It's not all bad, argues chamber chief
by Jo James, chief executive of Kent Invicta
I have read many articles about business confidence being
at an all time low. That's something I can't argue against but
which makes me frustrated.
I could write a long list of businesses that are really
suffering and can't see a good future ahead of them. But I could
also write a list of businesses that are bucking the trend and
doing exceptionally well.
We tend to hear more about what's going badly than what's going
The economic climate is not good, but what it doesn't need is
for us to continually say it's not good and talk ourselves out of
doing business. So I am sitting here with my confidence hat well
and truly on!
There are so many positive things happening in our county that
we should be shouting from the roof tops. Yes, external influences
are proving difficult but we know how to innovate and move
The Kent MegaGrowth 50 event last year was an example of what
can and is being done. Motorline, with outlets in Canterbury,
Maidstone, Ashford, Tunbridge Wells and Crawley, was named company
of the decade, seeing 10-year growth of nearly 600% .
In fact, the top 10 companies saw growth between 177% and 600%.
That's the news we should all be taking inspiration from.
Recruitment Genius, Maidstone, not only won the chamber's most
promising new business award in 2011 but also went on to become a
finalist at the KEiBA Awards. It won the British Chambers of
Commerce national most promising New Business award of 2011. Then
we have the KEiBA Awards.
I recently attended the launch event for the 2012 awards at
Shepherd Neame's Old Brewery Store in Faversham.
Some of last year's winners said a few words. What I couldn't
help but notice was their enthusiasm about doing business in our
I remember thinking, if only Shepherd Neame could find a way to
bottle it, Kent would become tomorrow's China!
Still, what they do bottle is another Kent success story - the
oldest brewery in the country and producing 1.3m pints a week.