fuksas, the architect behind La Nuvola, describes it as: “an ode to transparency.”

In terms of hotels, Rome is enjoying some exciting additions, including a second Rocco Forte hotel – Hotel de la Ville – which was set to open its doors at the time of going to press. “Located on top of the Spanish steps, the newest addition to the Rocco Forte Hotels portfolio in Rome will offer an ideal mix for business travellers: an ideal location, six different food and beverage offerings and several meeting and banqueting spaces – amongst them a 400 sqm courtyard and a private terrace with spectacular views over Rome,” says Martin Elsner, general manager of Rocco Forte Hotel de Russie. Also coming in the very near future is the First Roma Dolce, part of Preferred Hotels group. The property will be housed in a 19th-centu-


TOP PLACES for a meeting or event ROME CONVENTION CENTRE (La Nuvola)

The capital’s game changing new conference and exhibition venue is truly cutting edge, with some sizeable spaces, including the glass-walled plenary Forum that can seat 5,000 people for a gala dinner, and the 1,800-seat auditorium.


This sprawling conference venue has ten event pavilions and 40,000 sqm of outdoor space. What’s more, the building’s ultra-thin solar power system produces enough energy each year to power the homes of 600 families.


Opened in the early 19th-century to welcome Russian aristocrats, the courtyard of this oasis-like property has always been a hub for exchanging ideas. Its signature suites pay homage to its famous guests; my favourite is the stunning Picasso suite, which would be ideal for a private meeting. “Our tiered Secret Garden can be hired for private events, launches, welcome drinks and celebrations for up to 100 guests,” says Elsner. “For team building purposes, our catalogue includes Renaissance walking tours, exclusive private tours of the Vatican, the Colosseum or the Roman Forum, or exploring atmospheric districts such as Trastevere and the Ghetto.”

ry building along the iconic Via del Corso, with 23 rooms and suites – some with in-room libraries and fitness centres – offering inspiring contemporary interiors that would set the right tone for a product launch or private meeting. Last year, Rome Fiumicino was named the World’s Most Improved Airport by Skytrax. In 2015, plans to invest €12 billion by 2044 in revitalising the airport came into play, and the results are already starting to show. The aim of the investment was to enhance travellers’ end-to-end experience, encourage

MAXXI NATIONAL MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART Designed by Zaha Hadid, this award-winning piece of architecture is a feast for the eyes. Italy’s first museum dedicated to “contemporary creativity” has some unforgettable spaces for corporate events.

self-service and boost technologies that track passenger flow through the airport. So far, the airport has gained a new boarding area and the extension of Terminal 3 has been completed, adding 90,000 sqm of space for passengers. This year, work on a new baggage hall for Terminal 1 will be completed, and a fourth terminal will also be added in the future, all of which will help accommodate the airport’s forecasted 50 million annual passengers by 2021. Fiumicino’s grand plans also include launching high-speed rail links to Florence, Bologna and Venice, encouraging domestic

travellers to fly via the Italian capital rather than turning to European hub airports outside of the country (such as Paris Charle de Gaulle and Frankfurt). While Rome’s confidence in its appeal for international travellers is justified, the Italian capital recognises it must move with the times to compete with the fresh facilities of other European business hubs. Fortunately, long-term infrastructure investments are starting to take shape, and the Eternal City is ever-changing to meet the demands of corporate travellers.



New heights TRAVEL NEWS

There has been widespread support for Gatwick’s plans for growth and polling across Sussex, Surrey and Kent reveals what residents think about Gatwick’s plan to use its standby runway Gatwick’s plans for growth

Gatwick Airport is the biggest driver of economic growth in the region and currently supports 85,000 jobs, including over 24,000 based on the airport campus. In all, the airport generates a £5.3 billion contribution to UK GDP and this could increase by £2 billion if the scenarios in the airport’s latest draft master plan are realised. The plan sets out the airport’s ongoing growth into the early 2030s and its latest thinking on how it can meet the increasing demand for air travel, provide enhanced global connectivity and also new economic opportunities and jobs across the region for generations to come.   Taken forward, the scenarios in the plan could deliver a further 20,000 new



jobs and could see the airport using technology to maximise the use of its main runway, while also bringing its existing standby runway into simultaneous use for departing flights.

Three scenarios

Gatwick could grow across three scenarios looking ahead to the early 2030s:


Main runway – using new technology to increase capacity in the near term offering incremental growth through more efficient operations.


Standby runway – potentially bringing Gatwick’s existing standby runway into routine use for departing flights, alongside its main runway, by the mid-2020s. This development would meet all international safety requirements and would be delivered

without increasing the airport’s noise footprint and provide greater operational resilience.


Additional runway – while not actively pursuing the option of building a new runway to the south of the airport – Gatwick believes it is in the national interest to continue to safeguard this land for the future.


Following publication of its draft master plan  in October 2018, Gatwick commissioned YouGov to gather the views of local residents on its proposals.   The results showed that there was overwhelming support with three quarters of residents (74%) in Sussex, Surrey and Kent who were surveyed supporting Gatwick’s plans to increase capacity by making better use of its existing runways – with only 14% opposing.   A similarly high proportion (67%) who were surveyed also supported Gatwick’s plans to continue safeguarding land south of the airport – in the national interest - in case it is ever needed for a new runway to meet future long-term demand.  Only 16% opposed this concept.   38% of those who supported Gatwick’s plans said they did so because of the potential increase in the airport’s contribution to the local economy (e.g. jobs, trade, investment); 32% recognised the potential increase in travel connections and 27% because the airport already owned the land required to increase capacity.

Be Safe With Us

Did you know that Chamber members have unlimited access to a range of essential business support services.


ChamberHealth & Safety



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.

