Our economy and businesses continue to face significant challenges and uncertainty as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

Dunbartonshire Chamber has continued our work under the banner of “TogetherForBusiness” to respond to business needs, provide information and to keep our business community informed and connected through our ongoing series of weekly virtual events.

We have just launched a series of virtual “PowerLunch&Learn” sessions designed to allow increasingly time-pressed business-people the opportunity to pick up valuable knowledge and expertise while they grab a bite to eat.

Taking place each Thursday at 12.30pm more than 50 businesses have already picked up important tips and advice about business development from Firestarter Business Solutions and how to get into property investment with Kingsmith Property.

It is more important than ever to build a strong, connected, business community and we continue to provide opportunities for business to engage and build relationships and resilience through our weekly Networking with Purpose sessions, held online via Zoom on Tuesdays at 9.30am.

The Chamber is currently helping to deliver Shop Local campaigns under the “LovesLocal” banner across five towns in Dunbartonshire – Alexandria and The Vale, Dumbarton, Clydebank, Bearsden and Bishopbriggs.

We also provide a key role to engage with the Scottish and UK governments to inform and influence policy as part of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce network – and we were pleased the Chancellor has listened to our calls and introduced a new wage support scheme, along with a package of business lending scheme extensions and tax forbearance.

This will help retain many jobs and lessen the immediate pressure on cash flow for businesses through what will be a difficult trading period for many this winter.

Whilst this is a positive shorter-term solution, the Scottish Chambers of Commerce network is calling for a comprehensive plan focused on retraining and upskilling our workforce and investment in the creation of new jobs.

There are also a number of sectors that remain unable to trade including key areas of the hospitality, cultural and leisure industries who need targeted support to protect the jobs within the businesses that operate in these areas.

It is also a matter of urgency, for the Scottish and UK governments to reduce costs, to revaluate property rates and to fast-track all construction and infrastructure contracts to encourage investment and growth and get Scottish businesses building back.

If you want to connect with our wonderful business community, or to find out more about the benefits of being a member of the Chamber, please get in touch on 0141 280 0272, email hello@dunbartonshirechamber.co.uk or visit the website at dunbartonshirechamber.co.uk.