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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.

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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.

Five digital design trends your business should look out for in 2020

By Katie Collins | HDY Agency

In the ever-evolving world of graphic and digital design, the start of a new decade is often the signal for fresh thinking, welcoming new approaches with open arms.  As we move forward from the 2010s, we take a look at the top emerging design trends that businesses should be keeping an eye on over the next decade. 1 – Black is the new black Lately, we’ve noticed a tendency towards graphic and web designers using a monochrome effect on images.  In the world of the web, black and white designs with splashes of colour are always trendy, so expect to see more from 2020. Those that punctuate with minimalist, heavily typographic styles containing animated elements will also prove popular – watch...

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How important is workplace wellbeing to you?

By Alistair Ward | Coinadrink Limited

It’s a question you need to ask yourself. Your employees are the heartbeat of your business and without them you’d be nothing. You rely on them to do their jobs to the best of their ability. You need them to do their jobs to the best of their ability. But with 59% of workers saying they’re stressed in the workplace, are you doing enough to take care of their wellbeing? What’s this all about? Arguably not. It’s all too easy for your staff to hide their struggle behind a smile and hard work. But hard work doesn’t mean they’re happy or productive in their role. Far from it. On average, we will all spend around 90,000 hours of our lives at work. So needless to say, it’s vital that you ensure the...

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Combating the blues

By Manish Patel | BHSF

When it comes to Blue Monday, dubbed as the most depressing day of the year, you may associate the day with post-Christmas bills and gloomy and cold weather. Not exactly a day in the calendar you would want to celebrate. A survey carried out by Co-op found that 26% of British people say that January is when they feel the most isolated. But there are ways to combat the blues and Sue Burke, clinical standards manager at BHSF, has come up with three top tips for self-care and wellbeing: 1. Open up about your feelings “People should open up about their feelings because by doing so it helps to dissipate and tackle a problem. By not doing so there is a risk that negative feelings will linger and...

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Should your secondary brand have a separate website

By Darren Langley | Darren Langley Web Design

Every website in the world has a purpose for existing. Whether it is for seeking advice, stocking up on knowledge, making purchases, or generating brand retention, websites exist to meet bigger goals. Websites are often used to gain insights and recommendations on food, travel, and shopping, but many point users in the direction of a third-party provider. This is fantastic if you have a website with the secondary brands users typically need. However, there is a downside: When a website redirects their users to you, you may get the short end of the stick with disgruntled customers at the end of the visitor flow. The common problem with general websites Umbrella websites that house secondary...

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Cordon yeah! Relaxed rules for restaurants recruiting overseas workers

By Tom Brett Young | VWV

Whilst there is no shortage of great places to eat in Birmingham, restaurants have long been suffering from staff shortages. As a result, the industry has been associated with immigration, with many high profile and household name chefs, waiting staff, and owners coming from overseas. However, since 2011 this has been increasingly difficult, with sponsorship of Tier 2 visas for skilled workers being restricted to more senior and skilled roles. Could this be about to change? The 'Take-Away Clause' As a concession to the sector, executive, head, sous, and specialist chefs were included on the Home Office's Shortage Occupation List (SOL), which meant they could still benefit from visa sponsorship. However,...

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Kick-start the year by spring cleaning your online presence!

By Jim Fletcher | LeanTiger

Here are some simple tips on how to kick-start the year by spring cleaning your online presence and not get bogged down with the January blues! With customers battling the January blues and not wanting to spend, now is a great opportunity to use the downtime wisely so that your company is more than just prepared for the rest of the year. Your sales may decrease in January, but bringing your spring cleaning forward and optimising your website will mean you’ll have a conversion-targeted mean machine ready to blow the competition away for when sales start to pick up again! 5 usability heuristics to help you embrace January Hopefully, your December sales have hit or even exceeded targets, but...

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New Year, Improved you!

By Liam Holder | UT Health

Its 2020! 2 weeks in, how are you feeling? Positive? Nervous? Excited? I’m not going to lie, I am all 3 AND MORE! 2020 is looking to be the busiest, most productive, most stressful and best year of my working career so far which is amazing. But what I want to talk about is you and your health. You will have already seen lots of statuses saying, “new year, new me”, I going to the gym 5 times a week from now on and I’m cutting carbs straight out of my diet…. I know I already have. What we want to tell you is that you don’t need to worry about a new you! Focus on an improved version of you! When it comes to health you seriously don’t need to make a million drastic changes just to see a result....

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Consequences of being underinsured

By Mani Hayre | Falcon Insurance

When was the last time you did a walk through and calculated how much it would cost to replace everything at the current market value? Believe it or not 50% of businesses in the UK are underinsured. Yes, you may save some £££’s on your premium, but if you don’t insure on the correct figures to rebuild and replace, could your business survive? If a fire damages your property, causing repairs costing £100,000 and the building’s total declared reinstatement insurance value is £1 million – most owners assume they have more than adequate cover. However, if the insurer can establish the actual cost to rebuild the property is £1.2 million they will tell you that you haven’t insured your full amount. It...

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2020s to see huge boom in older workers

By Jayne Scarman | Unique IQ

One of the biggest trends to emerge so far this decade is the growth in the number of over 65s remaining in the workforce. Recent data from the ONS predicts that by 2030 over half of the UK’s workforce growth will come from people aged 65 or over. This is expected to increase to two thirds by 2060. The increase has come as no surprise for the UK employment market, with the website Rest Less, reporting a 188% increase over the last 20 years in the number of over 65s employed within the UK. Working for more than financial gain For some people, age is just a number and many people working beyond the age of 65 do so for more than the financial gain. Stuart Lewis, Founder of Rest Less, says:...

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The death knell of the traditional branding and the rise of variable fonts

By Phil Baker | HDY Agency

For a while now I’ve thought that sameness in branding is overrated – gone are the days where brands could rely on the same static identity for decades at a time – the surge in popularity of variable fonts are set to put the era of the monolithic brand to bed. That’s if the latest report from Monotype is anything to go by. The big cheese when it comes to type foundries, Monotype have predicted that we’re about to see a much more varied approach to branding over the next decade as the popularity of variable fonts increases. Interesting stuff, but what even is a variable font?! In layman’s terms, a variable font is a single font file that behaves like multiple font files; it has an infinite flexibility...

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