Believe it or not all these services are included in your membership fee – you will have nothing extra to pay! These services offer members real protection and peace of mind. To ensure that you can have access to these valuable services all you need to do is join.

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As its capital turns 500 years old, the Central American nation is attracting the attention of culturally-minded, wildlife-loving travellers. Rose Dykins reports


travel writers have been waxing lyrical about this fast-evolving, ecologically-rich Central American destination, and Panama has made its way onto many a Bucket List.

ed colonial buildings of Casco Viejo, to the densely-packed skyscrapers of the central business district – side-by-side with rainforest that flourishes with endemic wildlife.

The delicate curve of land connecting North and South America – the Isthmus of Panama – forms a natural barrier between the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans. In 1914, the Panama Canal system was built, transforming the face of global trade. Since its remodelling in 2016,

This year, Panama City will celebrate its 500th birthday in style, with public events and festivities honouring the contribution of the city’s melting pot of ethnic groups – including Native Panamanian, African and Spanish. The striking diversity of the capital is reflected in its cityscape – from the sherbet-hu-

Eco Circuitos ( offers an aptly named six day cruise, “Escape the Winter: The Panama Canal Experience”. Travellers soak up the history and vibrancy of the capital before sailing along the iconic waterway to discover the biodiversity of its surrounding national parks and cloud fore-

uriosity about Panama has been building over the past three years, ever since the completion of a nine-year megaproject that doubled the Panama Canal System in size.




sts, where rainbow-billed toucans, adorable sloths and shimmering-winged butterflies hang out. Panama’s bountiful islands with high-end, environmentally conscious accommodation are the perfect choice for nature-loving honeymooners looking to go off the beaten track. A major launch for Panama this year is the opening of Islas Secas Reserve and Panama Lodge ( Set to debut last month, this luxury eco-retreat occupies its own 14-island archipelago along Pa-

”Since its remodelling in 2016, travel writers have been waxing lyrical about this fast-evolving,ecologically-rich CentralAmericandestination” nama’s Pacific Coast, welcomes just 18 guests at a time and is powered entirely by natural energy. Its wooden shuttered “casitas” are designed to let the outside in, and create the feeling of being on your own private island. The resort focuses on immersing guests in the ma-

gnificent natural surroundings through activities such as bird watching, whale watching and diving at nearby Coiba National Marine Park, where you’ll find second-largest coral reef in the Eastern Pacific, a fiercely protected entity, with UNESCO Heritage status.






1.6 GDi ISG 1 5dr

£227.34 Inc vat on a Personal Lease. 6 rentals in advance, followed by 47 rentals. 8,000 Miles Per Annum.


(+ vat on Business Lease)



1.2 Lounge 3dr

£155.34 Inc vat on a Personal Lease. 6 rentals in advance, followed by 47 rentals. 8,000 Miles Per Annum.


2.0 TSI 245 vRS 5dr

£275.94 Inc vat on a Personal Lease. 6 rentals in advance, followed by 47 rentals. 8,000 Miles Per Annum.

CITROEN BERLINGO M 1.6 BlueHDi 1000Kg Enterprise 100ps

£205.14 Inc vat on a Personal Lease. 6 rentals in

advance, followed by 47 rentals. 8,000 Miles Per

(+ vat on Business Lease)


(+ vat on Business Lease)


(+ vat on Business Lease)


320d M Sport Shadow Edition 5dr

£323.34 Inc vat on a Personal Lease. 6 rentals in advance, followed by 47 rentals. 8,000Miles Per Annum.


118i [1.5] Sport 5dr [Nav/Servotronic] £251.34 Inc vat on a Personal Lease. 6 rentals in advance, followed by 47 rentals. 8,000 Miles Per Annum.


1.5 dCi N-Connecta 5dr

£239.34 Inc vat on a Personal Lease. 6 rentals in advance, followed by 47 rentals. 8,000 Miles Per Annum.


2.4 180hp Cross Double Cab Pick £293.94 Inc vat on a Personal Lease. 6 rentals in

advance, followed by 23 rentals. 8,000 Miles Per


(+ vat on Business Lease)


(+ vat on Business Lease)


(+ vat on Business Lease)

£249.95 (+ vat on Business Lease)


These deals wont last long,



contact us today for a quote Call now: 0203 SURREY BUSINESS

1267 137

Images are for illustration purposes only, and may feature equipment above the standard specification. Based on a Business or Personal Contract Hire. A processing fee of £198 + VAT (£237.60inc vat) is payable within 14 days from order. Subject to status and availability. A guarantee or indemnity may be required, written details available on request. You will not own the car. We are a Credit Broker and not a Lender. Concept Vehicle Leasing are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. E & OE.



LEASING Part Two: Paul Bulloch, Managing Director of Concept Vehicle Leasing on the current trends in leasing

LEASING WAS TRADITIONALLY USED FOR THE CORPORATE MARKET - ARE MORE CONSUMERS NOW LOOKING AT LEASING? Traditionally, leasing was all geared around the company car – it used to be a perk. It’s not the case so much now. It’s less of a perk and more a means to an end for businesses who need reliable transport for their staff. With the variations within the tax regime, more individuals have opted out of the traditional company car in favour of making their own arrangements – and this is where Personal Contract Hire has really taken off. Now, I believe there is cultural change where private individuals are more used to the concept of usership as opposed to ownership. Demand for personal leasing is growing quite rapidly in the UK. WHAT MARQUES / MODELS TEND TO BE MOST POPULAR?   Concept Vehicle Leasing are independent of any manufacturer or bank, which means that we’re able to talk about products from the whole of the market. For this reason, we contract a mixed bag of both cars and commercial ve-

hicles. But we do work with a lot of owner/managers and self-employed people, and as a result, we tend to find more demand for premium models as opposed to the traditional rep’s car.   WHAT IS CONCEPT VEHICLE LEASING’S PRIMARY SECTOR OR OPERATION?  SINGLE CARS, SMALL FLEET, LARGE FLEET, MANAGED FLEET?   We specialise in providing a fully outsourced fleet management service for small fleets. The big leasing companies tend to focus on big fleet, and the traditional dealer is more about selling a car/van and the service element, rather than the nuts and bolts of running vehicles for business.

