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The Chamber Voice - June Edition
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Chamber President:
David Clarke

I am writing this introductory address in the immediate aftermath of the EU referendum result which was announced early on the morning of 24 June confirming a marginal decision to leave the European Union.  You won’t be surprised that many of our members, local media outlets and business community groups have been asking me for an immediate reaction from the Chamber of Commerce on how this decision will impact on our local businesses.  

After a short period of reflection, my answer has been the same to any one who has asked. Firstly, it has always been the primary role of St Albans District Chamber of Commerce to promote the collective interests of our members. Secondly, we appreciate that our membership comprises businesses on either side of this EU debate and consequently a view one way or the other expressed by me on behalf of the Chamber of commerce would be wholly inappropriate.
 
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The National Minimum Wage: How to adhere to the requirements

In recent months, there has been no shortage of press coverage relating to the payment of national minimum wage and the alleged failure of many businesses to adhere to the requirements of the legislation in this regard. Whether this is because what is counted towards working time is not understood or because the introduction of the national living wage has resulted in some creative budgeting techniques, there are many articles aimed at shaming businesses who are thought to be getting it wrong.

The national living wage was introduced on 1st April 2016 in an attempt to ensure that workers aged 25 and over receive (for the time being) at least £7.20 per hour worked (a 50p increase on the previous regime). Whilst in isolation this does not seem like a significant increase, the Regulatory Policy Committee anticipated that the direct cost of the introduction of the national living wage would exceed £804 million. In order to avoid or at least temper the impact of this additional cost, some businesses have sought to limit or indeed remove other employee benefits, whereas other businesses simply appear to be calculating the payment of national minimum wage incorrectly.
 
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30th Pearl Anniversary Dinner 2016 – Souvenir Programme


Abraham Bejerano is celebrating 30 years at Sopwell House and to celebrate this important anniversary he is holding a spectacular gala dinner on Thursday 29th September 2016.

As part of this prestigious event, they are producing a high quality souvenir programme which will be presented to each of the 300 guests as they arrive.

The celebratory programme will contain details of this special occasion and will include a word of welcome from Sopwell House and the history of the hotel, the St Albans museums and galleries trust (the events beneficiary charity) menu and auction prize lists.

All proceeds will go to the St Albans Museums and Galleries Trust Renaissance Project.

The event will no doubt be a night to remember and definitely not one to be missed. A perfect opportunity to see Sopwell House Hotel at its best whilst entertaining clients/friends and supporting a very important community project for St Albans. 

For more information and tickets please contact Marina Murray at marina.murray@abhotels.co.uk or call 01727 750402. 
 
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If you are not already a Chamber member but would like to join us simply download the application form, fill it in and send it back to us with the relevant payment, either by email or by post. 
 
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Speed Networking
5th July at 6pm

The fastest and most cost-effective way to positively promote your business - and it’s really good fun!

GET MORE BUSINESS FAST - book now for Business Speed Networking hosted by June Cory of My Mustard. Speed-Networking works like speed dating - only you make lots of new business contacts, not romantic ones!

In fact, you’ll make more business contacts in just one evening of Speed Networking with us than in weeks of what we call ordinary “slow” business networking. It’s remarkably cost effective and gets you great results for your business.

Many people tend to gravitate towards those they may already know at networking events, never getting the opportunity to meet others who could be great business contacts.
 
Book Now


 


Mercer & Hole adds a splash of colour to Open Door

Chartered Accountants Mercer & Hole volunteered at Open Door night shelter in St Albans on Thursday 02 June. A team of six added a ‘splash of colour’ to the garden area at Open Door by painting the garden fence, potting bedding plants and making sure the area was clean and tidy. The team comprised of Ross Lane - Partner, Jack Reyland and Ellie Tay from the tax department, Jane Kennedy and Clare Chambers from the Audit department and Tanyel White from the HR department all of which work out of the St Albans office.

The Open Door homelessness service, is run by Hightown Housing Association, cares for people in the community who have become homeless and provides assistance and support to re-establish themselves back into the community. 

Open Door provides a safe environment for homeless people in and around St Albans giving them a base to re-establish their lives and their self-esteem. The night shelter provides accommodation and support to those who have nowhere to sleep and the drop in service is the platform for providing a wide range of services to help our users find a more settled way of living.
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The Business Festival from 4th to 8th July will include numerous networking opportunities and opens with the Herts Business Expo at the Alban Arena.

A new addition this year is a collaboration with St Albans Fashion Week and Feel Hot Yoga. We are expecting hundreds of representatives from all areas of business to attend events during the week just as they did last year.

The business festival is a great week for firms to engage with us and each other to explore mutual opportunities and strategic alliances.

Thanking our sponsors who are supporting the extensive programme across the week. 
 
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St Albans District Chamber of Commerce · Suite 19, STANTA Business Centre · Soothouse Spring · St Albans, Herts. AL3 6PF · United Kingdom