Autumn looks challenging

It’s good to see the number of local Covid cases seems to be declining, though there are still a worrying number of people in our local hospitals. Nevertheless, there are clear signs that more people are keen to get back to something like normal.


That said, we have members who remain cautious about face to face meetings so we are adopting a dual approach, continuing with our zoom meetings but also arranging a face to face social event later in the month.


In our next Zoom session we’ll hear about the work of the newly formed Employment and Skills Pod which is a free service available to any Bath and North East Somerset resident who wants to get back to work, change career or up-skill.


The service is part of the Community Wellbeing Hub and aims to support people who have been made redundant due to the pandemic, or those who are short or long term unemployed, to seek and attain work.


They are looking for businesses who will offer work placements and where possible, I am sure our members will do what they can to help. We know there are shortages of staff in the hospitality, care and HGV Lorry Driving sectors, so businesses are seeing a range of pressures coming to bear. We are hearing daily stories of deliveries being affected by those shortages and that will affect everyone. All kinds of supplies are becoming difficult to obtain and prices are rising steadily.


We’ve heard in particular that timber and cement costs have shot up, which will impact the construction industry. It makes it very difficult for contractors to accurately price a job when they don’t know exactly how much their materials are going to cost when they start the project.


And it’s not just construction, we’re told that the cost of shipping containers has rocketed from something like £2,000 to more like £13,000. That price rise will no doubt be passed on to the consumers of the items and that will put further inflationary pressures into the economy.


There’s no getting away from it that this is a potentially bleak picture, but our members are resilient and creative. They’ve been through some tough times before and I’m confident they’ll do so again.


If you’d like to join us in Chew Valley Chamber of Commerce please email tintinna@aol.com or have a look at our website – www.chewvalleychamber.co.uk


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