able to offer funding through a panel of lenders rather than being tied to the manufacturers own finance house. But I think above all, our approach and objectives as a business are very different. We’re interested in supporting our customers throughout the lifetime of their agreement – it’s a long-term relationship with us. It’s about convenience and removing hassle. We can help with fixed cost and pay-on-use maintenance, we can advise businesses on policy and duty of care. We provide a 24/7 365-day support service, and above all we’re a very friendly bunch of people!   

We sit in the middle – we understand small fleet and can really add value by becoming an extension of our customers business. We assume the role of the Fleet Manager but without the salary requirements of paying a member of staff. WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS FOR BUYING THROUGH A LEASING COMPANY RATHER THAN ACCEPTING THE LEASING DEAL OFFERED THROUGH THE DEALERSHIP?

There are quite a few benefits. Firstly, we’re able to talk about all makes/models as opposed to just one.  We’re also

Tel: 0800 043 2050






Awards 2019

CCT100 Car of the Year:

Mercedes A-Class










2019 Premium Lower Medium Car of the Year: Mercedes A-Class



Forman orderly


I would need a bucket full of superlatives to fully explain the tech in this range topper from Audi as they have crammed it to the hilt with every bit of tech they could find. By Maarten Hoffmann






here is a big SUV trend lately to make them look like coupes – take a look at the BMW X6 and the Mercedes GLE Coupe and the Q8 apes that look with a sloping roof line, very cool frameless doors, massive wheel arches, five seats and a boot that would carry half your house. The exterior is very sexy and looks a lot smaller than it actually is inside, which is an art in itself. There are three engines available, with the 50TDI (286bhp), 45 TDI (228bhp) and a cracking 55TSI V6 (335bhp) coming soon along with an RS version. My review car is a little disingenuous as with a badge that says 50TDI, one would immediately believe it is a 5-litre whereby it is actually 3-litre. Still, Mercedes have been getting away with the 6.3-litre badge on a 6.2-litre car for years. It comes loaded with dynamic allwheel steer, Matrix LED lighting, climate and their brilliant Virtual Cockpit that shows speed and satnav info across the main MMI screen, the dash screen and in the head up display. Get lost in this car and you really would feel a total idiot. The leather seats are

superb, the dash layout intuitive and the general finish as good as it gets. I am not a great fan of the touch screen required for just about every single function. You need to give it quite a hefty push and to ensure you have your finger on the right button, you have to take your eyes off the road. The Bang & Olufsen sound system is excellent and the double glazing keeps most road noise at bay. The clever thing here is that they have managed to make a huge car feel quite compact and even on the massive 22 inch wheels, it’s stable in corners and is a superb long-distance cruiser. It’s not a very exciting drive and l certainly felt the turbo lag, with hesitation each time the throttle is mashed as if it is thinking about whether to obey your foot’s instructions. There are seven drive modes of which comfort and sport are really all you need. As ever, the all-wheel drive is clever and subtle, with torque-vectoring on the rear axle, and a torque split that can shove up to 70% to the front or 85% to the rear, depending on conditions. One might expect that the turning circle would be a mile and a half but with the aid of the

four-wheel-steering, it is remarkably tiny for this size of car. It is reasonably swift with 60mph coming in 6.3 seconds although l would suggest that the smaller engine model would be a tad turgid when carrying the same weight. The brakes are fantastic should you ever need to exercise them fully. Full-bore stops from 70mph are over sooner than even Porsche’s latest Cayenne Turbo can manage, despite that car having 10-piston front calipers. I have always been quite a fan of the Q range since l first tested the Q5 3-litre a few years back. I went on a trip to Bath and found it engaging, smooth and uber comfortable. Since then, l think l have reviewed the entire range and the only one that did not quite hit the spot for me was the lumbering hunk Q7. Too fat, too big and in town, virtually impossible to thread through the traffic BMW 3 SERIES TOURING KIA SPORTAGE 45 or park. This Q8 just pops under that £269.45 £189. description and offers all the size and power without the drawback. 1.6 GDi ISG 1 5dr

320d M Sport Shadow Edition 5dr

£227.34 Inc vat on a Personal Lease. 6 rentals in advance, followed by 47 rentals. 8,000 Miles Per Annum.

£323.34 Inc vat on a Personal Lease. 6 rentals in advance, followed by 47 rentals. 8,000Miles Per Annum.

(+ vat on Business Lease)


TECH STUFF FIAT 500 HATCH 1.2 Lounge 3dr

£155.34 Inc vat on a Personal Lease. 6 rentals in advance, followed by 47 rentals. 8,000 Miles Per Annum.


118i [1.5] Sport 5dr [Nav/Servotronic] £251.34 Inc vat on a Personal Lease. 6 rentals in advance, followed by 47 rentals. 8,000 Miles Per Annum.

(+ vat on Business Lease)

(+ vat on Business Lease)


(+ vat on Business Lease)

Model tested: Q8 50 TDI Quattro Vorsprung tiptonic Engine: 3.0-litre V6 diesel SKODA OCTAVIA Power: 286bhp £229.95


2.0 TSI 245 vRS 5dr

£275.94 Inc vat on a Personal Lease. 6 rentals in advance, followed by 47 rentals. 8,000 Miles Per Annum.

