Business ambassadors promote the ‘Suffolk is great for business’ message at key London conference
A delegation of Invest in Suffolk Ambassadors joined Suffolk County Council and Suffolk Chamber of Commerce at the annual conference of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) yesterday (8 March).
Invest in Suffolk was launched by Suffolk County Council in 2014 to promote the county as a business location and to respond to Inward Investment enquiries.
The Invest in Suffolk Ambassadors programme brings together people who are passionate about living and working in Suffolk and willing to use their skills and expertise to champion our county as a top business location.
Working with Suffolk Chamber, Suffolk County Council’s Invest in Suffolk programme has recruited over 100 high profile business leaders and professionals to become Invest in Suffolk Ambassadors.
Invest in Suffolk’s key message is that “Suffolk is the right choice for your business” – one that was repeated many times during the BCC conference, which attracted over 800 attendees from every part of the UK and from many key international markets. Delegates heard keynote speeches from a range of senior politicians, including Rt. Hon. Dr. Liam Fox MP, Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade, Rt. Hon John McDonnell MP, shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer and Arlene Foster MLA, leader of the Democratic Unionist Party.
There were also lively and engaging panel discussions on three key topics of interest to the business community: the future of work, the future of UK trade and diversity in the workplace.
Sarah Howard MBE, Vice President of the BCC and Immediate Past President of Suffolk Chamber participated in the first of these debates.
Sarah said “a first-hand view I have been hearing from our members all over the country is that our young people lack resilience, thinking skills, emotional intelligence and most importantly and probably most surprisingly, self confidence.
“As technology is taught to do more and more of the tasks we currently value in our workplace, in the future these soft skills are going to become more and more attractive to employers.”
Invest in Suffolk Ambassador Mary Graham of Yellobelly said “there were thought-provoking debates and discussions at the BCC national conference. I was delighted to see so many women taking part - both delegates and speakers - particularly fitting on International Women’s Day. A fantastic opportunity for Invest in Suffolk Ambassadors to get involved with some of the big issues facing businesses across the UK.”
Vimmi Hayes, Suffolk County Council’s Economic Development Manager, added “it was great to see such a good turnout of Invest in Suffolk Ambassadors at such a prestigious event. We look forward to further opportunities to promote the “Suffolk is great for business” message to national and international audiences.”
John Dugmore explained that “this was as good a BCC conference as any in recent years with delegates having the chance to hold our politicians to account, especially over the need for a focus on crucial business-oriented issues other than Brexit.
“In particular, I liked BCC Director-General, Adam Marshall’s speech where he reminded the government that the biggest challenges and opportunities facing the UK business community, and country, are not related to exiting the EU, but to fixing the fundamentals in the domestic environment. He also called on politicians to robustly defend a thriving private sector and its role in growth and wealth creation.”