As a Chamber, we connect you to a network of opportunities. Each quarter we aim to inform you of where we are putting our efforts on your behalf to raise your voice, create opportunities and raise your profile. You have access to your own account manager (your Relationship Manager) and to find out more on any of these issues either email them or use the email links below.
Your membership connects you to 52 other Chambers across the UK and over 30 overseas British Chambers. This is an unparalleled and unique network that you have direct access to. This means we have the authority to be the ‘Voice of Business’. We actively engage at the local, regional and national level to influence and lobby decisions on behalf of business. We also represent businesses of all sizes, sectors and types. This update gives you an overview of what we have been actively participating in on behalf of you, our members.
Addressing the 6 challenges Chamber you said mattered most
As we continue to work in uncertain times the British Chamber of Commerce (BCC) is one of the most active business organisations in Westminster working on behalf of all Chamber members to seek clarification and detail on areas where Brexit has the most adverse impacts and greatest potential for supporting business growth . The BCC has a Brexit manifesto which can be viewed here
In developing this dialogue, we continue to support your business by actively engaging in this conversation in Wales.
We have been keeping engaged in this discussion around both devolved and UK matters. We have met with the Secretary of State for Wales to discuss citizen/ workers’ rights, the Great Repeal bill and to maintain an open dialogue to the heart of the decision making in Westminster.
In addition, we hosted a Brexit Roundtable on 30th June to support Welsh Government in understanding the issues facing SME’s in Wales to help inform Welsh policy making to better support Welsh SME’s.
We are also working at UK level and in Wales to effectively join our voice with other business organisations to create a strong, consistent and coherent message for decision makers. A letter jointly signed by the British Chambers of Commerce, The CBI, FSB, IoD and EEF will shortly be sent to the Prime Minister. you have any comments on this please pass them onto Heather or Elgan .
Chamber Election Manifesto
As a business community, we face changing times resulting from the General Election. However, this gave us the opportunity to engage with politicians. We have been able to state what businesses in Wales most need to help them support increased trade and growth. The Chamber Policy and Public Affairs Manager, Elgan is active in informing politicians at all levels of what the key issues for businesses are. We ran a pre-election campaign to help inform and engage candidates with business issues. We will now write to all new MP’s within the Chamber area to explain the key issues you have told us are important to ensure that we continue to make your voice heard.
2. Expanding Successfully
We supported the Heathrow Business Summit held on 5th July in Cardiff City Football Club.
This holds enormous potential for your business to connect into the supply chain for not only the planned expansion but also to offer goods and services to the current contracts let by Heathrow. Several members attended including Richard Selby of Pro-Steel who was part of the keynote speakers and received excellent profile and connections, featuring on ITV Wales News that night. Richard said that the connections he made via the Chamber were invaluable to Pro-Steel being able to fully participate. Use the connections the Chamber has, to help your business expand.
To find out more details : https://southwaleschamber.co.uk/search/heathrow/
We are also working closely with Welsh Government to support even greater benefits by Welsh SMEs to the supply chain. If you are interested in finding out more, please get in touch with your Relationship Manager.
There remains a terrific opportunity for South Wales businesses to connect and offer services linked to the local supply chain for the nuclear power station being constructed at Hinkley Point. All the South Wales Chamber area is in the priority regional supply chain area. This means that any business in this area can offer to supply goods and services to support a wide variety of Work Packages that underpin this massive project.
There are around 150 Tier 1 contractors who are all working with tier 2 and tier 3 contractors on a huge number of contracts, from catering, to surfacing, bespoke conduits, cabling, lintels, lifting, civil engineering and precision instruments. The Somerset Chamber is working with EDF to identify what contracts are being let, and when to help smaller business get the right accreditation, regulatory compliance, skills and scale up of production to meet demand. This is a huge opportunity for Welsh businesses to connect and one that we can proudly connect with Chamber to Chamber. Businesses need to register by going onto the Portal.
Cardiff City Deal
Following recent local elections there has been a change in leadership of a number of Local Authorities. This has somewhat delayed the governance around the strategic levels of managing Cardiff City Deal. The City Deal includes funding of £734m for the South Wales Metro, of which over £500 million is provided by the Welsh Government and £125m from the UK Government. The UK Government has provided a £375m contribution, and the ten local authorities have agreed a commitment to borrow a combined total of £120million as part of the Wider Investment Fund.
However, the business community remains actively engaged and the Business Council is emerging as an agreed vehicle for ensuring the business voice can actively participate and be heard. To ensure a joined-up approach we have worked with the CBI. FSB, IoD and stakeholders from Local Authorities and Cardiff City Region to agree to have a place at the table for the Chamber. Whilst Heather will initially take Chamber the seat, members are encouraged to participate and should a member want to take this seat please get in touch with Heather to discuss. Heather.firstname.lastname@example.org
Swansea Bay City Region
We are making some strong connections to support members maximise their potential from the City Deal. More information about Swansea City Deal can be found here:
We also attended and supported Swansea Bay Futures at the successful Growth Factor event that took place on Monday 15th May.
For more information on Swansea Bay please contact email@example.com
Welsh Government Update
Heather continues to attend the newly named Council for Economic Development (CfED) chaired by either Carwyn Jones or Ken Skates and hosted by Welsh Government with a range of business interests and trade union also represented. Representations continue to be made around the
- Apprenticeship Levy;
- Brexit (EU Transition Arrangements) ;
- Local Government Reform.
- Economic growth partnerships in Swansea and the West, Cardiff City region and Mid Wales.
In addition, Heather attends Commerce Cymru, an informal gathering of business organisations and stakeholders who discuss a range of topics to suggest for discussion by the CfED. If there are any topics members would like raised, please get in touch with Heather or Elgan.
