Connect


Connections are crucial to the success of any business. Visit our latest news to keep up to date with the latest business news from across the region.

Connect. Support. Grow.
 
Connect


Connections are crucial to the success of any business. Visit our latest news to keep up to date with the latest business news from across the region.

Connect. Support. Grow.
 
Support


Connections are crucial to the success of any business. Visit our latest news to keep up to date with the latest business news from across the region.

Connect. Support. Grow.
 
Training Services


Connections are crucial to the success of any business. Visit our latest news to keep up to date with the latest business news from across the region.

Connect. Support. Grow.
 

Blogs

Check out our blogs section where Chamber representatives, members and high-profile business figures write about a range of topics. If you are a member and want to submit a blog, please click here.

How to adapt your office space to suit new post-pandemic working patterns

By Laura Supple | AJ Products

As part of a Return to Work series, AJ Products looks at the ways in which the Covid-19 pandemic may leave a lasting impression on the way we work and how offices can adapt to provide productive workspaces where staff will thrive in the new normal. In March 2020 at the start of the first lockdown, working from home was unknown territory to most people, an occasional luxury to others. A year on, many office-based businesses have learnt that they can operate effectively with remote staff. To capitalise on the success of remote working, many companies are planning to embrace a combination of remote and on-site working, giving rise to a hybrid work model. As a result, some companies are downsizing...

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Is networking good for your mental health?

By James Brodie | Business Buzz for Birmingham & Warwickshire

One of the biggest side effects of the pandemic is the impact it’s had on people’s mental health, but even before the arrival of Coronavirus & lockdown after lockdown, so many small business owners were challenged by managing their mental health. Being a business owner & the boss can be an isolating experience. It is not always easy to share what is happening in your business with family & friends or with employees, so this is where peer-to-peer connections matter. My personal experience as someone who suffers with less than perfect mental health means that on my good days I am good, but on my bad days, working for myself can be like wading through treacle with the feeling of isolation amplified. However,...

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Transformational leadership in a disruptive environment

By Geoff Cousins | G&P Group Holdings Ltd

Disruption is not new, disruption has always been feared and sometimes even the experts get it wrong when underestimating the changes that disruption will bring, both positive and negative. In such a fast-shifting landscape, particularly from an automotive perspective, the importance of transformational leadership to address, and flourish, in ever-changing circumstances is vital. And while it might seem a daunting task, applying just a few simple guidelines, and sticking to them, can pay dividends, whether it’s in the automotive or other manufacturing sector. Stand out and stand apart Leadership starts at the top but even great leaders need a single high performing team, whereby a clear chain...

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Not everyone is as passionate about containers as I am

By Chadd Blunt | Millennium Cargo

I know it’s a weird passion to have.But I love to see all the cool things people can do when you give them a container…In my previous blogs, I’ve talked about containers made into houses and people using them as garden offices too.But I recently came across a whole other use…Raves.With nightclubs and bars here in the UK closed since last March, we’ve a whole generation of young ‘uns desperate to get their groove on and live out their youth as is traditional here in the UK.Unfortunately, we’ve got a bit of a booze culture. There’s less of the “enjoy a glass of wine with your meal” associated with Europe and more of a “let’s get hammered and wake up in a field” kind of approach.It’s the British...

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What is Business Intelligence and how does it work?

By Darren Turner | AirIT

Business Intelligence (BI) is a term that refers to the collection, organisation and analysis of a business’s data to present insights that can drive better decision-making and optimise performance. Data is now produced at such speed - and in such vast quantities - that traditional end-of-month spreadsheets are no longer fit for the job. Modern BI platforms present clear and insightful data in a visual, easy-to-digest format. This enables a ‘single source of truth’ approach, meaning that BI can be adopted throughout a business, with all departments basing their decisions on the same data. Insightful data is available in real time, so businesses can spot trends and make decisions in advance. The...

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What does a safe return to the office look like?

By Laura Supple | AJ Products 

As lockdown restrictions start to ease, we are all anticipating that offices and non-essential workplaces will soon reopen. It’s unlikely that things will go back to normal right away and some businesses may choose to make permanent changes to the way they work. It’s important that you consider what changes you need to make to the physical working environment before staff return to work. What do you need to set up in advance? AJ Products looks at the steps businesses can take to make a return to work safe and productive. Firstly there are some key questions to ask: Will some staff return to the workplace before others? When will the full workforce return? Will the full workforce return...

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SEO for beginners

By Robbie Beak | Ammba Digital

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is something of a buzzword these days. More and more of our clients are focusing on where their site ranks in Google. This is great, but often a mild panic sets in when their site is not immediately listed at the very top of the first results page. Their natural inclination is to reach for Google AdWords in an attempt to boost their SEO. For sure this has its place. But before going for the nuclear option, we always try to steer them toward optimising the content on their site first. By putting in place some simple strategies, they can really make a difference to their site’s ranking and for a lot less cost than an AdWords campaign. We are not a specialist...

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The impact of VAT charges on dilapidations matters

By Stephen Seeney | Rund Partnership

Stephen Seeney, Senior Surveyor at Rund Partnership discusses the potential new rulings around VAT charges on dilapidations matters and future considerations for landlords and tenants. HMRC recently released the Revenue and Customs Brief 12 (2020) which suggests that dilapidations payments could be subject to VAT charges in the future. With dilapidations settlement payments often amounting to hundreds of thousands of pounds, this change would create substantial additional charges, impacting both landlords and tenants. Context around the potential VAT ruling on dilapidations matters Dilapidations have traditionally been treated as compensation for damages and therefore did not attract VAT. However,...

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Boost new tenancy and increase tenancy retention in your serviced offices with vending

By Alistair Ward | Coinadrink Limited

Do you manage a serviced office? If so, you will understand the importance of generating new tenancy agreements and retaining the ones that already exist. With the last 12 months hitting a lot of businesses hard, and as more look to utilise serviced offices as a way to cut costs, are you presenting your location as an attractive proposition?  Coinadrink Limited the vending machine company explores how you can overhaul your available space for the benefit of the businesses that may look to use it in the near future. Now is the time to understand the value of what you have to offer. Many businesses won’t be able to afford their previous location and many may need to downsize. The prospect...

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Why must Circular Economy be a focus for all businesses in 2021?

By Andrew Sharp | CDSL

The Covid-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed how we live our lives. While its impact has undoubtedly been negative, for many people and businesses it has offered an opportunity to reconsider their priorities and behaviours. One silver lining in this behavioural change has been a dramatic shift towards sustainability and social value, and underpinning this has been a rising awareness of the importance of the circular economy. The circular economy is, in the simplest of terms, a system in which resources are continually used and reused to minimise, or entirely eliminate, waste. This is often done through repairs, recycling or refurbishment to reduce the amount of waste or pollution. The role...

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