1.5 dCi N-Connecta 5dr

£239.34 Inc vat on a Personal Lease. 6 rentals in advance, followed by 47 rentals. 8,000 Miles Per Annum.

(+ vat on Business Lease)

Speed: 0-62mph 6.3 seconds


(+ vat on Business Lease)

Top: 152mph Economy: 41.5mpg combined Price £81,115 CITROENfrom: BERLINGO M 1.6 BlueHDi 1000Kg Enterprise 100ps



2.4 180hp Cross Double Cab Pick

As tested: £84,690 £205.14 Inc vat on a Personal Lease. 6 rentals in

advance, followed by 47 rentals. 8,000 Miles Per

£293.94 Inc vat on a Personal Lease. 6 rentals in

(+ vat on Business Lease)

advance, followed by 23 rentals. 8,000 Miles Per


£249.95 (+ vat on Business Lease)


Contract Hire: 6+35, 8K miles PA. £998 +vat pm. These deals wont last long, contact us today for a quote

Images are for illustration purposes only, and may feature equipment above the standard specification. Based on a Business or Personal Contract Hire. A processing fee of £198 + VAT (£237.60inc vat) is payable within 14 days from order. Subject to status and availability. A guarantee or indemnity may be required, written details available on request. You will not own the car. We are a

Call 0203 1267 137

Call now: 0203

1267 137

Credit Broker and not a Lender. Concept Vehicle Leasing are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. E & OE.



SPACED OUT Do we really need a slightly stretched version of the mass-selling Tiguan - actually, yes we do. By Maarten Hoffmann, Motoring Editor


he Volkswagen Tiguan has been with us since 2007 and has sold by the truck load. The word Tiguan comes from a portmanteau of the German words for Tiger and Iguana and was so named after a competition in Germany’s largest motoring magazines, Auto Bild. Of course, if you had left it to the Brits it would have been Cary McCar Face! I liked the original Tiguan when l reviewed it a few years back and here l have the AllSpace version, essentially the same car but longer by 109mm thus allowing for a third row of seats, making this a full 7-seater. There are also changes to the front end, a taller radiator grill, a higher bonnet and they have slightly stretched the rear doors. The increase in the wheelbase allows for the new seats but also offers a larger load area when the seats are folded down, increasing from 1655 litres to

1775 litres which is enough for most families. The advent of seven-seats in many cars is a joy. They fold flat when you don’t need them but pop up and allow families to take one car rather than two when friends join in on the journey. You have a choice of engines from the 1.4-litre petrol (148bhp) to the range topping 2-litre BiTDI offering 236bhp. It is important to remember that with a 7-seater, the difference between driver only and the weight of a full house often dictates the larger engine if you are to avoid a turgid drive. The drive is as good as you would expect for VW. The steering response is a tad slow but it is accurate and very steady when cornering. In the wet, the 4Motion all-wheel drive system works very well, controlling the rear axle through




slippery bends and affording greater confidence. VW does offer adaptive dampers under the guise of Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC), complete with the obligatory Comfort, Normal and Sport settings. However, in reality Comfort and Normal modes are just too soft and wallowing, resulting in a somewhat traditional SUV that has your head tossing from side to side whenever the road surface deteriorates. Putting the car into Sport mode cures some of this, but makes the ride fidgety at lower speeds. The interior is a tad soulless although




FIAT 500 HATCH 1.2 Lounge 3dr

£155.34 Inc vat on a Personal Lease. 6 rentals in advance, followed by 47 rentals. 8,000 Miles Per Annum.



118i [1.5] Sport 5dr [Nav/Servotronic] £251.34 Inc vat on a Personal Lease. 6 rentals in advance, followed by 47 rentals. 8,000 Miles Per Annum.

(+ vat on Business Lease)


(+ vat on Business Lease)

TECH STUFF Model tested: Allspace 2.0 TDI

£229. Engine: 2.0-litre 4Motion SKODA OCTAVIA



2.0 TSI 245 vRS 5dr

£275.94 Inc vat on a Personal Lease. 6 rentals in advance, followed by 47 rentals. 8,000 Miles Per Annum.

1.5 dCi N-Connecta 5dr

£239.34 Inc vat on a Personal Lease. 6 rentals in advance, followed by 47 rentals. 8,000 Miles Per Annum.

(+ vat on Business Lease)

Power: 148bhp


(+ vat on Business Lease)

Speed: 0-62mph in 9.9 seconds Top: 123mph CITROEN BERLINGO M 1.6 BlueHDi 1000Kg Enterprise 100ps



2.4 180hp Cross Double Cab Pick

Economy: 47.6mpg combined £205.14 Inc vat on a Personal Lease. 6 rentals in

advance, followed by 47 rentals. 8,000 Miles Per

(+ vat on Business Lease)


£293.94 Inc vat on a Personal Lease. 6 rentals in

advance, followed by 23 rentals. 8,000 Miles Per

£249.95 (+ vat on Business Lease)


Price: £35,235 superbly put together and this has always been the problem with monolithic manufacturers that make several brands as they need to mark the difference between the model and the price tags. With VW owning Audi, they try hard to differentiate the cars therefore they cannot uplift the VW without harming sales of Audis. This leads the VW’s to be a tad basic but perfectly functional and comfortable. Visibility is good, and so while the Allspace never feels anything less than

a large SUV, you do at least get a reasonable view over your shoulder when switching lanes on the motorway, and all models come with front and rear parking sensors. As far as passengers are concerned, a 6’2” adult will fit perfectly well in the middle row but the third row really is designed for kids or dwarves. Having said that, they love being back there and my kids would head for the back row every time even if l am the only other person in the car. Perhaps l should check the

Contact Paul Bulloch at Concept for full leasing Call now: 0203 1267 137 details – 0203 1267 137 These deals wont last long,

contact us today for a quote

Images are for illustration purposes only, and may feature equipment above the standard specification. Based on a Business or Personal Contract Hire. A processing fee of £198 + VAT (£237.60inc vat) is payable within 14 days from order. Subject to status and availability. A guarantee or indemnity may be required, written details available on request. You will not own the car. We are a Credit Broker and not a Lender. Concept Vehicle Leasing are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. E & OE.

strength of my deodorant! The VW Group competition here is the Skoda Kodiaq that l reviewed two months ago. A perfectly good car but now you have the Allspace in the mix, to me, there is no competition – the Allspace would win hands down.




