News

The Latest news from Dumfries and Galloway Chamber of Commerce -

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

 

Can you help reshape the High Street - Join the Board of Directors at MSQ

The Midsteeple Quarter (MSQ) project is now moving to an exciting new phase. We have successfully raised capital funds for Development Phase One and recruited a dedicated project team to deliver the day-to-day running of the project. We are keen to expand our Board of Directors to strengthen governance and oversight while maintaining the representation of the community at the heart of the project.

MSQ is committed to promoting a diverse and inclusive community and are keen to support volunteers with a wide range of backgrounds and experience. We particularly encourage applications from young people, those from ethnic minorities and people with disabilities who are currently under-represented on the Board. We would also like to increase the numbers of people involved who currently live or work in the town centre and people from low-income backgrounds.

We particularly require two directors who can offer governance and oversight on behalf of the board (and membership) of the human resources policies of MSQ in respect of employees and freelance contracts and give advice and oversight on the legal dealings of MSQ, for example regarding property acquisitions, contracts and relationships with stakeholders.

Skills & Experience

•           Strong communication, interpersonal and influencing skills

•           An interest in the project and enthusiasm for community-led regeneration of the High Street.

HR

•           Knowledge of HR, ideally with several years’ experience in the field

•           A track record of managing change and developing small organisations

•           Knowledge of third sector governance and, ideally, community benefit societies

•           Regulatory experience is desirable

Legal

•           A qualified or retired solicitor, advocate or equivalent

•           Knowledge of property and contract law

•           Good understanding of FCA regulations and third sector governance

Time Commitment

Directors typically volunteer 6-8 hours of their time each month. As well as attending and preparing for a board meeting every 4-6 weeks (usually on a weekday evening), most directors will also attend a monthly sub-group meeting. Travel and childcare expenses will be provided in line with MSQ’s expenses policy.

To apply or find out more, please send a cover email and your CV to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 5pm on Friday 26th June.

 

 

Savour the Flavours Offer Support to F&D industry, Hospitality through Webinars

Dumfries & Galloway’s food and drink brand, Savour the Flavours, is launching a series of industry knowledge sharing meetings to help local businesses restart successfully as lockdown is eased. The sessions are led by experts in business development in the food, drink and hospitality sectors, who are volunteering to help local businesses recover.

 

Alistair Tait of Tait Enterprise Development, who specialises in business development for family and owner managed businesses across Scotland, will be leading the first expert session on Tuesday 16th June. He said:
“Survive, Revive and Thrive was a phrase I heard the other day, and I think it’s a really valuable way to think about how local businesses can get through this economic crisis. During our session I want to look at some of the financial issues that we need to address now, and in the near future, for businesses to be able to thrive in the new normal - whatever normal might become.

“I'll break this down into a few key practical steps to help businesses guide their finances during this process, and I’ll look at the things business owners need to keep doing, improve and to stop doing in their business. I’m really pleased to be working with Savour the Flavours in this way to help business owners make conscious decisions about how we can get local businesses to thrive again.”

 

Sandra Reid of Fare Consulting, one of Scotland’s leading hospitality and catering consultants, will lead the second session on Tuesday 23rd June. Sandra will focus on interpreting the industry covid guidance due to be published next week, as well as offering practical suggestions for business restart. Sandra commented:
“Collaboration is the key to success at this time and Savour the Flavours’ approach to sharing knowledge and ideas is a fantastic resource for the region’s food and drink businesses. I’ve been working with the Association of Scotland’s Visitor Attractions and other industry groups recently with online training and business support, and from the smallest sole trader to large national operators; everyone in the industry is struggling.

“Food and drink businesses urgently need guidance now to support their reopening plans. So my webinar has been developed specifically for Savour the Flavours and Dumfries & Galloway’s businesses. It will look at steps to reopening in light of the new covid guidance, with practical advice on operational and safety requirements, staff and customer welfare, and assessing commercial viability.”

 

The expert advisory sessions will take place online via Zoom and are free for any food, drink or hospitality business in Dumfries & Galloway to attend. Booking is open now on www.savourtheflavours.co.uk and businesses will have the opportunity to ask specific questions and to share knowledge and experience with other local business owners.

Liz Ramsay of Savour the Flavours said:
“We are so pleased that Alistair and Sandra are able to meet with local businesses and share their valuable expertise through our online meetings. This is what Savour the Flavours is all about – people coming together to help each other, and right now our local businesses need all the help they can get. From financial modelling to practical operational adaptations; this advice is exactly what business owners are crying out for.”

Savour the Flavours has undertaken a range of business support activities since it relaunched just three weeks ago. A major regional survey into local consumer buying intentions is currently underway and has attracted more than a thousand responses within two days. The findings from that survey will be shared with local businesses and business support organisations next week to help inform local economic recovery.

