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Minutes of Meeting 5th March 2014

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March 17, 2014 by oswestrychamberoftrade

Welcome

Welcome from committee chair Heather Noble who stressed the need for attendees to register their cars if they are parked in the hotel car park, or risk receiving a parking fine.

Growth Vouchers Programme – How We Can Benefit

Heather Noble outlined the main points of the Growth Vouchers Scheme that started in January and runs for 15 months. There is a pot of £20,000,000 in the central pot to be allocated to eligible businesses.

Each business can apply for a voucher to get them £2,000 (match funded) of advice from approved advisers. You pay for the advice initially then receive a refund from the scheme when you submit the voucher.

You apply online and then if you qualify and receive your voucher, you then seek an authorised adviser to obtain the advice.

Funding is available in the following areas:

  • Raising finance and managing cash flow
  • Recruiting and developing staff
  • Improving leadership and management skills
  • Marketing, attracting and keeping customers
  • Making the most of digital technology

To find out more information and apply for vouchers, contact:

  • www.gov.uk
  • www.enterprisenation.com
  • Shropshire Chamber’ Libby Williams (an assessor for the Enterprise Voucher scheme) on 07730 982714 or by email at e.williams@shropshire-chamber.gov.uk

Growth Vouchers – Become an Adviser

Jools Payne, who is herself an approved adviser, took us through the online registration process and outlined some of the things you need to bear in mind when applying.

First step is to go to https://marketplace.enterprisenation.com. She said that the site crashes an awful lot, but it’s worth bearing with it to apply, whether to give or receive the advice (the application process is the same for both).

You can only register to give advice within ONE of the stated disciplines (see list above in Heather Noble’s section of the talk) and one email address per application (and per discipline). However, you can use somebody else’s email address within your organisation to register for a different discipline if your expertise falls across more than one area.

She stressed the importance of completing your profile as fully as possible, however she stated you can always go back into your profile to update it at a later date.

Eureka! Moment

Helen Hunter-Hayes of Shropshire Council told us about this new initiative aiming to help businesses to grow through innovation.

There are workshops and grants of between £2,000 and £10,000 available to the qualifying businesses.

This is only open to businesses in the following areas:

  • Herefordshire
  • Shropshire (excluding Telford & Wrekin)
  • Staffordshire
  • Worcestershire

Helen also ran through some of the other funding options and support available through Shropshire Council.

More information about the Eureka! Moment’s events can be found at www.shropshire.gov.uk/eureka-moment/events.

To find out more about how Shropshire Council can help support your business growth, email Helen at helen.hunter-hayes@shropshire.gov.uk or by telephone on 01743 252272.

YBITS – Moghill Web Services

Fiona Barnes introduced her website agency, Moghill Web Services, to the Chamber.
Moghill is a multi-service web agency and uses WordPress to build highly effective and functional websites for their clients. They produce whole websites, including effective content that means the websites are easily found in Google searches and that visitors to the websites can easily find the information they want, which in turn increases the chances that they will go on to buy from that company.

More information about Moghill can be found at their website www.moghill.co.uk.

Any Other Business

  • Heather Noble announced that the next meeting in April is our AGM, and we are inviting applications from members to stand for committee. Interested parties need to state their intentions to any current committee member for further information. Heather stated that certain sectors are underrepresented on the committee, particularly businesses from retail and manufacturing sectors amongst others.
  • She also went on to say that some of the Chamber’s emails have been ending up in Junk Mail folders, so could people please check their junk folders for any of our emails that are ending up there and mark them as ‘Not Junk’ within their inboxes to reduce the risk of this happening in the future.
  • Heather also invited feedback from members about last year’s Christmas free parking arrangements, and suggestions for what could be improved for this coming year.
  • 20s Plenty meeting on Monday 31st March at 7pm at The Walls. Further information about the campaign and the meeting can be found at http://peacecycling.blogspot.co.uk and in the local press in the run up to the event. Please confirm your attendance if possible by emailing peacecycling@btinternet.com. 20s Plenty founder Rod King MBE will be there, along with local campaigner Sarah-Charlotte Peace and will outline the benefits of 20mph speed limits.
  • Questions raised by members:
  1. Paul Wiseman questioned the affiliation previously mentioned at last month’s Chamber meeting by HN that we at Oswestry Chamber can attend the Shropshire Chamber’s Oswestry Breakfast Networking Club without having to join Shropshire Chamber, they only need to pay for their Breakfast Club membership (just over £25 per month). Mr Wiseman said that he’d asked Teresa Rowe – Events Manager at Shropshire Chamber – about the affiliation and she’d said that it was a ‘grey area’, so he wanted to confirm the situation either way. HN reiterated that as far as she was aware the arrangement stood, but would double-check and confirm this. (NB: HN has since spoken with Ms Rowe and confirmed the affiliation and invites any Oswestry Chamber members to attend a breakfast meeting to try it out for themselves).
  2. John Pittaway asked about the Hope House Hospice Corporate Challenge and if we had any updates on the next event. HN advised that we had decided to put last year’s Corporate Challenge to bed and start a new one for 2014, so there would be no events in the foreseeable and we would advise when the next one is.

Meeting Close

The next meeting is on Wednesday 2nd April 2014.


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