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February 2017!

2017 is a year of change and celebration for Merton Chamber. Now officially in our 25th year we have our new membership offer, a Merton Chamber Business Service in full swing, and a new chair of the board of Directors, Victoria Nicol, who we introduced to you last month. Victoria has some exciting plans for the Chamber and you can read all about them here in her new blog: "Talk about a dream, try to make it real: my vision for the Chamber in 2017 and beyond."
Have you taken action on the forthcoming increase in business rates? As the campaigning for a review of the proposed increase in business rates gathers pace, Merton Chamber of Commerce is supporting the business voice to ask that the Chancellor of the Exchequer reviews these proposals in his forthcoming Budget. Read more in my blog here.

March 9th sees the launch of the 2017 Merton Best Business Awards and we invite all businesses to come along to find out exactly what it takes to be an award winning business. See below for more information.

Recent feedback collected from local businesses has shown us that profile raising is one of the top areas of help that Merton businesses need and you have a fantastic opportunity to do this by applying for an award!

2017 is also bringing a new Apprenticeship Levy and we urge all large businesses to read below to find out how to plan for this.

We would like your views and help to make sure we are getting things right, and meeting the needs of businesses in Merton. Please take 5 minutes to complete our Customer Care and Business Research Survey by 2nd March. Three of the first thirty respondents will receive vouchers to spend with our local members.

Business News

Merton Best Business Awards 2017 launch event!
Now in it’s fifth year, this is your chance to find out what it takes to be an award winning business, meet the sponsors, previous winners and network with local businesses at the Taste Restaurant, South Thames College Merton Campus on March 9th.

Tying in with Apprenticeship Week, this event also showcases the fabulous work of the South Thames College students on the catering course, as you will be served tasty canapes made by the students
themselves! To find out more and register your place click here.

“We would encourage any business to think of applying.  It’s a really good way to evaluate your business strategy and effectiveness and an opportunity to link with many local businesses.” stem4

Apprenticeship Levy to affect larger businesses in the borough

A new Apprenticeship Levy will be introduced on 6 April 2017 and requires all employers operating in the UK, with a pay bill over £3 million each year, to invest in apprenticeships.

Merton Chamber will be holding an event in March, in association with South Thames College as part of the Take One service to help employers plan for the new Apprenticeship Levy. Entitled 'How is your business planning for the future, this will be an exclusive event for larger employers in the borough. We expect this event to fill up fast so please contact Caroline Cook to reserve your place.
Apprenticeship Week 6th - 10th March

As part of the Apprenticeship Week in March, South Thames College are holding an Employability Week from 7th-9th March. This will include a free employer breakfast from 9am until 10:30am on Tuesday 7th March as part of their Employer Fair. This is a fantastic opportunity for you to find out about Apprenticeships, training, support for employers and enable you to network.  More information can be found here.
Full house at Raynes Park Business Breakfast!
Over 40 businesses joined Merton Chamber and the Raynes Park Association for an informative business breakfast this week. 
After a delicious English breakfast courtesy of Jo and the team at Bar 191, it was down to business with
an update from the Consultation Manager of Crossrail 2. 
Read more.

London Mayor warns of unprecedented overcrowding without Crossrail 2

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has warned that the capital’s transport network will grind to a halt under the strain of overcrowding unless the Government backs plans for Crossrail 2.

Sadiq Khan, said. Crossrail 2 is crucial... Half the cost of the project can be met through funding from London, but we need the Government to meet the other half if we are to avoid this unbearable strain on our transport network. Crossrail 2 is the answer to help the entire country, because when London succeeds, Britain succeeds.”

TfL is preparing to submit a robust updated business case and funding plan to the Transport Secretary, who is due to make a decision on further Government support in the Spring. Construction could start in the early 2020s and the railway could be operational by 2033. Click here to find out more

Mental health and wellbeing lessons for parents at first ever school conference

Eating disorders, anxiety, depression, self-harm and addiction in secondary school-aged children will be discussed at the first parent conference hosted by local charity and Merton Chamber member stem4.