CALL US NOW 01483 200301


Sponsor a CHAMBER EVENT Surrey Chambers of Commerce holds over 150 events a year spread across the county. We host regular breakfast meetings, industry specific forums and corporate dinners perfect for entertaining clients. These events are designed to give you the chance to enhance your business network, find new customers and local suppliers, and meet other dynamic business people.


ponsoring a Surrey Chambers event allows you to raise your profile and brand awareness within the county and showcase your expertise as a company. By sponsoring an event you can take advantage of the Surrey Chambers of Commerce subscription base and reach your target audience. It’s the perfect opportunity to make new connections and be seen to be leading and influencing.

What can I sponsor? With over 150 events a year there can be a lot to choose from, Surrey Chambers hosts a wide variety of events, and all of these can be sponsored:

construction and property industries.  Business Women in Surrey EventsBusiness Women in Surrey is a specific stream of events designed to highlight and celebrate the achievements of business women in Surrey.  Flagship - Our flagship events include an annual summer BBQ, President’s drinks receptions and annual Christmas lunch.  Chamber Power Breakfasts - Our Power Breakfasts are a fantastic opportunity for businesses to connect in a friendly and relaxed environment.

If you choose to sponsor a Surrey Chambers event you will receive complimentary tickets to the event, your stand or pop up banners and promotional literature at the event with branding on badges and a delegate list alongside. Promotion before, during and after the event across all Surrey Chambers social media channels and press coverage in the Surrey Chambers of Commerce Business magazine.

If you are interested in sponsoring a Surrey Chambers of Commerce event, please contact: or call 01483 735 540.

 Hot Topics - We react to the latest news and trends affecting the business community and run a number of targeted events throughout the year. They provide a great opportunity to get in front of senior decision makers but often come up at short notice. They tackle topics such as Brexit, Cyber Security, Pensions and much more.  Property & Construction Forums – A series of events around issues affecting businesses working in the




Surrey Chambers of Commerce welcomes its latest member companies ACCOUNTING Terra Metallis Recyclers Private Ltd Atek Accounting Solutions Ltd Contact: Kerrie Jenkins Tel: 08454 680428

Contact: Vijay Arman


Four Gables Group

Contact: David Gillott Tel: 01372 275276


BANKS Skipton Building Society Contact: Richard Davies Tel: 03450 025026

NatWest Epsom

Contact: Rochelle Tomlin Tel: 01372 728771


Harding Financial

Grange Park Opera

Contact: Jack Rush

Contact: Jennie Wise Tel: 01483 802010


Corona Corporate Solutions Contact: Jason Drew Tel: 02075 033000

ICS Communications Contact: Alison Yates Tel: 01276 539333


Leonard Cheshire

Contact: Lizzie Armstrong Tel: 02032 420200


The Right PMI & Healthcare Contact: Catherine Roberts Tel: 01276 581896


Contact: Lynn Turner Tel: 07741 635195

Ecoglow Heating & Plumbing Ltd Contact: Jenny Fleming Tel: 01932 400777



Clandon Regis Golf Club

Contact: Paul Napier Tel: 01483 224888


Auditel Business & Hospitality Performance Contact: Armand Chaudhary Tel: 0808 1691980 / 07544 460448

JBJ Techniques Ltd Contact: Wendy Wigger Tel: 01737 767493



Specsavers Opticians – Woking

Fjords Processing Ltd Contact: Andrea Jones Tel: 01276 697050


Stag Print Services Ltd Contact: Sushil Patel Tel: 01483 303333

W2O Consulting & Training

360 Business Photographer

Contact: Sushil Patel Tel: 07736 282698

Reed Business Support

Contact: Francesca Shaw Tel: 07985 276531


The Clover Shipping Company Ltd Contact: Oliver White Tel: 01932 345529

Contact: Sam Knight Tel: 01784 458526

Reed Business Support

Reed Marketing & Creative Contact: Antonella Wright Tel: 01372 745322 marketing-and-creative

Reed Accountancy

Grow Your Business Show


Contact: Inge Woudstra Van Grondelle Tel: 07866 584930

Contact: Helen Anthony Tel: 01784 458526

Google Maps & Street View /

Contact: Claire Sherlock Tel: 01483 767170

Contact: Grant Rigler Tel: 01483 569151

Reed Business Support Contact: Sue Stone Tel: 01483 526280



hen you join Surrey Chambers of Commerce, your company details automatically get listed on this page alongside fellow new members. What a fantastic way to let the Surrey Business community know you are out there and ready to get those allimportant connections. If you are looking to join Surrey Chambers then please do get in touch with either: or or call 01483 735540. We look forward to hearing from you!

