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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.

What do business travellers need in place before they travel to the US?

By Danielle Martinez | Good Travel Management

There’s been a lot of press recently over the US's immigration policy, however, it still remains a destination of choice for many business travellers. A good travel management company will help arrange your immigration applications, as well making sure your flights, hotels, and transportation are all in place. For those planning a business trip to the states, the immigration process can be quite daunting so we’ve created the below to ensure that you have a stress free experience.. Here are a couple of things you need make sure are in place before travelling to the states... 1. Entry Visas First things first, you'll need at least 6 months left on your passport to be able to fly to the states,...

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Focus on conveyancing

By Jim Brindley | TLO Risk Services

Historically, insurers rate the area of conveyancing work as one of the biggest risk area's for law firms when setting a professional indemnity premium. Some insurers are happy with firms who undertake a large amount of conveyancing work, others are far more cautious. Over the past ten years, conveyancing claims have contributed, on average, to over 40% of claims notifications. There are many risk areas associated with conveyancing work for law firms to consider. These include: - Risk of fraud and the increased risk of identity fraud, - Increased duty of care to both client and lender, - Large transactional values, - Cyber Fraud "Friday afternoon" - Urgency from clients to complete transactions...

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Beware a drop in complaints

By Gillian Hutchinson | Aardvark marketing consultants

Like many businesses, we have an external company who provide our IT support. They are very good, quick to respond, and can usually fix our problems quickly. They also provide a monitoring service which identifies potential problems in time for them to be fixed before we are even aware of them. All good then? Well, not quite. We suffer from regular IT glitches – software crashes, laptop freezes, updates that remove customised settings etc. I’m sure you have experienced them too. The first time one of these problems occurs, I call the IT support team and then they call back later to fix it. Often this involves them having remote access to my computer, which is great, but of course means...

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Cash - The life blood of all businesses

By Steve Elsigood | KPMG

Naturally, SMEs face numerous challenges throughout their life and cash flow issues are usually at the top of the list for most businesses. A recent study by Barclaycard revealed that 63% of SME decision-makers worry about their businesses’ cash flow. Cash is vitally important for the health of all businesses as it oils the wheels of everyday operations. It is also a necessity to help develop a sustainable future being required to take advantage of growth opportunities as and when they arise, expand product ranges and invest in new technologies. Without access to funding, even the most profitable businesses will be restricted in their ability to maintain and grow their operations effectively. SMEs...

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Where there’s a Will, there may be a court claim…

By Andrew McManus | Enoch Evans LLP

Recently the High Court in London has been the setting for a significant claim by the mistress of a deceased businessman, Ms Melissa Proles, against his widow, Mrs Harjeet Kaur Kohli, for reasonable financial provision from Mr Baldev Kohli’s Estate following his death. Ms Proles seeks a share of Mr Kohli’s £2.5million Estate for her young daughter with Mr Kohli. Ms Proles claims that she began a relationship with Mr Kohli and he proposed to her soon afterwards. The couple shared a home in Surrey until shortly before their daughter was born in 2013, it is alleged. Ms Proles now seeks “reasonable provision” from Mr Kohli’s Estate, pursuant to the Inheritance (Provision for Family & Dependants)...

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Justice secretary’s decision to review divorce laws welcomed

By Aaron Keene | The Wilkes Partnership Solicitors

In a continuation of a piece written in early January on the Redknapp divorce Aaron Keene, Partner in the Family department at Wilkes examines how it appears the courts are finally beginning to listen to calls for a change in the law. The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, Mr David Gauke MP, a former solicitor, has agreed to examine the case for reforming the divorce laws and the present need, in many cases, to rely upon fault based divorce, i.e. adultery or unreasonable behaviour, if the parties have not been separated for 2 years. In cases which are undefended at the present time the Court do not undertake a detailed enquiry into the reason for the breakdown, save that one...

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Enhancing your exporting opportunities through intellectual property

By Matt Shaw | Forresters

The tumultuous events of the last two years have seen significant shifts in economic and political landscapes. The recent Autumn Budget saw predictions for the UK economy revised, as Britain moves to separate itself from the European Union. This challenging business environment is also shackled by announcements that households will face the longest squeeze on their income in over half a century, with real average earnings in Britain not returning to their 2008 peak, until 2025. With the current political and economic uncertainty, Britain’s SMEs may now seek to capitalise on the growth and expansion of new markets across the world to secure a noticeable increase in business. According to the...

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Reflecting on Blue Cross re-homing centre's successful 2017

By Tina Burdett | Blue Cross

Here at Blue Cross Bromsgrove we’ve barely slowed down as we hit 2018, but wanted to take a moment to share some of our highlights of 2017 with you. In total Bromsgrove rehoming centre helped 226 cats, 176 dogs and 2 hamsters find happy homes in 2017. Pets like Bonnie who came to us heavily pregnant when sadly her owner found themselves homeless. She went on to have five healthy pups who kept the team on their toes until it was time to rehome them, and quite unusually Bonnie was reserved before all the pups. They all started 2018 in their new homes and we love receiving updates on how they are doing. A huge part of who we are and what we do involves our volunteers. We recruited 88 new volunteers...

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Coaching and computers is there any commonality?

By Heather Egginton | The Real Executive Coaching Co.

Well parts of the brain are computers… Storing automatic functions which are learnt behaviours, learnt beliefs, and automatic programmes (things you automatically do without thinking – like driving). Then you have the human side of your brain, made up of facts and truths, which is your purpose and a meaning. Leading you to achievement and satisfaction (Well-being).. The third part is the chimp aspect of your brain, always trying to survive. The chimp keeps trying to hijack your machine, hacking into your human brain and your computer… The Chimp is the emotional side of your brain.. If you have read the Chimp paradox by Dr Stephen Peters then you will know where I am going with this… Essentially...

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7 ways to keep your business safe and secure

By Dextar J Harris | TLG Management

Birmingham is the largest and most populated city in the UK outside of London with over 1.1 million inhabitants as of 2014, with the wider metropolitan area stretching to a total population of 3.8 million. Between 2015 and 2016 there has been 55, 159 Anti-social crimes, 17, 387 Burglaries, 5, 514 Robberies and 14, 957 Shop-lifting crimes reported. Crime in Birmingham is an ongoing problem, however we started our company to help people get that safe and secure peace of mind. So here’s a few tips to keep your property safe. Risk assessment – First and foremost if you want to improve your security, you will have to identify any weak points there may be in your property or business. Consult...

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