Despite the disruption to the business calendar caused by Covid19, the show will go on and Staffordshire Chambers Business Awards ceremony, originally scheduled to take place in July, will now take place at a glitzy virtual ceremony on 19th November with a celebrity host.

This is a fantastic opportunity to let the business community know that your business has come through lockdown and how you are positively embracing the challenges ahead and capitalising on new opportunities.

A special Chambers Awards platform is now live and will remain open for entries until 5pm on Friday 9th October after which judging will commence. We are grateful to main sponsor HSBC and all our other sponsors for their generous support of the awards.

All the categories and sponsors are listed at the easy to use portal where you can apply for as many categories as you like: https://staffordshirechambers.awardsplatform.com/ For more information email: awards@staffordshirechambers.co.uk

The Chambers has only ever been as good as its members whose enthusiasm and drive give us the focus and the mandate to carry out our mission of being the complete business support and representative body for business in Staffordshire.

We are looking for active, influential members who would like to take their involvement to the next level by joining Chamber’s council, board of directors, or one of the local area boards for Stafford and the Staffordshire Moorlands.

Serving on our council, board of directors or a local area board is a great way to keep abreast of what is going on in business and the wider economy. As a businessperson you can get directly involved and influence by representing the views of businesses in your community right up to the highest level.

In addition, you will make new contacts within your peer group and forge valuable business connections.

We welcome applications from all business people from all backgrounds from self-employed to large businesses in any sector.

If you are interested in becoming a council or board member, or would like to chat about what is involved please contact Vicki Hardie vicki.hardie@staffordshirechambers.co.uk

If you want to talk to us about any business issues, you can call our switchboard on 01782 202222 or call the Stoke and Staffs Growth Hub Helpline on 0300 111 8002.

Nespresso Offer

To find out more about this offer please contact Harry Damien on 07971 391304

It cannot have escaped your notice that the government have launched the Kickstart Scheme which provides 100 percent funding to employers to create job placements for 16 to 24-year olds.

This £2 billion fund was set up to create hundreds of thousands of high-quality 6-month work placements aimed at those aged 16 to 24 who are on Universal Credit and are deemed to be at risk of long-term unemployment.

The benefit of upskilling this generation of workers is priceless as we look to recovery from the pandemic and to making the Staffordshire economy fit for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

The job placements are designed to support the participants to develop the skills and experience they need to find work after completing the scheme. Hopefully, many participants will prove their worth and become valued employees of their host companies.

Funding is available for 100 percent of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions. There is also £1,500 per job placement available for setup costs, support and training.

To help you fully understand the Kickstart Scheme and its associated benefits we are hosting a webinar at 11am on Thursday 17 September.

The webinar, presented by the Chamber’s project manager Tom Nadin will explian how the scheme works, what types of jobs are on offer, how to apply for a placement and will explain the funding model. You can book on the webinar here: https://bit.ly/2ZlhYTg

If you are interested in a Kickstart placement and can’t attend the seminar you can contact us at kickstart@staffordshirechambers.co.uk

If you want to talk to us about any business issues, you can call our switchboard on 01782 202222 or call the Stoke and Staffs Growth Hub Helpline on 0300 111 8002.

Peak Run and Ride, Staffordshire’s newest running and cycling shop will officially open on Saturday 19th September. With it’s aim to help build a community of runners and cyclist to help get the people of Staffordshire and Cheshire active!

The Trentham Shopping Village based shop, will be selling everything from bikes and running apparel to clothing and accessories. Whether you are a lifelong runner or new cyclist, we accommodate all ages, abilities, and interests. We’ll also be helping to get riders sitting comfortably on their new bikes with a Bike Fit service, and runners running more efficiently with a Gait Analysis service.

Sitting under the existing Peak brand established by Audley-based Managing Director Paul Ball, Peak: Run & Ride is set to dovetail perfectly with Peak, which is currently operating in ten different locations in the UK – including the southern entrance of The Trentham Estate with Trentham Treetop Adventures.

Peak currently operates in three sectors: outdoor adventures; education at four independent, Ofsted-registered schools where the emphasis is on an ‘adventurous’ curriculum; and as the largest provider of the Expeditions section of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme.

For a company which employs more than 230 full-time staff nationwide, the new shop at Trentham is an exciting opportunity.

Paul continues: “Retail is a great opportunity for Peak. Trentham feels like the perfect fit for us now with 3.5 million visitors a year and will work very well with all other aspects of our existing business, while also focusing on all things to do with cycling and running. Anyone stepping inside can expect to find the highest quality of product for sale here, topped-off with excellent service and advice. We’ll also be selling vouchers for Peak’s huge variety of activities across our outdoor centres”.

My business is all about building a community. We want to help existing runners and cyclists, but also help people run and ride with local cycling or running clubs through our local club finder.”