Evans Cycles (Guildford) Contact: Christian Bolton Tel: 01293 701563

The LEP Network Ltd Contact: Walter Ralls Tel: 07411 009659

Evans Cycles (Woking) Contact: Christian Bolton Tel: 01293 701563



To find a full list of our 2019 events visit

Mar 14


ESCAPE BREAKFAST Event Time: 07:30 - 09:30 Event Theme: Networking AM Price: Member Rate: Free Non Member Rate: Free

Event Location: Hartsfield Manor Sandy Lane Betchworth RH3 7AA

Surrey Chambers of Commerce are delighted to officially launch the East Surrey Coffee and Professional Engagement breakfast series, connecting businesses throughout Surrey, with a particular focus on the East of the region. Hosted by the wonderfully charming Hartsfield Manor, we would be delighted if you could join us, be it at one (or all!) of the networking breakfasts. Breakfasts will feature on alternate months throughout the year and are free to attend for all.

Mar 21


MEMBERS NETWORKING EVENING Event Time: 18:00 - 20:00 Event Theme: Members Networking Evening Price: Member Rate: Free Non Member Rate: £20.00 +VAT

Event Location:

Regus PLC Regus Rourke House Waterans Business Park The Causeway, Staines, Surrey TW18 3BA

As a member of Surrey Chambers, enjoy this complimentary event at Regus, Staines. Our members networking evenings are your chance to meet fellow members and network with new businesses from all around Surrey. Not a member? Don’t worry, you are always welcome at a Surrey Chambers event, and our members networking evenings are the perfect place to learn about all the great things the chamber can do for your business. Members of the Surrey Chambers team will be on hand to talk to you about all of the different aspects of your membership and to answer any questions you may have.






Apr 10


NATWEST STATE OF THE NATION Event Time: 07:30 - 10:00 Event Theme: Hot Topics Price: Member Rate: Free Non Member Rate: Free

Event Location:

Mercedes-Benz World Brooklands Drive Weybridge KT13 0SL

We would be delighted if you could join us for our 2019 Economic Seminar on April 10th. We are delighted to welcome back our speaker Marcus Wright who is a Senior Economist at NatWest where he analyses the economy to help inform the bank’s strategy. He has previously been an economist for an investment trust and an economic consultancy. His particular areas of interest are the UK economy, monetary policy, China and global financial dynamics. He regularly appears in the media discussing recent economic developments, and holds a first class degree in economics.

Apr 25


NETWORKING BREAKFAST AT CAFE ROUGE EPSOM Event Time: 07:45 - 10:00 Event Theme: Networking AM Price: Member Rate: £20.00 +VAT Non Member Rate: £25.00 +VAT

Event Location:

Cafe Rouge - Epsom 96-98 High Street Epsom Surrey KT19 8BJ

At Surrey Chambers, we love holding events that cover a particular theme or topic that is highly relevant to your business, or has practical application to your daily operations. However, many members have said that they want some events that are purely networking – so, we listened. In between our Networking Breakfasts with guest speaker, we’ll balance it out with some no-nonsense, practical, nothing-but-networking breakfast events, so we’d love you to join us!




Seeking out

Surrey will have a new Chief Constable this spring. By David Munro, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey

A NEW CHIEF Surrey Police employs approaching 4,000 officers, staff and special constables and they are the Force’s greatest asset. So it is vital to get the right person at helm to both steer the ship in the right direction and provide the kind of leadership that can inspire those in all ranks and roles throughout the organisation.


rucial to the success of all good organisations and businesses is having strong and inspirational leadership and we are no different in policing. I am currently embarking on a selection process to recruit the next Chief Constable for the county; a significant appointment and a decision of critical importance. On behalf of our residents, I am determined to find the best possible person to lead the Force and to make Surrey Police the outstanding service that our communities expect and deserve.

My expectation is to build a relationship with the Chief Constable which is both robust and challenging but with a common purpose, centred upon the delivery of excellent policing and with the needs of the public at the forefront of their decisions and actions. The interview process, which includes questions from a stakeholder panel containing Surrey Chambers CEO Louise Punter, will take place in midMarch. The preferred candidate will then go before the Surrey Police and Crime Panel in April for a confirmation hearing so watch this space!



In December, the Home Office gave PCCs across the country the flexibility to increase the policing element of a Band D Council Tax bill by up to £2 a month – the equivalent of around 10% across all bands – to meet the current challenges police forces face including tackling violent crime. In Surrey, every 1% rise in the police precept equates to around £1m in additional income. We consulted with the public on my proposal to raise the precept level to the maximum amount in return for those 100 posts. We had nearly 6,000 responses to our survey with over 75% in favour of my proposal which has since been endorsed by the Police and Crime Panel. This spring, the Force together with my office are teaming up to hold community engagement events across Surrey with one in every borough in the county. At these meetings we will be discussing the planned distribution of these posts with residents as well as updating them on local policing issues in their areas and giving them the chance to raise any concerns. If you are interested in coming along to the event nearest you – please look out for details on our website at

You may have read back in December that the previous Chief Constable Nick Ephgrave was successfully appointed as an Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police. I enjoyed a really positive working relationship with Nick during the two and a half years he served as Chief in Surrey, and this promotion represents an excellent opportunity for him and he goes with my very best wishes. He leaves behind him a lasting legacy and strong foundations in place for whoever succeeds him.

One of the first tasks the new Chief will undertake is to oversee an uplift of 100 officer and operational staff posts within the Force that have now been secured following the approval of this year’s police precept – the amount of council tax the public pay for policing.

Outgoing Chief Constable Nick Ephgrave

Visit the Surrey PCC website at


Welcome to Sarah With the Surrey Business Magazine going monthly from this issue due to overwhelming demand, Molly Enser caught up with Sarah Edwards, the new Business Development Manager WHERE DID YOU START YOUR CAREER? I started working for some of the big names in insurance, including Aviva and Scottish Widows before taking a career break to have a family. I then returned to work in a marketing role at the Surrey European Management School at the University of Surrey, which is now Surrey Business School.

