A View from the Chamber – 3.12.20

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Here at the Chamber we’re all about being here for our members and providing online events and opportunities to help support and grow businesses. Even though the current pandemic restrictions have put a temporary stop to our in-person get-togethers, we’ve continued to provide a busy schedule of ministerial meetings, training events, business insight meetings and virtual coffee break meetings.

Last week was our busiest yet – and it goes a long way to showing the diversity of what the Chamber can offer business members. We kicked off the week with an interactive stress-management webinar called ‘Excelling under Pressure’ led by new member, ‘Change Your World’ events.

Has there ever been a time where we needed a stress-management event more? With many of us working from home, and businesses under intense pressure, it can feel really difficult to manage expectations and find a healthy work/life balance. Suzy from Change Your World provided practical steps to take and reminded us all about the need to prioritise our own well-being. It can make the difference between surviving and thriving!

If you missed the webinar, don’t worry – Suzy will be running a special offer for Chamber members in January. This will be a great chance for us to start 2021 as we mean to go on!

Last week also brought our high-profile aquaculture event ‘A Meeting of Minds’, which netted an audience of over 120 people to hear from big players in the industry. Aquaculture is hugely important to the west coast economy and communities, so we were delighted to work in partnership with the Aquaculture Innovation Centre to share insights and plans for the future.

We found out about the new sustainable salmon charter published by the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation, plans for growth from Scale AQ, innovations from MOWI, and all about the wide-ranging career and training opportunities from Scottish Sea Farms. Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre and Lantra training. It’s such an exciting sector with big plans for the future. We look forward to hosting more aquaculture events to benefit our members in the future.

Job opportunities for young people was the main focus of Wednesday’s ‘NHS Career Insights’ event from Developing the Young Workforce West Highland. This offered a great chance to hear directly from people working in NHS Highland about the varied career options available in the NHS. Lochaber Chamber is committed to helping deliver on the Scottish Government’s Youth Guarantee and we’ve run a series of career events looking at opportunities for young people in different local sectors over lockdown.

Tourism is a key economic driver for Lochaber, and the rise in popularity of cycling means it’s an even better time for tourism businesses to tap into this growing market. Together with the Chamber, Sustrans Scotland ran a ‘Leisure Cycling Tourism’ webinar last week to highlight the economic impact of the Caledonia Way long-distance cycle route through Lochaber, and the help available for businesses to benefit from and appeal to the growing market of bike-based visitors.

Phew! It certainly was a busy week, with lots of great advice and opportunities for our members. If you’re not already a member, join up today at www.lochaberchamber.co.uk to become a part of Scotland’s biggest business network, with a friendly local team on hand to help you.