Scottish Borders Business Forum

The Scottish Borders Business Forum represents forty-plus associations, enabling industry to speak with one voice within and outwith the region. Its purpose is to give critical mass to the diverse spectrum of Borders businesses, permitting credible dialogue with decision-makers and influence-formers in Newtown St Boswells, Holyrood, Westminster, and other appropriate quarters.

The Forum’s steering group comprises representatives from the key business sectors in the Scottish Borders. They are drawn currently from the Federation of Small Businesses, Chamber of Commerce, Exporters Association, Tourism Partnership, Creative Industries, Construction & Development Industries, NFUS and Education.

For more information about Scottish Borders Business Forum, visit http://www.sbbusinessforum.org

 

PRESS RELEASE: 2nd September 2013

Meeting of Scottish Borders Business Forum – Getting to Grips with Local Transport Issues

The Scottish Borders Business Forum was set up to provide a single, powerful voice on the big issues that cross every business interest in the Scottish Borders.

The Forum’s next event will be held on Saturday 14th September at the Scottish Borders Council HQ in Newtown St. Boswells between 9 am and 11 am.  The event will take the form of a ‘business breakfast’ and will focus on transport issues and what improvements would best benefit and support Borders businesses.

The event will be chaired by Graham Bell from the Federation of Small Businesses, and brings an opportunity for both individuals and organisations to find out what the Scottish Government’s transport plans are in the Borders and to question panellists about them.

Speakers include the following:

· Robert Young, Scottish Borders Council;

· Peter Lloyd, Transport Scotland, Rail Policy Executive;

· Philip Flanders, Road Haulage Association; and

· Network Rail.

Graham Bell, Chairman of the Borders Federation of Small Businesses and a Board member of SEStran, said:

“I am delighted to chair this meeting which I am sure will have very constructive outcomes. Connectivity in a dispersed rural community is vital to our economic health. The chance for individual business people to hear from experts and question the state of our infrastructure and its future development is very welcome.”

Bruce Simpson of the Scottish Borders Chamber of Commerce said:

“Transport is a basic part of business infrastructure. If we are to compete with other areas of Scotland and the UK we must, at least, compete on a level playing field, and in transport terms, we are failing. The return of Borders Rail is a definite plus, but more can and must be done in the field of transport to assist our business economy.”

Mike Wilson of the Scottish Borders Exporters Association said:

“Dual carriageways and passing areas on the main routes are important developments that will speed up the movement of goods throughout the Scottish Borders and ease congestion.”

If you are interested in attending this meeting please could you confirm your attendance before Tuesday 10th September by contacting: Moira Deacon by email at:

MDeacon@scotborders.gov.ukor 01835 824000 Ext 5078.

A NEW CORPORATE VOICE FOR BORDERS BUSINESS

20 May 2013

 

The newly established Scottish Borders Business Forum set out plans for its first major event at a meeting on Wednesday 14 May. The idea of the Forum is to create a single, powerful voice on the big issues that cross every business interest in the Borders.

The event, scheduled for the first half of September, will be the first in a series of theme-led discussions on a wide variety of business areas including land based (agriculture, forestry, etc.), manufacturing, construction, retail, commercial and tourism. The topic of September’s inaugural event will focus on road transport issues and on what improvements would best help Borders businesses.

Chairing the meeting, Scottish Borders Chamber of Commerce Convener, James Aiken, said: “While individual organisations will look to the detailed needs of their members, this Forum is designed to create more clout when approaching opinion formers and political leaders on issues that concern all of us.”

An initial steering group of seven met at the Newtown St Boswells headquarters of Scottish Borders Council (SBC), which is providing initial support in kind for the initiative.

“I am convinced that this collective voice will ring louder in the ears of politicians than each individual organisation can hope to do. The total is more than the sum of its parts,” said Mr. Aiken.

An interactive online presence will be established as soon as possible, funded by a £2,000 donation from the Scottish Borders Chamber of Commerce. The site will draw in comment under specific over-arching themes so as to gather together a consensus on the most important business issues facing the region.

Each of these themes will then be developed into a short explanatory paper to take forward to the relevant opinion formers and political leaders.

The first event, which will be chaired by Graham Bell from the Federation of Small Businesses, brings an opportunity for both individuals and organisations to find out what the Scottish Government’s road transport plans are in the Borders and to question panellists about them. Scottish Borders Council will provide an expert to explain its future plans for roads, and the Road Haulage Association will be represented.

SBC’s Executive Member for Economic Development, Councillor Stuart Bell, who offered support to set up the Scottish Borders Business Forum, said: “This Business Forum will reflect the interests of its business members, not of the Council. I welcome and applaud the initiative and we are happy to contribute, to help move it towards the next stage.”

For more information contact: Jim Johnstone, Principal Officer (Business), email: Jim.Johnstone@scotborders.gov.uk

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