Latest news from the business community

Looking to the future - members meeting

The Chamber of Commerce is exploring options for promoting and developing our town to service its businesses and residents.
We’d like to share some of our ideas but most importantly, we would like to hear from our members (old and new) about the vision they have for our town. How would you like to see Helensburgh grow and develop?
Please come along to the members meeting on November 6 at 6.30pm in the Templeton Room (the annex) at the Helensburgh Civic Centre on East Clyde Street and share your ideas, big and small.
Collectively we can make a positive difference to what is already a stunning little town!

The Steering Group for the proposed BID in Helensburgh, held a meeting at the Commodore last week. In response to public pressure expressed at the What BIDs Might Mean For Your Business open meeting on October 2nd, the Steering Group agreed to make last night’s meeting open to the public and the chairman took questions from the audience, everyone got a chance to have their say. Members of the Chamber of Commerce BIDs working group attended the meeting and reported back the following observations.
1. We were surprised by how few of the Steering Group members were present at their own steering group meeting. Approximately 50% turned out for what some would have considered an important meeting.
2. The Steering group for the proposed Helensburgh BID still could not tell us what the proposed BID area is.
3. The Steering Group were unable to provide us with any details concerning their vision of:
a. how a Helensburgh BID would operate
b. how much they plan on taxing each business
c. how the management of the taxes they raise would be executed
d. how they intend to spend the taxes they raise, although a cover over Colquhoun Square, developing the “Helensburgh brand” and more tourist signs on the A82 were presented as some of their thoughts.
4. On a positive note, the Steering group for the proposed Helensburgh BID did agree to a suggestion from the audience, that future steering group meetings would be open to any potentially affected BID tax payer. As the Steering group have not released their proposed BID area, we conclude all businesses in Helensburgh are potentially affected and should attend future meetings.
5. The BID Steering Group also agreed to a suggestion from the audience, that the Steering Group should comprise a mix of individuals who are pro BIDs and critically, against BIDs in order to ensure a more democratic and open approach to the BID consultation process.
6. The Steering Group stated that they had sent out 75 questionnaires to local businesses since their last meeting. A copy of this questionnaire was requested as no one present could confirm that they had received one.
7. The Chamber will maintain its observer role at the meetings of the Steering Group and report back to members.
The Chamber Working Group will continue to disseminate information to all Helensburgh businesses on the work of the BID Steering Group and will continue to be proactive in its work to support businesses in the town without the need for the imposition of a compulsory tax.

Appointment of Members of the Board of Scottish Enterprise

The Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work, Derek Mackay MSP, has announced the appointment of Dr Poonam Malik, Dr Sue Paterson and Karthik Subramanya as Members of the Board of Scottish Enterprise.

Dr Poonam Malik is an academic research management leader with extensive experience of working in partnership development within healthcare, industry and academic sectors internationally. She is Director, Innovation & Impact - Science & Technology with the World Health Innovation Summit, CIC, a social Enterprise supporting community and health care organisations. Dr Malik is also an active member of Investing Women Angels, Scotland’s only women Angel Investor Community supporting women entrepreneurs with investment, mentoring and training.

Dr Sue Paterson is an oil and gas professional, with over 35 years’ UK and international experience developed within the industry and consulting, gained in both technical and managerial roles. Her interests now include how the oil and gas sector can transition successfully to a low carbon economy. She is a qualified IoD Chartered Director, and has almost 15 years’ experience as a non-executive board member in the oil, public and voluntary sectors, including Board Chair and expertise in fundraising, risk remuneration and audit. Dr Paterson is fascinated by organisations, and how they can be run well to the benefit of all, and is co- author of the book “The Fear Free Organisation: Vital Insights From Neuroscience to Transform Your Business Culture”

Karthik Subramanya is currently Senior Advisor to Boston Consulting Group, advising senior management of Utilities across Europe and the Middle East on strategy and investments. He is a Non-executive Director of Our Power, an independent energy supplier based in Edinburgh working on alleviating fuel poverty with a very strong social purpose.  Before taking on a portfolio of roles, Mr Subramanya held senior executive roles in Utilities and Banking. He was Director of Strategy and Performance at SSE plc and was also Director of Group Strategy and M&A of Lloyds Banking Group. He has held senior management positions in private equity, management consulting and corporate banking.

The appointments are regulated by the Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland.

he imposition of a compulsory tax.

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Welcome to the Helensburgh and Lomond Artisans

We would like to welcome our newest member the Helensburgh and Lomond Artisans Association to the Chamber. This association was set up to help support and benefit crafters and artisans local to Helensburgh and Lomond areas and we are sure that the Chamber willbenefit from their creativity and enthsiasm.