Store Manager Andy Gray said “We have worked really hard to handpick some great brands for our customers including bikes from Corratec, Focus, Forme, cycle clothing from Endura and LeCol, Kask helmets. Running shoes from Asics, Sacony, Odlo and Miles Better clothing, along with nutrition products and more”

He continued “We’ll also be stocking a range of great mountain and eBikes that are becoming increasing popular. My team will be able help customers get set up on the bike with a new Bike Fit service that’s free if you buy a bike from us. What’s more we’ll give customers the opportunity to test ride our bikes near the shop. We’ll offer a running Gait Analysis service to help find the right running shoes for you so you can improve your fitness and run times.

Expert Store Mechanic Jacob Nicholls said “The shop will be offering bike servicing and repair packages to help you get back on the road if your bikes need some attention. Along with the government Cycle to Work scheme that helps you make savings on new bikes and accessories as an

employee benefit. This is great as the scheme aims to cut congestion on the roads, improve the health of the nation and have a positive impact on the environment.”

To find out more, visit the Peak Run and Ride shop at the Trentham Shopping Village, visit the website at www.peakrunandride.co.uk or follow us on Facebook @peakrunandride

Keele has been recognised as being among the best universities in the country, having been shortlisted for University of the Year in the 2020 Times Higher Education (THE) awards.

The prestigious THE awards recognise outstanding work in universities covering the whole breadth of their activity – both in academia and professional services.

The coveted University of the Year award is given to an institution which demonstrates exceptional performance across its research, teaching, leadership and business performance across its operations, and to be named as a finalist in this category is a significant achievement in itself.

The 2020 awards celebrate the achievements of universities throughout 2018/19, when Keele celebrated its 70th anniversary and enjoyed another outstanding year across all of its activities: from access through to teaching, research, and engagement.

Among the highlights from 2018/19 include a visit by Sir David Attenborough to open our new life science laboratories, during which he commended Keele’s work on sustainability and environmental issues; and the launch of the innovative HyDeploy project on campus, a pilot project which could drastically reduce the UK’s carbon emissions by decarbonising the gas grid.

The shortlisting announcement comes in the same week that Keele enjoyed a successful performance across several subjects in the Guardian University Guide 2021, ranking in the Top 10 in England for Student Satisfaction, and with four of its subjects achieving Top 10 in England status.

Professor Trevor McMillan, Vice Chancellor of Keele University said: “I’m incredibly proud that Keele has been named as a finalist for the University of the Year award.

“This nomination is a fitting recognition of the outstanding work of the staff and students here. The world class research and teaching by our academic staff is having a significant impact in fields like climate change, green energy and sustainability, and inspiring our students to go forward into the world and tackle the biggest challenges facing society, the economy, and the world.

“We also have an incredible network of professional service staff, who work tirelessly to provide essential support for staff and students.  This nomination is shared by the whole Keele community and is a testament to all of their dedication and hard work.”

The winner will be announced from among the shortlisted universities when the THE awards are held this November.

With Rob Lawley – Head of International Trade at the Chambers.

Our borders are changing, the rules of the game are shifting, and traders need to build or reset their customs processes.

From 31 December 2020, the number of customs declarations made by traders is forecast to increase from 55 million to well over 300 million every year. Businesses that import or export goods will need to complete a lot more administration when clearing goods through UK Customs in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Staffordshire businesses who import/ export will need to get up to speed quickly to comply with the new customs declaration requirements.

To help with this there is a brand-new service, ChamberCustoms is a customs advisory, training and brokerage service operated by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) which will help exporters do just that.

It is different from other brokerage services in that it harnesses the reach, expertise, and knowledge of the British Chamber network to offer a fast, reliable, and compliant service. All with the aim of helping our businesses maintain their competitive edge.

Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce is proud to be part of ChamberCustoms which is the only customs broker in the country to offer a ‘one stop shop’. We have direct links to all sea, air, rail and road ports and terminals in the UK. Businesses have enough to do operating in these unusual times which is why ChamberCustoms has been designed to help you stay in control whilst we do the hard work.

To find out more about Customs Declarations call 01782 202222 and speak to one of our team who can make Customs Declarations on your behalf. Alternatively click here https://www.chambercustoms.co.uk to visit the ChamberCustoms website.

If you want to talk to us about any business issues, you can call our switchboard on 01782 202222 or call the Stoke and Staffs Growth Hub Helpline on 0300 111 8002.

The Kickstart Scheme provides funding to employers to create job placements for 16 to 24 year olds.

The government has introduced a new Kickstart Scheme in Great Britain, a £2 billion fund to create hundreds of thousands of high quality 6-month work placements aimed at those aged 16 to 24 who are on Universal Credit and are deemed to be at risk of long term unemployment.

You can use the Kickstart Scheme to create new 6-month job placements for young people who are currently on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment. The job placements should support the participants to develop the skills and experience they need to find work after completing the scheme.

Funding is available for 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions. There is also £1,500 per job placement available for setup costs, support and training.

Application must be for a minimum of 30 job placements. However, if you are unable to offer this many job placements, Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce can act as an intermediary to apply on behalf on a number of businesses.