Disruption can be a positive in business and our Chamber community of employers and their teams will be watching closely the effect of the looming “general election” as Guernsey gets to grips with the first island-wide election of States’ deputies.
We work hard on an ongoing basis to familiarise political representatives and their teams with topics and general themes that need to be front of mind for the island to thrive. Economic success is part of that “Guernsey Together” dynamism and, while business can sometimes be viewed as something “other”, it is at the heart of our island.
Separating out “business” from “community” needs to be continually challenged as we move forward together. There is no segregation: whether you are an employer or an employee, we are all part of Team Guernsey and the island can only thrive if the economic basis is healthy. While many in our island already recognise that situation, the former House was, on occasion, a platform for negativity around “business” and we hope that those in role for the next four years will be acquainted with the accurate situation around economic enablers, success and work or open to allowing the business community to inform them.
We have heard many references in recent months to the need for effective ‘quick wins’ and community engagement as we move ahead in uncertain times. As the island’s largest business group – with a membership now approaching 700 organisations and all of those people under that umbrella – Chamber is poised and ready to assist.
As we work regularly with those in the state sector, we are aware of a strong desire to achieve change for good and, at the same time, bolster Guernsey’s dented economy. While government – almost universally – can provide the “what” around projects, they are also open to the prospect that the “how” requires expertise and outside perspectives. The alternative would be for the States to directly employ individuals with those required skills but we would propose that business skills and assistance are readily available without the need to add to civil service numbers. There is also a mindset piece in all of this, as part of which reaching out to the private sector will always be a different form of engagement from discussing topics internally, however good the intent.
Chamber is all about tangible results, which is why we have previously brought to the island people with great insight into future-proofing Retail and Tourism. The October visit of a marine sustainability and infrastructure expert further develops those support pieces for industry and the whole of the island, including political representatives.
Our organisation is collaborative to the core and we regularly welcome feedback from many of our members – and those thinking of joining – on a weekly basis. One intention is to add to the diary a regular opportunity to meet our new (and reappointed) political representatives on an informal basis to help further develop working relationships.
The calls for acceptance of democratic decisions in the House, coupled with a determination to move ahead at speed for the benefit of all is likely to feature on our political agenda for months to come and Chamber is well placed to offer support and feedback whenever required.