Latest Update from Chamber President

7th July

Welcome to my second update as President of Fife Chamber of Commerce.

It's been a busy few weeks for the Chamber team with preparations under way for the launch of both the Fife Business Awards 2023 and the new website. Fife Chamber has also made it on to Instagram - something that has finally forced me to join!

Speaking of Instagram and current trends my lack of knowledge was brought home a few weeks ago when on a train journey north from London I got into conversation with a man called Sam who was sitting opposite me. I had no idea who Sam was until one of the train crew mentioned to him that the last time he had been on her train was the morning after the Brit Awards. Sam, I realised (thanks to Google), was Sam Fender who I had not heard of. He left the train knowing who the President of Fife Chamber of Commerce was and both he and his assistant, who was travelling with him, have now sampled some of my home made tablet (those who recall my last update and my comments at the Fife Business Awards will be spotting a sugary theme here!) - I have promised to go to one of Sam's gigs later in the year!

One of the benefits of Chamber membership for me has been the Fife Learn behind the scenes series and it was no different last week when I joined Staci and 25 Chamber members for a tour of Diageo's bottling plant in Leven (the fact that both behind the scenes since I became President have been local to me is entirely coincidental!). Gavin Brogan and his team did a fantastic job of welcoming us and explaining the staggering number of bottles they fill and transport from the site each year along with the innovation and improvements they have introduced in recent years.

I joined a British Chambers of Commerce call with fellow Presidents and Non-Executive Directors from across the UK this week - these calls were started during the first lockdown back in 2020 but have continued as those of us participating have found them to be a useful way of engaging with the President and other members of the BCC team. It's also been a good way of sharing good practice and understanding that the challenges facing businesses in Fife are shared in other areas. Informing the BCC helps ensure these concerns and issues are raised at the higher levels of the UK Government.

We had our first board meeting at the end of June and news of some new directors joining the board will follow shortly.

Next week the eyes of the sporting world will descend on the Kingdom for the 150th Open Golf Championship over the Old Course in St. Andrews. To many of our businesses this will be an opportunity to showcase their talent and that of their staff to visitors from across the globe. To those businesses and staff, I extend my best wishes for a highly successful week. I am looking forward to taking in one of the practice days (being Chamber President doesn't get you any better access to tickets than applying on the public ballot!) and to watching the drama unfold on TV.

With Fife's schools now on holiday for the summer many of you will be juggling childcare and work and hopefully also getting a chance to take some time away from work to recharge your batteries. To those getting away my good wishes for a restful break.

A reminder I have my own chamber email address so I would encourage you if you have any thoughts, ideas, criticisms, suggestions or even if you just want to meet for a coffee and some of my home made tablet (that's now been enjoyed by someone who has played on the Pyramid stage at Glastonbury) then please do drop me a note at [email protected]

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