Ignite learning platform for would-be entrepreneurs, US tariff suspenion and new Chambers website

We have seen unprecedented demand for our start-up advice as more people are taking the leap to self-employment, mainly due the economic effect of the pandemic.

In addition to our normal face-to-face start up advice, the Chamber is launching a brand-new innovative platform to equip would-be entrepreneurs with the knowledge to run their own business.

The Ignite portal will operate in tandem with the Chamber’s more traditional start-up programme that offers an identical package of learning in a workshop based or online format.

The interest in being your own boss has grown as many people have lost their jobs over the past year or have had time to rethink their work-life balance and opt for a change of course.

We already have four start-up advisers based at the Chamber who cover the whole of the county. The Ignite portal is a response to the demand for a totally flexible knowledge resource catering for people who may be still in employment or education and who may find it difficult to attend start-up workshops during normal office hours.

Ignite has a library of videos and templates along with activities which test learning. It has modules covering all the business basics such as business planning, bookkeeping, market research, accounting and cashflow.

Ignite was developed in conjunction with a local software company and it has been tested with partners and students who gave positive critical feedback.

It offers total flexibility and users can take as long as they like to work through the modules. They can also opt to join a traditional start-up course at any stage if they wish.

Anyone wishing to access Ignite can do so from 7th June 2021. Clients need to contact the Chamber’s start-up team on 01782 202222 or start@staffordshirechambers.co.uk

US tariff suspension is great news for the ceramics industry

This week we heard that the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) has recommended and immediately suspended tariff action following their investigation into the UK’s Digital Services Tax (DST). The tariffs will be suspended for up to 180 days to provide additional time for parties to reach agreement on a multilateral solution at the OECD.

The Chamber’s International Trade Team supported the British Ceramic Confederation in their successful campaign to ensure that the US Government’s proposed 25% ‘retaliatory tax’, in response to the UK’s Digital Services Tax, has been suspended. This would have had a huge impact on ceramic exports to the US, so we are delighted at this positive result. For all international trade information and enquiries visit: International Trade – Staffordshire Chambers

Our new website and Virtual Members’ Lounge are now live.

We have spent the past few months updating our website. It is now faster, simpler to navigate, more informative and contains extra interactive features to help you get even more from your membership.

Previously, members had a single login, however, to open membership up to all we are moving to am individual login so that all staff members can have their own account. This will allow everyone to access our new Virtual Members’ Lounge area and book events individually.

The Virtual Member’s Lounge gives you all the facilities of our actual Members’ Lounge at our Festival Park HQ, but from your own screen. You can start a discussion, ask a question and network with fellow members to build your business contact base. If you are a member, you can click here to set up your individual login: https://bit.ly/3yXhT8j

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 or email: info@staffordshirechambers.co.uk

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