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The Chamber Voice - June Edition
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David Clarke
Chamber President

As temperatures begin to soar and summer is finally here, activities at the St Albans District Chamber of Commerce have begun to heat up.  June saw the launch of our renowned Community Business Awards and the completion of the first ever St Albans Business Festival.  We have long known that the city of St Albans has a truly engaged business community. However, the Business Festival illustrated the power of collective working superbly and I must express my huge appreciation and thanks to all of those businesses who organised, hosted, sponsored and participated in the numerous events which took place across the week.

The sheer variety of events within our Business Festival programme painted a fabulous portrait of our diverse business community here in St Albans and the associated social media hits via Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook coupled with traditional media coverage courtesy of the Herts Ad, Hertfordshire Business Independent  and Radio Verulam ensured our members received great profile.  I was lucky enough to attend several events across the week and the single message hitting me every time, from the Herts Expo to the Retailer Awards and from the speed networking to the business quiz, was how many incredible businesses we have in and around St Albans.  It also struck me during the week that we need to shout about our amazing businesses at every opportunity Which conveniently brings me on to the Business Community Awards.
 
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The Herts Advertiser continues to support the St Albans community 

Exactly one hundred and sixty years ago this week, the first edition of The St Alban’s Times and Herts Advertiser was produced from a small print business in The Clock House at the base of the city’s present Clock Tower.

This inaugural issue came out on Saturday July 7, cost one-and-a-half pence in old money, and contained eight pages of syndicated news - including an account of the Crimean War - which was brought from London by stagecoach for setting in Market Place.

Just 300 copies of this first edition were produced, using a hand-held press at the rate of 50 an hour.

The Herts Advertiser (The St Alban’s Times title was subsequently dropped) was founded by Richard Gibbs the Elder following his brother’s success with the Aylesbury Times in 1836. Owning a newspaper at this time provided a considerable amount of political clout, and allowed the Liberal Gibbs brothers to smite the Tories, nobility and squires in defence of the common man.

Now, 160 years after that first copy rolled off the presses, the Herts Advertiser continues its mantra of offering quality journalism on every platform readers want to access it through, but now this is no longer just print, but through the internet, mobile phones and tablets. The newspaper’s team of journalists strive to engage their audiences on all of these platforms in a professional and comprehensive manner, with accuracy and accountability at the forefront of all content.

Editor Matt Adams, just the 13th person to hold that title in the newspaper's history, said: "As the foremost media in the St Albans district, and the only newspaper based locally, we are very much at the heart of the local community.

"Whether it's through our support of the Chamber of Commerce and the City Centre Partnership, our links to Grove House Hospice and St Albans City FC, our campaigns backing The Odyssey or opposing a rail freight depot, or our involvement with the Herts Business Awards, the Mayor's Pride Awards and the Herts Advertiser School Awards, you can be sure to find us doing whatever we can to promote this great district in which we live - and long may that continue."
 
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Isle of Wight Cycle Challenge
17th - 20th September

The inaugural Rennie Grove Isle of Wight Cycle Challenge has been organised to celebrate the Charity's 30th anniversary of nursing and caring. 

The challenge takes place over the period 17 - 20 September 2015. Captained by Graham Poll, former FIFA referee and a Patron of Rennie Grove, the challenge will comprise of a four day ride from St Albans/Tring to the South Coast, around the Isle of Wight and back again, taking in in Southampton, the New Forest and Cotswolds en route. 

Join as an individual or enter a team, complete the whole course or treat it as a relay undertaking a day each. 
 
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Ten things I’ve learned since the launch of SA Law

As a full-service law firm that helps businesses, families and individuals, we’ve experienced a great deal over the last decade. We’ve guided clients (and ourselves!) through a major recession, capitalised on transformations in the legal sector, expanded into London and followed a clear growth strategy that led to the strong position we’re in now. We’ve also benefited greatly from offering an extended range of services, which helps us to see legal issues from many different perspectives. As a result, we can provide a more holistic service to our clients.

We’ve learnt a lot in ten years of SA Law, but here are ten highlights from my perspective.

1. Invest in people to attract and retain talent

Treat people well and, if possible, adopt the Richard Branson approach of staff first, customers second and shareholders third. Happy employees often leads to happy customers and clients. We look after our staff, and have been rewarded with their hard work, loyalty and commitment in return. 
 
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Networking Lunch at Lussmanns
31st July at 12.30pm

The majority of companies join the Chamber of Commerce to network. This informal lunch is an opportunity to introduce your company’s products and services to other members and local companies – a chance to make new business contacts in this fantastically reliable, award winning Chamber restaurant.


Business Breakfast Meeting 
8th July at 7.15am

With guest speaker Larry Heyman

Some of the Class 319 trains running on the Thameslink route, which are now 25 years old, have already been replaced this year by new build class 387s on an interim basis. A fleet of brand new Desiro City trains is currently being built by Siemens and, by then end of 2018, the existing Thameslink fleet will have been entirely replaced. There will then be 3,000 more standard class seats into St Pancras in the three hour morning peak compared to today, an increase of 15%.
 
By the end of the 2016-17 financial year, in partnership with Network Rail, Thameslink plan to deliver some major enhancements to St Albans City station. These will include a new, larger entrance to platform 4 on the Ridgmont Road side, more ticket gates in the main station building and improved retail facilities. Join us and talk to Larry directly about how this affects your business!
 
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Matthew Bowen wins second Commercial Agent Award

Matthew Bowen from Aitchison Raffety’s St Albans office, has for the second year running won the award for the most commercial property transactions completed in Hertfordshire. This is awarded by the Estates Gazette who
record all property transactions for agents both individually and as a company. 

Matthew Bowen was delighted with the award commenting: “I am really pleased to have won this for the second year running and it’s nice to be recognised for all the hard work put in. “We have had a very busy couple of years and I would like to thank, of course, all of my clients who have put their confidence in me and our company to act for them.

“Aitchison Raffety also came second in the company transactions category and this shows how everyone here is performing well as a team and working hard.”

Matthew works alongside Anthony Woodcock and Tracy Parker in the St Albans office and covers an area predominantly along the A1, A414, M1 and M25 corridors.

Anyone requiring further information on this or any other commercial property matter is invited to visit www.argroup.co.uk or contact their nearest branch of Aitchsion Raffety.


If you would like to see the press cutting taken from the Herts Advertiser please click here
 
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Welcoming our new Chamber Members!
 
If you are interested in joining the St Albans Chamber of Commerce, more information and a joining application form can be found here. Membership can be paid for online via our website

To watch our short animation on YouTube please click here

You can also download our App on the iPhone App Store or Google Play for more information and live updates on our Facebook and Twitter feeds. 
 
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The St Albans Chamber Business Festival - A Huge Success! 

The first week long Business Festival organised by The St Albans District Chamber of Commerce was a great success with many events a sell-out.

The week kicked off with the Herts Business Expo at the St Albans Arena. Exhibitors from across the county were there to showcase the services they offer. The Expo was officially opened by David Clarke who was there in his dual role as President of the St Albans District Chamber of Commerce and Head of Centre at Clydesdale Bank, who sponsored the event.

Other events that took place during the week  included a sell-out Business Jelly, a Speed Networking event and CEO Advice Sessions at Grant Thornton. The Festival wasn’t just for people currently working in professional services. A Careers fair organised by St Albans Council and Barclays Bank encouraged young people to come and find out more about a career in professional services. [...]
 
The Herts Advertiser have also written a piece on the Business Festival - click here to view!
 
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