Surrey goes national at the British Chambers of Commerce conference
A delegation of four Surrey businesses, plus Surrey Chambers Chief Executive Louise Punter, went to the British Chambers of Commerce annual conference last week. All were eagerly awaiting presentations from top politicians and business leaders. George Osborne, Vince Cable and Ed Milliband were on the bill.
The venue, Church House, behind Westminster Abbey, was shrouded in gloom when everyone arrived, due to a power cut — not “budget cuts” as some bright spark commented. After a gloomy introduction by BCC’s David Frost, in light terms not subject terms, the power was restored just in time for Chancellor George Osborne to take the stage. He spoke for twenty minutes, about how Government can support business and how the economic recovery will be fuelled by the SME sector. Business secretary Vince Cable then spoke along a similar theme and majored on what the Government can do to aid small to medium sized businesses, especially in the area of bureaucracy. He promoted the government’s “Red Tape” challenge, which is a scheme for businesses to question what they may consider to be unnecessary red tape – and if the red tape cannot be justified then it will be cut. A Google search will quickly bring you to the website.
After a networking lunch where the Surrey businesses were able to mingle with other Chamber businesses and representatives from over the country, Ed Milliband spoke to the conference and took questions like all the politicians. A common skill of top politicians is how expert they are at handling questions. This was also mentioned by another Chamber member about David Cameron’s recent visit to Frimley Park hospital. I posed Ed Milliband a question about his views on supporting new technology/environmental companies, to which Ed replied that, like environmental issues you have to consider moral as well as purely economic factors.
The Surrey delegation had the most businesses attending the conference from any region in the UK and Surrey Chambers Chief Executive Louise Punter commented “I wanted to take a selection of Surrey Chamber companies. Thanks to representatives from projectfive, Something Big, ramsac and Chazbrooks Communications for taking a day out of their schedules to attend what was a memorable day and to see how the Surrey business community fits in the national picture.”