 

Lorna Young of Savour the Flavours, who is also a member of Scotland’s Food Tourism Recovery Group, said:
“Businesses need help now and we need to move quickly and decisively to provide business owners with as much support, data, knowledge and expertise as we can to make sure they can take confident, informed decisions as they reopen after lockdown. We know the hospitality sector in particular is going to face some serious challenges in restarting. It’s a deeply worrying time for many people working in the industry.

“In Dumfries & Galloway our whole economy is based mainly on small and micro businesses, and self employed people. That means our local economy is more structurally fragile than many areas, but it also means our businesses can be nimble, move quickly and hopefully adapt more easily to these changed times. That’s our focus right now. Helping as many businesses as possible adapt their trading in order to stay viable so that as many local jobs as possible can be protected. The advice and support being offered by Alistair and Sandra is absolutely invaluable in helping to achieve that.”

For more information, or to register to take part in one of the industry meetings, visit: www.savourtheflavours.co.uk.

SNP accused of disregard for Scots dairy industry

TWO RURAL Conservative MSPs have expressed their anger at the lack of support to dairy farmers over the Covid-19 pandemic.

Rachael Hamilton MSP, Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Tourism, and Dumfriesshire MSP Oliver Mundell, in response to a parliamentary answer, have criticised the decision by the Scottish Government not to offer support similar to England and Wales.

 

Oliver Mundell leads Ayrshire Cow at Agricultural Show

English and Welsh dairy farmers are now eligible for funding, but not those north of the border.  

Under those funds, eligible dairy farmers will be entitled to up to £10,000 each, to cover 70 per cent of their lost income during April and May to ensure they can continue to operate and sustain production capacity without impact on animal welfare.

In a response to Mr Mundell’s written question, Cabinet Secretary Fergus Ewing said that the Scottish dairy industry ‘continues to be less affected than other parts of the UK’ yet did not go as far as offering support to those affected.

The Scottish Conservatives launched policy proposals several weeks ago highlighting the need for bespoke dairy support for an industry which has been affected by the downturn of the hospitality industry.

Both MSPs believe that it is particularly unfair for Scottish dairy farmers close to the border who send milk south for processing.

Rachael Hamilton has written to the Cabinet Secretary calling for answers as to why the Scottish dairy industry has been let down.

She said: “This is simply unacceptable, I have asked the Cabinet Secretary on multiple occasions to support the dairy industry and he has decided to turn his back on them.

“Fergus Ewing admitted a number of dairy farmers in Scotland have been affected, yet he chooses not to implement a dairy hardship fund like other parts of the UK.

“We need clarity from the SNP why they have decided not to pursue this route, as dairy farmers will be deeply concerned at this decision”.

Oliver Mundell said: “Dumfriesshire dairy farmers who have been affected by the downturn in the dairy industry will be frustrated at this decision.

“During these challenging times, we need the Scottish Government to support our dairy farmers with a hardship fund.

“We now have a situation where England and Wales have a fund, yet the SNP are letting down the Scottish farmers, with Scotland missing out.”

SCC responds to April UK GDP stats and Scottish Government funding announcements

Commenting on UK GDP statistics for April 2020, published today (12 June) by the ONS and funding announcements from the Scottish Government, Dr Liz Cameron, Chief Executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce said:

 

Liz-Cameron-OBE-SSC-320x214

 

On the ONS stats

“The longer businesses in Scotland have to wait to open their doors and begin to trade, the worse the impact is going to be on jobs, livelihoods and communities across Scotland.

“This collapse in GDP leaves us in no doubt that our economy is in recession. Over the coming months, further action will be needed to limit the long-term economic damage and kickstart a recovery.”

On new funding announcements made by the Scottish Government

“The announcement of the £62million Energy Transition Fund and the £2 million Town Centres fund are positive steps.

“However, more must be done to close gaps in government support and providing incentives to help stimulate consumer demand and business investment. Establishing air bridges between countries with low infection rates would provide a much-needed boost to key parts of the Scottish economy.

“We now need to ensure the Scottish Government puts every resource at their disposal into helping to support businesses through this economic crisis.”

David Mundell MP Welcomes Covid-19 Jobs Support Uptake

SUPPORT packages funded by the UK Government are making a significant difference to the local economy as the country emerges from the coronavirus pandemic.

This was the assessment of Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale MP David Mundell after he was briefed on business support uptake in his constituency.

He learned that across the largely rural seat 9,300 people had been furloughed through the UK Government Job Retention Scheme while a further 3,300 individuals had been supported as part of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme,

 

David Mundell 2018

"The positive impact from the various schemes designed to help safeguard jobs and businesses will be crucial in the coming weeks and months as we take further steps towards recovery." said Mr Mundell.

"There are still difficult times ahead but helping businesses of all sizes and the self-employed through the lockdown is giving our economy the best chance of adjusting effectively to the new norm. For some, these schemes have been a lifeline."