The conference will be held on Monday, March 20, at Wimbledon College as part of its Changing Minds initiative which aims to raise awareness of good mental health and the issues leading to poor mental health in young people. Click to find out more

Morrisons Solicitors hand over Wimbledon Young Professionals Group to Merton Chamber & Love Wimbledon
After seven brilliant years, Morrisons Solicitors are handing over WYPG to Merton Chamber & Love Wimbledon. 
Their last event as hosts and organisers of this popular networking evening will be on Thursday 2nd March 2017 at The Old Frizzle, Wimbledon Broadway.
Join us, Love Wimbledon and Morrisons for drinks, appetizers and entertainment in this informal, networking event and find out how we will continue to keep this fantastic group going when they hand the mantle onto us! RSVP to
What a month it has been!  From Timber Merchants to Print and Design, Waste Management to Virtual Assistance, Security to Nutritional Therapy.  The range of new businesses joining Merton Chamber of Commerce has been wide and varied! 
Welcome to our Premier Members
DS Systems
Hartley Fowler Chartered Accountants
First Base
HR Provider
Parkside Hospital
Morrisons Solicitors
Delrose Earle Training
Wimbledon Property Group
WSM Advisors
New Wimbledon Theatre
Schoolgate Accountants
Orchard Day Nursery
Flexicom Solutions
Welcome new Standard Members
Champion Timber
Reston Waste Management Ltd
Ginie VA
Knightguard Ltd
SW19 Design and Print
Unleash Digital
Roots to Vitality
Royal Medical Benevolent Fund
St James Place Wealth Management
These new members are now starting to reap the benefits of membership. For more information click below.
Join now
Young Apprentice supported by local charity!
Jigsaw4U helps another young person through providing an Apprenticeship

Jigsaw4u, a member of Merton Chamber, is a local charity supporting children and young people who have complex social and emotional problems with a wide variety of services.

Early in 2016, they met with Merton Chamber and found out how taking an apprentice could provide benefits to their business and at the same time support a young person on their first career steps. Merton Chamber put them in touch with Michael Brown who was looking for his first job since leaving college. Michael started at Jigsaw4U in April 2016, and with training support from Capital Training, he was able to combine getting valuable experience in the work place alongside some formal training once a week.

Pam Byford of Jigsaw4u explained: “We are a very friendly and supportive organisation and were happy to take someone less skilled and help train them up. We have been able to structure Michael’s work in a way that has built up both his skills and his confidence and he is now contributing valuable IT expertise to the business.
Upcoming Events
Our 2017 programme of events has been designed to help you develop and grow your business through better marketing, communications, opportunities for developing your people and making valuable contacts.

Fire Warden Marshal Training - 1st March
Aimed at those employees within the organisation who have a key role to play within the management of Fire Safety in the Workplace.

Merton Best Business Awards Launch - 9th March
In it’s fifth year, this is your chance to find out what it takes to be an award winning business, meet the sponsors, previous winners and network with local businesses. At Taste Restaurant, South Thames College Merton Campus.

Building Your Brand - 16th March
This workshop teaches you the essentials of branding and how to create your small business brand to convert prospects into customers and build customer loyalty.

Love to Lunch at the Old Frizzle - 22nd March
Merton Chamber of Commerce and Love Wimbledon would like to invite you to join us for our first joint networking event of 2017 at The Old Frizzle in Wimbledon.
Bring your appetites, networking skills and business cards and make some vital new business contacts.

Emergency First Aid - 28th March
Equip your staff with vital life saving skills, and workplace health and safety regulations.

Thinking of Starting a Business - Business Basics - 29th March
Obtain expert, practical advice including legal structures, finance and business planning. This workshop is for those who are beginning the journey of starting a new business.

Copyright © *2017* *Merton Chamber of Commerce*, All rights reserved.

*Merton Chamber of Commerce is affiliated to the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), an accredited member of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC).

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