3. Recruitment and Skills
University of South Wales
We are working closely with USW at the Exchange, although not officially launched we are open for business. This is meeting facility at the University of South Wales campus Pontypridd where members can arrange to meet with the Chamber or meet with each other. You can also meet with university staff to discuss your business needs, be it research or connecting you to skilled students or intern opportunities, the Exchange gives you the chance to identify the types of student you are looking to attract into your business.
Skills in unusual places
We have developed close links to support you find skilled workers in places you may not have considered. Following events with the Army reservists, most recently at Raglan Barracks, we can bring you better information about the benefits to your business of employing Reservists. They typically undertake 19 to 27 days training a year much of the training can be completed around their day job on evenings and weekends. You will be employing people who have vocational training such as leadership and management, expert driving and logistics skills, engineering, communication, project management and team building skills, which, for you as employers, means you can have Reservist staff trained to the highest standards without costs to you. There are huge benefits for the employer and employee so it is worth investigating http://www.army.mod.uk/belong/reserve.
Swansea Young Professionals
This is growing from strength to strength helping young professionals in Swansea gain stronger networks and soft skills invaluable to help win and retain clients. For any member, in the Swansea area who would like to engage or perhaps support some of your younger professionals; find out more by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would be interested in supporting a Cardiff Young Professionals, we have started to work in partnership with Cardiff BID (business improvement district) who would be keen to support a new initiative if Chamber Members feel it would be of value. Contact email@example.com if this would be of interest.
4. Keeping Ahead of Competition
On 20th June, we co-hosted a unique event bringing together the life sciences sectors from Wales and Ireland, held at the Life Sciences Hub Wales. It was organised in partnership with British Irish Chamber of Commerce with support provided by Life Sciences Hub Wales and Celtic Advanced Life Sciences Network (CALIN) – Celtic Advanced Life Science Innovation Network – an Ireland-Wales 2014-2020 programme part funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government.
The Celtic Connections Life Sciences Conference brought together companies, academics, investors, experts and advisers, enabling organisations to explore new markets, grow their business, and trade effectively, in both the UK and Ireland. Minister for Skills and Science Julie James opened the event.
If you are seeking opportunities to trade into the EU via Ireland or want to make connections with Ireland get in touch with your relationship Manager who can connect you to the British Irish Chamber.
As a team, we have been working to help connect the services for Exporters in Wales. Heather has met many of the stakeholders from Welsh Government, Business Wales, Wales Exporters and Banks who have strong roles and expertise in supporting members to export.
For any information relating to International trade get in touch with Jo.Price@southwealesccdhamber.co.uk.
If you are considering exporting, or want to do more here is how we can help…….
We are vastly experienced and hugely connected to helping your business to export. This not only involves us running a range of Accredited export courses on international training but events to equip you to trade.
- Overseas Support: Use your Chamber connections by visiting the British Chamber of Commerce website to connect you to over 40 overseas British Chambers
Exporting is great Campaign: we support wider UK trade missions and there is a much general information by following this link:
You will see this link on any Chamber email signatures too as part of our commitment to supporting exporting. For more specific enquiries https://www.great.gov.uk/uk/ will help you navigate.
- Business Wales
In Wales the Welsh Government Trade team who are able to support and help you : https://businesswales.gov.wales/zones/export. We are working much more closely with them to join up areas and we will streamline our signposting to help connect you to the support you need much quicker. Within the Chamber Jo Price can support so please get in touch, or signpost others to the Chamber as your experts in Export.
- Qatar Airlines
We have been working with Chamber members Cardiff Airport to help maximise the potential for the new routes to Qatar that will be available in 2018. This not only supports wider trade with the Middle East, but will also enables you to use Qatar Airlines to connect to their hub for flights to the southern hemisphere. To find out more:
Severn Bridge Tolls
We are delighted to hear of the cross-party support for the abolition of the Severn Tolls. Having met with the Secretary of State for Wales we have been given the assurance that this will happen soon. The timescales are not fully clear yet, however Chamber president Liz Maher gave her reaction;
Update: UK Government has announced plans to abolish fees. https://southwaleschamber.co.uk/severn-tolls-abolished/
M4 Relief Road
As a Chamber, we gave evidence on your behalf on the £1.1bn M4 relief road public inquiry which began at the end of February and is due to finish mid-July. Members have informed us that the Black Route is their preferred option, as we hear of progress and decisions we will keep you informed.
6. Business Environment
Protecting your business.
Don’t forget that by being a Chamber member you can protect your business by using the Member benefits that come free as part of your membership:
Free 24/7 legal helpline should you have an HR, employment, tax, health and safety, data protection queries
£1 million of legal expenses cover should you need to take legal action.
Remind yourself of just what is on offer as a Chamber Member:
Remember you’re a Member
To help you understand and use your membership we have developed an easy to use Member Guide remind yourself of what being a member can do to help protect and connect your business:
If you would like a copy, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Stay Ahead! Thought Leadership
We have run a number of events that help you keep abreast of what’s going on whether it be communicating in a crisis, using online media, Bank of England briefing; cyber security or understanding the Welsh Economy via our own Quarterly economic update the Welsh Business barometer . Make sure you keep ahead by attending Chamber events
Increase your profile
Use the Chamber to help you raise your profile. Check out this link to help you
Using Social media effectively: a member toolkit
Don’t forget to check out the Members support for online marketing. We have developed these tools:
Make sure you get your news into our quarterly news magazine: here are the deadlines and advertising rates: Be seen, be heard, be connected.
See our latest version here:
This could be your company next edition.
Email: email@example.com for more information
Welsh Business Awards 2017 : 8th March 2017