The Latest news from Dumfries and Galloway Chamber of Commerce -

Keep up to date with the latest news and stories from across Dumfries & Galloway.



Networking is one of the most imprtant aspects of growing your business both in terms of contacts and customers. With that inmind DGCC is proud to announce the launch of NETWORK6!

Building on the previous success of Network5.30 and the Six O'Clock club, NETWORK6 is the ideal place to build your network of contacts.

Hosted in different venues bi-monthly it's your chance to meet other businesses both in the region and in the neighbouring areas. The emphasis is always on informality - creating a relaxed environment to chat and make those all important contacts.

NETWORK6 events are free to attend, just make sure you bring lots of business cards to swap and exchange, there will even be the chance to "pitch" your business of service during our MagicMoment. 60 seconds to tell everyone about your service, business or yourself. Who knows your moment may even make it on to the chamber website.

The first of our NETWORK6 events takes place at Kings Coffee and Books in Queensberry Street in Dumfries, Thursday July 30th at 6pm and is brought to you in association with NHS Healthy Working Lives.


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Swinney Comments on BoS Jobs Report

Commenting on publication of the Bank of Scotland jobs report for April 2015, Deputy First Minister John Swinney said:“We welcome this further evidence that conditions in Scotland’s job market are continuing to improve.

The Bank of Scotland report shows an improving labour market picture for the fifty-fourth consecutive month, with demand for permanent staff continuing to increase.”“The report comes at a time when the Office for National Statistics figures published last week show that Scotland’s jobs market is performing well across a range of measures. They showed that we have the lowest youth unemployment level in seven years, and Scotland currently has the highest employment rate and lowest inactivity rate of all four UK nations.” “This Government is committed to supporting all of Scotland’s businesses and people, by creating the conditions for everyone in Scotland to fulfil their potential”

Help to Guage Health of Tourism in Dumfries & Galloway

Dumfries & Galloway Council have commissioned LJ Research to conduct a business confidence survey among tourism businesses in the region. If you are a tourism business owner or manager in the area we would very much like to hear from you to contribute to this vitally important research which will gauge the "health" of the tourism economy in Dumfries & Galloway.

The survey monitors key business trends, like levels of business and business confidence, and also allows you to state what, in your view, the opportunities and threats are for your business. The Council will use the survey findings to target investment and to help businesses grow.

If you participate in the survey, you can opt in to see the insights first and read what other businesses in the area said about their trading conditions and about the threats and opportunities they see in Dumfries & Galloway.

To take the survey please click on the link below. The survey should only take around 10 minutes to complete and all responses remain completely anonymous and non-attributable.  

Award Success for Minerva

Minerva People an award winning training and recruitment company based in Dumfries has achieved the Investors in Young People Accreditation, the only people management standard that focuses on an employer’s recruitment and retention of young people. This represents a true commitment to the training and development of young people and demonstrates Minerva People as an employer and training provider of choice for young people.  With it being Modern Apprenticeship next week who better to come and seek advice and guidance on how to commence or develop your career.

Launched in July 2014, Investors in Young People originated through a key recommendation from the Commission for Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce, led by Sir Ian Wood. The accreditation is offered to all businesses across Scotland and exists to recognise and support organisations across Scotland in the employment of young people.

Having now achieved the accreditation, Minerva People is now eligible to use and display the Investors in Young People logo and plaque, and enjoy its benefits.

Commenting on the award, Tricia Hunter, Managing Director said, the whole team at Minerva People are absolutely delighted to have achieved this accolade, only the second organisation in Dumfries and Galloway.  It has been an opportunity for us to reflect exactly how we try to inspire, develop, motivate and nurture all people and organisations (part of our mission statement) and in particular young people.  The external assessment has allowed us to be assessed and obtain independent, external feedback at what we do and how well we actually do it.  We often hear that young people are our future but actually young people are now and we will continue to work closely with them to ensure they achieve their best whatever that might be.”

Peter Russian, Chief Executive of Investors in People Scotland, said “This is a fantastic achievement for Minerva People and I and the whole IIYP team would like to wholeheartedly congratulate them. The Investors in Young People framework not only recognises and supports organisations in the employment of young people, but marks them out as an employer of choice.  I envisage that many more organisations will wish to follow in the footsteps of Minerva People and demonstrate their commitment to young people by working with the Investors in Young People framework.”  

He continued: “The benefits of recruiting and developing young people are countless. These include the creation of a talent pool for the future, new and increased skills in areas such as IT and social media, fresh eyes and mind-sets into business operations along with enthusiasm and unique talents.”

