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Chamber NewsBaroness Ruby McGregor-Smith elected as BCC President

Baroness Ruby McGregor-Smith elected as BCC President

Business leader Baroness Ruby McGregor-Smith CBE has been elected President of the British Chambers of Commerce. Baroness McGregor-Smith was elected by representatives of the accredited Chamber Network ahead of the BCC’s Annual Conference in London. She will take up the role, which is unremunerated, with immediate effect, succeeding Francis Martin CBE. As President, Baroness McGregor-Smith wil...

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Chamber NewsBCC Director General to call on Government to sweep away barriers to business growth

BCC Director General to call on Government to sweep away barriers to business growth

British Chambers of Commerce Director General Dr Adam Marshall will today call on the UK Government to sweep away barriers to business growth and investment at the leading business organisation’s Annual Conference 2020.   In his keynote speech, Dr Marshall will praise the determination of British businesses navigating a period of significant change. He will call for cuts to the high upfront c...

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Chamber NewsChamber CEO urges firms to plan ahead to mitigate potential risks posed by Coronavirus

Chamber CEO urges firms to plan ahead to mitigate potential risks posed by Coronavirus

Stephen Henagulph, Chief Executive of Somerset Chamber of Commerce, said: “Although most businesses have yet to see any severe direct impact as a result of the Coronavirus Covid-19 outbreak, many will be planning ahead to manage any potential economic effect, such as staff shortages, shipping restrictions, increased freight costs, supply chain disruption and travel restrictions. “For those wh...

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Chamber NewsBCC voices disappointment at legal decision which could ground Heathrow plans

BCC voices disappointment at legal decision which could ground Heathrow plans

Commenting on the High Court’s judgement on the judicial review of the Airports National Policy Statement, BCC Director General Dr Adam Marshall said: “Business communities across the UK will be bitterly disappointed that plans for a world-leading hub airport are now at risk. “Without expansion, firms risk losing crucial regional connectivity and access to key markets across the world. “...

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Chamber NewsGovernment's immigration proposals must be flexible, say business leaders

Government's immigration proposals must be flexible, say business leaders

The Government must ensure its new point-based immigration system remains flexible to ensure businesses can meet demand and ensure the economy can grow and prosper post-Brexit.  Stephen Henagulph, Chief Executive of Somerset Chamber of Commerce said: “There is a real danger companies will be unable to meet orders, increase business capacity and grow because of the proposed changes to the UK im...

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Chamber NewsBCC calls for the Budget to address skills gap

BCC calls for the Budget to address skills gap

Commenting on the ONS labour market figures for February 2020, published today, BCC Head of Economics Suren Thiru said: “The jobs market remains remarkably robust, with employment levels rising despite the UK economy stalling at the end of last year. “However, the strong headline figures mask underlying problems. Lingering economic uncertainty can mean companies hire staff to fill orders rath...

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Chamber NewsBCC: trade negotiations must unlock potential for struggling exporters

BCC: trade negotiations must unlock potential for struggling exporters

Exporters continued to tread water through the final quarter of 2019 according to the largest independent survey of UK firms, released by British Chambers of Commerce and DHL Express today. The survey of more than 3,300 exporters revealed that manufacturing export orders weakened for a second consecutive quarter. Indicators for service sector exporters also decreased in the quarter and remain at ...

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Chamber NewsManufacturing leaders focus on skills, trends and challenges

Manufacturing leaders focus on skills, trends and challenges

Industry leaders gave an insight into the trends and challenges facing the manufacturing and engineering sector at a specialist forum held at Leonardo Helicopters UK, in Yeovil. Organised by Somerset Chamber of Commerce, representatives from around 50 manufacturing and engineering firms listened to guest speakers including David Collings, Head of Aircraft Operations UK for Leonardo Helicopters, M...

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Chamber NewsUK economy lost momentum according to ONS Q4 GDP statistics

UK economy lost momentum according to ONS Q4 GDP statistics

Commenting on GDP statistics for Q4 2019, published today by the ONS, Suren Thiru, Head of Economics at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: “The UK economy lost momentum in the final quarter of 2019 due to weaker figures for industrial production. “UK manufacturing remains a weak point for the UK economy with sluggish global demand, tightening cashflow and disrupted supply chains dr...

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Chamber NewsFirms still struggling to recruit skilled staff

Firms still struggling to recruit skilled staff

Over half of UK firms attempted to recruit in the last quarter of 2019, but almost three quarters struggled to find the right talent, the largest survey of UK employers has found.  The latest Quarterly Recruitment Outlook from the British Chambers of Commerce, in partnership with Totaljobs, revealed continued skills shortages in the UK workforce ahead of the Government’s first Budget next mont...

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Chamber NewsBCC welcomes National Apprenticeships Week but calls for reform

BCC welcomes National Apprenticeships Week but calls for reform

Commenting on National Apprenticeships Week 2020, British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) head of people policy Jane Gratton said: “Businesses support the drive for more and better apprenticeships, but the system needs urgent reform if they are to help our workforce reach its potential.   “We need to give employers more flexibility in how they can use the Apprenticeship Levy, alongside help for...

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Chamber NewsLively debate at Chamber's transport and infrastructure breakfast

Lively debate at Chamber's transport and infrastructure breakfast

Somerset’s transport infrastructure came under the spotlight at Somerset Chamber of Commerce’s first business breakfast of 2020, which was sponsored by one of the Chamber’s newest members, Qatar Airways. Nick Aldworth Regional Delivery Director for Highways England (South West) was joined by Somerset County Council cabinet members Cllr David Hall, who holds the economic development, planni...

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Chamber NewsBCC calls for clear and timely communication on trade changes post-Brexit

BCC calls for clear and timely communication on trade changes post-Brexit

As the UK marks its official departure from the European Union and the start of an 11-month transition period, Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “In our business communities, this historic moment will bring a mixture of regret for some and celebration for others – but this is just the end of the beginning, not the beginning of the end. “Decisions ...

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Chamber NewsBCC welcomes decision to keep interest rates on hold

BCC welcomes decision to keep interest rates on hold

Welcoming the Bank of England’s decision to keep interest rates on hold, Suren Thiru, Head of Economics at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: "The decision to keep interest rates on hold is the right one given the mixed picture from recent economic data.   “Sluggish economic conditions in the near term will mean the prospect of a rate cut remains on the table. But with interes...

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Chamber NewsBusinesses need a flexible immigration system, says BCC

Businesses need a flexible immigration system, says BCC

Commenting on the release of the Migration Advisory Committee’s report on the UK’s immigration system, published today, BCC Head of People Policy Jane Gratton said: “Businesses want a flexible immigration system that provides access to the staff they need, without costly delays or red tape. “While a reduction in the salary threshold is welcome and the list of eligible jobs has been expan...

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