All of my children have now flown the nest – aside from the occasional fridge raid- so lockdown for my wife and me has been quiet. I am in total awe of parents who have had to home school their children throughout this already difficult period; to have to take on the role of teacher whilst running a home and often continuing to work is just incredible.
Thankfully, the end is in sight and despite not having school age children I’m very much seeing March 8th as the first step towards freedom.
Cornwall Chamber of Commerce is busy: demand for export documentation has skyrocketed since Brexit and we’re dealing with a lot more enquiries due to heavy red tape preventing goods getting through to the EU. We’re also supporting members who are struggling to keep going after an entire year of uncertainty.
An exciting project is the planning of our Sustainability conference, taking place on World Oceans Day, 8th June. This event is centred around businesses identifying expert solutions that can save them money and protect the planet.
We’re delighted to have secured Hugo Tagholm, Chief Executive of Surfers Against Sewage, Sir Tim Smit, founder of The Eden Project, and John Henry Looney, Managing Director of Sustainable Direction, as guest speakers for the conference – and they’re just the ones we’re allowed to talk about! Watch this space…
I want this Sustainability conference to position the Duchy as a model for achieving the G7 Summit’s objectives: tackling climate change, strengthening our resilience against future pandemics, championing the world’s shared values, and promoting future prosperity through free and fair trade.
On the topic of G7, I’ve been looking at ways to ensure everyone in Cornwall can take ownership of the event – regardless of their location. Clearly, this isn’t a gig where the Chamber can get businesses into the Carbis Bay Hotel to present, or showcase their products in the foyer, but there are lots of other things we can do.
I’m planning to run five regional G7 hubs throughout Cornwall to bring people together over the three conference days in June (11th-13th). I’d like individuals to be able to watch parts of the summit together, share business literature, discuss the key G7 topics, and network.
I’m also working with other business leaders to organise a space where businesses will be able to physically showcase their products to visitors whilst G7 is taking place – more on that soon.
The Cabinet and the dedicated G7 strategic groups in Cornwall (of which I am part) are working together to make sure this summit leaves a lasting legacy that will benefit individuals and businesses here for many years to come.
CEO Cornwall Chamber of Commerce,
Deputy Lieutenant, OT Parent, Foundation Trustee
Feb 15th 2024
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