Many businesses which have been closed since Christmas will be preparing for re-opening from April 12. Below see how some of our members can help…

Since Boris’s announcement things are looking up for those planning weddings and Liz Greenhalgh Photography has had one of their busiest 48 hours ever. Liz also has postal photography patches for those with products to capture – her pictures for the Cambridge Satchel company have been appearing in the Guardian and Observer newspapers. This just shows you how the right picture for your business can reach many people. Impressions – the one stop print shop can help you print all your promotional items – and if you need them designing speak to Howard at HK Designs.

Another way which can win more trade for you is by demonstrating how customers can put their trust in your business. Encompass Safety Solutions help you gain accreditations in areas such as management, environmental management and health and safety, with construction being a specialist area. Get in touch for help with CHAS, SMAS, SafeContractor and ISO accreditations Trust is an important element of our businesses and Collette Parker 20 20 Communications with a background in journalism and theatre arts can help you with presentations and how you can use the power of rhetoric to get you noticed. Rhetoric consists of ethos (how people can trust you because of what you stand for and your reputation), pathos (using the power of emotion to engage, inspire and motivate) and logos (the logical facts and the difference your business, products and services can make).  POLAR the web people – can help you with the key words you need in your websites to attract customers, while Simon Clark Social Media Expert, will help drive people to your websites from consistent and accountable social media posts.

On a practical level East Anglia Gas Works is on hand to carry out any gas safety checks you require as well as reviews of boilers and central heating, while K E S Electrical Services can also carry out inspections for you. Don’t forget too that with tariffs increase in April. Roy Lodge Utility Warehouse can carry out a review of utility payments and with bundling up services achieve significant savings. Ed’s Gardening Services is standing by to help particularly with hedge cutting, lawn maintenance and jet washing of paths and patios which may be in need of a good clean after winter. If it is your bodies you want to get in shape and fit for business, then look to Adam at Nova Performance. From the end of March he will be able to exercise outside with groups of six and under. Wellness consultant Jo Crouchman can also assist us with the new technology Voxxlife in a pattern on socks and sleeves improving our neuro responses towards better mobility, balance and pain relief.

Once again we had some great visitors to our online breakfast meeting this week including CBS Projects – helping businesses with facilities and waste management, and Lascelles from Verisure Smart Alarms – who use innovation to help protect our businesses and homes. New visitors included Martin Cooper of The Refill Shop of Ikigai, which has opened in White Hart Lane, St Ives, where you can fill up on environmentally friendly, plastic free and vegan protects, helping to protect the planet! Helping to groom and protect our locks is Erika of Rio Salon and Barbers which has recently opened and (excited to open their doors again in April) in Harrison Way on the Abbey Retail Park, St Ives. Check out their lively and funky website!

Emma from MAGPAS rapid response vehicles and air ambulance charity told members how we can support their work through collections and fund-raising events or sponsorships. YouTube link to the eight minute video which explains more about who MAGPAS is and what the charity does

Presentation this week: Paul Doggett – Towergate Insurance

Paul looks after all your commercial insurance needs and has been helping businesses in the St Ives, Huntingdon and St Neots areas for more than 20 years. The business was known locally as Four Counties before it merged with Towergate. Although part of a much larger organisation these days, Paul still prides himself on the one to one relationship and personal touch he brings to relationships with customers, new and old alike.

He was keen to stress that if you have changed your business in anyway or diversified during the current pandemic, it was essential that you inform your insurer. Just because you have an insurance certificate on the wall does not mean you are covered for all aspects of your business if it has changed at all, he said.

Paul gave some startling statistics related to cyber attacks on small businesses, many of whom do not have policies to cover them for the loss of business as a result. There are around 10,000 attacks a day in the UK alone, and it is estimated that this has increased by a further 30 per cent during COVID, at a cumulative cost of £4.5billion in loss of business. He warned that criminals will attack those businesses who don’t invest in resources and training to prevent this from happening. Speak to Paul about protection to see if you are covered or need any help in sorting your policies to ensure that you are.

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Weekly round up compiled by Collette Parker 20 20 Communications