At Cornwall Chamber of Commerce, our team have been working remotely for over ten weeks to ensure our members get the support, advice and guidance they need during such unprecedented times.
As one of the 53 accredited Chambers in the UK, we have been working closely with the British Chambers of Commerce to lobby the concerns of the Cornish business community to the government, of which the Chamber network have been successful with over 20 policy wins.
Cornwall Chamber’s primary aim is to make doing business in Cornwall easier by providing our members with the platform to meet and connect with new customers and suppliers. We have transferred our extensive calendar of events online, a range of training, informative and social events with keynote speakers and experts in their field to support businesses moving forward. Although we are still unable to put on face to face events, we can compose virtual member to member introductions for businesses that provide a product or service that will benefit you currently or in the future.
In Cornwall we are fortunate to have such a diverse business landscape, we endeavor to promote all our members through our extensive Chamber network. Members have the opportunity to partner with others in certain sectors or co-hosting events with Cornwall Chamber that offer an insight for what the future may hold. Members can also upload news, events, job vacancies to our website and gain access to the exclusive LinkedIn group.
At the Chamber we were shifting towards smart working prior to the Coronavirus crisis, so we are fortunate that we had procedures in place for working from home. By providing a flexible working environment for the Chamber staff it has become more apparent in recent months the benefits of working remotely has brought to the team include greater productivity and an increase in communication. As a team we have lowered carbon footprint through a reduction in travel also resulting in saving a penny or two. The flexibility of our working hours has in turn allowed the team to spend more time with friends, family and to pursue hobbies therefore improving general wellbeing. This is all done whilst delivering the same or if not greater services to our members and improving the overall wellbeing of the team.
Now is the time to choose Cornish
Will consumer behaviour change forever post Covid-19?
Communities all over the Duchy have pulled together to support their local businesses and each other. Cafes and pubs are serving takeaways, Farmers and Fisherman are selling produce straight off the farm and quays. The support for local businesses has never been greater, but will people continue to choose Cornish post Covid? Will people want to commute on crowded trains, what will the hospitality industry look like, will people continue to travel across the UK for meetings? How will this impact the need for the third runway, HS2, the tone of Brexit negotiations? Or, do we have short memory of disasters so that instincts like sociability, travel, trade soon return to previous patterns?
There will be much pain from the crisis but will it lead to some positive changes. We already see water is clearer, air in towns is fresher, birds sing louder. This could be the moment when we really take a hard look at food miles, eat what is in season, support and encourage our growers, fishermen and processors.
Cornish products are highly sought after by the rest of the world so let’s champion them here. And that is not to mention that we have best in class furniture makers, jewellers, designers, ceramicists, artists – and theatre, music, culture… the list goes on.
Now is the time to help Cornwall accelerate by buying local. Choose Cornish – look for the Made in Cornwall logo!
Have a look through the Made in Cornwall Members here.
New Zealand Connection
Cornwall Chamber has established a Memorandum of Understanding with Waikato Chamber of Commerce in New Zealand.
Kim Conchie CEO of Cornwall Chamber said: “We see many areas of similarity and shared values which will make this an easy export opportunity and source of inward investment. You will find a warm welcome from Don Good and his team at Waikato Chamber.”
“One of the early and obvious opportunities is in agricultural equipment and supplies. Waikato has an annual agricultural show, Fieldays, ‘like Royal Cornwall but ten times bigger’ which this year is virtual.”
The CEO of the show who would welcome discussions with Cornish suppliers and services is: Peter Nation
Adapting for a Smarter Future
Many major companies such as Google, Facebook and Microsoft have informed the majority of their staff that they could working from home till 2021. So, what does that really mean for wellbeing and morale? Much evidence about working from home points to positive benefits, including improved work-life balance, increases in productivity and job satisfaction. However, this new way of working is bringing its own stresses of which Cornwall Chamber of Commerce is only too aware. The most obvious aspect is that of social support or interaction. While some employees might welcome the flexibility and change of surroundings, we know that others will be suffering from feelings of isolation or loneliness that can lead to a negative impact on their mental health.
Employers need to create a balance between maintaining business as usual, whilst recognising that this huge change could be affecting their workforce more than they know. It’s imperative that advice and guidance is developed to ensure the team is getting sufficient support. Wellbeing in the workplace will be a key focus in upcoming webinars such as ‘Adapting for a smarter future’ which will explore the importance of supporting local businesses and community projects. All taking the opportunity of lockdown to reflect carefully about our environment and business behaviour.
See our website for more information on events.
New Members this Quarter
Atelier; Helen Brooks Chartered Architects
Proud to be Green
Tom Raffield Lighting
First Light Southwest
All members can be found at our online Members Directory: https://www.cornwallchamber.co.uk/list/