Scottish Borders Chamber of Commerce e-Bulletin
Dates for your diary

Event: Scottish Borders Chamber of Commerce Annual General Meeting
Date: Thursday 6th of June 2019, 12 noon
Venue: Kelso Racecourse

Official notification of the Scottish Borders Chamber of Commerce AGM was issued last week.

We would like to encourage members to attend the meeting as it is an ideal opportunity to hear about the work of the Chamber, with a networking lunch planned for after the formal proceedings.

Book today on Eventbrite.

TLT and RBS event

Borders Update for Leisure Businesses

Sign up for a morning of topical discussions and insightful presentations on current issues affecting those working in distilling, brewing, hospitality, leisure and related businesses in the Borders.

The event is jointly hosted by TLT LLP and The Royal Bank of Scotland, with guest speakers from Born in the Borders, Douglas Home & Co, and Scotland Food & Drink.

Date: 4th June 2019
Time: 9am until 2pm
Venue: The Kingsknowes Hotel, Selkirk Road, Galashiels, TD1 3HY

Find out more and register

Workshop: Selling Goods and Services Online

There's still time to book your place on the Selling Goods and Services Online session on Wednesday 29th May, hosted by Business Gateway. This is a free event held at the Ettrick Riverside Business Centre in Selkirk – to book, click here.

Topics covered will include:
  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
  • How to get real results from your own website
  • How to sell on Amazon
  • How to Sell on Ebay

City Deal - The Next Steps

Our Chairman, Jack Clark (pictured here with James Dornan MSP, Glasgow Cathcart and Convenor of Local Government and Communities Committee) was invited to take part in the latest City Deal forum and was delighted to represent the Scottish Borders.

The event - Next Steps for Scotland's City Deals - examined the future for City Deals in Scotland, specifically developing partnerships, delivering key projects and supporting economic development across Scotland. 

Areas discussed included:

  • The development of City Deals in practice – lessons learned from those already in place
  • Developing effective proposals: fostering collaboration, consensus and good governance
  • Key issues for effective project management and delivery: developing infrastructure and securing funding
  • Supporting economic development and inclusive growth across Scotland – building the skills base, enhancing R&I through the development of centres of research and excellence and meeting the needs of business and communities engendering buy-in
We will continue to include updates on City Deals progress.
Join the Scottish Borders Chamber of Commerce today!

Royal Bank of Scotland Economic Seminar

RBS economic seminar
Philip Bartlett, RBS Economist (left), with SBCC Chairman, Jack Clark, RBS Commercial Director Criona Courtney, and Director of Business Banking Lanarkshire & Borders, Robert Curle
It was a full house at the Royal Bank of Scotland's Economic Sumit, held at Tweed Horizons Business Centre recently, when RBS Economist Philip Bartlett presented an engaging and informative economic overview, with useful insight into the picture here in the Scottish Borders.

Key Points included: 
  • Despite headwinds from an uncertain Brexit process and a slowdown in global activity, the latest data show that the UK economy continues to grow at a reasonable pace; expanding by 0.5% in the first three months of the year. 
  • Conditions in Scotland are very similar to the country overall, with the Scottish economy chalking-up growth of 1.3% in 2018.  Encouragingly, the latest Royal Bank of Scotland Regional PMI survey shows that business activity in Scotland continues to increase, with growth slightly above the national average in April.
  • Focusing on the Scottish Borders, it is really positive to see that the size of the local economy has easily kept pace with the country as a whole over the past five years.  Between 2012 and 2017 economic growth in the Scottish Borders averaged a decent 2% per year – almost three times as fast as neighbouring Northumberland – making the Borders 71st fastest growing out of a total of 179 local areas across the UK.  A very respectable performance indeed.
  • It’s clear that the area continues to benefit from its rich heritage in the textiles industry, which remains nine-times more economically significant in the region than the UK as a whole.  Similarly, the area’s rich natural resources continue to provide the Scottish Borders with a source of competitive advantage.  Farming and forestry alone account for 7% of output in the region, compared to just 2% in the UK, and continue to be an important driver of growth.  The electricity and gas sector – which includes everything from wind turbines generating power to the array of energy companies that trade it – has also been an engine of growth in the region, with output increasing at an astonishing rate of 13% per year up to 2017.  One of the issues facing the area going forwards will be how to keep harnessing the abundance of natural capital to continue driving sustainable growth. 
You can access the Royal Bank of Scotland's monthly PMI surveys of regional business activity and get weekly updates on key economic developments through their website.
General news articles

South of Scotland Economic Partnership to hit the road for a series of new community engagement events

One year on from the South of Scotland Economic Partnership’s community engagement events across the region, the Partnership is hitting the road again.

The events, taking place from May 9th and running into July, will enable businesses, organisations, communities and individuals to find out about the progress the Partnership has made in its first 18 months of operation, as well as the future of a dedicated enterprise agency for the south of Scotland.

Prof Russel Griggs, chair of the Partnership, said: “One year ago we held 26 events across the south of Scotland, having conversations about the challenges and opportunities we have and the potential powers and focus of a new agency."

“Twelve months on much has changed – a Bill is progressing through the Scottish Parliament to establish South of Scotland Enterprise and £10million of funding has been distributed by the Scottish Government through the Partnership for a wide range of projects."

“It is important now for us to go back to communities, businesses and organisations and explain what we heard, what we’ve done and, on the back of the progress to date, get a feel for what everyone thinks of the future."

“I’d encourage anyone who has an interest in the future of the economy and skills and training in the south of Scotland to attend one of the upcoming events.”

In addition to general SoSEP engagement events, a number of sector-specific events will take place, and business breakfast meetings to increase engagement with firms across the region.

The stakeholder events are being managed by the Southern Uplands Partnership on behalf of the South of Scotland Economic Partnership. Places can be booked at

The membership of South of Scotland Economic Partnership is made up of a wealth of business experience across sectors, sizes and locations relevant to the south of Scotland, as well as representatives from education, the third sector and the public sector.

As well as bringing together key partners to boost the economic performance of the south of the country, the Scottish Government has provided a £10million investment package to assist the partnership.

Scottish Chambers of Commerce Quarterly Economic Indicator

Take the Scottish Chamber Quarterly Economic Indicator Survey.

The Quarterly Economic Indicator survey is a chance for SBCC chamber members to share their business performance and influence the economic conversations in Scotland.

The SCC Network’s QEI is Scotland’s longest-running economic survey of its kind, run by Scottish Chambers in partnership with the Fraser of Allander Institute.

Last quarter’s survey results were covered by media publications such as The BBC, The Times, The Herald, The Scotsman and Business Insider.

This is our collective opportunity to highlight the concerns and needs of the business community in Scotland and indicate the key issues affecting businesses in 2019.

Take the QEI here in less than five minutes:

Free Environment-Friendly Guest Packs available for SMEs.

Make the most of free resources to showcase environmental aims to guests – and get their support.

This professionally designed pack includes table talkers with handy thermometer, door hangers, towel cards and more.

The pack will help you encourage your guests to protect the environment by using resources efficiently while enjoying their stay.

Ideal for hotels, guest houses and self-catering facilities - click here for more information.

Creative Arts Business Network
The latest edition of the Creative Arts Business Network e-bulletin is available here.
Get in touch with the Chamber

Do you have a business update you'd like us to share for you? If so, please don't hesitate to get in touch. Just email Emily at

We would be delighted to help spread the word about the diverse and dynamic business community of the Scottish Borders.

Get in touch with the Chamber
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Scottish Borders Chamber of Commerce · 27 North Bridge Street · Hawick, Roxburghshire TD9 9BD · United Kingdom

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