Minerva People Limited is an awarding winning, independent training and recruitment company with its head office in Dumfries and expanded last year to Carlisle, Cumbria with its Pitman Training Services.  The company now employs 17 staff and a number of freelance people.

It commenced as Minerva Training in 1999 with 2 people and a handful of modern apprentices but in 2005 expanded and became a limited company – Minerva People Ltd.  It is currently working with over 130 Modern Apprentices employed in businesses across Dumfries and Galloway region and further afield in Administration, Childcare, Hospitality and Management.  It provides a variety of training working with a further 160+ candidates learning many new skills such as IT, Finance, webdesign undertaking modules or diplomas through Pitman Training as well as various Management and Leadership courses, Customer Service, Certificate of Work Readiness, Paediatric First, Scottish Personal Licence Holder to name just a few.

Its recruitment agency continues to grow both in the temporary assignments and placing people in permanent job within many sectors and offers support to people with regard to upskilling, applying for jobs, CV writing and interview skills as well as supporting businesses with their job descriptions and person specifications.

Are You A Green Business Champion?

The search is on for Scotland’s green business champions. Applications are now open for the 16th annual Vision in Business for the Environment of Scotland (VIBES) Awards and businesses throughout Dumfries & Galloway are encouraged to enter.

VIBES is Scotland’s leading environmental awards scheme, recognising and rewarding businesses that contribute to Scotland’s sustainable development through improving processes or developing new products and services. The awards are free to enter and applications can be submitted until Monday 13th July.

Open to businesses of all sizes and sectors, VIBES aims to encourage efficient use of resources, enhance business competitiveness, improve environmental performance and support wider sustainable development goals. There are seven award categories open for entry this year including; Management Large, Management SME, Environmental Product or Service, Transport, Co-operation, Hydro-Nation and Circular Economy. In addition to this, the Micro Business Award will be presented to the best entry to any category from a company with less than 10 employees.

Last year’s awards saw 10 businesses take a coveted green title, including Glasgow based BAE Systems Naval Ships, Jessie Mac’s B&B in Perthshire, Fife HARCA Ltd. and Peel Tech Ltd. from Fife, Keenan Recycling Ltd. in Aberdeenshire, IRT Surveys Ltd in Dundee and Soilutions Ltd and Wind & Cloud Travel Ltd both in Edinburgh. GRAHAM Construction and Celtic Renewables Ltd. also received commendations.

Previous winners in the area include Cream o’Galloway Dairy Co which won the Management Small Award for its sustainable development, organic farming, environmental interpretation and the local economy and BPI Recycled Products which scooped the Waste and Resources Award in 2012.

Gillian Bruce, chair of the VIBES Awards, said: “Sustainable practices are becoming absolutely crucial to businesses of every kind and through VIBES we want to encourage the fantastic work being done by so many businesses that are working hard to make Scotland more environmentally aware.

“Over the years we have seen some fantastic ideas from a range of different sectors and we’re looking forward to seeing the work of Scotland’s businesses as we celebrate our sixteenth year of the VIBES Awards. We’d encourage businesses in Dumfries & Galloway to enter for their chance to join the city’s growing list of sustainable VIBES champions.”

VIBES is also offering businesses the opportunity to hear from former winners at a series of free events across the country. The events will provide businesses with more information on the awards as well as offering an opportunity to pick up helpful tips from previous sustainable champions.

Businesses are invited to attend a free networking event at the Cairndale Hotel on May the 20th to find out more about the awards and to hear from Resource Efficient Scotland (RES), Home Energy Scotland, Scottish Enterprise and Sustainable Process Improvement (SPI) Programme. The Resource Efficiency Networking Event will be held from 5.30-8.30pm.

Gillian continued: “The events will be a great way for businesses to find out more information on the awards and the opportunities they present without feeling obliged to commit to anything. As well as hearing from a number of previous winners, each event also provides great networking opportunities for like-minded businesses. In addition to these events, we will also host sessions designed to help businesses complete their application forms.”

Sponsoring the awards this year are Scottish Government, Scottish Power, Zero Waste Scotland, Brand-Rex and The University of Stirling Management School.

VIBES is a strategic partnership between Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Scottish Government, Scottish Water, Scottish Enterprise, Highland and Islands Enterprise, Zero Waste Scotland, Energy Saving Trust and Scotland’s 2020 Climate Group.  The Awards are further supported by CBI Scotland, the Institute of Directors, the Federation of Small Businesses and Bright Green Business.

The Awards are accredited by the RSA Environment Awards Accreditation Scheme ( 

For more information on VIBES or to obtain an application from, please visit To request your attendance at one of the events, please register through Eventbrite or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Twitter: @VIBES_Awards