I moved to an events agency who specialised in corporate events, MICE travel and employee incentives; their clients included BP and BT. I then moved to Surrey Chambers of Commerce, initially as an account manager looking after north Surrey, and as the marketing manager. My most recent role was in marketing and BD for a top 20 accountant firm.


Being back amongst the Surrey Business community, meeting people, networking, getting the name of the magazine out there. I love the fact that the job is not the same two days in a row. One day I might be talking to a company that does Forest Bathing sessions and the next an international global brand. For me, growing the Surrey Business Magazine’s brand the four corners of the county, and beyond, is a great opportunity.


The fact that the magazine is going monthly makes my main priorities really clear... “get the magazine’s name out there and talk to as many people as I can about it!” I am very lucky to have the luxury of sitting with the guys at Surrey Chambers in their offices, so I am at the heart of the business community covering the county, which provides a great source of lead generation and introductions.   Brand awareness is a key priority for me. No doubt you will have seen my name pop up in Surrey Chambers external communications as part of this, but I also network as much as I can to promote the publication as well.


There are lots of exciting things coming up, including a “Spotlight on Elmbridge” fea-

ture in the April edition. I am showcasing the crême de la crême that the business community has to offer in the borough of Elmbridge.   In this issue of the magazine the regular Health and Wellbeing section was launched, which will be a feature in every issue. Health and Wellbeing in the workplace is key, and a happy and healthy workforce becomes a more productive one. This feature is aimed at both businesses and service providers alike; a place where valuable information and offers are dispensed for this most key of topics.


In my spare time I write my own positive empowerment and lifestyle blog. I like to spend time with my family and take my Jack Russell for long dog walks. I love cooking and consider myself an experiential cook; I like to recreate dishes I’ve had at restaurants. I also try to get to one of the big music festivals every year.


I’m not sure that you’d call it a career, but I would love nothing more than to have my own cafe. I’d serve the usual refreshments by day, but by night I would turn it into a bar with open mic nights, that would showcase local bands and comedians.

Contact Sarah at



Surrey Chambers

GOLF 2019 SOCIETY Surrey Chambers of Commerce Golf Society (SCGS) has been running for 22 years and offers the opportunity to play some of Surrey’s finest courses and to entertain guests in a relaxed and mildly (!) competitive environment. By Tara Wavre


hat an exciting start we had to this year with our Hankley Common event on the January 22nd! It was forecast to snow but thankfully it held off until our golfers were back at the warm club house. Although it was cold the sun was shining and the course was in excellent condition. It was a pleasure to

greet some of our new members and guests, as well as welcome back some familiar faces. Congratulations to Sean Costa, who won our members competition with a score of 39 points. Our sponsor for the day, Eagle Biz, also presented Anton Males with the 2018 Order of Merit

trophy on behalf of the sponsor, RSM. At the time of writing we have not yet played St George’s Hill in February and I am excited to see this illustrious course for the first time. Our full fixtures list is on the opposite page but I’d like to draw attention to two dates in our society calendar.

Hankley Common




DIARY: March 26th



West Hill

April 24th Burhill

May 21st Coombe Hill

The April 24th at Burhill, sponsored by youbecome, will be our very first major tournament. I am really excited to be able to launch this event. We will be accepting bookings for up to 18 teams of four for a shotgun start. This is a chance to put together a team to reward colleagues, thank clients or, if you’re feeling competitive, play to win! If you know any friends or colleagues who are a new or novice golfer and want a taste of what the SCGS is all about, we are running an event for them on the June 11th at Foxhills.

The event is called Learn 2 Love and includes all equipment and a dedicated afternoon with one of Foxhills PGA professionals. Full details are available on our website but places are very limited so I encourage anyone interested to book on well in advance to avoid disappointment.

June 11th

I look forward to seeing you at a society event soon!

October 17th

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July 3rd





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August 22nd Hindhead

September 11th New Zealand

Camberley Heath

November 7th For more information please contact

Swinley Forest

December 3rd Woking

“It’s hard to put your finger on why but these Sean Costa winning the members prize with Adam from Eagle Biz

golf society days are so enjoyable.

Great company, great courses, competitive golf all go to create a unique day’s pleasure that’s really special. I for one love them” Anton Males winning order of merit with Adam from Eagle Biz

Mike Simons on SCGS




NETWORKING NEWBIES For younger members of staff or new business owners, networking can be daunting, as Molly Enser explains…

business conversations about things I had no idea about and coffee, lots of coffee. It was intimidating to say the least. Not only was I a 22 year old girl who had nothing to add to these conversations, but I was by far the youngest person in the room.


here is nothing worse than being young, in your first ‘proper’ job, and hearing the words ‘networking event’ – instantly you are filled with dread. Obviously there are some young and super confident ‘networking pros’ out there who love to go in and chat to lots of businesses, I am now one of those people (almost!) but it’s a journey to get to there. I was so nervous going to my first ever networking event. Having studied theatre for three years at university one would think it would be a piece of cake to go in and chat to all the business people around me. It wasn’t. Instantly I was surrounded by suits,

So what did I do first? Head towards coffee, conversations start at the coffee station! Here you are welcomed into chatter; about your journey here, the traffic, the early start and of course the weather. It may not be the lead generation you so desire but it does get the conversation flowing. Pretty swiftly I am sat at breakfast. This can be tough, if you don’t know anyone you can quickly become alone, stuck in between two conversations either side of you that you don’t know how to enter.


• PLAN AHEAD: Get together those business cards, practice that handshake and DON’T BE LATE. There is nothing worse than getting yourself in a tizzy because you didn’t leave enough time. You are already nervous to network and then you have to step into a room apologising profusely and find a seat. Odds are you are too scared to enter conversations so you eat alone and leave early because you want to get out as quickly as possible. Leave time, if you are early sit in the car or grab a coffee; be ready to walk in and chatter away.


