March 2013 Newsletter
Posted on March 21st, 2013
Welcome from the President
Welcome to the March edition of our newsletter. The business meeting this month was kindly hosted by Waitrose ? many thanks to Simon Jones and the team.
We enjoyed presentations from Simon who gave us a brief and entertaining history of the John Lewis Partnership and Roger Cantell made members aware of their Health and Safety obligations. Marlow FM made members presented on what we, The Chamber can do to support Marlow FM as well as what they can do to support local business through Biz Buzz ? as a result, I will be on air shortly ? so watch this space! Martin Spittle gave an entertaining and informative presentation in ?Martins Matters? and Alex Collingwood, Leader of WDC updated the meeting on parking and a proposed new market for Marlow ? thanks to all the presenters.
I updated members on subjects including Marlow receiving an award by eTowns 2013 ? more details in this newsletter and asking our members to ?like us? on our new Facebook page. Full minutes will be sent out to members by email and will be available on our website shortly.
The Chamber welcomes new member:
CIPHR ? HR Software Consultancy
Featured member ? Platinum Resourcing
Despite being members since 2000, I am ashamed to say that the February 2013 Chamber meeting was the first one that anyone from Platinum Resourcing had attended. It was an interesting and informative evening so we promise to do better in the next 12 years.
Despite the name, Platinum Resourcing has nothing to do with mining or jewellery. We are a recruitment agency with a team of 7, situated in the High Street, next door to HSBC. We supply permanent and temporary staff to the local business community and are fortunate in having very loyal clients and consultants, many of whom have been with us for 10 years and more.
The economic downturn has had an inevitable impact on our business, but we?ve managed to keep the team intact and have recently expanded for our office in Windsor, so we?re very interested in the planned joint events with Windsor and Maidenhead Chambers.
When I first started out I was warned that telling people I was in recruitment was comparable to admitting that I had an embarrassing disease. Happily, modern business now recognises the value of partnership with a professional recruitment consultancy and the financial crisis has finally rid our profession of the white sock and hair-gel brigade.
Platinum?s clients include dozens of Marlow businesses, big and small, so, whether you need a temp for just a day or a permanent new office manager, please give us a call and we?ll be delighted to help. Preferential rates are available to Chamber members.
Marlow crowned leading UK e-commerce town
Marlow scoops eTown Award as one of the UK?s most internet friendly towns
Marlow has been crowned one of the UK?s top eTowns in e-commerce, Google announced today. The Google eTown Awards are designed to recognise those towns whose businesses are most actively embracing the web, and at a time when the internet is spurring economic growth Marlow has won seventh place.
The award builds on the recent success of Marlow?s small businesses in 2012. The town?s vibrant economy has experienced a much lower rate of shopfront vacancies with around only 3.5% of units empty, compared to the national average of 11%. It is clear that many local businesses are taking advantage of the internet economy and using it to stay ahead.
According to the Boston Consulting Group, companies with an online presence grow at least four to eight times faster than those companies without. In Marlow, one local business, Enhance Nails & Body, have watched their business grow as they use the internet to market to new customers.
To provide a snapshot of this vital economic activity, Google worked with Ipsos MORI to break the UK into its 12 regions and analysed the online strength of local businesses across 1,300 towns. Those towns with the highest scores in each region were awarded eTown status.
Louise Oakley set up her Marlow beauty salon aged 21 because she wanted to work for herself. She set up a website to attract clients to the salon and now finds that almost all her new business comes from people seeing her website, as well as word-of-mouth.
Louise Oakley, owner of Enhance Nails & Body, said:
?I started my salon seven years ago and set up a website soon after in order to attract clients and sell products. Having tried lots of different ways to market the business I now use AdWords to drive traffic to the website. I would recommend businesses of all types ? regardless of their product or service ? to get online to take advantage of the reach it can bring.?
The Connected Kingdom report published by the Boston Consulting Group predicted that the internet?s contribution to GDP will increase from 7.2% today to 10% in 2015 meaning those businesses with an online presence will benefit most and contribute more to future UK economic growth.
Rt Hon Dominic Grieve MP, MP for Beaconsfield, said:
?Marlow is proud of its Google eTown award and I am delighted to represent an area that has truly embraced the internet to help their local businesses to flourish. The internet is going to play a key role in Marlow’s economic growth, helping local businesses and entrepreneurs thrive, and contributing overall to the wider British economy. I hope this award encourages other local businesses to use the internet to grow.?
Annie Mulady, President of Marlow Chamber of Trade and Commerce, said:
“The Chamber is very pleased that Google has recognised local Marlow businesses for the strength of their online presence. The award is a very welcome boost for the local business community and we strongly appreciate Google’s efforts to support local providers of goods and services. Our hope is that Google will continue to support independent businesses, which are an important part of a vibrant local economy.”
Dan Cobley, Managing Director at Google UK, said:
?The internet is going to contribute massively towards our future economic growth, and many businesses rely on the web to grow. These eTown awards are designed to recognise and reward those areas leading the way forward in e-commerce, and Marlow should be extremely proud to be one of the UK?s top e-commerce towns.?
The top 12 Google eTown award winners in the UK are:
1. ??Stratford upon Avon, West Midlands
2. ??Edinburgh, Scotland
3. ??Richmond, London
4. ??Stansted, East of England
5. ??Towcester, East Midlands
6. ??Bournemouth, South West
7.?? Marlow, South East
8. ??Blackpool, North West
9. ??Harrogate, Yorkshire & Humberside
10. Blaydon-on-Tyne, North East
11. Newtown, Wales
12. Belfast, Northern Ireland
Working with Ipsos MORI, Google created the eTown award list by breaking the UK down into all its towns. Google then worked out how many Google AdWords (online advertising) customers there were in each town and using population data created a list of towns and their AdWords penetration levels. A shortlist of the top 5 AdWords penetration towns from each of the UKs 12 regions were then sent to Ipsos MORI for further analysis. Ipsos MORI identified a random and representative sample of 51 small and medium sized businesses from each of the shortlist towns and allocated scores for whether those businesses were listed in an online directory, had their own website, had a social network presence, allowed ecommerce on their website, had a blog and had a mobile-friendly website. Those towns with the highest scores in each region were awarded eTown status. A full description of the Ipsos MORI methodology can be found at http://www.ipsos-mori.com/etownsresearch.
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