• GO TO THE DRINKS STATION: This is where conversations start, chatter away about weather and parking, most likely you are entering into shared experiences and you can easily use this to build relationships.

So here are some of my top tips for those who may feel totally overwhelmed when their boss asks them to

• DON’T TALK BUSINESS (ALL THE TIME): Most of the best relationships I have are built on the aforementioned shared experiences. At one of my earlier networking escapades I ending up chatting with someone about my recent holiday and plans for the weekend. This is where you can really become personable and build business with someone you would chat to in your personal life too.

So what to next, nod along, add an “hmmm” and a “yeah” when needed and of course laugh when everyone else does. It keeps you in the conversations enough but it doesn’t get you contacts or relationships. So what do you do? How do you grow your sudden confidence to speak and promote yourself?



attend a networking event:

• COMPLIMENT: Granted this one sounds odd, but if you are scared to talk to someone straight away, find someone with a scarf you like, or a nice handbag (this may be more directed towards the ladies) and tell them that you like it. It will obviously make them feel good but also engage you in a conversation.


• DON’T OVER REHEARSE YOUR PITCH: We all know people attend networking events to grow their business, to gain new leads. But there is nothing worse than sitting down next to someone at breakfast and they instantly start selling you their business and before you know it, you have booked in a meeting for a free trial of a product you know you aren’t going to buy. Not only a waste of your time but your company’s too. Sit down, tell them who you are, what you do and let the conversation flow about all sorts, not just your products. • FIND AN EVENT THAT WORKS FOR YOU: There is nothing worse than being the newbie. It will happen whenever you attend your first event but if you research the breakfast, lunch or evening event you are going to, you can measure how it fits with your confidence (and your ability to make good contacts). If you are scared of standing up and talking, check that the event

doesn’t make you pitch your product. If you like structure, find a facilitated networking event. There are so many groups out there now, it will not be hard to find something that fits you! • SAY GOODBYE: One of the hardest things for a new networker is finishing a conversation and meeting someone else in the room. Don’t be afraid to say: “It was great to talk to you” and move on to someone else. After all, you are all there for the same reason and chances are they want to move around too. The more you do it, the more natural it becomes, but if you are still a bit nervous then excuse yourself to get another drink, or pop to the bathroom that way you can still enter another conversation. and last but not least... • RELAX: Take a deep breath, walk in and be yourself. People really do buy from people and if you are being your-

self, people will enjoy conversations with you. Nothing bad will happen! The worst that will happen is people won’t want your product and that’s alright because there are many others out there that will. If you are a ‘Networking Newbie’ and want to join a relaxed and informal environment to network in, take a look at Surrey Chambers of Commerce ‘Surrey Young Professionals’. The event is aimed at young business people who are new to networking and want to practice it in a relaxed environment, where you can easily make not just contacts but friendships too. Plus there is a chance to have a go at making cocktails.

The next event is on June 6th at Komo Bars Ltd, Guildford GU1 3YA from 5.30-8pm. This cost for the event is £15. See for details



JOIN THE CHAMBER “Surrey Cham bers of Commerce is the county’s larg est independ ent, not-for- pro support organ fit business is businesses to ation that helps connect loca lly, nationally a nd globally in order to gain custom suppliers an ers, d knowledge.”


NOT TO BE A MEMBER OF SURREY CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE? Sitting at the heart of the business community, Surrey Chambers of Commerce connects you to opportunities, skills, knowledge and valuable contacts. We can help you grow and develop, by promoting your business, introducing you to new customers, keeping you informed and representing you locally, regionally and nationally.


ith a membership representing businesses of all sizes across every sector of the economy, the Chamber works hard to ensure that the continued prosperity of Surrey takes into account the needs of business, as well as providing a range of high quality services to help businesses to grow and meet new potential customers, including making introductions into over 40 countries. Surrey Chambers of Commerce is an integral part of the Surrey business support network and alongside its partners offers specialist advice, knowledge and information on a wide range of issues facing local businesses.

We can: Help you to findnewcustomers – raise your profile, increase your brand awareness and generate new business by using our website, publications and database to communicate with thousands of business people. Connect you to other businesses – we run over 100 events a year that give you the



chance to enhance your business network, find new customers and meet like-minded and other successful business people. Expandyour network overseas – we provide friendly, professional advice and assistance and can help you obtain necessary export documentation. Our relationship with 28 accredited overseas British Chambers means we can introduce you to our global network of experts to make your journey much easier.

tly to government, influencing policy and strategic decisions. Supportyourlocalcommunity – we are passionate about contributing to the wider community and encourage you to work with us. We support a variety of local initiatives, providing you with the chance to give something back, whilst raising your company profile.

Develop you and your workforce’s knowledge and skills – we run a range of training events throughout the year and can introduce you to a variety of training providers.

Saveyoumoney – we can provide you with a variety of discounts designed to save your company money. As well as national deals you will benefit from exclusive discounts offered by other Chamber members. You too can offer a special member to member deal.

Represent you – we believe it is important that you and your business are fairly represented locally, regionally, nationally and where appropriate, internationally on issues affecting business. We work closely with Surrey County Council, the eleven local borough councils, district and two Local Enterprise Partnerships, and we feedback and provide input to the British Chambers of Commerce who talk direc-

WANT TO KNOW MORE? If you would like any further information about joining Surrey Chambers of Commerce please contact us: Call: 01483 735540, Email: Visit:








Profile for Platinum Business

Surrey Business Magazine – issue 13  

The official magazine for Surrey Chambers of Commerce – owned and published by The Platinum Publishing Group.

Surrey Business Magazine – issue 13  

The official magazine for Surrey Chambers of Commerce – owned and published by The Platinum Publishing Group.